Health Benefits of Dioscorea Bulbifera – Ben Cao Medical Book

1. Description:

Dioscorea bulbifera (scientific name: Dioscorea bulbifera L., also known as air potato, air yam, bitter yam, cheeky yam, potato yam, Chinese Pinyin: Huang Yao Zi, Simplified Chinese: 黄药子, 黄独, 木药子, 大苦, 赤药, 红药子), is a species of perennial vine in genus Dioscorea (Dioscoreaceae family). Native to Africa, southern Asia and northern Australia, the plant can grow up to 150 ft tall. The root of Dioscorea bulbifera is used as detoxicant, discutient, expectorant and hemostatic in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as sore throat and hematemesis.

2. Odour, Properties And Channels:

The root of Dioscorea bulbifera is considered to have bitter, neutral and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the liver, stomach, heart and lung meridians.

3. Uses, Health Benefits of Dioscorea Bulbifera & Medical Formulas:

3.1 Skin Health

Powdered Dioscorea bulbifera root can be applied externally to treat blisters.

3.2 Goiter

Medicated wine with Dioscorea Bulbifera root can be taken to heal goiter (a disease of the thyroid gland that makes a person’s neck very swollen).

3.3 Pertussis

A decoction of Dioscorea bulbifera root and crystal sugar is used in treating pertussis (also known as whooping-cough or 100-day cough, it is a highly contagious bacterial disease).

3.4 Bleed Stopping

Powdered cattail pollen and Dioscorea Bulbifera root is taken orally to treat hematemesis.

4. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions:

Overdosage on Dioscorea bulbifera root may result in poisoning and even death.

5. Research And Studies:

Experimental studies have shown that Dioscorea bulbifera root has an inhibitory effect on sarcoma and cervical cancer.

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The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.

The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.

Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.

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