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shan yao  山藥,huai shan 淮山 (in English and Chinese 中英文)

By: Joe Hing Kwok Chu

Click her to see picture of herb .

Present Day Applications:

現代 應 用﹕

anti aging


Pharmaceutical name:


Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae

Biological name:


  1. Dioscorea opposita Thunb.
  2. D. alata L.,
  3. D. esculenta (Lour.) Burk.,
  4. D. rotundata (L.) Poir.,
  5. D. cayenensis Lam.
  6. D. bulbifera L.
  7. D. dumetorum Pax.,
  8. D. pentaphylla L.
  9. D. trifida L.

Pron. in Japanese:



Pron. in Korean:



Pron. in Cantonese:


saan1 joek6,  waai4 saan1

Other Names:

別名 ﹕

huai shan yao 懷山藥,huai shan yao 淮山藥,shan yu 山芋, yu yan 玉延, Shu yu 薯蕷,  chang shu  長薯, tiao shu 條薯, tian shu 田薯, shan shu 山薯 , da shu  大薯.

It is usually prescribed as huai shan or huai shan yao, meaning shan yao that produced in the valley of Huai River. (Henan province of China). Huai shan yao is deemed to be better quality.

懷山藥, 淮山藥, 土薯, 山薯, 山芋, 玉延, 薯蕷, 長薯, 條薯, 田薯,  大薯處方常寫作淮山﹐即河南省淮河流域所產的山藥。一 般認為淮山藥質地較好。

Common Name:


Chinese wild yam, dioscorea



Originally grown in China in the provinces of Henan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Shanxi,Taiwan, also in Japan, and other tropical areas. Now the main production areas are in the tropics. The largest production areas are central and south America, followed by subtropical areas and Africa.

山藥原產於中國 河 南, 湖南, 江西, 廣西, 四川,陝西, 台灣, 與日本及全球熱帶地 區。目前主要產區多分布在熱帶,其中以中南美洲為最多, 次為亞熱帶地區及非洲。




sweet, neutral.


Medical functions:藥理﹕ Medical functions:
  1. Promotes urination
  2. inhibit gastric emptying
  3. Lower blood sugar
  4. Lower blood pressure
  5. antibiotic
  6. anti-inflammatory
  7. anti aging: use shan yao, ju hua, niu xi, shu di huang
  8. Improves digestive system. Correct pixu condition


  1. 利 尿
  2. 抑制腸胃排空作用
  3. 降 血 壓
  4. 降血糖
  5. 抑 菌
  6. 抗發炎
  7. 抗衰老﹕山藥加菊 花牛 膝熟 地黃
  8. 改善脾 虛症狀

Channels (meridians) entered:


 kidney, lung, spleen channel.


Actions & Indications:


Wheat flour stir fried shan yao is used as tonics for spleen and stomach. Lack of appetite and/or chronic diarrhea or vaginal yeast infection with  pixu (spleen deficient) syndrome, spermatorrhea and frequent urination due to shenxu (kidney deficient) ﹐chronic cough or wheezing, abundance of phlegm due to lung deficiency,  fatigue, spontaneous sweating and lack of appetite .  Used in thirst and wasting (as in diabetes) with qixu (qi deficient) and yinxu (yin deficient) syndrome. Tonic for kidney yin and kidney yang.

脾虛 泄 瀉 , 便 溏 久 瀉 , 腎虛 遺 精 , 小 便 頻 數 , 肺 虛 喘 咳 , 虛 勞 痰 嗽 , 食 少 倦 怠 , 脾 虛 帶 下 , 小 兒 疳 積 等 , 氣虛陰 虛 的 糖尿病。用于肺氣 虛﹐肺陰虛﹐肺陽虛證。


Chemical ingredients:化學成份﹕

the root contains 0.012% of diosgenin (a natural DHEA), also contains saponin, choline, starch, glycoprotein, free amino acid, d-abscisin II,   3, 4-dihydroxyphenylethylamine, mannan and phytic acid, vitamin B1, B2, C, calcium, phosphorous, iron, protein 2.4% ~ 2.8%, fat 0.08 ~ 0.1%

薯 蕷皂 Diosgenin (天然的脫氫表雄甾酮 DHEA) 0.012%, 皂素﹐膽鹼﹐澱粉﹐醣蛋 白﹐氨基酸﹐脱落素﹐34-雙 羥基苯 丙胺酸,甘露聚糖,  植酸, 維 他 命 B1, B2, C 及 鈣, 磷, 鐵 ﹐蛋 白 質 2.4 ~ 2. 8 % , 脂 質  0.08 ~0. 1 %.


用量 ﹕

normal dosage is 6 ~ 12 g. Large dosages can be up to 100 g.

常用量 6 ~ 12 克。大劑量有用到100 克。

Samples of formulae:

處方舉 例﹕

  1. you gui wan  右歸丸 
  2. jin gui shen qi wan 金櫃腎氣丸
  3. ba zhen tang 八珍湯,
  4. dang gui jian zhong tang 當歸键中湯

Modern Research:


 to be loaded



Do not use in cases of liver yang ascending and urination difficulty due to urinary tract infection (damp-heat).

肝陽上亢 及小便不利因 濕熱 內蘊者忌服 。

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone):

  1. An androgenic steroid hormone secreted by the brain, skin and largely by the adrenal cortex and found in human urine. It is the largest amount of the steroid hormone in the body. When a person get older the DHEA amount becomes less and when a person get to 45 years old, the secretion of DHEA is about half of that of when he/she was 20 years old.
  2. A commercial synthetic preparation of this hormone used as a nutritional supplement.

脫氫 表雄甾酮 (DHEA):

  1. 脫氫表雄甾酮 ( DHEA) 是一種天然的激素, 由腦 部, 皮 膚和腎上腺所分泌﹔ 是體內含量最多的類固醇激 素 。 。 它存在於尿液中。  人在老化時, DHEA 的含 量會減少; 到了45 歲 左右, DHEA 分泌量只有20 歲時候的一半。
  2. 在商業上,人工合成的DHEA激素當作食物補充劑。


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Last update: Aug 31, 2014; 1 p.m. LAH