What Is It?
And Where Does It Come From?
Mexican Wild Yam is a valuable herb that was, at one time, the sole source of the chemicals that were used as the raw materials for contraceptive hormone manufacture.
In 1936, Japanese researchers discovered glycoside saponins in several Mexican yam species. From these, steroid saponins (primarily diosgenin) could be derived. These derivatives could then be converted into progesterone, an intermediate in cortisone production.
Steroid drugs derived from diosgenin include corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, androgens and estrogens. Yams, however, do not contain (as sometimes believed) full-blown estrogens or other hormones - these substances are produced after four processing steps.
What Does It Do?
And What Scientific Studies Give Evidence To Support This?
The aforementioned Japanese (and more recent) findings might help explain why, during the previous two centuries of American medicine, wild yam roots have successfully been employed in treating menstrual cramps, ovarian neuralgia and cramps, afterpains and other problems of menses and child birth.
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Today's athletes use Mexican Wild Yam to reduce inflammation and to alleviate fatigue. Mexican wild yam contains DHEA precursors, and has been shown to regulate hormone production.
Also known to have a therapeutic action on overall liver health, it is believed that wild yam root's ability to lower blood cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure indirectly helps the liver by increasing its efficiency and reducing stress.
Also indicated in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, especially the acute phase where there is intense inflammation.
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