Wild Yam Root

wild yam

Also known as- Dioscorea villosa, Colic-root, and Yam.


There is a great deal of misinformation among consumers, practitioners, and natural product vendors alike about the connection between wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) and progesterone. The female hormone progesterone was first synthesized in a laboratory in 1934, but the materials needed for the process were so expensive that the hormone, that could only be made in very small batches, was priced at $1000 per gram, or about $10,000 per gram in current dollars. Researcher Russell Marker developed a way to derive progesterone from diosgenin, a compound found in the Mexican plant cabeza de negra, Dioscorea macrostachya. This made progesterone extremely cheap and led the way to the development of oral contraceptives.
While diosgenin can be converted into progesterone in the laboratory, it cannot be converted into progesterone in the human body. Wild yam contains no progesterone, natural or otherwise. It is, however, extremely useful for many gynecological complaints.


Ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, chromium, cobalt, dioscin, diosgenin, fiber, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, silicon, sodium, tin, zinc.

Parts Used

The dried tuber.

Typical Preparations

Teas, infusions, capsules, and added to creams and ointments. Seldom found in liquid extract form. Combined with cinnamon to treat chronic infection.


Traditional Chinese Medicine has used wild yam for at least 2,000 years, since the time of the writing of the Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica. Wild yam "separates the pure from the turbid." It is used to treat conditions manifesting themselves as cloudy urine or vaginal discharge. It relievers lower back pain, numbness or stiffness in the legs and feet, and muscle aches, and it clears "damp heat" from the skin at sites of eczema, boils, or eczema.
Mountain yam is used to treat stomach upset accompanied by fatigue, heavy sweating, and loss of appetite. It also relieves chronic cough and wheezing and "binds" the kidneys to stop premature ejaculation, frequent urination, or vaginal discharge. Mountain yam is also used to stop severe thirst accompanying diabetes.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Antispasmodic.  Perhaps the best relief and promptest cure for bilious colic, especially helpful in the nausea of pregnant women.  Valuable also in painful cholera morbus with cramps, neuralgic affections, spasmodic hiccough and spasmodic asthma.

1/2 to 1 drachm of fluid extract.  Dioscorein, 1/4 to 4 grains.

-Poisonous, if any, with Antidotes---An alkaloid separated from the Javanese D.  hirsuta has been found to be a convulsive poison, resembling picrotoxin, but much feebler. 

Health Benefits of Wild Yam

  • Blood sugar regulation
  • May Help Reduce Photo-aging
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • High Cholesterol
  • Cramps and muscular pain
  • Menopause Management
  • Breast health


Avoid products that are labeled "natural progesterone." They either contain no progesterone, or they contain synthetic progesterone.



This herb is sold by the Ounce

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