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Wild yam: chemical composition and useful properties, application in traditional medicine


In ancient times, there was a legend about the girl Dioscorides who treated people. And in Ancient Greece, the healer Dioscorides discovered the useful properties of this perennial herbaceous vine. That is why the name of the genus of wild yam is dioscorea.

What does wild yam look like and where does it grow

There are several yams - Chinese, winged, edible and others. Shaggy dioscorea (sweet potato) has a branched, fibrous rhizome and curly or creeping red-brown stem. The leaves have a diameter of 5 - 6 cm and a length of 12 cm. Thin lateral shoots are formed at the root neck, reaching 50 cm in length.

Grass blooms very rarely. Small yellowish-green flowers are collected in drooping inflorescences. The fruit is a three-nested winged capsule. At the ends of the rhizome, tubers are formed that have an oval or rounded shape, a peel of a pink or purple hue and a yellowish flesh. The advantage of the vegetable is its resistance to various diseases and pests.

The culture is common in tropical and temperate zones. Suitable conditions for cultivation in Asian countries, Latin America, Africa and Oceania.

Composition and nutritional value of dioscorea furry

In China, wild yams are called mountain medicine. For medicinal purposes, creeper roots and tubers are usually used, representing a storehouse of useful elements. Small parts of the root system are left to reproduce, while large parts are used. For easier cleaning of the hard bark of the fetus, which is difficult to remove, it is recommended to steam the tubers. Then it can be easily removed. Composition and effect on the body of wild yam:

  1. Starchcontained in the tubers gives the plant nutritional value. Dietary fiber and vegetable protein have a beneficial effect on the digestive process.
  2. Active substancesprotecting from the development of atherosclerosis.
  3. Minerals, trace elements and saturated fatty acids that stabilize the metabolism, strengthen the walls of blood vessels and improve blood composition.
  4. Phytoestrogens, regulating hormonal balance. The menstrual cycle is being established and the onset of menopause is postponed.
  5. Vitamins Moderate use of the vegetable is useful for women bearing a child, children and the elderly. There is a restoration of vision, improvement of the skin and hair.
  6. Allantoin. Promotes healing of skin lesions and boils.

Shaggy dioscorea is an early ripening variety that ripens within 6 months. If you plant a crop in mid-spring (April), you can harvest at the end of October.

Features of the use of wild yam

The healing properties of wild yam for women

The medicinal vegetable has found application in the production of effective drugs necessary for the female body. Plant phytoestrogens enhance vitality, protect against osteoporosis, normalize and maintain hormonal balance, eliminate the symptoms of menopause, and facilitate the manifestations of PMS.

Wild yam in infertility and during pregnancy

Steroid-like compounds included in the plant have a positive effect on fertility. These compounds are easily transformed into sex hormones. As a result increased release of follicle-stimulating hormone, which stimulates the ovaries to release an egg. In the case of increased consumption of dioscorea, more than one egg is released every month, which causes the birth of twins.

Since the use of yams causes a risk of congenital anomalies or spontaneous miscarriages, it is not recommended for use by pregnant and lactating women, especially highly concentrated products (from 15 to 90%). If necessary, it is advisable to visit a medical institution for consultation with a doctor.

Wild yam with menopause

Means containing shaggy dioscorea are recommended for menopause. Female representatives with fear are waiting for the onset of this period, because they believe that menopause is the beginning of a rapid withering of the body.

Experts say that menopause is just the cessation of the reproductive function of the body associated with stopping the production of female hormones. These changes in ovarian function precede headaches, mood swings, sleep disturbances and hot flashes. To minimize the phenomena causing troubles, it is recommended to take funds from medicinal herbs.

Wild Yam recipes

In home therapy, there are many recipes for the treatment of various ailments suitable for self-manufacture.

  1. Recovery from a long illness. Prepare 100 g of finely chopped root and 50 ml of vodka. Pour raw materials with vodka and insist for 10 days in a dark place. Strain before use. Instructions for use: after eating 30 drops.
  2. To restore the cardiovascular system. Combine the crushed root (7.5 tablespoons) with 1.5 liters of vodka. After 10 days, take 1 teaspoon three times a day.
  3. In order to maintain the nervous system brew 1 teaspoon of raw material with 200 ml of hot water and place in a water bath. After 20 minutes, cool and strain. The tool is used for 1 tablespoon 3 times a day.
  4. To improve memory and normalize sleep drink tea from dioscorea. It is necessary to combine the rhizome with green tea in a ratio of 1: 2 and brew like tea and take it in the morning after breakfast.
  5. From rheumatism drink a solution of water and 1 teaspoon of yam powder twice a day.

Due to the fact that dioscorea is listed in the Red Book, professional herbalists grow it themselves.

How to take wild yams

Preparations and dietary supplements with wild yam extract

Ready-made pharmacy products are available in various forms. Each product has an appropriate instruction for use, which should not be derogated from. The effects of drugs on the body:

  • reduce cholesterol and protect blood vessels from plaque formation;
  • normalize the menstrual cycle;
  • improve the function of the gonads;
  • lower blood pressure;
  • stimulate the secretion of female sex hormones.

Pharmaceutical companies produce supplements that contain several active substances that act to strengthen and restore the body:

  • Wild Yam Complex;
  • Wild Yam GP;
  • Laura.

In addition to tablets and capsules, serum, lotion, soap and cream containing a medicinal product are on sale.

Contraindications and Precautions

Most people can consume wild yam without fear of fear. However, an overdose of the plant can cause nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and a rash. Since its action is comparable to estrogen, it is forbidden to people suffering from:

  • breast, ovarian and uterine cancer;
  • uterine fibroids and endometriosis.

Patients with protein deficiency, pancreatitis, hepatitis and cholecystitis have contraindications. In order to avoid the negative effect of the drug on the functioning of the digestive tract, it is not recommended to take them on an empty stomach

Wild yams in cooking

The healing plant is rich in carbohydrate content and is widely used in the cuisines of many nationalities. In cooking, foliage, stems and yams roots are used.

The product is consumed only after undergoing heat treatment. Sweet vegetables are fried, boiled, baked and stewed. Finely chopped root vegetables are dried and ground into flour, from which tortillas are made or added to sauces.

How to cook yams

Tuber crops can be stored at high temperatures, which is suitable for African countries and increases its value in the rainy season during food shortages. Fresh leaf juice helps with the bites of snakes and scorpions, and also helps to heal wounds.