gān shǔ, sweet potato 甘薯
by: Joe Hing kwok Chu
See picture of seeds here.
|Ipomoea batatas L|
Pron. in Cantonese::
|gam1 syu4, faan1 syu4 (番薯)|
|fan shu 番薯，di gua 地瓜|
|yam, sweet potato. (actually yam or shan yao is a different root vegetable See: here Yam and sweet potato sold in the markets in America are the roots of Ipomoea batatas L.)|
|sweet, neutral, slightly toxic.|
Channels (meridians) entered:
inhibiting the production of cholesterol.
inhibiting the effect of trypsin.
Actions & Indications:
|For: constipation, high cholesterol, gastric and duodenal ulcer, bleeding not during menses (see sample of formulae).|
Chemical ingredients:【1】 【2】
|Raw Sweet Potato Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)||生甘薯营養價值，每百克含：|
|Percentages in brackets are relative to USDA recommendations for adults.|
|Energy 360 kJ (86 kcal)||熱量 86千卡|
|Protein 1.6 g||蛋白質 1.6 g|
|Carbohydrates 20.1 g||碳水化合物 20.1 g|
|-Starch 12.7 g||-澱粉 12.7 g|
|-Sugars 4.2 g||-糖 4.2 g|
|Dietary fibre 3.0 g||粗纖維 3.0 g|
|Fat 0.1 g||脂肪 0.1 g|
|Vitamin A equiv. 709 μg (79%)||维生素A 709 μg (79%)|
|- beta-carotene 8509 μg (79%)||-b-胡蘿朴素 8509 μg (79%)|
|- lutein and zeaxanthin 0 μg||-蘆丁與玉米黄素 0 μg|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.1 mg (8%)||硫胺素 (維生素B1) 0.1 mg (8%)|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.1 mg (7%)||核黃素(維生素B2) 0.1 mg (7%)|
|Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.61 mg (4%)||烟酸 (維生素B3) 0.61 mg (4%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.8 mg (16%)||泛酸 (維生素B5) 0.8 mg (16%)|
|Vitamin B6 0.2 mg (15%)||維生素B6 0.2 mg (15%)|
|Folate (Vit. B9) 11 μg (3%)||葉酸 (維 生素B9)11 μg (3%)|
|Vitamin C 2.4 mg (4%)||维生素C 2.4 mg (4%)|
|Calcium 30.0 mg (3%)||鈣 30 mg (3%)|
|Iron 0.6 mg (5%)||鐵 0.6 mg (5%)|
|Magnesium 25.0 mg (7%)||鎂 25 mg (7%)|
|Phosphorus 47.0 mg (7%)||磷 47 mg (7%)|
|Potassium 337 mg (7%)||鉀 337 mg (7%)|
|Zinc 0.3 mg (3%)||鋅 0.3 mg (3%)|
|mainly as food.|
Samples of formulae:
Sweet potato sweet rice porridge 甘薯粳
Bleeding from ulcers of stomach and/or duodenum: Make powder with dry root. Take 120 g the first time. Then take 60 g subsequently. Mix with warm boiled water.
Bleeding not during menses: use 60 g of fresh vine of sweet potato. Bake into charcoal like (but retaining the characteristic of the herb). Mix with sweet rice wine and take orally.
For boils and swelling: use appropriate amount of fresh root. Smash and wrap the affected areas.
|Leaves as a vegetable-effect on health.|
Side Effects & Cautions:
|People who have diabetes, kidney disease, gout, rheumatoid arthritis or chronic pain in the vulva should avoid sweet potatoes. It is high in oxalic acid that can cause the forming of stones of oxalates and damage the kidneys and can cause pain in joints and in vulva area.|
It also possesses trypsin inhibiting effect and it can hinder the digestion of protein.
A study on New Guinea children death caused by enteritis necroticans related to sweet potato consumption and pork consumption has been reported. There are also a few cases of enteritis necroticans reported in America.
Another study shows that certain group of New Guinea men were shorter compared to other groups with the same calorie intake and their main staple was sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes can also cause the inhibition of the enzyme that kills malaria amoebas and can cause dormant malaria amoebas to flare up. It may also weaken the defense against malaria; so the chances to get malaria become higher.
Enteritis necroticans is rarely reported in developed countries. The disease is likely to be under diagnosed. 
Not to use in cases of pixu (spleen deficient) condition, and or withdampness or yeast Infection.
凡是有以下病症患者忌吃甘薯：糖尿病，痛風，風濕性關節炎，慢性外陰痛。甘薯含高量的草酸，容易導致 化合成草酸鹽结石，傷害腎臟，關節等 。
有關於某些幾內亞的巴布亞族人比起其他巴 布亞族身高較矮小，雖然所吃的熱量與其他族人相同；但是此族 人主要粮食為甘薯。
甘薯也會抑制能對抗瘧疾變形虫之一種脢。吃甘薯可能引起潜伏中的瘧 疾變形虫而引起瘧 疾發作。也可對瘧 疾變形虫抵抗力降低而較容易得到瘧 疾。
脾虛或濕盛 (有念 珠球菌感染或白帶)者 忌吃。
See effects of cooking of sweet potatoes on the vitamins.
Trypsin is a serine protease, an enzyme that cuts the peptide bond of protein. and helps with hydrolyzing protein.
Enteritis necroticans is a segmental necrotizing infection of the jejunum and ileum caused by Clostridium perfringens, Type C.
Jejunum is the section of the small intestine between the duodenum and the ileum.
Ileum is the terminal portion of the small intestine extending from the jejunum to the cecum (beginning of the colon).
【1】 nutritiondata.com which lists USDA Nutrient database as source.
【2】《Zhong Hua Ben Cao》 中華本草
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