Dioscorea villosa is one of the species of yam referred to as ‘wild yam’.
Dioscorea villosa has been claimed to alleviate symptoms of menopause, but there is currently no evidence to support this effect.
Animal evidence suggests Dioscorea villosa can increase skin thickness after low-dose supplementation. This effect suggests Dioscorea villosa is a potentially useful supplement for skin care, but more research is needed before it can be specifically recommended as a cosmetic supplement.
Dioscorea villosa is claimed to alleviate symptoms of menopause because the molecular structures of the yam are similar to many steroid-like compounds. Dioscorea villosa may have effects similar to Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
Unfortunately, Dioscorea villosa extracts are associated with kidney and liver fibrosis, a condition characterized by excessive scar tissue. Though this effect is weak, it appears to be both time and dose-dependent. For this reason, chronic supplementation of Dioscorea villosa is not recommended.