Dioscorea Root - Shan Yao
Products Featuring This Herb:
Dioscorea Root Extract Powder
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Rehmannia Six Combination
Return to Youth
Aid Life Pills
Ear Ringing Pills
Eight Flavor Rehmannia Teapills
Eight Flavor Rehmannia Teapills Economy Size
Eight Immortals Teapills
Golden Book Teapills
Golden Book Teapills Economy Size
Left Side Replenishing Teapills
Lycii Chrysanthemum Teapills
Morinda Yin Yang Pills
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Return to Spring Teapills
Right Side Replenishing Teapills
Six Flavor Teapills
Six Flavor Teapills Economy Size
Subdue the Dampness Teapills
Yun Nan Bai Yao Powder
Yun Nan Bai Yao Capsules
Other Common Names
Wild Chinese Yam, Mountain Medicine
Page # In Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs
Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae
Yin Jing and Qi
Organ Meridian Systems
Kidneys, Spleen and Stomach
Part Used and Form
The peeled sun-dried rhizome
Qi tonic, Yin Jing tonic, tonic to Yin of Lung and Stomach, astringent to Kidney
Dioscorea, whose literal name in Chinese is “Mountain Medicine”, is one of the more widely used tonic herbs. Because the herb has a neutral “atmospheric energy”, and therefore is neither hot nor cold, it benefits both the Yin and the Yang of the Lungs, Kidneys and Spleen.
It builds Spleen Qi, which results in strong digestion and metabolism. It is often combined with Ginseng, White Atractylodes and Poria to fortify the Qi producing power of the digestive tract. Dioscorea is a great herb for people who suffer from loose stool. It is very effective at treating many types of diarrhea.
Used with Codonopsis (or American Ginseng), Ophiopogon, Schizandra and other herbs that benefit the Lungs, Dioscorea helps strengthen the ability to build Qi in the Lungs and generally improve Lung functioning, which in turn strengthens the whole body. It is commonly used in formulations designed to relieve coughing due to weak Lung condition.
Dioscorea is a valuable herb. In the process of rebuilding and maintaining healthy Kidney functions, it has both Yin Jing building power and an astringent action which helps consolidate the Kidney energy, preventing “leaking” of fluids. It is widely recommended for the “leakage” problems which occur as a result of a deficiency of the Kidney, such as spermatorrhea, leucorrhagia and frequent urination. It is also often used by people suffering night sweats as a result of general weakness or chronic consumptive illness. In each of the above mentioned cases, Dioscorea will be combined with different herbs. Dioscorea will help strengthen the back and knees, like all herbs that build the Kidney.
Diabetes is a disorder for which Dioscorea is very highly recommended in Asia. The vast majority of Chinese people with diabetes drink a tea of Dioscorea, or a blend of Dioscorea with other herbs, throughout the day to help with the symptoms of dysphoria and thirst.
Dioscorea is a powerful herb for treating dehydration be it due to an illness, excessive sweating from physical activity, due to the weather, or whatever. Dioscorea is a superb herb for helping replenish body fluids when taken as a tea or with sufficient water.
Dioscorea is a safe and mild herb that can be used as a nutrient tonic on a regular basis. Being a type of yam, it is often included in food products and cooked in routine Chinese cooking as a health food. The slices of Dioscorea are quite edible. Dioscorea can easily be crushed or ground into a powder which makes an excellent ingredient in almost any cooking where flour, grain or starch might otherwise be used.
Dioscorea may be used alone.
- Ginseng, Atractylodes, Poria, Licorice and Jujube Date to strengthen the Spleen and Lungs and to build Qi
- Goji and Schizandra to tonify the Kidneys and Lungs
- American Ginseng or Panax Ginseng Root to moderate blood sugar levels
- Poria to improve the urinary function of the Kidney
- Dang Gui and White Peony Root to regulate female hormonal functions
Varieties and Grading
Dioscorea comes in a range of grades depending on the variety and where it was grown. A variety known as “Huai Shan” is grown in the mountains of Henan Province and is considered to be the best. However, good Dioscorea also grows in many mountainous areas of China including Hebei, Sichuan, Shandong and Shanxi Provinces. Dioscorea is sometimes available simply as the sliced yam. Often it is macerated and rolled into cylindrical rods. These rods are sometimes sold as whole rods (several inches long) and sometimes sliced into very neat pieces. This process does not in any way effect quality. Pure white Dioscorea is usually the best. Source and price will generally tell you which is the best Dioscorea.
Dioscorea should be used only sparingly in cases of abdominal distention due to food stagnancy.