Yam (Dioscorea) is often confused with sweet potato, but they are not the same vegetable. Although they both grow underground as tubers, they come from different plants.
The appearance of yam is rough and flaky, which is very different from the smooth skin of sweet potato and the taste is sweeter. Yam has a long history of use in traditional medicine in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
Yams can prevent and reduce the symptoms of arthritis. The root of wild yam contains diosgenin, which has been proven to inhibit the development of osteoporotic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Mice that took wild yam extract daily for 90 days had a significant reduction in inflammation and at higher doses, their pain levels were also reduced.
Human studies are still needed to determine whether these same effects will occur in humans. It can lower cholesterol. When diosgenin extracted from wild yam roots was administered to mice for four weeks, it significantly reduced their overall cholesterol levels and low- density lipoprotein levels.
Researchers say their results show that diosgenin can reduce weight and lower cholesterol levels. The results are promising but human research is needed. It can improve hormonal balance. Scientists can use diosgenin in yams to produce estrogen, progesterone, cortisone,and other medical hormones. Among alternative medicines, yam cream generally replaces estrogen cream to relieve menopausal symptoms.
Sometimes women are advised to take yams to help balance their hormones and people with hormone- related conditions are not recommended to use yams. However, research does not appear to prove this use. The human body does not seem to be able to convert osapogenin into hormones. More research is needed but the use of yam to treat menopause, PMS, infertility and low libido seems to be ineffective.
You need to eat yam for it's great taste and healthy benefits.
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