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Side Effects of Mexican Yam

author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

Mexican yam, also called wild yam, is a root used as a medicinal treatment for high cholesterol, menopause and menstruation symptoms and osteoporosis. Additional research is needed, however, to further examine these proposed health benefits of Mexican yam. Discuss the safety of this herbal treatment with your medical provider before you begin taking Mexican yam supplements.

Overall Safety

If you use Mexican yam supplements as directed, you usually won't experience side effects. Severe nausea or vomiting may occur, however, if you take too much of this natural supplement. In addition, do not administer Mexican yam to children unless otherwise instructed by a medical professional.


Mexican yam supplements aren't appropriate for everyone. There is a small risk that treatment with Mexican yam may have estrogen-like effects on the human body, the University of Maryland Medical Center warns. For this reason, people who have hormone-sensitive health conditions, such as endometriosis or breast cancer, shouldn't use Mexican yam. In addition, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid using this natural supplement.


Women shouldn't use Mexican yam in conjunction with birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. This combination may reduce the effectiveness of your birth control or hormonal therapy treatments.

Dosing Guidelines

Adults can take a 1-g dose of powdered Mexican yam up to three times daily or 2 to 3 mL of Mexican yam tincture three to four times daily, according to the University of Michigan Health System. However, the amount of Mexican yam you need to take may depend on your health, weight and age. For this reason, seek dosing guidance from a doctor familiar with your medical history before taking Mexican yam.

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