Sep 112012

Legend has it, Chinese yam  (Dioscorea Opposita) once played a great role assisting a rural army in Qinyang of Henan province. In ancient times, there was a small kingdom by the name “Ye”. Due to its small size, Ye was constantly the target of bigger kingdoms. During one of the wars, invaders had the upper hand over the outnumbered Ye soldiers who retreated to the mountains. The winning army waited for them to surrender since they figured they would run out of food and supplies soon during the winter months. Six months passed.

Unexpectedly one morning, Ye soldiers appeared and fought back. They were strong and healthy and soon drove the invaders out of their homeland. The secret to their speedy recovery was in consuming the Chinese yam which boosted their stamina and helped heal their wounds.

Chinese yam has long been a staple for the Chinese people. An example of a renowned dish is “hot candied yam” – crispy deep fried yam pieces topped with thick aromatic syrup.

Chinese yam’s medicinal properties have been confirmed by famous herbal doctors again and again. Yam is good for the stomach, lungs and kidneys for its nourishing and recuperative effects. Adults with weak digestive systems should eat Chinese yam steamed. Children suffering from diarrhea should be given Chinese yam powder. The elderly can improve their digestive and immune systems, elevate stamina and relieve trachea problems with Chinese yam. The often-seen symptoms suffered by women like cold hands and feet, dizziness and tiredness can also be readily improved through this yam’s effects on the circulatory system.

Fresh Chinese yam can easily be found in Asian supermarkets. The most popular, easiest way to reap the benefits of Chinese yam is to steam it and sprinkle it with a bit of sugar. Another way to enjoy it is to buy dried yams in an herbal shop and grind it into flour for the main ingredient of a delicious steamed cake.


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