Nature: bitter, neutral
Enters: Liver, Stomach, Bladder
Actions: Strongly drains damp; eliminates wind-dampness; clears damp-heat from the skin; separates the pure from the turbid; relaxes the sinews, unblocks the connecting channels.
• Dampness: painful urination with turbid urine (like rice porridge) or vaginal discharge (can be used for problems due to either deficiency or damp-heat).
• Wind-damp or damp-heat: Bi syndrome, lower back pain, numbness or stiffness of the lower extremities, muscle aches. (mild effect)
• Damp-heat accumulation at the skin: skin lesions such as eczema, pustular sores.
• In cases of damp-heat induced painful urinary dysfunction, this herb is most appropriate when dampness is predominant.
MLT: Antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, antiparasitic.
• Similar to Western wild yam (D. villosa) – for damp-heat: jaundice, hepatitis, and gallbladder and rheumatic diseases.
SD: May help antidote lead poisoning.
May bear some similarities to Western Wild Yam – Dioscorea villosa:
JC: Antispasmodic, relaxant, stimulant, antibilious, diaphoretic, expectorant, diuretic, hepatic, cholagogue, stomachic, tonic, anti-emetic, antirheumatic, anti-asthmatic, emetic (large dose).
Good for pain.
RW: Contains diosgenin – a precursor used in the synthesis of progesterone and other steroids.
PLB: Studies indicate that orally consumed diosgenin is not converted to progesterone in the human body. Does not have hormonal effects.
IBIS: Anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic.
• [Western] dosage: tincture: 1 – 2 mL. powder: 400 – 800 mg.
• Specific indications: bilious colic; skin and conjunctiva yellow, with nausea and colicky pain; tongue coated, stomach deranged, and paroxysmal pain in the abdomen; twisting or boring pain, radiating from the umbilical region, with spasmodic contraction of the belly muscles; colic with tenderness on pressure, which gives relief to the spasmodic action (Felter and Scudder, p. 344)
• Therapy: indigestion; dysenteric tenesmus; cholera morbus; ovarian neuralgia; spasmodic dysmenorrhea; nausea of pregnancy; after-pains; obstinate and painful vomiting; gastralgia (Felter and Lloyd, p. 660); intestinal colic; diverticulitis; rheumatoid arthritis; muscular rheumatism; cramps and intermittent claudication; cholecystitis; dysmenorrhea; ovarian and uterine pain (British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, p. 79)
• Contraindicated during pregnancy due to teratogenic potential (Brinker, p. 43)
• Contraindicated in peptic ulcers; long term use may potentiate ulcers and/or prevent their detection.
• Caution is advised in patients with history of recent surgery, diabetes, hypoglycemia, nephrotic syndrome, urinary tract infections, acute infectious hepatitis, leukemias, Graves’ disease, or related genetic disorders (Langer and Greer, pp. 66 – 67); caution is also advised for those with thyroid problems, as studies indicate a possible goitrogenic response (Langer and Greer, p. 79).
• Large doses cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (Spoerke, p. 149; Felter and Lloyd, p. 661)