Nature's Pharmacy

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Mexican wild yam

Mexican wild yam
In 1936, Japanese researchers discovered the compound diosgenin in the Mexican wild yam. Like stigmasterol, diosgenin provides a starting material for synthesizing many steroids, such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, as well as drugs such as the birth-control pill. Mexican yams are cheap and plentiful, and just two to three of their roots can yield up to a pound of diosgenin.

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