Dioscorea villosa


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wild yam

Herbal medicine
A perennial vine that contains alkaloids (e.g., dioscorine), phytosterols, steroidal saponins (e.g., dioscin, tillin, diosgenin) and tannins; it is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, cholegogic and diuretic. Wild yam has been used for colic, menstrual cramps, morning sickness, threatened abortion, muscle spasms, rheumatic pain, poor circulation, neuralgia and urinary tract disease.
References in periodicals archive ?
Living under a canopy of maple, oak, pine and tulip poplar trees, Dioscorea villosa gracefully twists and turns, reaching for the dappled sunlight at the forest's edge.
Mexican yam, alias Dioscorea villosa, has long been used by herbalists to deal with gynaecological problems.
Diosgenin, a steroid saponin, is a major bioactive constituent of various edible pulses and roots, well characterized in the roots of wild yams (Dioscorea villosa) as well as in the seeds of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum).
Aside from goldenseal, other common herbs in the Australasian herbalist's pharmacopeia which are currently listed as 'at risk' by the UPS (United Plant Savers, an American organisation which has compiled extensive data on the sustainable use of medicinal plants) including black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa), eyebright (Euphrasia spp), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), and even the immensely popular echinacea (Ecinacea purpurea and spp) (UPS 2008).