Wild Yam (Dioscorea Villosa)

Wild Yam Benefits

Wild Yam is a very good antispasmodic so is good for menstrual cramps, relaxing muscles, soothing nerves, relieving pain, poor circulation and neuralgia, for the inflammatory stage of rheumatoid arthritis and for abdominal and intestinal cramping.

It has long been used for its benefits in women's reproductive health, including premenstrual syndrome and menopausal problems. It can be taken in capsules or in tea (though there are mixed opinions on the flavour). The powder can be added to creams or vaginal ointments.

Wild Yam's traditional use is for easing menstrual cramps. Its antispasmodic property is beneficial for any kind of muscular spasm and colic, such as intestinal and bilious colic, flatulence, ovarian and uterine pain; for poor circulation and neuralgia; for the inflammatory stage of rheumatoid arthritis; and for abdominal and intestinal cramping. Wild Yam can be very beneficial for nervousness, restlessness and other nervous conditions.

As a stimulant for increased bile flow, it can help to relieve hepatic congestion, bilious colic and gallstones.

Also known to have a therapeutic action on overall liver health, it is believed that wild yam root's ability to lower blood cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure indirectly helps the liver by increasing its efficiency and reducing stress.

Its steroidal saponins are also anti-inflammatory , making it a useful herb when treating rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory conditions of the bowel. Its diuretic effect, combined with the antispasmodic action, soothes painful conditions of the urinary tract.

Wild yam contains alkaloids, steroidal saponins, tannins, phytosterols and starch.

Wild Yam Herb Notes / Side Effects

Latin Name

Dioscorea villosa

Common Names

Aluka, Barbasco, Colic Root, China Root, Devil's-bones, Mexican Wild Yam, Rheumatism Root, Shan-yao, Wild Yam, Yuma


Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, blood purifier, and diaphoretic, hepatic, anti-rheumatic, cholagogue, uterine tonic.

Indicated for

Relaxing muscles, soothing nerves and relieving pain. Uterine tonic. Menstrual cramps. Allaying colic and flatulence caused by muscle spasms; for poor circulation and neuralgia; for the inflammatory stage of rheumatoid arthritis; and for abdominal and intestinal cramping. Wild Yam can be very beneficial for nervousness, restlessness and other nervous conditions. As a stimulant for increased bile flow, it helps to relieve hepatic congestion, bilious colic, gallstones, kidney and gallbladder problems and rheumatic conditions.

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.

Because very little information is available on how wild yam might affect an infant or a small child, its use is not recommended while breast-feeding or during early childhood.

Important: Click Here to Read Our Disclaimer

Used This Herb? How Would You Rate It?

Current User Rating 6/10 Based On 68 Votes

Has Wild Yam Worked For You?

This page is not a wiki so it is not editable like Wikipedia, however we would like to hear your information and comments and sometimes incorporate these into the articles.

Click Here To Post a Comment
Steele 's avatar  Steele 18/02/2015 21:37

What herbs do you take for sexual enhancements?

Tracy 's avatar  Tracy 16/01/2014 11:29

Your research on this plant is outdated. This plant contains steroidal saponins, phyto-hormones, is probably the plant with the highest content of natural progesterone. Research now shows that this is highly beneficial in its ability to balance excess oestrogen in the body. So, far from being dangerous for women diagnosed with cancer, osteoporosis, it is highly beneficial.

8 people liked this.
Ali 's avatar  Ali 08/11/2010 18:51

Im a guy and I used 500 mg capsule twice a day and it realy realy improved my lipido (sex drive) but I didnt see any other benefits.

2 people liked this.
Hajj Lateef 's avatar  Hajj Lateef 23/10/2013 19:11

Been using Mexican wild yam successfully along with glyco-nutritional supplements and anti-oxidants for 17 years, even while being treated with radiation for prostate cancer. Since being treated for the prostate cancer 9-1/2 years ago I cut my use of wild yam from 3 daily doses to 2 doses early in the day, (omitting my night dose); and have doubled my intake of glyco-nutritionals. My prostatic specific antigen (PSA) tests went from "15" 9-1/2 years ago to "0.1" in 6 months and remains below that to this day.

I benefit from all the indications but use other herbs for sexual enhancements.

1 person liked this.
Annettejyoung 's avatar  Annettejyoung 07/12/2011 13:19

I found wild yam fantastic after having an accident that triggered joint pain and inflammation. Doctors had practically written me off as having rheumatoid arthritis even though tests came back negative. I was in a lot of pain but a health shop representative suggested wild yam and within weeks the pains had all gone and I was back at work. It really helped with the changes in the endocrine system which I suspect was a trigger for the joint pain too.

1 person liked this.
View All Wild Yam Reviews and Comments