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Yams came from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Africans call yams “nyami,” which is where we get the word “yam.” They are round and differ in size. A few of the biggest yams have weighed more than 100 pounds and have actually been a number of feet long. Yams have a dense white, purple, or red flesh and flaky brown skin with dark spots. A yam is starchy and dry. In African culture, it is normally boiled or roasted. They have a shelf-life of six months, but you will have a hard time finding a real yam on a shelf in an American supermarket.

Yams and sweet potatoes are frequently organized together. Sweet potato and yam are not interchangeable terms. They have very little in common, besides both being bulb root vegetables. The confusion does not end in America! In Japan the “purple yam” is a mislabeled sweet potato. In Malaysia and Singapore, taro is called “yam,” and in New Zealand the oca tuber is called a “yam.” The sweet potato comes from the morning splendor family, while the yam is connected to the lily. Yams do not have the orange coloring that sweet potatoes have, for that reason, they are not a good source of beta-carotene. Yams do supply carbohydrates and fiber, 2 important nutrients for feeling full and having energy. [2]


Yam nutrition per 5-inch yam:.

  • Calories: 112
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 26 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams

A single yam loads a massive 369% of your day-to-day Vitamin A requirement. Yam minerals and vitamins also include vitamin C, calcium, and iron. [3]


villosa is a twining vine belonging to the central southeastern United States and discovered less regularly in the Appalachian region. It is a dioecious plant with unnoticeable white to greenish-yellow female flowers and smooth, heart-shaped leaves. Plant synonyms include Dioscorea hirticaulis Bartlett and D. villosa L. var. hirticaulis (Bartlett) H.E. Ahles.

There are more than 500 types of Dioscorea worldwide, with Chinese yam (D. oppositifolia), water yam (Dioscorea alata L.), and wild yam typically studied. [4]

Health Benefits of Yams To Enhance Your Total Digestive Health

Yams Are Highly Healthy

Yams are chockful of fibers, minerals, and vitamins. In a single cup of yams, which is around 136 grams, you will find:.

In particular, Yams consist of high percentages of your day-to-day worth of fiber, potassium, and manganese. These nutrients and minerals are essential to preserving your bone health, heart health, development, and metabolism.

Yams likewise consist of a copper and vitamin C. Copper is necessary for your blood health. More specifically, copper is essential for healthy iron absorption and red cell production. Meanwhile, vitamin C is an essential anti-oxidant that can strengthen your body immune system versus illnesses and infections.

Yams Can Enhance Your Total Digestive Health

Yams consist of resistant starches, which act comparable to soluble fibers. A resistant starch essentially goes through your stomach and small intestine undigested. From there, it eventually reaches your colon and feeds your healthy gut bacteria while likewise increasing your digestive enzymes.

As a result, resistant starches can decrease inflammation and decrease your risk of getting colorectal cancer. On the lighter side, the resistant starches in yams can also ease a variety of digestion conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, irregularity, diarrhea, and Crohn’s disease.

Yams Can Aid With Weight-loss

The roots of yams supply a beneficial fiber known as glucomannan, which is thought to aid with weight-loss. Basically, when taken in, the fiber can turn into a gel that beings in your stomach and allows you to feel complete for longer. As a result, you curb your yearnings and weight-loss is more possible.

Yams Can Enhance Cholesterol Levels

Yams also play a significant function in controlling your cholesterol levels. This is due to the fact that yams offer a special kind of soluble fiber, which cholesterol’s worst problem. Soluble fiber essentially works by distributing around cholesterol, binding to it and removing it from your body.

Moreover, yams have also shown a genuine change in cholesterol levels in real women. In a research study, ladies who consumed 18 ounces of yams a day over thirty days saw a decrease in their cholesterol levels.

Yams Have Possibly Cancer-Fighting Residences

In addition to a number of important minerals and vitamins, yams likewise have antioxidants that might avoid cancer. A study conducted on animals discovered that a diet plan rich in yams showed a huge decrease in colon tumors.

Further studies recommended that these outcomes were closely related to the many anti-oxidants in yams. Moreover, the peel of Chinese yams was found to prevent or hinder liver growths.

Approved, these need to be taken with a grain of salt. Presently, the research study on the results of yams on cancer is restricted. The majority of the tests and research studies have been performed primarily on animals and not on human beings.

Yams Can Reinforce Your Brain Function

If you are looking for a way to enhance your brain function, eat more yams.

Real, it sounds rather unbelievable, but a research study revealed that individuals who took in a yam extract supplement revealed a higher operating brain than those who used a placebo.

Yams are abundant in diosgenin, which is an unique substance that is known for improving nerve cell development and overall brain health. Additionally, diosgenin has actually added to an enhanced memory and knowing skills in mice and other animal tests.

Yams May Alleviate Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is connected to a variety of long-lasting health conditions, like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Luckily, yams are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

A number of rat research studies discovered that yams or a yam powder had a considerable impact on inflammation. The research studies observed that yams helped in reducing threats of colon cancer, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Furthermore, the outer bark of the yam roots has plenty of saponin. Saponin is a compound that is thought to assist with fighting inflammation and can add to healthy gut flora. It can even assist your pelvic and abdominal muscles unwind.

Yams Can Possibly Enhance Blood Sugar Levels

Yams can enhance your blood glucose control.

In a rat research study, rats were provided a dose of yam water or yam powder. As a result, the rats experienced a substantial decline in their fasting blood sugar along with a decline in their hemoglobin A levels, which determines blood sugar control.

In a different study, rats were provided a high dose of purple yam extract. These rats displayed minimized cravings, enhanced blood sugar levels, and considerable weight-loss.

This was implemented by another rat research study that saw simply supplementing diets with a yam flour can significantly lower the blood sugar absorption. This is linked to the high level of resistant starches and fibers in yams.

Resistant starches and fibers go undigested in your stomach. Therefore, these starches can help you control your cravings and curb your blood sugar levels. Furthermore, although yams are not as sweet as sweet potatoes, there is still enough sugar in them to include a natural sweet taste to your meals and further curb your cravings.

Last but not least, yam has an active compound known as Allantoin. Allantoin is known to control oxidative tension. In turn, this implies that yams can strengthen your liver function, which likewise assists keep healthy insulin levels.

Yams Can Promote Fertility

Recently, research studies are also showing that yams can promote fertility. With the increase of natural hormones, wild yam creams are becoming popular choices for women trying to find hormone replacement treatment.

This is because “natural” progesterone, which is an essential hormone in assisting a uterus get ready for a fertilized egg, can in fact be found in a wild yam type called Diascorea uillosa.

Yams May Ease Menopause Symptoms

Another research study found that yams can have a positive influence on menopause symptoms. In a 30-day test, 24 women in a postmenopausal state changed rice out of their diet plans for consuming yams a minimum of 2 to 3 times a day. As a result, those ladies found that the levels of estrone and estradiol in their blood increased by nearly 30%.

Estrone and estradiol are two estrogen hormonal agents. Usually, during menopause, these 2 hormones substantially decrease. While the yams trigger these 2 hormones to increase, it indicates estrogen levels improve and reduce menopause signs.

However, not all research study on this topic are clear. While the previous study shows a connection between relieving menopause signs with yams, another research study states otherwise. It was discovered that a wild yam cream had less impact on menopause symptoms. As such, there is still a lot of space to examine yams capability to alleviate menopause signs.

Yams Are Great for Your Skin and Hair

It is common understanding that collagen is crucial to keeping your skin elastic, company, and healthy. Fortunately, yams are extremely useful in the production of collagen in our bodies.

Yams are likewise rich in unique anti-oxidants that can assist with rebuilding cells. Meanwhile, they are also fantastic at battling free radicals and early aging in your skin. The mix of collagen and vitamin C offered by yams is the best way to assist heal your skin and any wounds.

Furthermore, yams can aid with hair growth since they have lots of beta-carotene. As such, if you wish to keep your hair from becoming dry and lifeless, try to incorporate more yams into your diet plan.

Yams Support A Healthy Heart and Avoid Anemia

A huge part of keeping a healthy heart is preserving healthy sodium levels in your blood stream. Yams are excellent since they promote heart health by eliminating any excess sodium in your body. In turn, yams minimize your risk of developing long-term illnesses like high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Furthermore, the number of minerals in yams can also support heart health. Specifically, the potassium and manganese in yams are key to keeping your capillary in good shape. Yams can likewise keep your blood pressure in check.

With the help of its lots of minerals and high iron content, yams can assist prevent anemia. The variety of nutrients in yams assists support the production of red blood cells, which in turn, lowers your chances of establishing anemia. Finally, the minerals also improve the circulation of your blood.

Yams Can Improve Your Vision

Of all the senses in the body, sight is vital. The vitamin C in yams supports ocular health. This helps reduce the danger of macular degeneration, a condition that intensifies your sight with time once you pass the age of 50. [5]

How to take wild yam

Consuming wild yam is rare due to its bitter taste. However, it is available in a range of formulations, including:.

  • tablet
  • pill
  • cast
  • cream
  • tea
  • powder

Many of these formulations of wild yam are readily available to purchase online.

Just how much wild yam to take depends upon a number of elements, such as:.

  • the person’s health condition
  • the individual’s age
  • the formulation of the wild yam

Nevertheless, scientific research studies have yet to figure out a safe and efficient dose range for wild yam. It is therefore vital to speak with a doctor prior to taking wild yam. Always check out the product packaging carefully before utilizing. [6]

Wild Yam for Hair Development

Wild yam root, native to the southern United States and Mexico, is utilized as an internal natural treatment for females’s loss of hair. Offered in numerous types, it naturally balances hormones which promote hair growth for females.


Wild yam root is utilized to motivate scalp hair development in females. It is especially efficient for pre-menopausal or menopausal women.

Readily available Forms

Wild yam root is readily available dried, in liquid pills, as an infusion and added to creams and ointments. It can also be prepared as an organic tea.

How it Functions

Wild yams consist of diosgenin, which produces the hormone progesterone, much like a steroid. This hormone production is utilized to deal with numerous menopausal signs, consisting of scalp hair loss.


According to all4naturalhealth.com, combining wild yam root with dong quai and chaste tree berry optimally stabilizes female hormone levels that impact hair development. [7]

Wild yam is a phytoestrogen. It’s claimed that taking wild yam orally can alleviate vaginal dryness which wild yam cream can alleviate hot flashes.

Prospective uses: Wild yam is a phytoestrogen. It’s claimed that taking wild yam orally can relieve vaginal dryness which wild yam cream can ease hot flashes.

Usual dose: There is no common dose.

Exist any risks? There are more than 500 species of wild yam. Some species consist of diosgenin, which has a similar structure to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA is a steroid that your body can develop into estrogen. Though DHEA has actually been sythnesized from wild yam extract in the laboratory, it’s unclear if the body can convert diosgenin into estrogen. Still, due to the fact that diosgenin does have other estrogen-like residential or commercial properties, individuals diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer need to not take wild yam.

What does the research say? In medical studies, wild yam cream was no more advantageous than a placebo (routine hand cream) in controlling hot flashes. There is insufficient research study to figure out whether wild yam reduces vaginal dryness. [8]

How to Cook a Wild African Yam

Wild African yams bear little similarity to the sweet potatoes at your regional grocery store. This is mainly due to the fact that yams and sweet potatoes are not the very same types. Cooking wild yams takes a bit more preparation than preparing the more standard yams you find in stores, however their abundant sweet taste deserves the extra work. The primary distinction is that prior to you bake wild yams you have to peel them. If you try to prepare them whole, their skin will burst, leaving you with a tasty mess.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse your wild African yam completely in warm water. Scrub every inch of it with a vegetable brush due to the fact that the dirt and grit can be persistent.

Peel the yam, ensuring to remove all the peel.

Cut the yam into large wedges. African yams are huge; one can feed as much as six people.

Rinse the yam wedges once again and let them drain in a colander till they are dry.

Rub the yam wedges with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper.

Wrap the yam wedges in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet.

Bake the yam wedges for 90 minutes.

Open the foil and let the yam wedges roast for another 10 minutes till their edges simply begin to turn crisp. [9]

Caribbean Candied Yams

Prep Time

5 minutes.

Cook Time

Thirty minutes.

Total Time

35 minutes.


6 Individuals.

Active ingredients

  • Recipe makes 6 Portions
  • 58 Oz Sugary Sam Sugary Food Potatoes (2 cans), drained pipes
  • 1/4 cup( s) Imperial Dark Brown Sugar
  • 12 Tbsp saltless butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup( s) Fischer & Wieser Mango Ginger Habanero Sauce [10]

Negative Effects of Wild Yam Extract

The Fda (FDA) has actually not evaluated the safety of wild yam extract for medical usage. High doses might cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, digestion issues and diarrhea.

Wild yam might aggravate hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer or uterine fibroids by affecting estrogen production. Those with chronic conditions or taking medications should consult with a healthcare professional before including this or supplementing their diet plan. Due to the fact that it has estrogen-mimicking homes, wild yam extract may connect with prescription medication for hormonal agent replacement treatment (HRT) or contraceptive pill. It may not be safe during pregnancy, breastfeeding or for kids. [11]


The proper dose of wild yam depends on several aspects such as the user’s age, health, and numerous other conditions. At this time there is insufficient clinical information to figure out a proper range of doses for wild yam. Keep in mind that natural items are not always necessarily safe and does can be important. Make certain to follow pertinent instructions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other health care expert prior to using. [12]

Unique preventative measures and warnings

There was an increase in fibrosis in the kidneys and in swelling in livers of rats consuming wild yam (dioscorea villosa) for 28 days 36). Long term supplements with wild yam (dioscorea villosa) may be finest avoided, especially in individuals with jeopardized kidney function and in those who need to take other drugs which may modify kidney function 37).

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable details to understand if wild yam is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and prevent 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 worsened by exposure to estrogen, do not use wild yam.

Protein S shortage: Individuals with protein S deficiency have an increased risk of forming clots. There is some concern that wild yam might increase the risk of embolisms development in these people because it might act like estrogen. One client with protein S shortage and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) developed a clot in the vein serving the retina in her eye 3 days after taking a mix product containing wild yam, dong quai, red clover, and black cohosh. If you have protein S shortage, it is best to avoid utilizing wild yam up until more is understood. [13]

Possible Interactions

Hormonal Agent Replacement Therapy or Birth Control Pills

An animal research study suggested that the active part of wild yam, diosgenin, might engage with estradiol. Estradiol is a hormonal agent that happens naturally in the body and likewise is used in some contraception medications and particular hormonal agent replacement treatments.

If you are currently being treated with either of these medications, you need to not use wild yam without very first speaking to your provider. [14]

The bottom line

Wild yam root is widely offered as a skin cream but may likewise be discovered as a supplement. It has actually generally been utilized to deal with hormonal conditions, such as menopause and PMS, as well as ease symptoms of arthritis.

Nevertheless, current research studies don’t support the claims surrounding menopause and PMS.

While usages for arthritis seem the most promising, more human research is needed to develop wild yam root’s effectiveness.

Due to inadequate proof, there are no dosage guidelines for wild yam root cream or supplements. Therefore, it’s finest to consult a health expert prior to adding any wild yam item to your routine.

Nevertheless, if you’re interested in utilizing a cream to alleviate joint discomfort, minimize dark spots, or avoid wrinkling, product labels commonly advise applying the cream once or twice per day.

That stated, these products are not controlled by the FDA, and makers are not required to disclose the amount of wild yam root extract that their items include.

Regardless of a lack of proof for these claims, individuals who use wild yam root cream to deal with menopause or PMS symptoms frequently rub it on their stomachs. Simply keep in mind that it’s not intended for intravaginal use.

For the supplement type, you ought to always follow the directions on the product packaging. Supplements are not controlled by the FDA either, so search for an item that has actually been assessed and verified by a third-party testing service. [15]


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yam
  2. https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/school-nutrition/pdf/fact-sheet-yam.pdf
  3. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-yams#091e9c5e81ff2186-2-4
  4. https://www.drugs.com/npp/wild-yam.html
  5. https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/benefits-of-yams.php
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322423#how-to-take-wild-yam
  7. https://oureverydaylife.com/wild-yam-for-hair-growth-12246789.html
  8. https://www.breastcancer.org/managing-life/diet-nutrition/dietary-supplements/known/wild-yam
  9. https://oureverydaylife.com/how-to-cook-jerusalem-artichokes-12194788.html
  10. https://www.heb.com/recipe/recipe-item/caribbean-candied-yams/1392679774735
  11. https://community.bulksupplements.com/wild-yam/
  12. https://www.rxlist.com/wild_yam/supplements.htm#Dosing
  13. https://healthjade.net/wild-yam/#Wild_yam_side_effects
  14. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/wild-yam
  15. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/wild-yam-root#usage
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