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English Name: mantis, mantis egg case
Pharmaceutical Name: Ootheca Mantidis
Medica Category: Astringent Herbs
Properties: Sang Piao Xiao enters the Liver and Kidney channels; it is sweet and salty in nature and neutral in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Sang Piao Xiao is the egg case of four different species of mantis that has been collected in the winter after the eggs have hatched (traditionally from the mulberry tree). These egg cases are steamed to kill any remaining eggs and then baked at a low temperature or sun-dried for use as medicine.
Sang Piao Xiao tonifies kidney yang, consolidates jing (essence), and restrains the urine. It is used in cases of Kidney yang deficiency when there is also some kind of fluid leakage also presenting (e.g. enuresis, incontinence, polyuria, spermatorrhea, nocturnal emissions, profuse (white) vaginal discharge etc…).
Contraindicated in persons with yin-deficient fire or cystitis with heat accumulation in the bladder.
In modern times, Sang Piao Xiao is classified as an astringent herb and its use has been focused on the treatment of urinary disorders and impotence; historically, however, Sang Piao Xiao has been used to address shen (spirit) disturbances by harmonizing the fire and water of the Heart and Kidney when they are out of balance. The mind-body formula in question is Sang Piao Xiao San (Mantis Egg-Case Powder), and an excellent discussion of this formula and how its ingredients blend to address Heart-Kidney imbalance can be found at ITM Online.
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