Chinese Wild Yam

Latin names: Radix dioscoreae oppositae, Dioscorea opposita
Chinese name: shan yao
Other name: Chinese yam, dioscorea, Japanese mountain yam

What is the Chinese Wild Yam?
Chinese wild yam is the common name for Dioscorea opposita, a perennial herbaceous vine that is cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Asia. Unlike other yams, Chinese wild yam does not contain harmful chemicals in its raw state. In Japanese cuisine, this tuber is eaten raw and grated, after briefly soaking in a vinegar-water solution.

What are the health benefits of Chinese Wild Yam?
Chinese wild yam is a major energy tonic in Chinese herbalism. It is used for a variety of issues relating to low energy. Some major uses include treatment of fatigue, certain types of insomnia, lack of appetite, chronic coughs and wheezing, loose or unformed stools, sweating without apparent cause, frequent urination, spermatorrhea, and vaginal discharge.

What are the guidelines for taking Chinese Wild Yam?
This herb is usually available in its dried and sliced form. It can be combined in a formula of herbs and taken as a tea. It can also be used in cooking. Try putting some in your next stew or in your morning breakfast cereal. If your recipe involves a short cooking time, soak the dried wild yam for a couple hours before adding.

Where can I find Chinese Wild Yam?

Chinese wild yam can be found in ethnic food stores, through online herb suppliers, or at the offices of Chinese medical practitioners.

You can find Chinese wild yam combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formulas:
Enduring Youth, which reduces the effects of a stressful lifestyle and enhances stamina and reproductive health.
High Performance, which provides the high quality of vital energy necessary for sustaining an active lifestyle.
Passages Plus, which helps women cope with the hormone swings of PMS and menopause.

You can find Chinese wild yam root (fu shen) combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formula:
Calmfort/Sleeping, which calms the spirit, alleviates insomnia, and increases the body’s ability to cope with stress.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.