Most species of wild yams can be found growing in most temperate climates in the world. One species of yam, Dioscorea villosa, is believed to have originated in east central North America. A related species, Dioscorea opposita (or oppositifolia), is native to China. Both of these species contain diosgenin, a chemical substance with certain medicinal effects, but others may not. Wild yam species from other regions of the world may have different chemical content and different effects.
The diosgenin contained in the root of the wild yam is a steroid-like substance that is believed to convert into the female hormone progesterone. Diosgenin has served in the synthesis of different synthetic hormones, in the development of the birth control pill and two major advances in plant drug medicine this century.
As in times of old, wild yam continues to be used in connection with menstrual cramps, nausea, and morning sickness. Wild yam is commonly used in connection with symptoms associated with inflammation, spasms, osteoporosis, and other health conditions.
Individuals have used the Wild yam in connection with the following conditions and symptoms:
- Menstrual cramps
- Intestinal colic
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Gallbladder colic
- Ulcerative colitis
Many claim that wild yam produces sweat, stimulates the flow of bile to the small intestine, and can improve menopausal symptoms when used as a cream. However, the value of wild yam for relieving menopause symptoms has not been substantiated by human clinical tests.Dosage and Administration
It has been suggested to take 1 to 2 tsp three times of day of the dried wild yam herb. As tincture take 2 to 4 mL three times daily. Use in children should be limited to only 1 week according to some health professionals. Always make sure to adjust the recommended adult dose to account for the child's weight.
Always check with a medical professional before taking any supplements.