Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. The effectiveness ratings for WILD YAM are as follows:
Possibly ineffective for…
- Symptoms of the menopause. Applying a cream to the skin for 3 months doesn’t seem to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. It also doesn’t seem to affect levels of hormones that play a role in menopause.
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…
- Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Early research shows that taking extract daily for 12 weeks might improve thinking skills in healthy adults.
- Use as a natural alternative to estrogens.
- Postmenopausal vaginal dryness.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis).
- Increasing energy and sexual desire in men and women.
- Gallbladder problems.
- Increasing appetite.
- Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
- Menstrual disorders.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of wild yam for these uses.
Side Effects Of Wild Yam
- When taken by mouth: Wild yam is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth. Large amounts may cause vomiting, upset stomach, and headache.
- When applied to the skin: Wild yam is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin.
Warnings & Precautions
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if the wild yam is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid 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 made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use.
- Protein S deficiency: People with protein S deficiency have an increased risk of forming clots. There is some concern that wild yam might increase the risk of clot formation in these people because it might act like estrogen. One patient with protein S deficiency and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) developed a clot in the vein serving the retina in her eye 3 days after taking a combination product containing wild yam, dong quai, red clover, and black cohosh. If you have protein S deficiency, it is best to avoid using until more is known.
Dosage Of Wild Yam
The appropriate dose of wild yam depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.