Wild yam is a root vegetable. It can be cooked and eaten. Wild yam has also been used to ease symptoms of menopause as an alternative to estrogen. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. Wild yam can also be made into a tea.
There are no advised doses for wild yam.
What Research Shows
Not Enough Data to Assess
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe to take wild yam in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period or by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
A. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
A1. Zhao YL, Song HR, et al. The effects of Chinese yam-epimedium mixture on respiratory function and quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Tradit Chin Med. 2012 Jun;32(2):203-207.
B. Menopausal Symptoms
B1. Komesaroff PA, Black CV, et al. Effects of wild yam extract on menopausal symptoms, lipids and sex hormones in healthy menopausal women. Climacteric. 2001 Jun;4(2):144-150.
Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 3/26/2020