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Wild Yam
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, Diabetes, and Muscular Cramps.
There are various other names for wild yam, such as Colic root, devil’s Bones, Rheumatism 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 Hormones in humans, such as Estrogen or dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Consuming wild yam may be a natural way of promoting these Hormones 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:
Menopause symptoms
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.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Some traditional medicine practitioners believe that wild yam has Anti-inflammatory properties and use it to treat rheumatoid Arthritis.
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.
Blood Sugar regulation
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.
Cramps 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 syndrome (PMS), 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:
• tablet
• capsule
• tincture
• cream
• tea
• powder
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.