Wild Yam Root

As an herbal treatment, Chinese yam is mainly used to target the stomach and spleen, but also thought to help the lungs and kidneys. It can help treat:

poor appetite
chronic diarrhea
dry coughs
frequent urination
Chinese yam contains allantoin, a natural compound that can accelerate the growth of healthy tissue and reduce healing time. Topically, Chinese yam can be applied to ulcers, boils, and abscesses on the skin for treatment. Its leaf juices can also treat scorpion stings and snakebites.

The diosgenin in its roots is a phytoestrogen, a natural, plant-based estrogen. When processed in a lab, diosgenin can be used to manufacture progesterone, although in its original form, Chinese yam doesn’t contain progesterone or other human hormones.

Chinese yam and other wild yam extracts are often promoted to women as a natural alternative to postmenopausal hormone therapy. However, there is no scientific evidence to support claims regarding its safety or effectiveness.

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What are the benefits of Chinese yam?
People with conditions related to the stomach, spleen, kidneys, lungs, or skin may benefit from Chinese yam. In addition to these uses, promoters of the herb claim it can be used as a remedy for many conditions, including:

hot flashes associated with menopause
postmenopausal vaginal dryness
premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
gallbladder problems
rheumatoid arthritis
menstrual disorders
digestion disorders
dry or chronic cough
This studyTrusted Source on the gastrointestinal function in rats shows that Chinese yam extract not only aids in digestion but can help turn some intestinal flora in the stomach into helpful bacteria.

This studyTrusted Source shows that Chinese yam also has antioxidant properties. The study concludes that Chinese yam contains trace amounts of zinc, manganese, iron, copper, and selenium, and that taking it as a daily supplement is beneficial as an antioxidant.

Chinese yam can also help with diabetes, by modulating oxidative stress, antioxidant activities, and lipid profiles, as this studyTrusted Source shows. It can also improve kidney and liver function.

Chinese yam extract also has the potential to help prevent atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries, according to this studyTrusted Source.

In addition to its potential medicinal properties, Chinese yam is a nutritious food. It primarily consists of water and starch and is a source of:

vitamin B-1
vitamin C
amino acids