shopping Wild yam root - two varieties
Wild yam root, c/s, wild crafted image
[ 697 ]Dioscorea composita

Wild Yam Root Cut & Sifted, Wild Crafted

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1/4 Pound:  $7.25 Pound:  $16.10 out of stock   |   ETA: 07/15/2024  
Wild yam root, powder, wild crafted image
[ 639 ]Dioscorea villosa

Wild Yam Root Powder, Wild Crafted

1/4 Pound:  $5.02 Pound:  $11.16 
We offer discounted pricing on orders over 100 pounds. Contact Us

Wholesale Wild yam root

Dioscorea composita &
Dioscorea villosa
plant overview
tropical vine, bitter root

What is wild yam root? Wild yam root comes from the tuberous wild yam plant native to North America and some parts of Central America and Asia. Also known as Yuma, African nyami, Chinese yam, rheumatism root and devil’s bones, the tuberous roots of wild yam have a long history of use in China and Mexico. Because the plant contains diosgenin, it is traditionally formulated into extracts and topical creams. We offer both cut and sifted and wild yam root powder for sale when you are ready to buy while yam root.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.

A Bit of Botany

a little botanical information on wild yam

Dioscorea composita
Dioscorea composita, or wild yam, is a member of the Dioscoreaceae family.

Wild yam is a twining vine, meaning it supports itself by wrapping around trees or sturdy plants since it can not stand on its own.

Its characteristic branched rhizomes are woody, knotted, elongated, and curved. They have thin, reddish-brown colored stems that can reach lengths of up to 12 meters. Wild yams do not have the large and soft, fleshy tubers of the sweet potato nor the types of yams that are used primarily for food. Instead the wild yam produces very dry and narrow rhizomes. These are twisted and knotty and they bear horizontal branches of long creeping runners.

Wild yam's broad heart-shaped leaves are large and flat; the plant's yellowish-white flowers are small and vanilla-scented. The upper side of the leaves is smooth and the underside is downy. Tiny tubercles grow where the leaves branch from the plant.

The plant's early-summer-blooming flowers are dioecious and are followed by small greenish fruits. These will turn brown and remain clinging to the vine during the winter.

Dioscorea villosa

Dioscorea villosa is a member of the Dioscoreaceae family. It is a is a deciduous perennial herbaceous twining plant that grows (in a clockwise direction) over small shrubs. The upper leaves are alternate, heart-shaped and shiny with long petioles, entire margins, prominent veins and acuminated apices. The lower leaves are usually in whorls.

The plants are dioecious. Small staminate (male) flowers are white and fragrant, and are in panicles, while carpelate (female) plants have small single flowers at the leaf nodes. The fruit is a membraneous 3-valved capsule with one or two brown winged seeds in each locule. The long, rhizomes are cylinder-shaped and grow to 5-10 mm in diameter, with many tough, slender roots underneath.

Dioscorea composita &
Dioscorea villosa
common names & nomenclature
Named after the Greek physician Dioscorides.

Also known as:
wild yam, colic root, rheumatism root, china root, yuma, devil's bones, african nyami, chinese yam, barbasco

Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations for growing and harvesting wild yam

Dioscorea composita &
Dioscorea villosa
Wild yam can be found growing in sunny woodland garden edges, thickets, swamps, and cultivated beds in warm temperate to tropical climates.

Grows well in a fertile well-drained soil. Prefers a rich light soil.

Divide plants in the dormant season, never when in growth. The plant will often produce a number of shoots, the top 5 - 10 cm of the root below each shoot can be potted up to form a new plant.

Baby tubers (tubercles) are formed in the leaf axils. Harvest these in late summer and in the early autumn when the tubercles are about the size of a pea and come away easily from the plant. Pot up immediately in individual pots in a greenhouse or cold frame. Plant out in early summer when in active growth. Can also propagate by seed.

The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Store the dried wild yam root pieces or dried wild yam root powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. The root should not be stored for longer than 1 year.

The Rest of the Story

What is wild yam root used for

In contrast to other yams, wild yam has a non-edible, fibrous and knotted rhizome that is dried instead. Somewhat bitter, most brew wild yam root with other tea herbs to improve flavor. It can also be used to make infusions and tinctures and to make skin creams and lotions.

Wild Yam Tea

  • Add wild yam root
  • Add tea of preference to boiling water
  • Steep
  • Strain
  • Sweeten with honey to taste

Health Benefits

What does wild yam root do?

People most commonly use dried wild yam root as a "natural alternative" to estrogen therapy to help symptoms of menopause, infertility, menstrual problems, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Wild yam root benefits

Dried wild yam root is said to help manage numerous conditions, though scientific research on these uses is either limited or largely disproves them. Today, it’s most frequently processed into a topical cream, which is said to alleviate symptoms associated with menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) today.

Native Americans boiled wild yam root to produce a tonic to counter various complaints, including occasional indigestion and abdominal cramping. They also applied the liquid to swollen joints. The effects of wild yam root, also known as colic root and rheumatism root, are largely due to steroidal saponins.

Where in the World

habitat and range for wild yam

Dioscorea composita

The Dioscorea composita yam species is native to Mexico.

Dioscorea villosa

While the Dioscorea villosa yam species is native to eastern North America, New England to Minnesota, south to Virginia and Texas.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised:  Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.

All reviews solely reflect the views and opinions expressed by the reviewer and not that of Monterey Bay Herb Co. We do not verify or endorse any claims made by any reviewer. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.