Wild yam is a plant that people have used for centuries in alternative medicine. Potential medicinal uses for wild yam include the treatment of Menopause
symptoms, rheumatoid Arthritis
, and Muscular Cramps
There are various other names for wild yam, such as Colic
root, devil’s Bones
root, or China root. While there are over 600 species of wild yam, only 12 are edible.
In this article, we investigate the potential medicinal uses of wild yam and the evidence supporting them. We also look at how to take it and its safety and side effects.
Benefits and uses
Some believe that wild yam may help treat symptoms of Menopause
and rheumatoid Arthritis
The bulb and roots of wild yams contain a chemical called diosgenin, which can influence the production of several useful Hormone
s in humans, such as Estrogen
or dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Consuming wild yam may be a natural way of promoting these Hormone
s in the body, which could have certain medical benefits.
However, at present, there is little evidence to support any medical applications of wild yam. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have yet to evaluate wild yam for its safety or effectiveness.
Some of the potential medical uses of wild yam include:
Some traditional medicine practitioners suggest using wild yam as an alternative to Estrogen
replacement therapy for treating symptoms of Menopause
. The theory is that wild yam may increase or stabilize Estrogen
levels in the body to help relieve a person’s symptoms.
However, there is very little evidence to support these claims. One of the only studiesTrusted Source available on the topic found that the 23 women who applied a wild yam cream over a 3-month period experienced no changes in their menopausal symptoms.
Some traditional medicine practitioners believe that wild yam has Anti-inflammatory
properties and use it to treat rheumatoid Arthritis
is a chronic condition that causes Inflammation
of the joints. This can cause Pain
and stiffness that restricts mobility in people with the condition.
It is possible that wild yam might reduce this Inflammation
and have a positive effect on symptoms, but there is little evidence to support this.
Wild yam also contains a chemical called dioscoretine, which some people think helps with the regulation of Blood Sugar
levels. Wild yam could be useful in regulating Blood Sugar
levels in people with Diabetes
. However, the effect of dioscoretine on Blood Sugar
has only been studied in animals so far. It is unclear whether it would have the same effect in humans.
and Muscular Pain
Other proponents of wild yam, believe that it has anti-spasmodic properties, which are substances that reduce Muscle Spasms
. This anti-spasmodic property means that wild yam might be useful for reducing Cramps
and Muscular Pain
related to preMenstrual
), for example. However, more research is needed to support this.
How to take wild yam
Consuming wild yam is rare due to its bitter taste. However, it is available in a variety of formulations, including:
Many of these formulations of wild yam are available to purchase online.
How much wild yam to take depends on several factors, such as:
• the person’s health condition
• the person’s age
• the formulation of the wild yam
However, scientific studies have yet to determine a safe and effective dosage range for wild yam. It is therefore essential to consult a medical professional before taking wild yam. Always read the packaging carefully before using.