Wild yam scientifically known as Dioscorea villosa is a perennial vine that often has a long, slender, twisted tuberous rootstock. The heart-shaped leaves can range in size from two to six inches long and almost as wide.
The plant produces tiny greenish-yellow blooms with a strong cinnamon scent, and the lower leaves frequently grow in groups of two and four. Numerous kinds produce edible tubers that resemble potatoes.
The rhizome or dried roots are the components used. The wild yam’s roots contain diosgenin, a plant-based estrogen that can be converted into progesterone.
It’s crucial to remember that our bodies cannot turn the chemical into the hormone estrogen; this can only be done in a lab.
Regarding the proper dosage of wild yam, it’s vital to take a few things into account. Age and physical condition are significant factors, particularly if the person is pregnant.
Given the lack of current research regarding wild yams, it is always advised to speak with a doctor. Pay attention to the instructions on the labels and start by talking to your doctor.
The most common forms of wild yam are liquid extracts, dried herbs, powders, capsules, and tablets. The liquid form can be prepared as tea.
You can also buy creams that contain wild yam, but unless it has been via a lab, it probably won’t have the necessary chemical to influence hormones. Our bodies do not naturally convert it.
Ask your doctor about the optimum application before adding it to a tincture.
Children should not use wild yam for therapeutic purposes. Simply put, the evidence for its safety is insufficient.
The herb black cohosh, which has properties resembling those of estrogen, is frequently mixed with wild yam. Given that they are made in laboratories, wild yam lotions, pills, and powders may include synthetic hormones. Examine the ingredients thoroughly, then talk to a doctor.
Let’s reiterate that there aren’t enough studies on wild yam. Therefore, you should first get advice from a physician or herbalist, especially if you are expecting, breastfeeding, sick, or using medication.
Scientists caution that eating wild yam extract while taking estradiol, an active component that may be included in your birth control pill or hormone replacement medication, could have negative effects. It is advised to stop using wild yam extract if you suffer rashes, swelling of the tongue or lips, trouble breathing, or swelling of the throat since allergic reactions can occur.
5 Health Benefits of Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa)
There are many alleged uses and advantages of Dioscorea villosa, although there is little scientific evidence for some of them, such as menopausal treatment and hormonal balance.
However, among the top five scientifically confirmed advantages of wild yam are its capacity to control blood sugar levels, enhance cholesterol, and lessen photoaging.
The most common forms of wild yam are liquid extracts, dried herbs, powders, capsules, and tablets. The liquid can also be used to brew tea, and creams are readily available.
But keep in mind that since our bodies do not naturally convert it, unless it has been via a laboratory, it probably does not have the chemical necessary to impact hormones.
If wild yam could assist lower the chances of cancer, a study was done in Japan to find out. Due to the widespread use in Japan for wellness advantages, the study was started.
The researchers did discover that the rhizome of the wild yam plant, which generates the main ingredient dioscin, had antiproliferative effects on leukemia cells, albeit there isn’t enough data to draw firm conclusions and more research is required.
Although it’s frequently used as a supplement, wild yam is used as a health food in northern Japan, and this research suggests it may be a food that fights cancer.
Additionally, studies have shown that the wild yam extract inhibits cell proliferation in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells and functions as a weak phytoestrogen.
2. Can Improve Levels of Cholesterol
According to a published study, the diosgenin present in wild yam may aid in increasing HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and lowering LDL (the “bad” cholesterol). In order to find out if diosgenin suppresses cholesterol absorption, rats were given wild yam for a week. It was discovered that the rats had better HDL-to-LDL ratios.
According to a second study done on mice and rats, supplementing with wild yam may help manage hypercholesterolemia.
3. May Aid Diverticulosis Relief
Diverticulosis is an intestine disorder that may be helped by wild yam. Small pouches that develop on the colon wall causing this. Constipation, diarrhea, and occasionally even fever can result from them being inflamed, which is known as diverticulosis.
Records show that a highly refined, low-fiber diet is the primary cause of diverticulosis, which affects 30 to 40% of adults over the age of 50. What benefits does wild yam have for diverticulosis?
Wild yam possesses anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. It may aid in easing any discomfort brought on by abdominal cramps near the inflamed area because it is anti-spasmodic.
Wild yam, valerian, cramps bark, and peppermint tincture could provide relief.
4. Anti-photo aging
Studies suggest that the diosgenin present in wild yam extract may have a “depigmenting effect,” meaning that it may be beneficial for conditions including melasma, Melanodermatitis, and solar lentigo, conditions that ultimately lead to hyperpigmentation.
Although hyperpigmentation is a normal and rather common skin condition, it can be annoying because it manifests itself most obviously as darker regions of skin.
What about comfort during menopause? Many people have promoted it as a terrific way to lessen menstruation problems and help with hormone replacement throughout menopause, but is it actually effective? Maybe not so much, according to a recent study.
5. Helps In Regulating Blood Sugar Levels
According to research, wild yam may assist in controlling blood sugar. This has been linked to a chemical called discretize, which has produced promising outcomes in research.
According to a study from Nigeria, giving tuber-extracted discretize to diabetic rabbits decreased their blood sugar levels.
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