Wild Yam is an herbal plant whose roots and tubers contain plant-derived female hormone called diosgenin, which is the precursor to Progesterone and DHEA.
Quick Facts about Wild Yam
- This herb has many plant-derived estrogens which are normally produced by the human diosgenin which stimulates the body’s own hormone production.
- Extracts from the root of Wild Yam contain an alkaloid substance which relaxes the abdominal muscles.
- Wild Yam also contains steroid saponin, which is considered to act as an anti-inflammatory and reduce puffiness.
- It is recognizable by its slender red-brown trunk and drooping yellow flowers that bloom in summer.
- During the 1940s, Wild Yam was found by researchers and scientists. Until then, the production of these hormones could only be done by expensive multistage extraction in animals.
- Wild Yam is currently the main source of semi-synthetic Progesterone, DHEA and other hormones.
- Recently, Wild Yam won the reputation of being one of nature’s best sources of phytohormones.
- Wild Yam can help to redress relief without side effects or toxicity.
Wild Yam contains diosgenin that is believed to relieve troublesome menopausal symptoms such as mood swings, vaginal dryness, irritability, hot flashes, cramps and insomnia. Many women choose hormone replacement therapy to treat the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
However, accordingly to studies by Klaus Ferlow; the honorary president of Master Herbalist of Dominion Herbal College in British Columbia, the side effects of hormone replacement therapy, such as increased risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, blood clots and stroke, leaving many women looking for the natural option found in wild yam.
Theories / Speculation
It is believed that the diosgenin in wild yam balances a woman’s menstrual cycle and reproductive hormone. Wild Yam can lead to production of natural progesterone and also affects a woman’s estrogen levels. It adapts to what the body needs.
Diosgenin, however, cannot be converted by enzymes in the body, so instead it’s done in the scientific laboratories to make it a more absorbable, effective option.
Since it is a herbal medicine, there is no standard in recommended dosage like prescription drugs. It is best to follow the instructions on the product label. But for the purpose of breast enlargement or treating menopausal symptoms, recent study has shown that women who replaced their staple food with 390 grams of wild yam (2 of 3 meals a day) for the period of 30 days have experienced major increases in concentrations of estrone (26%), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) (9.5%), and a near significant increase in estradiol (27%).
Wild Yam also comes in the form of a cream and should be applied to large, thin skin areas, such as the inner thighs, face, neck, upper chest or abdomen. Rotate application sites daily. Allow three months for results. Klaus says that the longer a woman uses wild yam cream, the more positive impact she will notice.
Final Words on Wild Yam
Wild yam (Dioscorea barbasco) is something that has historically been used in herbal medicine for women’s health. Some of the positive effects wild yam has include smooth muscle relaxation and a mild diuretic effect. Contrary to the information provided by the companies that produce wild yam supplements, wild yam is not converted to progesterone in the body.
This transformation can only occur in a laboratory.The body may absorb wild yam extract through the skin, which may have some effect on menopausal symptoms. Saliva and blood tests show no change in progesterone levels in the body.