Knowledge: Shan Yao / Chinese Yam (Dioscorea polystachya)

Chinese Yam / Shanyao (Dioscorea polystachya / Dioscorea batatas)

Chinese yam (Dioscorea polystachya or Dioscorea batatas) is a species of flowering plant in the yam family. Other names for Chinese yam are cinnamon vine and shanyao (山药, 山藥).

The edible tubers are cultivated largely in Asia and sometimes used in alternative medicine. Chinese yam is used in Chinese herbal medicine, traditionally to treat disorders related to the stomach, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. Chinese yam is rich in proteins, polysaccharides, vitamin B & C, calcium, minerals, enzymes, saponins and diosgenin and fibre. It dilates blood vessels, thereby improving blood circulation, enhancing overall wellness. It strengthens the spleen and stomach to aid digestion, nourishes the kidneys and lungs and can be used as diet supplement and as health soups. Several active components in tubers of Chinese yam have been shown to exhibit immunomodulatory activities include mucopolysaccharide, dioscorin, diosgenin, batatasins and glycoproteins.

This species of yam is unique as the tubers can be eaten raw with skin removed, while most other yams must be cooked before consumption due to harmful substances in the raw state. The raw vegetable is starchy and bland, mucilaginous when cut or grated, and it has to be handled with gloves and heating will break down the mucilages. Therefore, the spray dried extract powder has advantages such as easy to dissolve in water and no heating is required.

We provide practical, easy & consistent on food processing application.

Fresh natural flavor extract powder for Bakery & Beverage.

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In vivo and in vitro studies on effect of shanyao on inflammation
Subject Mice (n=48) Lung cells of mice
  1. Vehicle control
  2. Negative control
  3. Treatment
  4. Positive control
  1. Negative control
  2. Treatment
Duration 10 days 2 weeks
Dosage 50, 100, 200 mg/kg
Parameters analyzed Inflammatory proteins level Lung cell permeability, leukocyte migration, proinflammatory protein activation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and histology.
Outcomes Visible benefits

  • Shanyao extract decreased nitric oxide production and proinflammatory protein expression and ROS production.
  • Shanyao extract attenuated drug-induced acute colitis.
Visible benefits

  • Shanyao has phenanthrene compounds exhibited significant scavenging activity against ROS and inhibited ROS-induced activation protein kinase.
  • These phenanthrene compounds reduced vascular protein leakage, leukocyte infiltration, and proinflammatory cytokine release in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.
  • Shanyao inhibited colon inflammation via upregulation of antioxidant enzymes and inflammatory proteins.
  • Shanyao extract has protective effect against lung inflammation.

Good for brain

In vivo study on effect of shanyao on brain
Subject Rats (n=27)
  1. Non diabetic rats
  2. Diabetic rats
  3. Diabetic rats + treatment
Duration 4 weeks
Dosage 15mL/kg/day
Parameters analyzed Neurotransmitter level and cognitive function
Outcomes Visible benefits

  • Shanyao extract increased relative content of probiotic bacteria, and short-chain fatty acids in the intestinal tract and cerebral cortex.
  • It reduced oxidative stress and inflammatory response and promotion of the expression of neurotransmitters and brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
Functions Shanyao has a protective effect on cognitive function via a mechanism related to the gut-brain axis.

Protect gut

In vivo study on effect of shanyao on gut
Subject Mice (n=120)
  1. Control
  2. Treatment
Duration 3 hours
Dosage 100, 200 mg/kg water or ethanol of shanyao flesh or peel
Parameters analyzed Gastric oxidation level and inflammatory cell level
Outcomes Visible benefits

  • Shanyao extract can protect against lesion in gastric mucosa and decrease inflammatory mediators, such as nitric oxide and interleukin-6, and increase the gastric content of prostaglandin E2.
  • Pretreatment with the extract decreased oxidative stress in the stomach.
Functions Shanyao could protect against gastric damage via activation of antioxidant system and suppression of inflammatory response.
Shan Yao extract powder

Shan Yao (Dioscorea polystachya/Chinese yam) Standardized Extract Powder

  • Can help the stomach
  • May assist with fatigue
  • Rich in essential nutrients
  • May improve digestive health
  • May benefit the kidney and spleen
  • Easy to add to your diet