Memory and thinking skills, Postmenopausal vaginal dryness, Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis), Increasing energy and sexual desire in men and women, Gallbladder problems, Increasing appetite, Diarrhea, Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Infertility, Menstrual disorders.
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Wild yam is a vine native to North America (species: villosa) and has also been called, "Colic Root". It became a popular ingredient in natural products (natural progesterone creams), somewhat erroneously , due to poorly interpreted science*. This irresponsible use of Wild Yam is disheartening because this plant is rare or endangered in much of its natural range in eastern North America. In the 1700's and 1800's wild yam was used by herbalists and Eclectic physicians for menstrual complaints, assisting with the pain of child labor, and for digestive disturbances in children and coughs.
Since the plant is rich in soapy-tasting compounds called sapponins, it has a fairly bitter taste; and therefore it has not been consumed as a food source, but rather, used for supplemental purposes.Wild yam is a plant. It contains a chemical called diosgenin. This chemical can be converted in the laboratory into various steroids, such as estrogen and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
The root and the bulb of the plant are used as a source of diosgenin, which is prepared as an "extract," a liquid that contains concentrated diosgenin. However, while wild yam does seem to have some estrogen-like activity, it is not actually converted into estrogen in the body. It takes a laboratory to do that. Sometimes wild yam and diosgenin are promoted as a "natural DHEA." This is because in the laboratory DHEA is made from diosgenin. But this chemical reaction is not believed to occur in the human body. So, taking wild yam extract will not increase DHEA levels in people.
Wild yam is most commonly used as a "natural alterative" to estrogen therapy for symptoms of menopause, infertility, menstrual problems, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these or other uses.
How does it work?
Wild yam contains a chemical that can be converted into various steroids in a laboratory. But the body can't make steroids such as estrogen from wild yam. There may be other chemicals in wild yam that act like estrogen in the body
Possible side effects include:
- Wild yam is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth. Large amounts may cause vomiting, upset stomach, and headache.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if wild yam is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
- Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Wild yam might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use wild yam.
- Protein S deficiency: People with protein S deficiency have an increased risk of forming clots. There is some concern that wild yam might increase the risk of clot formation in these people because it might act like estrogen. One patient with protein S deficiency and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) developed a clot in the vein serving the retina in her eye 3 days after taking a combination product containing wild yam, dong quai, red clover, and black cohosh. If you have protein S deficiency, it is best to avoid using wild yam until more is known.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.