Today, I will be sharing with you one of my favourite herb- Chinese Yam, also known as Huai Shan or Shan Yao. If you do not develop any allergy after consuming Chinese Yam, you can actually add this ingredient into your meals! This herb is also commonly used to treat diabetes!
Properties: Sweet, neutral
Medicinal effects: Tonifies the spleen, lungs and kidneys. Improves digestive system, replenishes body fluids, boosts immunity and respiratory functions, improves reproductive functions
Suitable for: Poor appetite and poor digestion, cough due to Lung Qi deficiency, panting with weakness of the body, chronic cough, Kidney Qi and Yin deficiency, diabetes (with symptoms of Qi and Yin deficiency), abnormal vaginal discharge, diarrhoea
Effect on blood glucose: The polysaccharide and mucus found in Chinese yam is able to reduce blood glucose level
Note 1⚠️: Fresh Chinese yam/ Dried Chinese yam should not be directly eaten (it should be cooked/boiled unlike Japanese yam). Some people may experience itchiness and redness of the skin when they come into direct contact with uncooked fresh Chinese yam. I recommend using gloves when handling the fresh yam during preparation. In addition, it is best for people with sensitive skin to consume a smaller amount of the fresh herb to prevent any undesired effect from occurring.
Note 2⚠️: Chinese yam has astringent properties. Those who are suffering from diarrhoea due to bacteria (bacterial gastroenteritis) or feel bloated should avoid this herb until they recover. Also, people should avoid consuming this herb when they have dry, hard stools.
生淮山 还是 炮制（干）淮山？
Fresh Chinese yam or Dried Chinese yam?
Fresh Chinese yam is usually used as a food ingredient (in soups, porridge etc.) whereas dried Chinese yam is usually used as a medicinal herb albeit it is sometimes used as a food ingredient too. Fresh Chinese yam is relatively more moisturising and better at nourishing the body Yin. Therefore, using fresh or dried Chinese yam depends on personal preference and needs.
So, is there anything that should not be consumed together with Chinese yam? Well, there are no official records in TCM that states that eating certain food/herbs with Chinese yam can cause harm to the body. However, since Chinese yam is essentially a nourishing herb, it is best to avoid consuming anything that has strong medicinal effect together with it.
Mabel @ singaporetcmblog
缤缤 @ 新加坡中医学部落格