Parts used: Root
Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, blood purifier, cholagogue, diaphoretic
Calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, B-complex and C, zinc
Wild yam relaxes the muscular fiber, soothes the nerves and relieves pain, especially in the uterus. It is often used to balance hormones to treat nausea in pregnant women and to aid in preventing miscarriage, cramps and general pains during pregnancy. It is a blood cleanser and helps to strengthen the liver, reduce cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure. It helps relieve pain associated with gallstones.
Wild yam contains a component known as diosgenin, which is a precursor of progesterone. It has the ability to convert progesterone, but wild yam does not contain progesterone. One physician found that an herbal formula containing wild yam was 71 percent effective in reducing the total number of symptoms of progesterone deficiency and 100 percent effective in reducing the severity of symptoms. Studies suggest wild yam contains steroid-like properties that inhibit inflammation. Another study found that natural progesterone supplementation was more effective in preventing osteoporosis than estrogen. A study on progesterone was conducted at Johns Hopkins University. Women who had a progesterone deficiency were over five times more at risk of developing breast cancer than women with normal progesterone levels. The progesterone derived from wild yam closely resembles natural progesterone synthesized in the body. Wild yam, when absorbed by the body, is easily converted into the same molecule as progesterone.
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