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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: wild yam (Pronunciation: WHY uld YAM)

What is wild yam ()?

The use of wild yam in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Wild yam is also known as Dioscorea villosa, China root, Mexican yam, colic root, devil's bones, rheumatism root, yuma, and rheumatism root.

Wild yam has been used for menstrual cramps or pain, menopausal symptoms, rheumatic conditions, and gallbladder complaints. Wild yam is sometimes suggested as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. While components of wild yam are chemically manufactured into the hormones progesterone or estrogen, the body is unable to use wild yam in the same way.

Wild yam has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of wild yam may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were 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 have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of wild yam ()?

Although rare, allergic reactions to wild yam may occur. Stop taking wild yam and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Other less serious side effects have not been reported, although they may occur.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about wild yam ()?

Wild yam has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of wild yam may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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