Chemical Components

The root of the wild yam contains diosgenin, dioscin, dioscorin and a range of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamins B1, B2 and B3, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc (US DA Phytochemical Database 2003) along with polyphenols (Bhandari & Kawabata 2004). Although diosgenin can be converted to dihydroepiandosterone (DHEA) and other steroid compounds in the laboratory, and has been used for commercial production of these compounds, this conversion does not occur in the human body. Additionally, wild yam does not contain progesterone or any other active steroid hormones.

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