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Huai Shan

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What is Huai Shan?

Huai Shan is the dried rhizome of Dioscorea opposite, family Dioscoreaceae. Its functions are to strengthen the spleen, thicken the intestines and stomach, tonify the lungs, and benefit the kidneys. For spleen deficiency diarrhea, prolonged dysentery, deficiency cough, spermatorrhea, frequent urination, thirst, and uterine prolapse.

Huai Shan Yao is a perennial twining herb in the genus Dioscorea of the family Dioscoreaceae, with fleshy, thick, slightly cylindrical underground tubers growing vertically; stems are mostly purple, slender and angular, smooth; leaves opposite or in whorls of 3, with triangular-ovate to triangular-broad-ovate blades; small yellow-green flowers in spikes with 3-angled wing-like fruits; flowering in July-August in autumn, October Fruiting.

Huaishan is native to Pingyao and Jiexiu in Shanxi and is now distributed in North China, Northwest China, and Jiangxi and Hunan in the Yangtze River basin. It is mainly produced in the Xinxiang area of Henan Province and is called Huaihuai yam. It is mostly cultivated on sunny slopes. There are three common propagation methods: zero remainder propagation method, terminal bud propagation method, and tuber cutting propagation method.

Huai Shan in English is Chinese yam and dried Huai Shan. It can be cooked as a vegetable or dried and used as an herbal medicine.

Morphological characteristics of Huai Shan

Fresh Huai Shan is a twining herbaceous vine. The tubers are long and cylindrical, growing vertically, up to more than 1 m long, and white when dry in section. Stems are usually purplish-red, right-sided, and glabrous. Leaves simple, alternate in the lower part of the stem, opposite above the middle, rarely in whorls of 3 leaves; leaf blade widely variable, ovate-triangular to broadly ovate or hastate, 3-9 (-16) cm long, 2-7 (-14) cm wide, apically acuminate, base deeply cordate, broadly cordate or sub truncate, margin often 3-cm lobed to 3-cm deeply lobed, middle lobe ovate-elliptic to lanceolate, lateral lobes auriculate, rounded, subsquare to oblong; the leaf blade is generally broadly ovate or ovoid when young, with a deeply cordate base. The leaf axils often have beaded buds.

Dioecious. Male inflorescences are spikes, 2-8 cm long, suberect, 2-8 inserted in leaf axils, occasionally arranged in a paniculate pattern; inflorescence axis clearly zigzag; bracts and tepals with purple-brown spots; outer whorl of male flowers is broadly ovate, inner whorl ovate, smaller; stamens 6. Female inflorescences are spikes, 1-3 inserted in leaf axils. Female inflorescences are spikes, 1-3 inserted in leaf axils.

Capsule not reflexed, trigonous-oblate or trigonous-orbicular, 1.2-2 cm long, 1.5-3 cm wide, outside with white powder; seeds inserted in the middle of each locule's central axis, surrounded by membranous wings. Fl. Jun-Sep, fr. Jul-Nov. Or cultivated.

Growth environment of Huai Shan

Huai Shan root is distributed in northeast China, Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang (450-1000 m), Jiangxi, Fujian, Taiwan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, western northern Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan (700-500 m), eastern Gansu (950-1100 m), and southern Shaanxi (350-1500 m). Huai Shan is also distributed in Korea and Japan.

Chemical composition of Huai Shan


Dried Huai Shan

Protein and amino acids

The results of Martin and Thompson showed that the crude protein content of Huai Shan herb was 8.19 % on average; the results of Wang Fei et al. showed that fresh Huai Shan contained 3.59 % crude protein and 2.71 % total amino acids, including 1.05 % essential amino acids; Chen Yan et al. determined the composition of various amino acids in Huaishan with an amino acid analyzer, and the results showed that the yam contained 17 amino acids, including threonine, valine, methionine, phenylalanine, isoleucine, leucine and lysine, with a total amino acid mass fraction of 7.256 %, of which 25.32 % of the total essential amino acids. This shows that yam is rich in protein and amino acids, and it has high nutritional value because it has a wide range of essential amino acids.

Trace elements

The analysis showed that yam is rich in trace elements Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu, Se, and macronutrients Ca. 29 elements of yam were determined by plasma emission spectrometry, among which the highest content of P, Fe, Zn, Cu, Co, Cr and other ions were also high; the content of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Mn, Cu, Ni, Pb, Cr, Cd and other 18 elements in Chinese yam Huai Shan and soil samples. The contents of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Mn, Cu, Ni, Pb, Cr, Cd, and other 18 elements in the yam and soil samples were determined by Chen Yan et al. The contents of K, P, and Na in the yam were significantly higher than those in the soil, indicating that the yam was enriched with these elements.

Trace elements have an activating effect on many enzymes in the body, and have direct or indirect effects on protein and nucleic acid synthesis, immune processes, and even cell reproduction.


Polysaccharides of yam are recognized as the main active components of yam and have been the hot spot of yam research in recent years. The composition and structure of yam polysaccharides are complex, and different researchers have extracted and isolated different yam polysaccharides, including homopolysaccharides, heteropolysaccharides, and glycoproteins, with relative molecular masses ranging from thousands to millions, and their polysaccharide contents and glycosyl composition are also different.

Huai Shan benefits

Huai Shan, which has been consumed by humans since ancient times, is one of the earliest plants consumed by humans. As early as the poem of poet Du Fu in the Tang Dynasty, there is a famous line of "filling the intestines with yams". Yam tubers are thick, juicy, sweet, and sticky, and are delicious when eaten raw or hot. According to the results of laboratory tests on yam by the Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, its tubers contain an average of 14.48% crude protein, 3.48% crude fiber, 43.7% starch, 1.14% sugar, 2.62% potassium, 0.2% phosphorus, 0.2% calcium, 0.14% magnesium, 5.51% ash, 53.57ppm iron, 29.22ppm zinc, 10.58ppm copper, 5.38ppm manganese. Among the 18 kinds of amino acids required by human beings, yam contains 16 kinds.

Huaishan's flesh is tender and rich in nutritional and healthcare substances. Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing says that it is "the main health supplement for deficiency, remove cold and heat evil, nourish the middle and benefit energy, long muscles, long taking ears and eyes smart"; (Nihua Zi Ben Cao) says that it is "help the five organs, live tendons, and bones, long will and tranquilize the mind, the main treatment of ejaculation and forgetfulness"; "Compendium of Materia Medica" thinks that yam According to the Compendium of Materia Medica, yam can "benefit kidney energy, strengthen the spleen and stomach, stop diarrhea and dysentery, dissolve salivation, and moisten the fur". Recent studies have shown that yam has the ability to induce the production of interferon and enhance human immune function. The choline and lecithin it contains can help improve memory, and it is a favorite health food because it can strengthen the body and slow down the aging process. Yam-based, supplemented by konjac made of bionic food, with nutritious, nourishing fitness, and beauty benefits, is a rare healthy, and nutritious food.

Application of Huai Shan

Huai Shan soup

Chinese herb Huai Shan, which is also called Shao Yao soup, is one of the earliest plants consumed by humans. It contains protein, vitamins, starch, calcium and phosphorus, and other essential nutrients, which can stimulate and regulate the immune system of the human body, strengthen the spleen, benefit the stomach, help digestion, benefit the lungs, and stop coughing. Huai Shan soup for cough has a very good effect of relief. Huai Shan Soup with chicken is also a good choice.

Strengthening the spleen and stomach, helping digestion

Huai Shan soup contains amylase and polyphenol oxidase, which are beneficial to the digestive and absorption functions of the spleen and stomach, making it a dual-purpose food and medicine tonic for the spleen and stomach. It can be consumed by people with spleen-yang deficiency or stomach-yin deficiency.

Benefit the lung and relieve cough

Fresh Huan Shan soup contains saponins and mucilage, both of which have lubricating and nourishing effects, so it can benefit lung qi and nourish lung yin, treating symptoms such as lung deficiency, phlegm cough, and prolonged cough.

Huai Shan side effects

There are side effects to eating too much Chinese yam. Although Huai yam is mild in nature, it contains estrogen. If women eat too much Huai Shan, it may overstimulate hormones and lead to endometrial hyperplasia, which can cause irregular menstruation and dysmenorrhea. Huaishan is a food rich in nutritional value and can treat spleen deficiency diarrhea, cough, etc. It is effective in tonifying the kidneys, but you must pay attention to the right amount and not eat too much to avoid burdening your body.

How to buy Huai Shan?

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