Introduction of Shan Yao:Common Yam Rhizome, Wild Yam or Rhizoma Dioscoreae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Qi Tonics,Herbs for Replenishing Qi.

 TCM Herbs Icon14 Introduction: Qi Tonics,herbs for replenishing Qi: also known as Qi-tonifying herbs, an agent or substance that tonifies Qi, used in treating Qi deficiency.

 
Rhizoma Dioscoreae(Common Yam Rhizome).

Rhizoma Dioscoreae Pin Yin Name: Shān Yɑo.
 English Name: Common Yam Rhizome, Wild Yam.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Dioscoreae.
 Property and flavor: neutral nature, tastes sweet.

 Brief introduction: The herb Rhizoma Dioscoreae is the dried rhizome of Dioscorea opposita Thunb.(family Dioscoreaceae), used (1).to replenish Qi and Yin, tonify the spleen, lung, and kidney for the treatment of (1).weakness of the spleen and stomach with poor appetite and chronic diarrhea, (2).lung insufficiency with chronic cough, (3).insecurity of the kidney with nocturnal emission, polyuria and leukorrhagia, and (4).Yin deficiency in cases of diabetes. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma Dioscoreae, Common Yam Rhizome, Shān Yɑo.

  Botanical source: Common official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Common Yam Rhizome(Shan Yao) as the tuber of the Dioscoreaceae family plant species (1).Dioscorea opposita Thunb. It is a plant of the Dioscorea L. genus, the Dioscoreaceae family of the Liliflorae order. This commonly used species is introduced as:

 Dioscorea polystachya. (1).Dioscorea opposita Thunb.:
 Botanical description: The Dioscorea opposita Thunb. is a plant of the Dioscoreaceae family and Dioscorea genus, some latest classification systems identified the species as "Dioscorea polystachya", it is commonly known "Common Yam", or "Shǔ Yù", or "Chinese yam", perennials winding plant. The tuber is thick, slightly cylindrical, vertical growth, up to 1 meter high, 2~7 cm in diameter, skin is brown, raw fibrous roots. Stems are slender, creeping, usually purplish, angular, smooth glabrous. Leaf opposite or 3-leaf rotation, axillary leaf often perennial (more than a child); leaf shape changes, triangular-ovate to triangular wide ovoid, 3.5~7 cm long, 2~4.5 cm wide, usually auriculate, Central apex acuminate, lobes on both sides of a round ear, the base of the halberd heart-shaped, both sides are smooth and glabrous; 7~9 veins; petiole slender, 1.5~3.5 cm. Flowers are unisexual, dioecious; flowers are very small, yellowish-green, spikes; spadix; male inflorescence erect, 2 to several polygamous in leaf axils, many of flower axils zigzag-like; flowers are small, nearly sessile, triangular-ovate; 6 perianth, elliptic, apex obtuse; 6 stamens, filaments are very short; female inflorescence drooping, basal each flower with 2 unequal bracts, bracts broadly ovate, apex long gradually tip; 6 perianths; Ovary inferior, oblong, 3-locule, stigma 3-lobed. The capsule has 3 wings, fruit wing length is equal to a few wide. Seeds are oval, there are broad-winged. Its flowering period is from July to August, fruiting from September to October.

 Dioscorea polystachya. Ecological environment: The Dioscorea opposita Thunb., grows in mountain sunny side, hillsides, valleys, streams, roadside shrubs or weeds; or for cultivation. Geographical distribution: This species mainly distributes in the north, northwest, and central area, and cultivated in other areas of China. This species is native to China and now grows throughout East Asia, it was introduced to the United States as early as the 19th century for culinary and cultural uses, it was introduced to Europe in the 19th century during the European Potato Failure, the edible tubers, are cultivated largely in Asia and sometimes used in alternative herbs.

 Dioscorea is a herbaceous twining perennial common in China mainland Mexico, the eastern and central United States. Twining in hedges, and over bushes and fences, the thin, woolly, reddish-brown stem grows up to 6 meters long.

 The slender, tuberous rootstock is crooked and laterally branched. Broadly ovate and cordate, the leaves are from 5~15 cm long and 3~12 cm wide, glabrous on top, and finely hairy underneath. They are usually alternate, but the lower leaves sometimes grow in twos and fours. The small, greenish-yellow flowers bloom during June and July, the male flowers in drooping panicles, the female in drooping, spicate racemes.

 Growth characteristics: The Dioscorea opposita grows wildly in the mountainous area to the sun, prefers warm, cold resistance, in the north area covered a little then it can pass safely in winter. Because wild yam is a deep-rooted plant, the cultivation area should choose the sandy loam with a deep soil layer, good drainage, and fertile. The pH of soil better is neutral. If the soil is acidic, branch roots and nodule are easy to grow, which affects the yield and quality of roots. Much alkaline, the roots cannot grow down sufficiently.

 Characters of herbs: This product is slightly cylindrical, curved and slightly flat, 15~30 cm long, 1.5~6 cm in diameter. The surface is yellowish-white or flaxen, have longitudinal furrow, longitudinal furrow and fibrous root mark, occasionally have shallow brown skin. Weight, solid quality, not easy to break, cross-section is white, pink. No odor, light taste, slight acid, chewing sticky. The rhizoma dioscoreae is cylindrical, with both ends level, 9~18 cm long and 1.5~3 cm in diameter. Smooth surface, white or yellowish-white.

 Pharmacological actions: Common Yam Rhizome has the function of lowering blood sugar, regulating the body's response to non-specific stimulation, improving immune function, nourishing effect, relieving diarrhea, removing phlegm, affecting the digestive system to stimulate intestinal movement, enhancing the absorption function of the small intestine, helping digestion, inhibiting the secretion of serum amylase and so on.

 Medicinal efficacy: Replenish the spleen and nourish the stomach, generate body fluid and invigorate the lung, nourishing lung, reinforce the kidney, replenish the vital essence, reinforcing the kidney and controlling noctural emission. It is indicated for spleen deficiency and poor appetite, poor appetite and edema, splenasthenic diarrhea, unstoppable chronic diarrhea, chronic dysentery, lung deficiency and dyspnea with cough, emission with renal asthenia, spermatorrhea, morbid leukorrhea, frequent micturition, kidney deficiency and frequent urination, consumptive disease with cough, asthenic fever and wasting thirst(deficient heat and consumptive thirst), carbuncle swelling, scrofula(lymphoid tuberculosis), etc. Fried wild yam invigorate the spleen and strengthening the stomach, it is indicated for spleen deficiency and poor appetite, diarrhea and loose stool, leukorrhagia, etc.

 Administration of Rhizoma Dioscoreae(Shān Yɑo): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Dioscoreae(Shān Yɑo)
TCM Books: Internally:3~9 grams(CP), Internally:water decoction,3~6 qian(about 9~18 grams), or prepare to pill, powder. Externally:mashed and apply stick(DCTM), Internally:water decoction,15~30 grams, big dosage could be 60~250 grams;or prepared to pill, powder. Externally:proper amount, mashed and apply stick. To nourish Yin, better use raw herb;to replenish spleen and relieve diarrhea, better use fried herb.(CHMM).

 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Shan Yao:Common Yam Rhizome, Wild Yam or Rhizoma Dioscoreae.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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