Chinese Yam Aphrodisiac

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chinese yam aphrodisiac

Chinese yam (Dioscorea opposita) is a root that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has long been used as a congenital and acquired tonic, earning it the name “fairy food”. The Chinese pharmaceutical name for this root crop is Rhizoma dioscoreae. Other names for Chinese yam include dioscorea and shan yao. Chinese yam is native to China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, where it can be found growing wild on hill slopes and in valleys. It is also propagated for medicinal and dietary uses.

Traditional Chinese medicine classifies Chinese yam as neutral and sweet. It serves to tonify and augment the spleen and stomach; augment the lung yin and tonify the lung qi; and stabilize, tonify, and bind the kidneys. It enters through the spleen, lung, and kidney channels (meridians). It is used as a tonic (restores tone to tissues). It is also used to treat weak digestion with fatigue and diarrhea, general weakness, frequent urination, decreased appetite, leukorrhagia (excessive vaginal discharge), premature ejaculation, the symptoms associated with diabetes, chronic wheezing (whistling sound caused by breathing difficulty) and coughing.

Modern pharmacology finds that it has preventive and therapeutic effects on spleen-deficiency model experiments on rats, regulates the isolated intestinal movement, helps digestion, promotes cellular and humoral immune responses in mice, lowers blood sugar, inhibits oxidation, and more.

Tang Ye Ben Cao (Materia Medica of Decoctions), published in 1289 and written by Wang Haogu, documents that it can tonify middle-Jiao and Qi, replenish qi, nourish blood, invigorate spleen and supplement qi. In addition, in combination with licorice root it can nourish Yin and generate body fluid while combined with Chinese privet it can invigorate the spleen and stop diarrhea.

Zhang Zhongjing, one of the best Chinese physicians in TCM history, was very good at using this root crop. In his medical book Jin Gui Yao Lue (Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Coffer), it is used to cure qi-blood deficiency, stomach pain, arthralgia, amenorrhea, irregular menstruation and other symptoms.

What’s more, it can be used by people of all ages. For women who are suffering from hands and feet cold all the time due to blood-qi deficiency, Chinese yam chicken soup is a very good option; for men who are suffering from stomach problems caused by stress, Rice Chinese yam cake is an ideal pain reliever; for the elderly who are especially susceptible to illnesses like colds because of relatively weak constitution, yam ribs soup can be a good remedy; for babies who can afford tonics, dried Chinese yam baby food is the best choice.

In japan, the jelly-like substance made from grating the yam, tororojiru, is often served in, or alongside, a number of other dishes. However, during the Edo period, tororojiru was also widely used as a personal lubricant for sexual activities, and it was thus considered improper for it to be eaten by a woman. This aversion also derives from the loud slurping sound one makes when eating it, which was considered to be un-ladylike.


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