What Is Chan Tui (Periostracum Cicadae)

Chan Tui is also known as Periostracum Cicadae and is the molting of Cryptotympana atrata after its emergence. It is an animal medicine with a medicinal history of more than 1,500 years.

There are more than 3,000 species of cicada, and Cryptotympana atrata is one of them. They are distributed in temperate and tropical zones.

Cicada contains 72% protein and is a natural nutrient. In some Asian countries, the custom of eating cicadas is still preserved. It can be braised or fried into dishes.

Cryptotympana atrata experiences 4 to 5 times of molting in its life. After the adult Cryptotympana atrata comes out of the molting shell, Chan Tui hangs on or under the tree.

In the summer and autumn of each year, people gather Chan Tui, wash them with water, dry them in the sun, and make them into Chinese herbs.

The best Chan Tui has a yellow-brown surface, which is translucent and shiny. It contains chitin, proteins, amino acids, organic acids, and phenolic compounds.

According to <Mingyi Bie Lu>, the medicinal property of Chan Tui is relatively cold, with a sweet taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung and liver meridians.

In Chinese medicine, it is often used to treat wind-heat, influenza, bronchitis, sore throat, and suppurative otitis media.

About 50 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine formulas contain Chan Tui, such as Xiao Feng San, Xiao Yin Pian, and Ming Mu Shang Qing Pian.

Health benefits of Chan Tui

  • Immunosuppressive and anti-inflammation.
  • Reducing heart rate and preventing cardiovascular system disease.
  • Reducing capillary permeability and preventing capillary rupture and bleeding.
  • Inhibiting the central nervous system and having sedative and anticonvulsant effects.
  • Relieving the cough and asthma caused by the itchy throat, and eliminating phlegm.
  • promoting eruption, relieving skin itching caused by rubella, and treating chronic urticaria.
  • Treating bronchitis, pharyngitis, suppurative otitis media.
  • Treating infantile convulsion, infantile crying at night, tetanus, and hydrocele.
  • Treating redness and swelling of eyes, pterygium, corneal opacities, and improving eyesight.
  • Treats hoarseness, swelling and pain in the throat, fever, and cough caused by wind-heat or lung heat.

Chan Tui is used with other Chinese herbs

  • It with Niu Bang Zi (Fructus Arctii), Gan Cao (Licorice Root), and Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi) can treat cold, cough, and aphonia.
  • It with Chai Hu (Radix Bupleuri), Fang Feng (Siler Root), Che Qian Zi (Semen Plantaginis), and Huang Bai (Cortex Phellodendri) can treat angioedema.
  • It with Bing Pian (Borneol), Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae), Mu Bie Zi (Gac fruit seeds), and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can treat hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, and hematochezia.
  • It with Quan Xie (Mesobuthus Martensii), Gan Cao (Licorice Root), Hu Po (Amber), Zhu Sha (Cinnabaris), and Bing Pian (Borneol) can treat cysticercosis.
  • It with Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae), Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae), Ban Lan Gen (Radix Isatidis), Shui Niu Jiao (Cornu Bubali), Bai Mao Gen (Rhizoma Imperatae), Gou Teng (Uncaria Rhynchophylla), and Zao Jiao Ci (Spina Gleditsiae) can treat psoriasis.

Side effects of Chan Tui

A small number of people taking it can cause persistent pain in the upper abdomen, abdominal distention, and borborygmus.

Excessive use of it may cause sweating, increased body temperature, and redness on the face.

Precautions of Chan Tui

  • The dosage of Chan Tui should be controlled at 3-10g.
  • It can be made into decoctions or ground into a powder to make into pills.
  • It should not be used to treat wind-cold.
  • Pregnant women should not take it.