Dioscorea spp.


  1. Rhisome (D. Villosa)

The wild yam of Mexico is used to relax muscles and is antispasmodic. Also used for arthritic conditions.  It contains hormonal substances very similar to progesterone.

D.Villosa is a decoction for irritable bowel syndrome and period pain, or during labor.  5-10 drops of the tinctured D. Villosa is used labor or postpartum pains. It can be used alone or in combination with other herbs (such as: celery seeds, angelica, or willow) for arthritis in the acute stages.

    2.  Opposita or Shan Yao (Chinese Yam)

Used in Chinese herbalism mainly for kidneys, lungs, and stomach; included as a remedy for asthma, menopause, urinary disorders, and weak kidney energies.

    3. Hypoglauca or Bei xie ( Seven-lobed Yam)

It is used in Chinese herbalism mainly for urinary tract infection, such as cystitis.  It is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.  Also used for relief in rheumatoid arthritis.  Extract of bei xie are used in the synthesis of contraceptive pills.

Nutritional Value

Yams are different than Sweet Potato and are often confused in the grocery store. Yams very from white, orange, yellow, to purple in color. The skin is rough and flaky in its texture.

Baked in the skin yams contain: 116 calories, 0 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 1.5 grams protein, 670 mg potassium, 12 milligrams vitamin C, 0.23 milligrams vitamin B6, .07 milligrams beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are higher in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and protein.

Sweet potatoes are beneficial for consumption due to its ability to fight cancer, assist in Diabetes, and fluid balances in the body. As far as I can tell, are not a problem for pregnant women as Yams.
Cautions: D. villosa in pregnancy should be avoided unless under professional guidance but may be taken during labor (as directed by a professional).