There are over 600 species of wild yams. About 12 species are edible. Some people use wild yam as a source of steroids, but the body can't make steroids such as estrogen and DHEA from eating wild yam. This conversion has to be done in a lab. There might be other chemicals in wild yam that act like estrogen in the body.
People most commonly use wild yam as a "natural alterative" to estrogen therapy for symptoms of menopause, infertility, menstrual problems, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support any of these uses.
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