Wild yam is considered one of the best anti-catarrhal agents. It has been historically proven as very valuable in pulmonary and catarrhal conditions. A perennial, twining plant, with long, knotty, crooked root-stocks and thin, smooth stems. The leaves are alternate. The lower leaves are in whorls of 3-8 heart-shaped, hairy beneath and veins conspicuous. The small flowers are greenish-yellow and not showy. The male flowers are in drooping panicles, the female in drooping spicate racemes. The fruit is a three-winged capsule with winged seeds. Found throughout eastern, central U.S. in wet woods, on hedges, fences. It is a antispasmodic, diuretic, expectorant, and emetic in large doses. Steep 1 teaspoon of the root in 1 cup water for 30 minutes.
Origin(s): China, Mexico, United States.
Latin Name(s): Dioscorea villosa, Dioscorea opposita.
Also known as: Colic Root, China Root, Devil's Bones, Rheumatism Root, Yuma.
Plant Part(s) Used: Root.
Appearance: Cut: Light brown. Powder: White.
GMO Status: Non-GMO.
Additives: Free of any additives or preservatives.
Applications / Preparations: Can be put into capsules, teas or infused as an herbal extract. For cosmetic use can be put in creams, lotions & ointments.
Storage: Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
Shelf Life: It is very difficult to pin down an exact expiration date for most single herbs as they do not really expire, they lose potency or strength over time but will still have value. Unlike synthetic material or drugs, herbs can contain many constituents that contribute to their medicinal effects. Even if when we know what the active constituents are, there are often many of them in a single herb, each with different rates of degradation. Some herbs lose their effect more easily. Other herbs that possess more stable compounds such as alkaloids or steroids will last much longer.
A huge part of the degradation rate of herbs depends also on the storage conditions of the herb, & even on the quality of the herb before storage – how it was grown, harvested, dried & processed. If the product is left in hot places or open to sunlight then it will degrade much quicker than if it was stored in cool, dry place & sealed tightly.
A good rule of thumb is that herbs should be stored no longer than 2-3 years but many herbs will have great strength much longer than that. To determine if a an herb is still good you can check the appearance & aroma. Herbs that are no longer acceptable will have lost much of its vibrant color & will instead appear dull & faded. The bigger key though is to smell the raw materials to see if the potent aroma is still present.
Warning: None known.