While most tubers of the yam family must be cooked well before eating, a very interesting yam species known as Dioscorease, or otherwise known as Chinese yam, has tubers which can be eaten raw. Dioscorease rhizome or tubers have long been used as raw materials in traditional Chinese medicine production for its numerous effects in promoting health and wellness. In the 19th Century, the use of Dioscorease rhizome extract has expanded over the United States and Europe, making it a subject of various clinical studies. Although not as popular as other health supplement components, Dioscorease rhizome extract can be very beneficial for its unique ability to stabilize hormone production.
What is Dioscorease rhizome extract?
The Dioscorease rhizome extract is isolated from the tubers of Chinese yam or Shanyao. The tuber itself has a sweet and neutral taste, and is often eaten raw or added to noodles in some Japanese regions. The original Dioscorease species originated from East Asian countries including Japan and Korea but since the plant can easily adapt to a new habitat, it has become prevalent to many areas across the world. Not much is known about Dioscorease rhizome since its inclusion in the manufacture of dietary supplements is relatively new in the field of health science but as far as safety is concerned, most experts believe that the natural-occurring rhizome is completely safe.
What are the benefits of using Dioscorease rhizome extract?
Most claims on Dioscorease rhizome extract benefits are not yet tested on human subjects. Several studies conducted on animals, however, have yielded positive effects. In order to fully establish the mechanism of action of Dioscorease rhizome extract in promoting wellness, deeper clinical studies are being conducted in the modern days. The following are some of the claimed benefits of using Dioscorease rhizome extract:
- It may ease gastrointestinal symptoms
One of the recognized benefits of using Dioscorease rhizome extract is that it helps ease and treat certain gastrointestinal symptoms such as loose bowel movement and abdominal distention. Traditional Chinese Medicine experts say that this benefit is brought about by the ability of the active components of Dioscorease rhizome extract to balance Qi and Yin in the stomach and the spleen. Modern science, on the other hand, explains that the benefits are associated with the presence of saponin-like substance in Dioscorease rhizome known as Dioscorein.
- It may help protect the liver
Some studies have revealed that Dioscorease rhizome extract may also help protect the liver from damage brought about by exposure to hepatotoxic chemicals. It is said to be effective in cases of chronic hepatic congestion as well as chronic gastritis associated with alcohol consumption.
- It may help prevent cancer
Although not yet accepted by many, some experts say that Chinese yam or Dioscorease rhizome contains several antioxidants which may help prevent the development of cancer cells.
Eating Dioscorease rhizome itself may be beneficial enough to individual users but taking supplements with concentrated active components of Dioscorease rhizome extract can be a lot better.