Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) is native to North America but it is now cultivated in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions worldwide. It is a member of the Dioscoreaceae family. The root and rhizome are both used medicinally. WIld Yam has an insipid taste that quickly turns acrid. Wild Yam contains glycoside diosgenin, a steroid precursor that has seen many uses. Wild Yam calms muscular spasms and seems to have anti-inflammatory properties. It also stimulates the flow of bile and promotes perspiration. It does not, as some believe, serve as a natural source of the female hormone progesterone. It is used in the production of artificial progesterone, but it will not yield the hormone in the absence of a chemical conversion process that the body can't supply. Traditionally, wild yam has been used for high cholesterol, increased energy, menstruation, and gallbladder complaints.
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Cautions There have been no reported adverse reactions when proper dosage of Yam is taken.