Quick Navigation

Dioscorea villosa

Dioscorea villosa is one of the species of yam referred to as ‘wild yam’. It is claimed to alleviate symptoms of menopause, but there is no evidence to support this effect.

Our evidence-based analysis on dioscorea villosa features 13 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:
NOTE: We are updating our coronavirus (COVID-19) page with evidence as it comes in.

Summary of Dioscorea villosa

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

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.

Want to know which supplements you should take?

Examine.com bases all of its recommendations based on research. We’re a trusted resource because we don’t sell or even advertise supplements.

If you’re tired of wasting time and money on supplements that don’t work, our 17 Supplement Guides will help you figure out precisely what to take — and what to skip — based on your health goals and the latest scientific evidence. There’s a reason why over 50,000 customers rely on Examine.com’s independent and science-based analysis.

And best of all — free lifetime updates are included!


I want unbiased recommendations to improve my health »

How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Animal studies suggest Dioscorea villosa supplementation provides benefits when 9.8 – 37.7mg/ kg of bodyweight is given to mice. This translates to an approximate human dosage range of 0.8 – 3mg/kg of bodyweight.

Rat studies show that doses of 790mg/kg of bodyweight (126mg/kg of bodyweight in humans) are associated with fibrosis. Lower doses have not been confirmed to be safe.

Since more research is needed to determine whether Dioscorea villosa is safe for supplementation, it cannot currently be recommended.

Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Wild Yam

Do Not Confuse With

Common Yam (Dioscorea Rotundata), Purple Yam (Dioscorea Alata)

Caution Notice

Has been linked to weak, but time and dose dependent, increases in liver and kidney fibrosis

Tired of misinformation? Get unbiased info on supplements.

At Examine.com, our incentives line up with yours — getting unbiased information. It’s why we don’t sell any advertising or supplements.

Join over 250,000 people who’ve learned about effective versus overrated supplements, supplement buying tips, and how to combine supplements for safety and efficacy.

Click here to see all 13 references.