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

Yams and sweet potatoes are frequently grouped together. Sweet potato and yam are not interchangeable terms. They have really little in common, aside from both being tuber root veggies. 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 originates from the early morning splendor household, while the yam is related to the lily. Yams lack the orange coloring that sweet potatoes have, therefore, they are not a great source of beta-carotene. Yams do supply carbohydrates and fiber, two essential 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 whopping 369% of your day-to-day Vitamin A requirement. Yam vitamins and minerals likewise consist of vitamin C, calcium, and iron. [3]


villosa is a twining vine belonging to the main southeastern US and found less regularly in the Appalachian area. It is a dioecious plant with inconspicuous white to greenish-yellow female flowers and smooth, heart-shaped leaves. Plant synonyms consist of 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 commonly studied. [4]

Health Benefits of Yams To Improve Your Overall Digestive Health

Yams Are Extremely Nutritious

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

In particular, Yams include high portions of your daily value of fiber, potassium, and manganese. These nutrients and minerals are key to keeping your bone health, heart health, growth, and metabolic process.

Yams also consist of a copper and vitamin C. Copper is vital for your blood health. More specifically, copper is key for healthy iron absorption and red cell production. Meanwhile, vitamin C is an important anti-oxidant that can strengthen your immune system versus health problems and infections.

Yams Can Enhance Your Overall Digestive Health

Yams contain resistant starches, which act similar to soluble fibers. A resistant starch essentially passes through your stomach and small intestine undigested. From there, it ultimately reaches your colon and feeds your healthy gut germs while also increasing your digestion enzymes.

As a result, resistant starches can lower swelling and decrease your danger of getting colorectal cancer. On the lighter side, the resistant starches in yams can likewise relieve a variety of digestion conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, constipation, diarrhea, and Crohn’s illness.

Yams Can Help with Weight-loss

The roots of yams offer an useful fiber referred to as glucomannan, which is believed to aid with weight-loss. Essentially, when consumed, the fiber can turn into a gel that beings in your stomach and allows you to feel complete for longer. As a result, you suppress your cravings and weight reduction is more attainable.

Yams Can Improve Cholesterol Levels

Yams likewise play a significant role in controlling your cholesterol levels. This is because yams provide an unique kind of soluble fiber, which cholesterol’s worst headache. Soluble fiber essentially works by circulating around cholesterol, binding to it and removing it from your body.

Furthermore, yams have likewise shown a real modification in cholesterol levels in genuine ladies. In a research study, ladies who consumed 18 ounces of yams a day over 1 month saw a decrease in their cholesterol levels.

Yams Have Potentially Cancer-Fighting Characteristics

In addition to a variety of vital vitamins and minerals, yams likewise have antioxidants that might avoid cancer. A research study performed on animals discovered that a diet plan rich in yams showed a massive decrease in colon tumors.

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

Granted, these must be taken with a grain of salt. Currently, the research study on the effects of yams on cancer is restricted. Most of the tests and research studies have actually been carried out mostly on animals and not on humans.

Yams Can Strengthen Your Brain Function

If you are trying to find a method to improve your brain function, eat more yams.

True, it sounds quite astounding, but a study showed that people who took in a yam extract supplement revealed a greater working brain than those who used a placebo.

Yams are abundant in diosgenin, which is an unique compound that is known for enhancing nerve cell development and total brain health. In addition, diosgenin has actually added to a boosted memory and knowing abilities in mice and other animal tests.

Yams Might Ease Inflammation

Persistent swelling is connected to a number of long-term health conditions, like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Thankfully, yams are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

A variety of rat studies discovered that yams or a yam powder had a substantial impact on swelling. The research studies observed that yams helped reduce dangers of colon cancer, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome.

In addition, the outer bark of the yam roots has plenty of saponin. Saponin is a compound that is thought to help with fighting inflammation and can contribute to healthy gut plants. It can even assist your pelvic and stomach muscles unwind.

Yams Can Possibly Enhance Blood Sugar Levels

Yams can improve your blood sugar control.

In a rat study, rats were offered a dose of yam water or yam powder. As a result, the rats experienced a substantial decline in their fasting blood glucose in addition to a decrease in their hemoglobin A levels, which measures blood sugar control.

In a various study, rats were given a high dosage of purple yam extract. These rats exhibited minimized hungers, enhanced blood glucose levels, and substantial weight loss.

This was implemented by another rat research study that saw just supplementing diet plans with a yam flour can considerably reduce the blood glucose absorption. This is connected to the high level of resistant starches and fibers in yams.

Resistant starches and fibers go undigested in your stomach. Therefore, these starches can assist you control your appetite and suppress your blood glucose levels. Furthermore, although yams are not as sweet as sweet potatoes, there is still sufficient sugar in them to add a natural sweetness to your meals and further curb your cravings.

Lastly, yam has an active compound called Allantoin. Allantoin is understood to control oxidative stress. In turn, this suggests that yams can reinforce your liver function, which also assists keep healthy insulin levels.

Yams Can Promote Fertility

Lately, research studies are likewise revealing that yams can promote fertility. With the increase of natural hormonal agents, wild yam creams are becoming popular options for females trying to find hormonal agent replacement treatment.

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

Yams May Alleviate Menopause Signs

Another study discovered that yams can have a positive impact on menopause signs. In a 30-day test, 24 women in a postmenopausal state switched rice out of their diets for consuming yams a minimum of 2 to 3 times a day. As a result, those women found that the levels of estrone and estradiol in their blood increased by almost 30%.

Estrone and estradiol are two estrogen hormones. Normally, during menopause, these 2 hormones substantially decrease. While the yams cause these two hormones to increase, it suggests estrogen levels improve and reduce menopause signs.

Nevertheless, not all research on this subject are clear. While the former research study suggests a connection between alleviating menopause signs with yams, another research study says otherwise. It was discovered that a wild yam cream had less impact on menopause signs. As such, there is still a great deal of room to examine yams capability to relieve menopause symptoms.

Yams Are Great for Your Skin and Hair

It prevails understanding that collagen is crucial to keeping your skin flexible, firm, and healthy. Thankfully, yams are extremely helpful in the production of collagen in our bodies.

Yams are also rich in unique anti-oxidants that can aid with rebuilding cells. On the other hand, they are also terrific at battling totally free radicals and early aging in your skin. The combination of collagen and vitamin C supplied by yams is the perfect way to assist heal your skin and any wounds.

Additionally, yams can aid with hair development because they have lots of beta-carotene. As such, if you wish to keep your hair from becoming dry and lifeless, try to include more yams into your diet.

Yams Assistance A Healthy Heart and Avoid Anemia

A major part of keeping a healthy heart is keeping healthy sodium levels in your bloodstream. Yams are fantastic because they promote heart health by eliminating any excess sodium in your body. In turn, yams lower your danger of developing long-term illnesses like hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.

In addition, the variety of minerals in yams can likewise support heart health. Particularly, the potassium and manganese in yams are essential to keeping your blood vessels in good shape. Yams can likewise keep your blood pressure in check.

With the help of its many minerals and high iron material, yams can assist prevent anemia. The wide array of nutrients in yams helps support the production of red cell, which in turn, minimizes your possibilities of establishing anemia. Finally, the minerals also enhance the circulation of your blood.

Yams Can Enhance Your Eyesight

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

How to take wild yam

Consuming wild yam is unusual due to its bitter taste. Nevertheless, it is readily available in a range of solutions, consisting of:.

  • tablet
  • capsule
  • cast
  • cream
  • tea
  • powder

Many of these formulas of wild yam are readily available to acquire online.

Just how much wild yam to take depends on numerous elements, such as:.

  • the person’s health condition
  • the person’s age
  • the solution of the wild yam

However, clinical research studies have yet to identify a safe and reliable dose range for wild yam. It is therefore essential to seek advice from a doctor before taking wild yam. Always read the packaging carefully before utilizing. [6]

Wild Yam for Hair Development

Wild yam root, native to the southern United States and Mexico, is used as an internal organic treatment for women’s loss of hair. Available in numerous kinds, it naturally balances hormonal agents which promote hair growth for women.


Wild yam root is used to motivate scalp hair development in ladies. It is particularly reliable for pre-menopausal or menopausal women.

Offered Types

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

How it Functions

Wild yams consist of diosgenin, which produces the hormone progesterone, similar to a steroid. This hormone production is utilized to treat numerous menopausal signs, including scalp hair loss.


According to all4naturalhealth.com, integrating wild yam root with dong quai and chaste tree berry efficiently balances female hormone levels that affect hair development. [7]

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

Possible usages: Wild yam is a phytoestrogen. It’s declared that taking wild yam orally can alleviate vaginal dryness which wild yam cream can ease hot flashes.

Usual dosage: There is no normal dosage.

Exist any dangers? 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 become estrogen. Though DHEA has actually been sythnesized from wild yam extract in the laboratory, it’s not clear if the body can convert diosgenin into estrogen. Still, since diosgenin does have other estrogen-like homes, people identified with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer must not take wild yam.

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

How to Prepare a Wild African Yam

Wild African yams bear little resemblance to the sweet potatoes at your regional grocery store. This is mainly since yams and sweet potatoes are not the same species. Cooking wild yams takes a bit more preparation than preparing the more traditional yams you discover in stores, but their abundant sweet taste deserves the additional work. The main difference is that prior to you bake wild yams you need to peel them. If you try to prepare them whole, their skin will rupture, leaving you with a delicious mess.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

Peel the yam, ensuring to remove all the peel.

Cut the yam into large wedges. African yams are huge; one can feed approximately 6 individuals.

Rinse the yam wedges again and let them drain pipes in a colander until 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 position them on a flat pan.

Bake the yam wedges for 90 minutes.

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

Caribbean Candied Yams

Prep Time

5 minutes.

Cook Time

Thirty minutes.

Overall Time

35 minutes.


6 Individuals.


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

Adverse Effects of Wild Yam Extract

The Fda (FDA) has actually not evaluated the security of wild yam extract for medicinal use. High dosages might trigger nausea, throwing up, headaches, gastrointestinal concerns and diarrhea.

Wild yam may get worse hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer or uterine fibroids by influencing estrogen production. Those with chronic conditions or taking medications must talk to a health care specialist before adding this or supplementing their diet. Due to the fact that it has estrogen-mimicking homes, wild yam extract may communicate with prescription medication for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or birth control pills. It might not be safe during pregnancy, breastfeeding or for children. [11]


The proper dosage of wild yam depends on a number of aspects such as the user’s age, health, and a number of other conditions. At this time there is inadequate scientific info to figure out an appropriate range of dosages for wild yam. Bear in mind that natural items are not constantly necessarily safe and dosages can be essential. Make sure to follow pertinent directions on item labels and consult your pharmacist or doctor or other health care expert before using. [12]

Special preventative measures and cautions

There was a boost in fibrosis in the kidneys and in swelling in livers of rats taking in wild yam (dioscorea villosa) for 28 days 36). Long term supplements with wild yam (dioscorea villosa) may be finest avoided, particularly in people with compromised renal function and in those who need to take other drugs which might change kidney function 37).

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough trusted details to know if wild yam is safe to utilize when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and prevent usage.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Wild yam may act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be worsened by direct exposure to estrogen, do not use wild yam.

Protein S shortage: Individuals with protein S shortage have an increased risk of forming clots. There is some issue that wild yam may increase the threat of clot formation in these individuals since it may act like estrogen. One patient with protein S shortage and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) established an embolism 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 using wild yam till more is understood. [13]

Possible Interactions

Hormonal Agent Replacement Treatment or Contraceptive Pill

An animal study indicated that the active element of wild yam, diosgenin, may engage with estradiol. Estradiol is a hormone that happens naturally in the body and likewise is utilized in some contraception medications and certain hormone replacement treatments.

If you are currently being treated with either of these medications, you must not use wild yam without first talking to your company. [14]

The bottom line

Wild yam root is extensively offered as a skin cream but might likewise be found as a supplement. It has actually typically been used to treat hormone conditions, such as menopause and PMS, as well as reduce symptoms of arthritis.

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

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

Due to inadequate proof, there are no dosage standards for wild yam root cream or supplements. Thus, it’s best to consult a health specialist before adding any wild yam item to your regimen.

Nevertheless, if you have an interest in utilizing a cream to ease joint pain, decrease dark areas, or avoid wrinkling, product labels commonly suggest using the cream one or two times daily.

That said, these items are not managed by the FDA, and makers are not required to reveal the quantity of wild yam root extract that their items include.

In spite of an absence of proof for these claims, people who utilize wild yam root cream to treat menopause or PMS symptoms often rub it on their stomachs. Just note that it’s not intended for intravaginal use.

For the supplement type, you need to constantly follow the instructions on the product packaging. Supplements are not controlled by the FDA either, so search for an item that has actually been examined and verified by a third-party screening 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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