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Wild Yam
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Wild Yam?

Various species of wild yam grow throughout North and Central America and Asia. Traditionally, this herb has been used as a treatment for indigestion, coughs, morning sickness, gallbladder pain, menstrual cramps, joint pain, and nerve pain. 1 The main use of wild yam in the United States today, however, is based on a fundamental misconception: that it contains women's hormones such as progesterone and DHEA .

In reality, there is no progesterone, DHEA, or any other hormone in wild yam, nor does wild yam contain any substances that have progesterone-like or estrogen-like effects. 2 To explain this widespread misunderstanding, we have to go back a number of years. When progesterone was first discovered, it was very expensive to produce. The first methods involved...