Thanks to Christine Chang DAOM, L.Ac most appreciated professor at Emperors College for the kind words she had for cicadas. They were some of her childhood friends in Taiwan when their bright colors and gentle nature entertained her like living jewels.
In Traditional East Asian Medicine the periostracum or husk of the cicada which is molted is collected and used to relieve a sore throat, hoarse voice, reddened sore eyes or blurry vision, speed recovery from measles and calm nightmares and spasms.
The calming nature of the medicinal increases the effect of antihistamines, sedatives, narcotics and reduces the effect of caffeine. It is usually combined with other herbs as part of an effective formula.
Cicada is said to have a pleasant sweet and salty taste like corn or asparagus with a cooling effect. The husk is not usually eaten but the newly risen creature is. They’re in the same phyllum as lobsters and shrimp according to Jenna Jadin, entymologist and author of Cicada-licious, available in PDF format for free online.
Dogs enjoy plucking them from the trees and bushes like tasty berries but they offer about as much protein as beef. NPR and National Geographic had fantastic articles about them including recipes seven or eight years ago when another emergence occurred. Insects should replace mammals in our diets yesterday to benefit the environment and these seem like a winner.
Just remember “Everything in Moderation,” we don’t really know why the cicadas only emerge every so often and we do not want to disrupt an important feature of nature.
"The pursuit of health is invariably a spiritual quest."