Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.
Preparation: Cut off the vines, dig out the tubers and remove the soil. Boil or steam until the skin is cracked and remove it under clear water. Dry or fumigate with sulfur.
Dosage: 6 - 18 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Nourishes Yin of the Lungs and Kidneys. Expectorates Phlegm.
Contraindications*: Do not use for those with Deficiency of the Spleen and Stomach when there is presence of Cold accompanied by diarrhea; it should not be used for Wind-Cold cough.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chinese asparagus tubers are plants that belong to the 'Tonic herbs for Yin Deficiency' category. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Yin tonics have a heavy, moist nature. They either nourish the Kidneys and Liver or moisten the Lungs and Stomach. Extreme Yin Deficiency often translates into a 'burn-out', unfortunately more and more common among people today. It is worth mentioning that another great remedy against Yin Deficiency is a lot of rest and sleep; no herb will ever be able to replace this!
Furthermore chinese asparagus tubers are plants that are Cold in nature. This means that chinese asparagus tubers typically help people who have too much "heat" in their body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much heat in their body are said to either have a Yang excess (because Yang is Hot in nature) or a Yin deficiency (Yin is Cold in Nature). Depending on your condition chinese asparagus tubers can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Chinese asparagus tubers also taste Bitter and Sweet. The so-called "five elements" theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Bitter ingredients like chinese asparagus tubers tend to have a cleansing action on the body by clearing heat, drying dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. On the other hand Sweet ingredients tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what organs and meridians they target. As such chinese asparagus tubers are thought to target the Kidney and the Lung. According to TCM, the Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the body fluids that nourish the body.