The whole body of Mylabris phalerata Pallas and M. cichodi L, family Meloidae. Prepared by drying or fried with rice.

M. phalerata: With an oblong body, a triangular head, two large compound eyes, whippy and segmented antennae. On the chest there is a pair of black leathery elytra with three orange, broad and transverse striae, and two membranous wings under the elytra. Feet in three pairs, usually dropped. Abdomen annularly segmented, covered with black hairs. Unpleasant in odour. M. cichoni: Smaller, with yellow hairs and yellow brown transverse striae on the wings. Both are acrid in taste, cold in nature, strongly toxic, and attributive to liver and stomach channels.

Elimina!e toxic material, promote pus drainage and remove blood stasis: For scrofula, rabies; external use for carbuncle, scabies, leukoplakia of vulva, distortion of the face, etc. Recently, also for cancer of liver, esophagus and stomach, lingering and chronic hepatitis, tuberculosis of bone and lymphnode, rheumatism, etc.

Pharmacological Action
1. Cantharidin, one of its components, inhibits sarcoma180, reticulothelioma and ascitic hepatocarcinoma.
2. Inhibiting the synthesis of DNA, RNA and protein.

Decoction or pill (powder): 0.3-1.0g
Cantharidin tablet: 0.5mg gradually increased to 2-4mg once daily, totally 240mg as 1 course.
Cantharidin ampoule: 0.25mg gradually increased to 2mg IM once daily, 1-3 months as 1 course.
Hydroxy-cantharidamine tablet: 50-100mg tid. The latter three preparations are only used for tumours.

All preparations of Chinese blister beetle are strong poisons, which may cause nephritis, cystitis, burning sensation of digestive tract, vomiting, palpitation and numbness of fingers.
External use may cause local congestion, vesiculation, burning pain, and also toxic effect through absorption. So the dosage (both oral and topical use) should be limited. It is contraindicated for the cases with cardiac, renal and gastrointestinal diseases, and should be taken after meals. Toxic and side effects may be ameliorated if the drug is taken with green tea, diuretics or stomachics.


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Mr. Wang Tao

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