Botanical Name: Dioscoreae Rhizoma

Shan Yao

Shan Yao

English: Chinese Yam

Category: Tonify the Qi

Taste: Sweet

Temperature: Neutral

Channels Entered: Kidney, Lung, Spleen

Dosage: 9-30g; when a large dose is required, from 60-240g may be used.

Key Characteristics: Tonifies the qi and yin of the Lungs, Spleen, and Kidneys, and secures the essence.

Cautions & Contraindications:

  • Should not be used by itself when there is an accumulation of dampness marked by fullness in the abdomen.

Actions & Indications:

  • Tonifies and augments the Spleen and Stomach: for Spleen or Stomach deficiency with such symptoms as diarrhea, fatigue, spontaneous sweating, and lack of appetite.
  • Tonifies the Lung qi and augments the Lung yin: for chronic cough or wheezing due to Lung deficiency.
  • Tonifies the Kidneys and also stabilizes and binds: because this herb moistens and is neither hot nor cold, it benefits both the yin and the yang of the Lungs and Kidneys. It is therefore often used in treating wasting and thirsting disorder, sometimes in a large dosage as a stand-alone herb. It also secures the essence and treats spermatorrhea, urinary frequency, and vaginal discharge.