Yams originated in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Africans call yams “nyami,” which is where we get the word “yam.” They are cylindrical and differ in size. A few of the largest yams have actually weighed more than 100 pounds and have been numerous feet long. Yams have a thick white, purple, or red flesh and flaky brown skin with dark areas. A yam is starchy and dry. In African culture, it is normally boiled or roasted. They have a shelf-life of 6 months, but you will have a hard time finding a real yam on a rack in an American grocery store.

Yams and sweet potatoes are typically organized together. Sweet potato and yam are not interchangeable terms. They have very little in common, other than both being tuber 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 bulb is called a “yam.” The sweet potato comes from the early morning magnificence household, while the yam is associated with the lily. Yams do not have 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 complete 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 tremendous 369% of your day-to-day Vitamin A requirement. Yam vitamins and minerals likewise include vitamin C, calcium, and iron. [3]


villosa is a twining vine belonging to the main southeastern United States and discovered less frequently 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 Advantages of Yams To Improve Your Total 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 find:.

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

Yams likewise include a copper and vitamin C. Copper is important for your blood health. More specifically, copper is key for healthy iron absorption and red blood cell production. On the other hand, vitamin C is an essential antioxidant that can reinforce your body immune system against illnesses and infections.

Yams Can Enhance Your Overall Digestive Health

Yams contain resistant starches, which act comparable to soluble fibers. A resistant starch basically goes through your stomach and small intestine undigested. From there, it ultimately reaches your colon and feeds your healthy gut germs while likewise increasing your gastrointestinal enzymes.

As a result, resistant starches can minimize inflammation and minimize your danger of getting colorectal cancer. On the lighter side, the resistant starches in yams can also alleviate a variety of gastrointestinal conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, constipation, diarrhea, and Crohn’s illness.

Yams Can Aid With Weight-loss

The roots of yams offer a helpful fiber referred to as glucomannan, which is thought to help with weight loss. Basically, when taken in, the fiber can turn into a gel that sits in your stomach and enables 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 major function in controlling your cholesterol levels. This is due to the fact that yams provide an unique type of soluble fiber, which cholesterol’s worst headache. Soluble fiber essentially works by flowing around cholesterol, binding to it and removing it from your body.

Additionally, yams have actually likewise shown a genuine modification in cholesterol levels in real women. In a research study, women who took in 18 ounces of yams a day over thirty days saw a decrease in their cholesterol levels.

Yams Have Possibly Cancer-Fighting Properties

In addition to a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, yams likewise have anti-oxidants that might prevent cancer. A study conducted on animals found that a diet rich in yams revealed an enormous reduction in colon tumors.

Further studies suggested that these results were closely related to the many anti-oxidants in yams. Moreover, the peel of Chinese yams was found to prevent or inhibit liver tumors.

Given, these need to 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 conducted mainly on animals and not on humans.

Yams Can Strengthen Your Brain Function

If you are searching for a way to enhance your brain function, consume more yams.

True, it sounds quite unbelievable, but a research study revealed that people who consumed a yam extract supplement revealed a greater functioning brain than those who utilized a placebo.

Yams are rich in diosgenin, which is a special compound that is known for enhancing nerve cell growth and overall brain health. Furthermore, diosgenin has actually contributed to a boosted memory and knowing abilities in mice and other animal tests.

Yams May Relieve Swelling

Chronic inflammation is connected to a variety of long-term health conditions, like diabetes, obesity, and heart problem. Thankfully, yams are rich in anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants.

A variety of rat research studies discovered that yams or a yam powder had a significant effect on swelling. The studies observed that yams helped in reducing threats of colon cancer, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome.

In addition, the external bark of the yam roots has lots of saponin. Saponin is a compound that is believed to help with fighting swelling and can contribute to healthy gut plants. It can even assist your pelvic and stomach muscles relax.

Yams Can Potentially Improve Blood Sugar Levels

Yams can enhance your blood sugar control.

In a rat study, rats were provided a dosage of yam water or yam powder. As a result, the rats experienced a considerable decline in their fasting blood sugar level as well as a decline in their hemoglobin A levels, which determines blood sugar level control.

In a different study, rats were offered a high dosage of purple yam extract. These rats displayed decreased cravings, improved blood glucose levels, and substantial weight loss.

This was imposed by another rat research study that saw just supplementing diet plans with a yam flour can substantially reduce the blood glucose 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 manage your hunger and curb your blood glucose levels. Furthermore, although yams are not as sweet as sweet potatoes, there is still adequate sugar in them to include a natural sweet taste to your meals and more curb your yearnings.

Finally, yam has an active compound referred to as Allantoin. Allantoin is understood to manage oxidative tension. In turn, this implies that yams can enhance your liver function, which likewise assists maintain healthy insulin levels.

Yams Can Promote Fertility

Recently, studies are also showing that yams can promote fertility. With the increase of natural hormonal agents, wild yam creams are ending up being popular options for women searching for hormone replacement treatment.

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

Yams May Reduce Menopause Signs

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

Estrone and estradiol are two estrogen hormonal agents. Generally, during menopause, these 2 hormonal agents substantially decrease. While the yams cause these two hormones to increase, it implies estrogen levels improve and minimize menopause symptoms.

Nevertheless, not all research on this subject are clear. While the previous research study indicates a connection in between easing menopause signs with yams, another study states otherwise. It was discovered that a wild yam cream had less effect on menopause symptoms. As such, there is still a great deal of space to examine yams ability to relieve menopause symptoms.

Yams Are Excellent for Your Skin and Hair

It is common knowledge that collagen is key to keeping your skin elastic, company, and healthy. Thankfully, yams are very helpful in the production of collagen in our bodies.

Yams are likewise rich in special antioxidants that can help with rebuilding cells. On the other hand, they are likewise great at combating totally free radicals and early aging in your skin. The combination of collagen and vitamin C offered by yams is the best method to assist heal your skin and any injuries.

In addition, yams can help with hair growth since they have plenty of beta-carotene. As such, if you want to keep your hair from ending up being dry and lifeless, try to incorporate more yams into your diet.

Yams Support A Healthy Heart and Avoid Anemia

A major part of keeping a healthy heart is maintaining healthy sodium levels in your bloodstream. Yams are great since they promote heart health by getting rid of any excess sodium in your body. In turn, yams decrease your threat of establishing long-term diseases like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

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

With the help of its lots of minerals and high iron material, yams can assist prevent anemia. The wide array of nutrients in yams helps support the production of red blood cells, which in turn, reduces your opportunities of establishing anemia. Last but not least, the minerals likewise enhance the flow of your blood.

Yams Can Improve Your Vision

Of all the senses in the body, sight is necessary. The vitamin C in yams supports ocular health. This helps in reducing the threat of macular degeneration, a condition that worsens your sight in time once you pass the age of 50. [5]

How to take wild yam

Consuming wild yam is uncommon due to its bitter taste. However, it is offered in a variety of solutions, including:.

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

A number of these formulas 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 solution of the wild yam

Nevertheless, scientific research studies have yet to identify a safe and reliable dosage range for wild yam. It is therefore vital to consult a physician prior to taking wild yam. Always read the product packaging thoroughly prior to using. [6]

Wild Yam for Hair Growth

Wild yam root, native to the southern United States and Mexico, is utilized as an internal herbal solution for females’s hair loss. Readily available in numerous forms, it naturally stabilizes hormonal agents which promote hair development for women.


Wild yam root is utilized to encourage scalp hair development in ladies. It is particularly reliable for pre-menopausal or menopausal ladies.

Available Types

Wild yam root is available dried, in liquid capsules, as an infusion and contributed to creams and lotions. It can likewise be prepared as a herbal tea.

How it Works

Wild yams contain diosgenin, which produces the hormone progesterone, much like a steroid. This hormone production is used to treat several menopausal signs, consisting of scalp loss of hair.


According to all4naturalhealth.com, integrating 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 ease vaginal dryness which wild yam cream can relieve hot flashes.

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

Typical dosage: There is no normal dosage.

Are there any dangers? There are more than 500 species of wild yam. Some species consist of diosgenin, which has a comparable structure to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA is a steroid that your body can become estrogen. Though DHEA has been sythnesized from wild yam extract in the laboratory, it’s not clear if the human body can transform diosgenin into estrogen. Still, due to the fact that diosgenin does have other estrogen-like residential or commercial properties, people identified with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer should not take wild yam.

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

How to Prepare a Wild African Yam

Wild African yams bear little similarity to the sweet potatoes at your regional supermarket. This is largely since yams and sweet potatoes are not the very same types. Cooking wild yams takes a bit more preparation than preparing the more conventional yams you find in stores, but their abundant sweetness is worth the additional work. The primary distinction is that before you bake wild yams you have to peel them. If you attempt to cook them entire, their skin will burst, leaving you with a scrumptious mess.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

Peel the yam, making certain to remove all the peel.

Cut the yam into big wedges. African yams are huge; one can feed up to 6 people.

Rinse the yam wedges again and let them drain in a colander up 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 put 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 up until their edges simply start to turn crisp. [9]

Caribbean Candied Yams

Preparation Time

5 minutes.

Cook Time

30 minutes.

Overall Time

35 minutes.


6 People.


  • Dish makes 6 Portions
  • 58 Oz Sugary Sam Sugary Food Potatoes (2 cans), drained pipes
  • 1/4 cup( s) Imperial Dark Brown Sugar
  • 12 Tablespoon 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 assessed the security of wild yam extract for medical usage. High doses might cause nausea, throwing up, headaches, digestion problems and diarrhea.

Wild yam might aggravate hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer or uterine fibroids by affecting estrogen production. Those with persistent conditions or taking medications ought to seek advice from a health care specialist before adding this or supplementing their diet plan. Because it has estrogen-mimicking residential or commercial properties, wild yam extract may interact with prescription medication for hormonal agent replacement treatment (HRT) or birth control pills. It might not be safe during pregnancy, breastfeeding or for children. [11]


The suitable dose of wild yam depends on numerous factors such as the user’s age, health, and numerous other conditions. At this time there is inadequate scientific details to determine a suitable series of doses for wild yam. Bear in mind that natural items are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Make certain to follow appropriate instructions on item labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare specialist prior to utilizing. [12]

Unique preventative measures and cautions

There was an increase in fibrosis in the kidneys and in inflammation in livers of rats consuming wild yam (dioscorea villosa) for 28 days 36). Long term supplementation with wild yam (dioscorea villosa) might be finest prevented, especially in people with compromised kidney function and in those who require to take other drugs which might change kidney function 37).

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t sufficient trustworthy info to know if wild yam is safe to utilize when pregnant or breast-feeding. Remain on the safe side and avoid usage.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Wild yam might imitate estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not utilize wild yam.

Protein S shortage: Individuals with protein S shortage have actually an increased danger of forming embolisms. There is some concern that wild yam may increase the risk of embolisms formation in these individuals because it may imitate estrogen. One patient with protein S deficiency and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) established an embolism in the vein serving the retina in her eye 3 days after taking a mix item consisting of wild yam, dong quai, red clover, and black cohosh. If you have protein S deficiency, it is best to prevent using wild yam up until more is understood. [13]

Possible Interactions

Hormonal Agent Replacement Therapy or Birth Control Pills

An animal study showed that the active element of wild yam, diosgenin, might connect with estradiol. Estradiol is a hormone that happens naturally in the body and also is used in some birth control medications and certain hormonal agent replacement therapies.

If you are presently being treated with either of these medications, you should not use wild yam without very first speaking with your company. [14]

The bottom line

Wild yam root is widely sold as a skin cream however may also be discovered as a supplement. It has actually generally been used to treat hormone conditions, such as menopause and PMS, as well as minimize signs of arthritis.

Nevertheless, present research studies do not support the claims surrounding menopause and PMS.

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

Due to insufficient proof, there are no dose guidelines for wild yam root cream or supplements. Hence, it’s finest to speak with a health specialist before adding any wild yam item to your regimen.

Nevertheless, if you have an interest in utilizing a cream to alleviate joint pain, decrease dark areas, or avoid wrinkling, item labels commonly advise using the cream once or twice per day.

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

In spite 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. Just keep in mind that it’s not intended for intravaginal usage.

For the supplement form, you should always follow the directions on the packaging. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA either, so try to find an item that has been evaluated 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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