Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) has been used as a medicinal herb by the Native Americans as a pain remedy. In North America, the herb is also known by the English common names “colic Root” and “rheumatism Root”, suggesting that the Native Americans and the first European settlers primarily used it as a remedy for colic and gout. In the 18th and 19th centuries, herbalists used wild yam to treat menstrual cramps and problems related to childbirth, as well as for upset stomach and coughs.
The herb has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic properties. Indications include conditions of gastrointestinal spasm or irritation, including intestinal colic, diverticulitis, cholecystitis and uterine or ovarian cramping and rheumatoid arthritis.
Wild yam contains steroidal saponins (dioscin and diosgenin), phytosterols (beta-sitosterol), alkaloids (dioscorin), tannins, starch, mucins, amylase, amino acids (arginine, glutamine, leucine, tyrosine), chlorine, calcium, chromium, copper, iron and vitamin C.
In the past, wild yam root was used as a starting material to synthesize progesterone medications such as cortisone, estrogen and other steroid products.
Wild yam root contains a compound called diosgenin. Diosgenin can be used as a “hormone precursor”, it must be chemically altered in a laboratory to create a synthetic steroidal hormone.
Wild yam root is available as a tincture, wild yam extract, powder extract, or in tablet or capsule form.
'Wild yam' creams may be confused with, or compared to, 'Natural Progesterone' creams. These are two very different preparations.
Natural progesterone creams contain standard amounts of the hormone progesterone, synthesised from wild yam in the laboratory. They have significant hormonal effects due to absorption of the progesterone through the skin.
Wild yam cream does not increase progesterone levels in the body since it does not have the enzymes required to convert wild yam to progesterone.
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+30 PointsWild Yam has a history of use in Native American Indian Medicine for aiding in the relief of menstrual cramps and pain as well as supporting female wellbeing. Also known as ‘colic root’ due to its antispasmodic properties, Wild Yam has also traditionally been used to help relieve spasms in the digestive system. View details