Chinese yam, a thick, firm root with a white cross section, is used as a tonic. Classified as neutral and sweet in traditional Chinese medicine, the herb is harvested in the winter in the mountains of Hunan and many other Chinese provinces.
Chinese yam is available as a fresh or dried vegetable in Chinese pharmacies, Asian food markets and some Western health food stores. For symptoms of diabetes, slices of the fresh root are steeped in hot water to make a tea.
Combinations: A mixture of Chinese yam, poria, and atractylodes (white) may be prescribed for loose, watery stools. Chinese yam and codonopsis root make up a preparation used to treat fatigue, general weakness and reduced appetite. Consult a Chinese medicine practitioner for information on dosages and other herbal combinations.
Do not take Chinese yam with kan-sui root.