BITTER YAM

OTHER NAME(S):

African Bitter Yam, Cluster Yam, Dioscorea dumetorum, Esuri Yam, Esuru, Helmia dumetorum, Igname Am&egrave;re, Igname Sauvage, Igname Trifoliolée, Ikamba, Inhame-bravo, Name Amargo, Name de Tres Hojas, Ñame Amargo, Ono, Three-leaved Yam, Trifoliate Yam.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Bitter yam is a plant that grows in Africa. It has a fleshy, potato-like root (tuber) that is used for food in times of famine or for making medicine. Wild forms of bitter yam are likely to contain poisons and must be soaked and boiled before use. But bitter yams that are raised by farmers generally do not have the toxins because safer plants are cultivated selectively.

People take bitter yam for diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), stomach pain (colic), menstrual disorders, and schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by parasitic worms.

Be careful not to confuse bitter yam (Dioscorea dumetorum) with wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) or air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera). All three are sometimes called bitter yam.

How does it work?

Bitter yam contains chemicals that might lower blood sugar levels. However, bitter yam has not been studied in people.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bitter yam for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Wild, uncooked bitter yam can be UNSAFE to eat or take by mouth as medicine. It contains chemicals that can be poisonous and cause seizures. Bitter yam also contains chemicals similar to the prescription drug digoxin (Lanoxin). These chemicals could cause a dangerously irregular heartbeat.

There isn’t enough information to know whether the forms of bitter yam that are raised by farmers are safe to use as medicine, even though these forms are more likely to be free of poisonous chemicals.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of bitter yam during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

!
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with BITTER YAM

    Bitter yam contains chemicals similar to the prescription drug digoxin (Lanoxin). Taking bitter yam along with digoxin (Lanoxin) might increase the effects of digoxin (Lanoxin) and increase the risk of side effects. Do not take bitter yam if you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin) without talking to your healthcare professional.<br><br>

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of bitter yam depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bitter yam. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Bevan CW, Broadbent JL, Hirst J. A convulsant alkaloid of Dioscorea dumetorum. Nature 1956;177(4516):935. View abstract.
  • Emiola LO. Multiple components of alpha-amylase in germinating tubers of a yam, Dioscorea dumetorum. J Biochem 1980;87:289-95. View abstract.
  • Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
  • Nimenibo-Uadia R. Control of hyperlipidaemia, hypercholesterolaemia and hyperketonaemia by aqueous extract of Dioscorea dumetorum tuber. Trop J Pharm Res 2003;2:183-9. Available at: http://www.bioline.org.br/request?pr03009.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.