Wild yam, scientifically known as Dioscorea villosa, has been used to treat various ailments, especially regarding women's health. Also known as colic root, it grows mainly in North America and China. There are almost 600 species of wild yam. Though sweet potato and wild yam look similar, there is a lot of difference between them. For example, the roots of wild yam are not tubers like sweet potatoes nor are they fleshy. The medicinal properties of the two are also quite different.
Wild Yam Benefits
The benefits of wild yam are numerous. It is known as a woman's herb, as it helps to relieve the major health problems of a woman. However, it is also used for ailments that both men and women suffered.
Treating Colic: The reason why yam is known as colic root is due to its efficiency in treating colic. Wild yam helps to relieve menstrual cramps, spasms, uterine pain, and ovarian pain mainly due to its antispasmodic properties. Antispasmodic properties are those properties, which help to decrease intestinal spasms, especially caused due to menstruation. It is also useful in case of poor circulation and neuralgia.
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: Research has proved that wild yams are very beneficial for treating rheumatoid arthritis. There is a phase in rheumatoid arthritis where in the joints flare, wild yams help to decrease the inflammation. How yam should be used for rheumatoid arthritis, depends on the inflammation.
Providing Nutrients: Nowadays, wild yam is used to provide nutrients, which are essential for the proper functioning of all glands. It is benefit nutritionally to the respiratory, urinary, and nervous system. Wild yam creams are said to reduce eczema also.
Relieving Menopausal Pain: Though there is no scientific proof, wild yams are said to be useful in decreasing the pain during menopause by balancing the hormones. Wild yam extract is used to make a cream, which is used for this purpose.
Other Benefits: Apart from the above mentioned benefits, it is also used to treat asthma, morning sickness, labor pain, regulating digestion etc. These were some of the common benefits of yams.
Relation Between Wild Yam and Fertility
As earlier stated, wild yam is said to be very beneficial to women's health. Apart from relieving PMS problems, wild yam also has another important use. It is said to improve fertility of women. This is said to be the biggest use of wild yams and this is not a recent discovery. You should know, however, that yam was earlier popular as an anti-fertility plant! It was even used to make birth control pills. However, later it was noticed that consumption of about 10-20 drops of this plant, from the first day of menstruation to the ovulation period, (the middle of the month) helped increase fertility in women.
There is no scientific proof to support the fact that wild yam helps to increase fertility naturally. However, as we know, wild yam helps to relieve almost every problem related to PMS and also to regulate menstrual cycles, these facts can actually help in improving the fertility of a woman.
Talking about wild yam side effects, it is advisable to take wild yam in any form, only after consulting the doctor. Pregnant women should, however, completely avoid wild yams. So now that you know all the benefits of wild yam, including little yam in your daily diet is not a bad idea.