General Description

Wild Yam ( dioscorea villosa) originally came from North America. It is a species of twining tuberous vine with winged stems, tightly packed groups of flowers, variably hairy leaves all the way up to large vines with unwinged stems, large, smooth leaves, and widely spread sprays of flowers. It always has rhizomes spreading underground that can be branched or not.. The root can be as long as 2 meters. Very often used in medicine. Today, more then 200 species are known.

How to pick it?

Wild Yam has also been called Colic Root, because the most important part of the plant are the roots. To harvest it you have to pillage the root from the ground, being careful to not destroy it.


  • Menopause symptoms
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Cramps and muscular pain

Side effects

In small doses, wild yam is considered safe for most people. However, large amounts of wild yam can lead to side effects, including:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headaches

digestive issues

Wild Yam as a food

The roots can be cooked like a potatoes.


  1. Soak root in just enough water for the roots to soak up all the water with none standing.
  2. Put in quart jars until jar is half full of root. Cover with oil, lard, or whatever fat medium you prefer.
  3. Pressure cook on 10 pounds for 30 minutes. Cool, strain off the fat, which now has the wild yam properties.
  4. Use the fat to make cream with any salve/cream recipe
Categories: Plants