Wild Yam root is perhaps most famous for its ability to support women in the health of their reproductive systems. With powerful antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, Wild Yam is often prescribed by herbalists to relieve menstrual cramps and chronic pelvic pain. Helping the uterus to work more efficiently during menses, this uterine support allows for proper function of the uterus whilst working to prevent cramping and spasms.
Whilst rigorous scientific testing is scant, some herbalists believe that Wild Yam boosts digestion by improving the function of the gall bladder and the liver. These two organs are vital in the digestive process by encouraging the production of bile and breaking down food. Historically it was used to ease the passage of small gallstones.
The aforementioned steroidal glycoside, “diosgenin” has been found in scientific studies to have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. This validates the traditional use of Wild Yam as an aid to reduce the painful inflammation in the joints brought on by rheumatoid arthritis.
Women with hormone-dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus should not take or use wild yam due to its possible estrogenic effects. Men with prostate cancer should also avoid taking wild yam.
Pregnant women should not take wild yam because it may stimulate the uterus to contract, possibly causing a miscarriage.