Generic name: wild yam (WHY uld YAM)
Drug class: Herbal products
What is wild yam?
Wild yam is a plant also known as American Yam, Atlantic Yam, Barbasco, China Root, Chiense Yam, Colic Root, Devil's Bones, DHEA Naturelle, Dioscorea, Dioscorea alata, Dioscorea batatas, Dioscorea composita, Dioscorea floribunda, Dioscorea hirticaulis, Dioscorea japonica, Dioscorea mexicana, Igname Sauvage, Igname Velue, Mexican Yam, Ñame Silvestre, Phytoestrogen, Rheumatism Root, Shan Yao, Yuma, and other names.
Wild yam has been used to treat menopausal symptoms. However, research has shown that wild yam may not be effective in treating this condition.
Other uses not proven with research have included premenstrual syndrome (PMS), osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, infertility, as a natural alternative to estrogens, and to increase energy and sexual desire in men and women.
It is not certain whether wild yam is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Wild yam should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.
Wild yam is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.
Wild yam may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.
Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
Before using wild yam, talk to your healthcare provider. You may not be able to use wild yam if you have certain medical conditions.
Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have:
any hormone sensitive conditions such as breast, uterine or ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids; or
any bleeding or blood-clotting disorder (such as hemophilia or protein S deficiency).
It is not known whether wild yam will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether wild yam passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.
How should I take wild yam?
When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.
If you choose to use wild yam, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.
Do not use different formulations of wild yam (such as tablets, liquids, and others) at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with wild yam does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra wild yam to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking wild yam?
Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Wild yam side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Although not all side effects are known, wild yam is thought to be likely safe for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect wild yam?
Other drugs may interact with wild yam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Do not take wild yam without medical advice if you are using:
estrogens or any medicine containing estrogen.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with wild yam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this product guide.
More about wild yam
Related treatment guides
- Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any herbal/health supplement. Whether you are treated by a medical doctor or a practitioner trained in the use of natural medicines/supplements, make sure all your healthcare providers know about all of your medical conditions and treatments.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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