Wild Yam Notes
"Long before wild yam was used in the synthesis of sex hormones and contraceptives, it was highly regarded by the herbal community and used in its entirety for normalizing hormone production. Though primarily regarded as a progesterone-producing herb, it acts to regulate the ratio of progesterone to estrogen in the system.
Unlike contraceptives synthesized from the plant, wild yam in its natural state has no known side effects and is nontoxic. It is one of the most widely used herbs for problems caused by hormone imbalance and is used effectively for menstrual distress, miscarriage, infertility, menopause and endometriosis.
But it also has many other properties and has been used in folk medicine over the centuries for many different ailments. It is commonly recommended for liver complaints, digestive disturbances, morning sickness, and lung inflammation. Greatly valued by Chinese herbalists, wild yam was first mentioned in the Pen Tsao Ching in 23 BC. It is still used in China for problems associated with the spleen, kidneys, liver and lungs.
As a primary liver tonic herb, wild yam activates and stimulates liver activity. High concentrations of steriodal saponins provide the building blocks required by the liver to synthesize sex hormones. Whenever both the liver and reproductive system are implicated as the cause of hormone imbalance, wild yam is the herb of choice to use in the formula.
Wild yam has no known side effects and is nontoxic. It can be used over an extended period of time with no harmful effects."
from "Herbal Healing for Women" , Rosemary Gladstar, Fireside Press, 1993