What is Wild Yam Extract?
While you study the benefits and dosages of the wild yam root, you will notice many different species available. Worldwide there are 600 species, and 25 are edible. Though, they all pretty much have the same health benefits. Some are stronger than others based on their region, species, harvesting, processing and storage conditions. Use pure wild yam products because some have synthetic progesterone added to the products. (x)
The plant is indigenous to North America, and now they grow widely in subtropical and tropical climates worldwide. (x)
Wild yam root has a long history as a medicinal treatment for many ailments but is best known for nourishing the female endocrine system. Some consider it the first birth control based on the Dioscorea villosa and Dioscorea floribunda, native to Mexico’s curandero, known as the healer. This yam root helped with asthma, bladder problems, urinary tract infections and more. (x)
For 2000 years, Southeast Asia used the root, and ancient Aztec civilization recognized its ability to heal and relieve pain. Native Americans introduced the wild yam to colonial doctors to treat epilepsy, rabies, expectorant, and nervous ailments. Large doses induced vomiting. (x)
Traditionally, Chinese medicine called it a component of the “Pill of Eight Ingredients” because it treats diabetes and hypothyroidism in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). They used two species, D. hypoglauca and D. opposita, also for asthma and urinary tract problems. (x) (x) Wild yam has other names such as devil’s bones, China root, colic root, Yuma and rheumatism root. (x)
Today, people use it for many different reasons. Wild yam extract can offer benefits to a woman’s reproductive health. It is a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy to treat symptoms of menopause and may also relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It may also have anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve arthritis and may act as a muscle relaxant. (x) (x)
Diosgenin is one of the most bioactive alkaloids in wild yam. It is the active ingredient in Dioscorea. (x) It’s structurally similar to cholesterol. Once taken, it metabolizes in the liver and is eliminated through the bile. Dioscorea levels vary significantly between the various species. The Mexican wild yam root, D. barbasco, seems to be the fullest in diosgenin. Still, within these species is a noticeable difference in diosgenin content based on climate factors and how they grow the root.
Diosgenin is a phytoestrogen, which means the molecule comes from a plant but influences hormones, such as estrogen and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). (x) Recent research indicates that diosgenin may have anti-cancer properties. Various studies have shown that the diosgenin in wild yam extract can prevent cancer cells from spreading under breast cancer health concerns and leukemic cells. The leukemic study used Dioscorea tokoro, and it isn’t clear what species applied to the breast cancer study. (x) (x)
Benefits of Wild Yam Extract
The advantages of taking wild yam extract are many, and hopefully, you will discover the helpful benefits. Let your physician know whenever you decide to take a new supplement. You want to make sure there are no adverse side effects based on your medical history and current prescriptions. While most benefits have stood the test of time, some experimental studies have uncovered even more. Some of the overall benefits include:
Menopause is a process during which a woman stops having a monthly menstrual cycle and no longer produces eggs. The body slowly makes less estrogen and progesterone until the menstrual cycle eventually ends. Menopause can cause havoc with the female body, such as mental and emotional symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, insomnia, mood swings or mild depression. (x)
Wild yam may be a sufficient alternative to hormone replacement therapy. Compounds in wild yam extract may stabilize estrogen levels to relieve menopause symptoms. However, there is not enough evidence to confirm its long-term effectiveness. One study concluded that it has a short-term effect on the symptoms. (x) (x) Check with your healthcare provider and determine what is best for your body.
Most, if not all, women experience some form of premenstrual symptoms. The effects of PMS can be physical, emotional and behavioral. Like how wild yam extract may help with menopause symptoms, its bioactive compounds might help influence hormone levels similar to estrogen, which may alleviate PMS symptoms. Wild yam has antispasmodic properties that may also ease painful periods. However, research is not yet conclusive on its effectiveness. (x) (x)
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, claiming over 600,000 lives each year and accounting for 25 percent of all deaths. For decades, medicine has strongly associated high cholesterol with heart disease. (x) Cholesterol gets a bad name, but it plays a more complicated role in health. Some have labeled it as an evil health concern that needs eradication from our bodies is a mistake. It is essential for normal levels but dangerous only when they get too high. (x) Animal studies show that wild yam may regulate cholesterol levels because diosgenin seems to block the body from absorbing it. (x)
Seven elderly adults took up to eight wild yam pills daily for more than six weeks. They had markedly decreased serum triglycerides and phospholipids, unchanged serum total cholesterol levels and increased serum. Another group of patients with ischemic heart disease (narrow heart arteries) received Dioscorea treatment and showed a marked decrease in serum triglycerides without a significant change in serum cholesterol level. All in all, low levels of triglycerides mean your body has HDL “good” cholesterol. (x) Studies show that phospholipids inhibit the absorption of intestinal cholesterol based on animal and cultured cells. (x)
- Blood Sugar
More than 100 million adults in the United States currently have diabetes. Many more have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to qualify for type 2 diabetes. (x) (x) Wild yam extract contains a compound called dioscoretine that animal studies suggest may help balance blood sugar levels, potentially helping manage diabetes. However, the studies have mainly focused on animal subjects, and researchers do not know how effective it may be on humans. (x) (x)
The bloating, gas and cramps associated with an upset stomach are never welcome symptoms. A study suggests that wild yam may be an effective digestion aid and did not affect average intestinal bacterial growth. (x) Not only may it relieve symptoms of indigestion, but it may also improve gallbladder function. (x)
Side Effects of Wild Yam Extract
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not evaluated the safety of wild yam extract for medicinal use. High doses may cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, digestive issues and diarrhea.
Wild yam may worsen hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer or uterine fibroids by influencing estrogen production. Those with chronic conditions or taking medications should consult with a healthcare practitioner before adding this or supplementing their diet. Because it has estrogen-mimicking properties, wild yam extract may interact with prescription medication for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or birth control pills. It may not be safe during pregnancy, breastfeeding or for children. (x)
Where to Buy Wild Yam Extract?
You can purchase wild yam extract at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of pure dietary supplements.
BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other food and supplement brands to make their products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying wild yam extract for your health, as described in this article? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
Wild Yam Extract Dosage
The recommended dosage for wild yam extract powder is 400 mg once or twice a day. Take the supplement according to a physician’s instructions. Wild yam extract is not an adequate replacement for medical treatment.
The Bottom Line
Wild yam extract has a long medicinal tradition, from ancient Aztec civilization to traditional Chinese medicine, including traditional Mexican healers called curanderos. Historically it treated pain, diabetes, hypothyroidism and is the original birth control pill. Today, many people still believe that wild yams can offer natural relief from certain conditions. No wonder with thousands of years in history indicates its prevalent use.