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Natural Home Remedies, Wild Yam

Updated on March 19, 2014

Wild Yam

Wild yam native to North America
Wild yam native to North America

Natural Herbal Remedies, Wild Yam

Natural Home Remedies , Wild Yam

The Wild Yam is a plant that is found growing wild in most of North America, More of it is found in the eastern United States especially in the Appalachian mountain region. Since very early American times herbalists and herbal practitioners have used the wild yam to treat menstrual cramps and child birth related illnesses. it is also used for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, upset stomachs, indigestion and coughs.

Don't confuse the wild yam with the sweet potato because the two are vastly different. Though the sweet potato has great medicinal properties. it was not until the 1950s that scientists made the discovery that the roots of the wild yam contains diosgenin. Diosgenin is a plant based estrogen. Diosgenin can be converted to progesterone which is a hormone.

In early America the wild yam was used to treat colic and that is why it is known as colic root in some parts of the United States. It has been used to treat inflammation, muscle spasms and a multitude of other disorders.

Herbal Practitioners today use the roots of the wild yam to treat morning sickness, nausea, menstrual cramps, menopausal symptoms and other medical conditions. The early American Indians used the wild yam for menstrual cramps. In the 1960s the first birth control pills were made from substances derived from the roots of the wild yam. Once again herbs were used to make an important modern prescription drug.

Researchers have been doing research for a number of years now and its now believed that the roots of the wild yam may be a better cholesterol medicine than modern prescription drugs. American statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin did research with wild yam root after he was told that the Huron Indian Medicine Men gave wild yam root to men who appeared to have had trouble with their hearts and that the men given the wild yam root got better. Franklin took the wild yam root and he wrote in his research that after taking the wild yam root for about a six month period of time that his chest pains had vastly improved. So maybe wild yam root is an effective natural herbal cholesterol medicine.

Wild yam root is usually sold dried in a capsule form. It is also sold as a extract and as a dried powder. The plant is native to North America and China. It has long been used in Chinese Herbal Medicine. Be sure that you read the ingredients in any herbal preparation carefully. You don't want any product with additives or fillers. You want to stay as natural as possible and you want to discuss using any herbal remedy with your doctor before you do it. Be sure that you tell your doctor what you will be using any herbal remedy for and print off and take any information you can find about any herbal remedy you want to use to your doctor for him or her to check out thoroughly. Or you can become a Herbal Practitioner yourself and practice herbal medicine.

Natural Herbal Remedies, Wild Yam

It is known that before the first white man came to America that Native Americans in the present day American Northeast were using the wild yam roots for birth control to keep babies from being born in the deepest parts of winter. Isn't it amazing that the Native Americans were practicing birth control hundreds of years before it was used by the white men that so called discovered America. Makes one think doesn't it.

It is believed that wild yam will help the liver and the endocrine system. Wild yam regulates the female system especially during menstrual cycles. When used along with chasteberry and dandelion it is an effective treatment for morning sickness.

You will find wild yam promoted as an effective alternative treatment for estrogen therapy and you will see it used for estrogen replacement in older women. It is reported that diverticulosis can be treated with the root of the wild yam. Wild yam root is safe and effective but don't overdo it. Large doses of wild yam root can cause vomiting in some people.

Some herbalist give wild yam root for gallbladder problems. It appears after much research that wild yam root is an effective treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Always do your own research with any herb. Use the internet to find out everything you can about any herb you are thinking of taking.

You will find a cream being sold that people claim contains the root of the wild yam and that cream is said to be effective in treating PMS. It is believed that wild yams may contain substances that are as effective as estrogen. be sure that you read the ingredients in any wild yam cream and use caution if you find that the cream contains additives or fillers. It is the additives and the fillers that are not good for you. Don't use products with fillers or additives.

In traditional Chinese Medicine wild yam root is used to treat sexual and hormonal problems and research and studies say that it appears to be an effective treatment.

In the 1960s the first birth control pills were made from substances found in the wild yam roots. So it would appear that the early Native American's already knew something about the wild yam root hundreds if not thousands of years ago. It's amazing that a lot of modern day prescription drugs are made from substances found in herbs. But the average pharmacy or doctor isn't going to tell you this. They want to keep selling you the prescription drugs. But today some doctors are turning to herbal medicines to help people beat the high cost of prescription medicines.

There are now studies going on to see what effect wild yam root has on arthritis. The early Native Americans would pound the wild yam roots into a paste and apply it as a paste to peoples knees that were in pain and it is said that it worked. Quite often wild garlic was pounded into the wild yam paste and it really did work.

Eagan, TN: Digging wild herbs in the Appalachian mountains

Natural Herbal Remedies, Wild Yam

Wild yam contains a chemical that can be converted into estrogen in the laboratory but the human body can't do this conversion.However the Native American Huron Tribe were said to have used the wild yam as a birth control to keep babies from being born in the coldest parts of winter. So it worked for them.

If your using various herbal remedies please be sure to keep a well detailed journal where you make careful notes so you can refer back to your notes when you need to. This is much more important than you will ever know. You never know when you might accidentally stumble across a great medical discovery so keep careful notes. Not long ago I bought a digital scale so I could make a careful measurement of the weight of any dried herbs I work with. I also take plenty of digital photos and add them to my journal.

Natural Herbal Remedies are becoming more and more popular and everyone should consider using herbal remedies. Much of the prescription medicine on the market today was derived from herbs,

Do not use wild yam or wild yam products if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Or if you have cancer of the ovaries or uterus. If you have any doubts or concerns about using any herb talk to your doctor about it. Always do extensive research of your own and learn everything you can about any herb before you use it.

Don't take any commercially prepared herbal product until you read and check out fully any information found on any label. You want herbal products that are as natural as possible because fillers and additives can be bad for you and make you sick so stay away from any product that has fillers or additives.

You can watch the video about wild yam at the top of this Hub Page so you can find wild yams growing in nature. You want the roots of the plant and you want to dry them naturally. The best way to dry them is in full sun and you'll want to take the roots in if rain threatens. Right now I don't know of anyone growing wild yams but I'm sure that it is possible. I might check into trying to do it myself.

This Hub Page is offered for information purposes only and is in no way medical advice. Herbal medicine works and works great but you need to work with your doctor with herbal medicine. If your doctor doesn't want to work with you with herbs and herbal medicine find a doctor or herbal practitioner who will. Or consider becoming a herbal practitioner yourself.

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