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Wild Yam Health Benefits, Properties, and Uses

Wild Yam

Scientific Name: Dioscorea villosa L.

Common Names: Aluka, China root, Colic root, Devil's bones, Mexican wild yam, Pleurisy root, Rheumatism root, Shan-yao, Yuma.

Properties: Diuretic, Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Antirheumatic

What is Wild Yam?

Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) is plant that is also sometimes called colic root. There are over 600 species of yams and many of them grow in the wild. There are two main types of wild yams. One is native to North America and the other is native to China.1

Wild yams typically grow in damp, wooded areas or in thickets. They are a perennial vine, with knotted and woody roots. They are usually a pale-brown color. Wild yams are not like sweet potato yams that many people are familiar with. Unlike sweet potatoes, wild yams are not fleshy.1

Wild yams have been a traditional remedy used by Native Americans for hundreds of years.2

Wild Yam Health Uses and Health Benefits

Wild yam health benefits come from its compound called diosgenin. Diosgenin is a plant-based estrogen (phytoestrogen), which mimics the female hormone. Estrogen can be chemically converted into progesterone, another female reproductive hormone. For this reason, many women take wild yam supplements as part of hormone replacement therapy. This is because as women age, their estrogen and progesterone levels decline.1

Traditional wild yam uses have included helping treat baby colic. This is because wild yam benefits for digestion help to reduce flatulence and bloating, which can help soothe colic in newborns.2

Wild yams also have natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Other possible wild yam benefits include: 

  • Lowering bad cholesterol
  • Balancing blood sugar
  • Reducing joint pain and inflammation
  • Regulating metabolic function
  • Treating asthma
  • Stopping muscle spasms

Wild yam uses include being a natural remedy for the following conditions:

  • Ovarian Cyst - The phytoestrogen content in wild yams may help to prevent ovarian cysts from forming or reduce the presence of ovarian cysts.
  • Diverticulitis - Wild yam benefits including helping the digestive tract and reducing inflammation, which may help treat diverticulitis. 
  • Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) - Wild yam uses include being able to manage blood sugar levels and help with hypoglycemia.
  • Menopause Symptoms - Wild yam may help to restore estrogen and progesterone levels and prevent menopause symptoms like hot flashes.
  • Osteoporosis - Wild yams may help to restore female hormone levels, which are believed to help prevent further decline from osteoporosis.

Wild Yam Side Effects and Precautions

There are no known serious wild yam side effects. However, some research indicates that wild yam may interact with certain birth control medications. If you are taking birth control medications, do not take wild yam without first consulting a physician.1

 

References

  1. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/wild-yam
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/116205-wild-yam-health-benefits/ 

CuresDecoded worldwide community recommends Wild Yam for:

Ovarian Cyst Effective
Menopause Symptoms Effective
Diverticulitis Effective
Osteoporosis Effective

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