Yams for hot flashes

Not all yams are created equal.

Last week I sent you an e-Alert (“Turning Down the Heat” 12/17/02), in which an HSI member named Donna wrote to tell me about her success in cutting back the frequency of hot flashes from daily to almost none at all. At a friend’s suggestion she began using yam cream, and it worked wonders. She said that she had even started eating yams.

That e-Alert prompted this e-mail, sent by a member named Carolyn:

“With respect to your recent article on the use of yams for hot flashesa writer said she ate a lot of yams. But the YAM in question is NOT a commercial yam available in the supermarket for food. It is one called the Mexican wild yam. Just thought your readers should know this. The yam in the topical skin cream is also of the ‘wild’ variety.”

This is a good point. I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking that a steady diet of yams might help curb hot flashes. And Carolyn is right about the yam cream – everything I’ve read on this topic refers to either “wild” yam, or “Mexican” yam cream. By either name, apparently it does the trick.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute