Menopause Home > Wild Yam

Wild yam is often used as an herbal remedy for the treatment of various conditions. It appears to have estrogenic (estrogen-like) properties. The product is often promoted as a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy for menopause or other uses. However, much more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of this supplement.

What Is Wild Yam?

There are many different kinds of wild yams. Some are edible, while others are used medicinally as an herbal remedy. They are often promoted as a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy for menopause or other uses.
 
(Click Wild Yam Benefits for more information about possible uses.)
 

How Does It Work?

Wild yam contains a compound known as diosgenin. Many years ago, diosgenin was used to make other hormones (such as the ones in birth control pills) in laboratories. People have mistakenly assumed that wild yam is a "natural progesterone" because diosgenin can be used to make progesterone in a laboratory. However, the human body cannot convert diosgenin into progesterone.
 
While this supplement does not appear to have progesterone-like properties, it does seem to have estrogenic (estrogen-like) properties.
 

Is Wild Yam Effective?

In general, there is not enough scientific evidence to suggest conclusively that it is indeed effective for most uses (see Does Wild Yam Work? for more information).
 

Dosing Information

As is common with herbal supplements, there is no well-established standard dosage for this product.
 
(Click Wild Yam Dosage for more information.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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