Yam is a starchy vegetable tuber eaten for its many health benefits including sexual stimulation.
The Dioscorea cayenensis is the yellow yam plant grown in West Africa and some parts of Asia. Rich in fibre, vitamin C, B6 and micronutrients like manganese, copper and potassium, it is one of the foods that can be used for weight management, diabetes and blood cholesterol levels.
A 2013 animal study in the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research reported that intake of yam extract led to reduced food intake, blood glucose level and body weight.
Though it is similar to sweet potatoes, yam should not be confused with potatoes because it has a significantly lower glycemic index. The health benefits of yam go beyond this.
In Indian and African traditional medicine, the yam tuber is used as an aphrodisiac and antidiabetic. A 2005 study in the Journal of American College of Nutrition revealed that adequate yam intake improves the status of sex hormones, lipids and antioxidants.
Several varieties of yam contain hormone-like substances and alkaloids that possess powerful physiological effects. Some of them have also been used to prepare oral contraceptives and medicines for arthritis.
In addition, the plant from which the yam grows is used as a rejuvenating tonic and sexual booster.