Yam toxicity

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

(Dioscorea villosa)


yam drawing

The term ” yam” refers to a genus of more than 600 plants belonging to the family of Dioscoreaceae. Among these, only 12 are edible yam species, whereas other species are considered toxic or not used in phytotherapy.

Some species have edible fruit toxicity, leaves or tubers.

Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) is the most used in naturopathy. These supplements are not toxic in doses patterned by the specialist. However, its overdose can have unwanted side effects. This supplement is not suitable for pregnant and lactating women.

* More information: See the Side Effects of yam.

What are the toxic components of Yam?

The composition o yam may vary according to the species in question:

– Wild yam (D. villosa) and its extracts contain steroidal saponins called diosgenin, dioscin and dioscorin.

– Edible species of yam often have low content of saponins, and moreover, they are partially destroyed during cooking. When the tuber is rich in such components, it tastes bitter and unpleasant, so it is not consumed.

– All types of yams are rich in starch, minerals and B vitamins

– Some species of yams are rich in oxalates and should not be consumed by people with kidney problems.

Wild yam has contraindications.

* See Contraindications of wild yam.

punto rojo More information about yam in the listing above

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 April, 2019

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.