The Health Benefits of Using Wild Yam Extract


Wild yam, known in scientific circles as Dioscorea villosa, is a twining tuberous plant that is found primarily in North America and Asia. It is also known by the following nicknames: colic root, devil’s bones, rheumatism root, yuma, Chinese yam, China root and wild Mexican yam. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the roots of the wild yam were commonly used as a treatment for menstrual cramps and problems associated with bearing children. It was also used to help treat upset stomachs and coughs. It is still widely used today to treat a variety of ailments.

Common Usages of Wild Yam Extract

One of the most common uses for wild yam extract is to alleviate the symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause. In menstruating women, it can help ease cramps, lighten flow and regulate the monthly cycle. In menopausal women, it is taken to help fight off night sweats, vaginal dryness and enhance a waning libido. It is believed by many that wild yam extract can also help prevent osteoporosis and breast cancer. The hormone balancing effect has also been observed in men. Wild yam can help rebalance male hormones and improve mood and energy levels in later life.

In addition to the benefits wild yam has on a person’s sexual wellness, it is also used for a variety of other ailments. Many people take it to calm gastrointestinal discomfort and ease digestion. It appears to be especially helpful in calming the gall bladder and associated bile ducts and allows for the better breakdown of fatty foods. It may also help stabilize blood sugar and be especially beneficial to those living with type two diabetes. Wild yam can also help calm skin irritations, soothe muscles and steady the nerves. It can also help with the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory issues and may help decrease cholesterol levels.

Side effects of wild yam extract are relatively few. Complaints of gastrointestinal disturbances are the most common side effects and headaches are also sometimes reported. Those suffering from uterine, ovarian or breast cancer, uterine cysts, endometriosis or anyone with a protein S deficiency should not take wild yam. Pregnant and breast feeding women should also avoid the extract.

Wild yam is available in many forms and dosing information varies based on the form being used. It is recommended that creams contain 12% wild yam extract and be used as directed by the package insert or a doctor. The recommended dosage for oral tinctures is 40-120 drops up to three times a day. Wild yam extract in fluid form is recommended at 10-40 drops up to three times a day. Tea made from dried wild yam root should be brewed using one to two teaspoons of root per cup of boiling water. Up to three cups a day are advised. Wild yam is also available in powder form, most commonly as capsules or compressed tablets. Following the directions on the package or taking as advised by a professional is recommended. Anyone considering adding wild yam to their daily routine should consult with a doctor or herbalist first.

Sources:

Wikipedia: Dioscorea villosa
Live Strong: Wild yam extract benefits
Live Strong: Dosage of wild yam
Live Strong: Benefits of wild yam for men

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