Wild Yam for Women

I have written a fair bit on menopause of late, because I have a number of clients coming into the clinic and seeking out alternative therapies advice and various natural products to use to help them with symptoms. Many women choose to go through menopause naturally, while some choose to use Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and others choose the natural remedies approach.

It is a personal and individual choice and each woman finds her own solution to the change of life, hopefully paying careful attention to her own individual symptom profiles. There are many symptoms associated with menopause, and each woman will have a particular presentation that is specific to her own physiology and psychological and emotional makeup.


The symptoms of menopause include the following:

  • Hot flushes
  • Sweating
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Increased facial hair growth
  • Skin changes – loss of elasticity
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Fuzzy brain
  • Sleeplessness[1]

If you choose to treat these symptoms rather than simply go through them and experience them as a natural part of your ageing process and life cycle, you may want to consider some of the main herbal and natural remedies available. You may also want to consider some acupuncture or Traditional Chinese Medicine, or even kinesiology or Ayurvedic medicine. There are a host of options available to you.

Wild Yam

According to the ABC’s healthy living site, “there is no evidence to suggest that wild yam – a natural source of diosgenin – the raw material used to produce the sex hormone progesterone in the laboratory – it does not contain or convert to progesterone in humans.”[2]

But many clients and patients and women experiencing menopause refute this and state that the lack of research into its true efficacy should not undermine the personal experiences of many. Clients and patients report a reduction in vaginal dryness, a reduction in night sweats and hot and cold flushes.

It is also excellent for the liver and for helping to boost and stabilise the endocrine system which is the slow release engine that regulates the hormone levels in your body.

The precursor diosgenin – which is found is wild yam – helps to construct the building blocks that make progesterone in the body. While the wild yam does not in and of itself contain progesterone, it contains materials that may in fact help to convert to progesterone given the right set of circumstances.

If you are going through menopause ask your natural health expert or specialist or your naturopath about the use of wild yam. It may be one option that fits in with the management plan you wish to develop.

[1] http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Menopause

[2] http://www.abc.net.au/health/healthyliving/naturalhealth/guide/stories/2008/05/20/2230749.htm