Wild Yam - What is it & How to use

Wild yam contains a chemical that can be made into various steroids, such as estrogen, in the laboratory. However, the body can’t change wild yam to estrogen.

Effectiveness

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for WILD YAM are as follows:

Possibly ineffective for…

  • Menopausal symptoms. Applying wild yam cream to the skin for 3 months does not seem to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. It also does not seem to affect levels of hormones such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, or progesterone, which play a role in menopause.

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • Use as a natural alternative to estrogens.
  • Postmenopausal vaginal dryness.
  • PMS (Premenstrual syndrome).
  • Weak bones (osteoporosis).
  • Increasing energy and sexual desire in men and women.
  • Gallbladder problems.
  • Painful menstrual periods.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Infertility.
  • Menstrual disorders.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of wild yam for these uses.

Dose

The appropriate dose of wild yam depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for wild yam. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Safety Concerns

Wild yam is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Large amounts can cause vomiting.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking wild yam if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Wild yam might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use wild yam.

Protein S deficiency: People with protein S deficiency have an increased risk of forming clots. There is some concern that wild yam might increase the risk of clot formation in these people because it might act like estrogen. There is one case report of a patient with protein S deficiency and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who developed a clot in the vein serving the retina in her eye 3 days after taking a combination product containing wild yam, dong quai, red clover, and black cohosh. If you have protein S deficiency, it is best to avoid using wild yam until more is known.

Interaction with medication

Moderate
Be cautious with this combination.
Estrogens
Wild yam might have some of the same effects as estrogen. Taking wild yam along with estrogen pills might decrease the effects of estrogen pills.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.