Iams - the collective name of several species of the genus Dioscorea having edible tubers.

The roots of the yam  Yams
 cylindrical shape and rich in carbohydrates, which allows the plant to survive in very dry climates. They can reach up to 1, 5 meters in length and weigh up to 70 kilograms. Edible tubers have a rough skin which is difficult to peel, but which softens after heating. The skin is a different color depending on the variety of yams and is dark brown or light pink shades. Roots yams comprise about 20% starch, 75% water, 0, 1% vitamin B1, 10-15 mg of vitamin C. The yams can reach 5-10 kg in weight and, depending on the cultivar are white, yellow or purple.

Leaves of plants, as a rule, large bright green heart shaped. Sometimes they may be purple color due to the contained anthocyanins.

Iams - nettle culture, having both female and male flowers on the same plant. Blossoms yams regularly, which makes the process of pollination difficult and causes a low level of production of fruits and seeds. Vegetatively propagated plants, by transplanting the rhizomes. The above-ground portion of yams can reach up to 3 meters in height.

Yam grows in tropical and subtropical climates, is grown mainly as food in Africa (the continent with the highest production), South Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. The plant does not tolerate frost.

In nature, there are more than 600 varieties of yams, 95% of these crops is grown in Africa. The most common and well-known varieties of the plant are:

  • Chinese yam;
  • Lukovitsenosny yams;
  • Wild yam edible;
  • Winged yam;
  • Wild yam round;
  • White yam;
  • The yellow yam.

Wild yam

Wild yam - a kind of yam, which in its roots and bulbs contain diosgenin, used in laboratories to create a steroid. Typically, wild yam does not eaten because of the bitter taste.

Wild yam contains a chemical that under laboratory conditions can be converted into various steroids such as estrogens. It is often positioned as a natural alternative to estrogen and is used for premenstrual syndrome, menstrual pain, osteoporosis, vaginal dryness after menopause, to increase vitality and sex drive in men and women. Wild yam has some estrogen-like activity, but actually in the body are not converted.

Wild yam, in the opinion of doctors, is an effective means for the treatment of diverticulosis, gall bladder, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Tubers  Preparation of yam
 some species of wild yam are a source of diosgenin and steroid sapogenin. Extracted diosgenin used for the synthesis of cortisol, pregnenolone, progesterone and other steroids. Their preparations used as combined oral contraceptives.

Cream-based wild yam, in the opinion of doctors, reduce hot flashes during menopause.

In the eastern Indian traditional medicine, wild yam is used to treat sexual and hormonal problems. Chinese herbalists have long used wild yam to treat rheumatism, asthma, gastrointestinal and urinary diseases. Wild yam is also used in American folk medicine for the treatment of cough. Some sources suggest that Native Americans and early settlers used it to relieve intestinal cramps and stomach cramps.

Application yams

In China, wild yam is considered soothing and stimulating the stomach and spleen plant, which has a tonic effect on the lungs and kidneys. The tubers contain allantoin, which speeds up the healing process. The root of the yam is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to treat hyperthyroidism, nephritis and diabetes.

When using inside yams, reviews, fatigue, promotes weight loss, improves appetite and digestion. Also, reviews, yam is effective in the treatment of chronic diarrhea, asthma, dry cough, frequent, or uncontrolled urination, emotional instability.

Outwardly yams used in the treatment of ulcers, boils and abscesses. The juice of the leaves is used in the treatment of wounds from the bites of snakes and scorpions.

The roots of most types of wild yam contains diosgenin, which is widely used in modern medicine for the production of progesterone and other steroids, contraceptives, in the treatment of various disorders of the reproductive organs, digestive system, asthma and arthritis, as well as the manufacture and antidotal helminthics medicaments.

Since ancient times, yams grown in the coastal areas of Africa and has been used in food African fishermen. The tubers of some varieties of yams can be stored up to six months at a high temperature, which makes them a valuable resource for the annual period of food shortage at the beginning of the rainy season.

In Africa, the yam is a versatile vegetable that is grilled, fried, boiled, baked, smoked, and in grated form is added to desserts. The ground tubers used to prepare flour, which has a pleasant aroma, reminiscent of the potatoes. Yam flour is the main raw material for the preparation of the African bread.


Use of wild yam is safe for most people, but when used in large quantities can cause nausea and vomiting.

Cancer of the breast, uterus and ovaries, endometriosis and uterine fibroids are a contraindication to the wild yamsu as it can act as estrogens.

It is also a contraindication to the wild yamsu is protein deficiency. People with a deficiency of the protein have an increased risk of blood clots, and wild yam can increase this risk.