Wild yam creams: Alternative to HRT?
Last week, I was introduced to JASON Wild Yam Balancing Moisturizing Creme, a combination of seaweed, algae, ginseng and mexican wild yam which apparently is supposed to help with problems associated with hormonal instabilities common with women; such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, and even the stresses of everyday life.
I was curious but I didn’t buy the product. Not yet. I wanted to find out more about this Mexican wild yam and its properties. I mean using something that can affect my hormones is alarming and I should know why and how.
I found out that Mexican wild yam grows naturally throughout Central America, and has been found to provide efficient benefits with its botanical extracts. More importantly, a natural form of progesterone, which is a hormone that plays a vital role in women’s health, is claimed to be extracted from the plant.
So the cream that I was introduced to is supposed to contain this natural source of progesterone and when applied on certain soft-tissue areas of skin, is supposed to restore hormonal equilibrium and is therefore effective in treating PMS and menstrual irregularity, as well as hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.
In addition, it is said to be able to help women reduce wrinkles, increases energy and stamina, enhance their breast tissues and their sex drive and in some cases, even help with fertility. There are even reports that says such creams are even effective in preventing osteoporosis, another common women ailment.
Sounds too good to be believed isn’t it?
What is to be realised is that those are claims made by such cream marketers. It is also important to hear what scientific research has to say about the Mexican wild yams. According to information I’ve read from the American Cancer Society, wild yams cannot supply the body with progesterone.
The plant contains the chemical diosgenin, which can be converted into progesterone through a lengthy process in the lab but the body cannot convert diosgenin into progesterone.
In addition, there is no scientific evidence showing that the wild yam has any effect on the symptoms of menopause, premenstrual syndrome, or that it can reduce wrinkles or enlarge breasts. In fact, the article in American Cancer Society mentions that there could be some problems and side effects associated with using such creams.
So are these creams for real or what? I really don’t know the answer.
But interestingly, there are many similar products from other brands, including Jurlique Wild Yam Lotion. And if you do a search on the Net, you’ll find a lot of testimonials of women who have successfully used such products. It’s their words against science.
Personally, I would be careful when it comes to using such alternative treatment. But having said that, I would still prefer using such creams as opposed to using those synethetic progesterone prescribed by doctors under the hormone replacement therapy (HRT) if I have to choose.