Mexican yam is one of some 850 species of yam in the Dioscoreaceae family.
It is a perennial plant with twisting, climbing vines that grows in warm tropical climates. There are also some twists and turns related to this plant’s identity and its use as a herbal remedy. The wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) is a climbing plant that is native to the southeast United States and Canada.
Such wild yam species as Dioscorea floribunda as well as Dioscorea villosa are native to Mexico. These plants are used for the herbal preparations known as Mexican yam and Mexican wild yam. Mexican wild yam also grows in the southeastern United States and Appalachia. An extract of this plant is used as a herbal remedy called Mexican yam, wild yam, and Mexican wild yam. It is sold as a “natural hormone” cream and oral remedy. Mexican wild yam is also known as colic root, China root, rheumatism root, devil’s bones, and yuma.
Mexican yam has long had a reputation as a woman’s herb. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, wild yam was used to treat menstrual pain and conditions related to childbirth . Pregnant women used wild yam to combat nausea , ease aching muscles, and prevent miscarriages. Wild yam was also used as a colic remedy. Furthermore, the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties were thought to be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Most of those uses were forgotten after Japanese researchers in 1936 discovered that wild yam contained diosgenin, a chemical that scientist Russell Marker used in the 1940s to create synthetic progesterone and the hormone DHEA.
Mexican yam cream is marketed with the promise that it is natural progesterone. The cream is applied to the skin based on a woman’s condition. Dosages are based on the outcome expected.
Mexican wild yam is safe if taken within prescribed therapeutic dosages, according to the PDR (Physician’s Desk Reference) for Herbal Medicines. The book draws on the findings of Germany’s Commission E, a government agency that studies herbal remedies for approval as over-the-counter drugs. An English version of the German Commission E Monographs was published in 1997. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as patients with hormone imbalances, depression, or hormone-sensitive cancers should avoid wild yam unless they are under the guidance of a clinical herbalist or physician.
Large doses of Mexican yam may produce nausea. There is also a risk of poisoning. Interactions There are no known interactions when Mexican yam is taken with standard medications, other herbs, or dietary supplements.
Also published on Medium.