Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis (Sang Piao Xiao)Praying Mantis (Sang Piao Xiao)

Botanical Name: Ootheca Mantidis

Praying mantis egg cases have been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat frequent urination and are especially favored for being the best herb to treat bed-wetting in young children. The egg cases are not typically used as a medicine in the West. The insects are a popular organic and non-pesticide tool for preventing pests in your garden.

Below is an overview of Praying Mantis (Sang Piao Xiao), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Praying Mantis (Sang Piao Xiao).

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Western Name: Praying Mantis

Also Known As: Mantis, Mantis Egg-case

Organs/Systems: Bladder

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Astringing. Frequent urination, bed-wetting in children.


Pin Yin: Sang Piao Xiao

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Kidney, Liver

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Tonifies the Kidney/Assists Yang/Retains Essence (Jing), Restrains Urine: treats Kidney Yang deficiency with symptoms of dribbling urine, urinary frequency, nocturnal emissions, bed-wetting in children.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Praying mantis are an order of insects containing over 2,400 species, in about 430 genera in 15 families! The largest is the Mantidae. They have triangular heads with bulging eyes. Their elongated bodies may or may not have wings, but all species have forelegs that are greatly enlarged and adapted for catching prey. These folded large limbs are the source of the insects name, “praying mantis.” They can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings in search of food.

The Mantidae species of praying mantis is found worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats.

Praying Mantis (Sang Piao Xiao)Parts Most Frequently Used: Case of the Mantis Eggs

Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Salty, Neutral

Caution: Considered safe. Not recommended for Yin deficient or damp-heat in the bladder conditions.

History/Folklore: Praying mantises are closely related to cockroaches and termites. They are sometimes confused with stick bugs (Phasmatodea) and even grasshoppers (Orthoptera). They live for about a year, lay their eggs in the fall and then die. Some females will eat their mates after copulation.

A typical case of mantis eggs will contain 100-400 eggs. They are secreted by the females on twigs in late summer and fall.

One of the earliest references in writing about the praying mantis, is in an Ancient Chinese dictionary. There are also two separate schools of martial arts that use fighting strategies based on the movements of the praying mantis. They are known as the Northern and Southern Praying Mantis schools. The insects are revered as a symbol for mindful movement. They are seen as elegant, mindful and contemplative.

Praying mantises have been attributed with supernatural powers by early civilizations, including the Ancient Greeks, Ancient Egyptians and Assyrians. The image of the insects appeared on early Greek coins. The Ancient Greeks believed the insect could show a traveler the way home. In Ancient Egypt, in the Book of the Dead, the mantis (called the “bird-fly”) is a minor god that leads souls to the underworld. In Southern Africa, the mantis was considered a god. These cultures believed that seeing a mantis was a direct message from god and time was taken to understand the message.

The name “Mantodea” is from the Ancient Greek words for “prophet and form.” Symbolically they are symbols of stillness, agility, quickness, and peace of mind.

Gardeners who would like to avoid using pesticides will encourage mantises to thrive in order to help keep general predators in check. Two species were specifically introduced to North America in the hopes that they would help control agricultural pests. Both species have now spread widely in the United States and Canada.

Key Constituents:

Fibrous proteins, Glycoprotein, Lipoprotein.

Did you know?

Insect Pets

Among insects, praying mantises are the most commonly kept as pets.


150 Million Years Old

The earliest fossils containing mantises are about 150 million years old and are from Siberia.

Fun fact!

Don't Use Raw

Raw mantis egg cases can cause diarrhea, so use powdered or dry-fried. Good quality is dry, lightweight, intact and yellow, without any bark.

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ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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