Photos of Insect Materia Medica
All photos by Adam, 2009--2015.
Large sacks of dried and prepared Earthworm.
Dried Leeches contain a powerful anticoagulant similar to heparin. They are therefore very effective for Blood stasis.
Wingless Cockroach, used similar to Pill Millipedes in the West, they powerfully move the Blood.
Praying Mantis Egg cases, used as a tonic-astringent.
Scorpions are used for 'Wind' diseases (diseases of the Nervous system).
Earthworms as used in TCM have been cut and washed to remove the earth from their digestive systems. The use of Earthworm in the Western and Chinese Traditions is very similar, being effective for all types of Obstruction.
Pill Millipedes were highly regarded in the Western Tradition but are less frequently used in TCM. The are powerful for various obstructions and were credited with being effective against Cancer. They were one of the last animal medicines to be removed from the Western Pharmacopoeias.
Cantharides, used for drawing blisters traditionally, they are used internally in small doses in some formulas.
Centipedes are also used for Wind diseases, most often in combination with Scorpion. They powerfully settle Convulsions and relieve serious types of Neuralgia.
Wasp nest is used for clearing toxin. Some Cancer specialists in China hold this in high regard in the treatment of Cancer where decocted with other medicines.