Wild yams, Dioscorea villosa, also known as Mexican wild yam, is a plant that is found mainly in North America. Wild yam is a vine with thick tuberous roots and climbing stems that are up to 6 feet tall. Stems are numerous, but do not diverge. The plant blooms with male and female flowers, which are small and pale green.
Wild yam is used as a medicine since at least 2000 years ago in Japan, China and Southeast Asia. As with a number of plants, the root is eaten as a vegetable in Asia. Locals consume it boiled, fried, baked, grilled and can even be smoked.
Composition of wild yams
The roots contain tannins, phytosterols, saponins and starch. Wild yam is a very good source of diosgenin, which is processed to obtain hormones used in medicine. The content of vitamin C and B6 is also very high.
Selecting and storing wild yams
Wild yam can be purchased at specialty shops in the form of extracts and food additives. The capsules should be stored in a dry and cool place, out of reach of children.
Cooking wild yams
Locals consume wild yams boiled, fried, baked, grilled and even smoked. Has a slightly sticky texture. Add it in a variety of soups and even cakes. Generally consumed in the same manner as ordinary potato.
We offer you a great recipe for a salad with wild yams.
Ingredients: 1 yam and 1 carrot, 1 bunch of spinach, 2 stalks of celery, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves, 200 g of peas from a can, 2 cups raw sunflower seeds, ½ head onion, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2/3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper.
Preparation: Boil the yams, potatoes, celery and spinach. Heat a pan and fry sunflower seeds, garlic and bay leaf. Once you acquire a golden color, add the vinegar. Onion is stewed separately and mixed with mustard. In a bowl, cut the vegetables, add the onion and sunflower dressing.
Benefits of wild yams
Health benefits of wild yams are caused by high levels of saponin glycosides and diosgenin derivatives. Saponin in turn is converted into steroid compounds, performing important functions through Dehydroepiandrosterone / DHEA /.
DHEA is defined as hormone rejuvenation for its rejuvenating and regenerating effect on the function of the human body. At the same time, it has an excellent stimulating effect on the mind and emotions. Over time, the production of DHEA in the body decreases.
Wild yams contain valuable plant phytohormones, which are similar to human ones and thus successfully assist recovery of hormonal balance.
The plant is known for centuries for its hormone- balancing, generally supportive and rejuvenating qualities. Wild yam has beneficial effects on the levels of bad cholesterol and affects the production of bile acids.
Use for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis, it is believed that its anti-inflammatory properties are due to dioscin. Wild yam is used for the treatment of muscle spasms, cramps, and irritable bowels.
Wild yam is extremely useful for hormonal imbalance, vascular atherosclerosis, chronic inflammatory diseases of the urinary system /urethritis, cystitis/. Useful in diseases of the metabolism - osteoporosis, periodontal disease and gout. According to some studies, in areas where people consume wild yams, menopause is not a problem for women.
Wild yam is a component of specific creams for women, regulating menstruation, refreshing the body of the woman, supports the proper functioning of the ovaries and breast, increases appetite and restores blood sugar levels, stops hot flashes in menopause, facilitates pregnancy, makes the skin soft and supple, restores libido, strengthens bones and prevents osteoporosis.
Dangers of wild yams
After enumerating all the health benefits that the wild yam brings, it is time to mention some negatives. In cultivation, it can accumulate xeno-estrogen. Regular consumption of the yam with a high content of these hormones can lead to accumulation in the body.
Risk of xeno-estrogen is associated with early puberty in girls and slow puberty in boys. Consequences for future generations can be severe - like a chronic and very severe hormonal imbalance.