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ShanYao( Yam Rhizome)---山药

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This medicinal is the dried root of Discorea opposita Thunb (Fam.Discoreaceae). Traditionally, the one which grows in Huanqing of Henan province is considered as being of the best quality, and is known as Huai  Shanyao. It is excavated after hoar forst descends. After being peeled and dried by sunlight or bakig, it is known as Mao Shanyao, which may become Guang Shanyao after being reprocessed. After being macerated completely, it is sliced and used unprepared or baked with bran.

[ Medicinal Properties ]: Sweet, neutral; relate to spleen, lung and kidney meridians.

[ Medicinal Efficacies ]: Nourish the spleen and stomach; promote production of fluid and nourish lung; tonify kidney and secure essence.

[ Clinical Applications ]: 1. Spleen deficiency syndrome     Shanyao, which is good at replenishing both qi and yin, usually treats emaciation, lack of strength, loose stool, due to spleen qi deficiency or deficiency of both qi and yin, in combination with Renshen and Fuling, as  in the Shenling Baizhu Powder. It also serves as a recuperative food for patients with chronic disease or weakness and emaciation after chronic disease for long-term administration.

2. Lung deficiency syndrome     For cough and dyspnea, it is used in combination with Taizishen and Nanshashen.

3. Kidney deficiency syndrome     For kidney qi deficiency syndrome manifested as lumbar limpness, nocturia and enuresis, spermatorrhea, prospermia and clear vaginal limpness, nocturia and enuresis, spermatorrhea, prospermia and clear vaginal discharge as well as kidney yin deficiency syndrome manifested as emaciation, spermatorrhea,  it is combined with Shidihuang, Fuling and Fuzi, as in the Shenqi Pills.

4. Xiaoke ( similar to diabetes )with deficiency of both qi and yin        In this case, it is combined with Huangqi, Tianhuafen and Zhimu as in the Yuye Decoction.

Usage and Dosage     15-30g. Baked with bran, it has better effect on tonifying spleen to stop diarrhea.

山药为薯蓣科植物薯蓣Dioscorea opposita Thunb.的根茎。主产于河南省,湖南、江南等地亦产。习惯认为河南(怀庆府)所产者品质最佳,故有“怀山药”之称。霜降后采挖,刮去粗皮,晒干或烘干,为“毛山药”;或再加工为“光山药”。润透,切厚片,生用或麸炒用。

       【药性】甘,平。归脾、肺、肾经。        【功效】补脾养胃,生津益肺,补肾涩精。       
 
【应用】        1.脾虚证。本品性味甘平,能补脾益气,滋养脾阴。多用于脾气虚弱或气阴两虚,消瘦乏力,食少,便溏;或脾虚不运,湿浊下注之妇女带下。唯其亦食亦药,“气轻性缓,非堪专任”,对气虚重证,常嫌力量不足。如治脾虚食少便溏的参苓白术散(《和剂局方》),治带下的完带汤(《傅青主女科》),本品皆用作人参、白术等药的辅助药。因其含有较多营养成分,又容易消化,可作成食品长期服用,对慢性久病或病后虚弱羸瘦,需营养调补而脾运不健者,则是佳品。       
 
2.肺虚证。本品又能补肺气,兼能滋肺阴。其补肺之力虽较和缓,但对肺脾气阴俱虚者,补土亦有助于生金。适用于肺虚咳喘,可与脾肺双补之太子参、南沙参等品同用,共奏补肺定喘之效。       
 
3.肾虚证。本品还能补肾气,兼能滋养肾阴,对肾脾俱虚者,其补后天亦有助于充养先天。适用于肾气虚之腰膝酸软,夜尿频多或遗尿,滑精早泄,女子带下清稀及肾阴虚之形体消瘦,腰膝酸软,遗精等症。不少补肾名方,如肾气丸(《金匮要略》)、六味地黄丸(《小儿药证直诀》)中,都配有本品。       
 
 4.消渴气阴两虚证。消渴一病,与脾肺肾有关,气阴两虚为其主要病机。 本品既补脾肺肾之气,又补脾肺肾之阴,常与黄芪、天花粉、知母等品同用,如玉液汤(《医学衷中参西录》)。       
 
【用法用量】煎服,15~30g。麸炒可增强补脾止泻作用。       
 
【古籍摘要】        1.《神农本草经》:“补中,益气力,长肌肉”。      
 
  2.《本草纲目》:“益肾气,健脾胃。”       
 
3.《本草正》:“第其气轻性缓,非堪专任,故补脾肺必主参、术,补肾水必君茱、地,涩带浊须破故同研,固遗泄仗菟丝相济”。       
 
【现代研究】        1.化学成分:本品含薯蓣皂苷元、粘液质、胆碱、淀粉、糖蛋白、游离氨基酸、止杈素、维生素C、淀粉酶等。       
 
 2.药理作用:山药对实验大鼠脾虚模型有预防和治疗作用,对离体肠管运动有双向调节作用,有助消化作用,对小鼠细胞免疫功能和体液免疫有较强的促进作用,并有降血糖、抗氧化等作用。       
3.临床研究:据报道,以山药研末,取适量加入冷水调匀,煎或糊状服,治疗小儿秋季腹泻62例及婴幼儿泄22例,均全部治愈(湖南医药杂志,1982,4:17、浙江中医药杂志,1991;2:66);以炒山药、炒薏苡仁各等量,共为细粉,每次10~15g煮粥,加红糖适量,每日1剂,分2-3次服,加用消化酶,脱水者加服口服补液,治消化不良有效(中西医结合杂志1986,11:694)。
 
本品还有治疗消化不良、溃疡性口腔炎、湿疹等疾病的报道。

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