Tag Archives: Potato

Sweet Potato

Botanical Name: Ipomoea batatas
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species: I. batat
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Names: Sweet Potato, Yam, Kumara 
Although the soft, orange sweet potato is often called a “yam” in parts of North America, the sweet potato is botanically very distinct from a genuine yam (Dioscorea), which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To add to the confusion, a different crop plant, the oca, Oxalis tuberosa (a species of wood sorrel), is called a “yam” in many parts of Polynesia, including New Zealand. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes to be labeled as “sweet potatoes” and not as “yams”

The Portuguese took the Taino name batata directly, while the Spanish also combined it with the Quechua word for potato, papa, to create the word patata for the common potato. In Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic it is called batata. In Mexico, Peru, Chile, Central America, and the Philippines, the sweet potato is known as camote (alternatively spelled kamote in the Philippines), derived from the Nahuatl word camotli. Boniato is another name widely used in mainland Spain and in Uruguay.

In Peru, the Quechua name for a type of sweet potato is kumar, strikingly similar to the Polynesian name kumara and its regional Oceanic cognates (kumala, umala, ‘uala, etc.), which has led some scholars to suspect an instance of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.

In New Zealand, the most common variety is the Red (purple) cultivar, and is called kumara, though orange (Beauregard) and gold varieties are also available. Kumara is particularly popular as a roasted food or in contemporary cuisine, as kumara chips, often served with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. Occasionally shops in Australia will label the purple variety “purple sweet potato” to denote its difference to the other varieties. About 95% of Australia’s production is of the orange variety named “Beauregard”, originally from North America, known simply as “sweet potato”. A reddish-purple variety, Northern Star, is 4% of production and is sold as kumara.

In Papua New Guinea, sweet potatoes are known as kaukau in Tok Pisin. In South Korea, sweet potatoes are known as ‘goguma’

Habitat: The origin and domestication of sweet potato is thought to be in either Central America or South America. In Central America, sweet potatoes were domesticated at least 5,000 years ago. In South America, Peruvian sweet potato remnants dating as far back as 8000 BC have been found. Now sweet potato is grown all over the world.

Description:
Sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas, is an herbaceous perennial plant grown for its edible storage roots. The sweet potato plant is a branching, creeeping vine with spirally arranged lobed, heart shaped leaves and white or lavender flowers. The plant has enlarged roots called tubers which act as an energy store for the plant. The tubers can be variable in shape and can be red, yellow, brown, white or purple in color. Sweet potato vines can reach 4 m (13 ft) in length and the plant is usually grown as an annual, harvested after one growing season. Sweet potatoes may also be referred to as yams or Spanish potatoes and originate from Central America.

CLICK & SEE ….>..SWEET POTATO VINES..…….SWEET POTATOS

Cultivation & Propagation:
Sweet potatoes grow very well in tropical and subtropical climates and they are very sensitive to cold weather.
The plant does not tolerate frost. It grows best at an average temperature of 24 °C (75 °F), abundant sunshine and warm nights. in well-draining, loamy soil with a pH of 5.6–6.6. Sweet potatoes should be planted in full sun and require plenty of space as the vines will spread over large areas. Annual rainfalls of 750–1,000 mm (30–39 in) are considered most suitable, with a minimum of 500 mm (20 in) in the growing season. The crop is sensitive to drought at the tuber initiation stage 50–60 days after planting, and it is not tolerant to water-logging, as it may cause tuber rots and reduce growth of storage roots if aeration is poor.

Edible Uses:
Sweet potato tubers are eaten cooked as a vegetable or may be processed into flour or starch. The leaves can be eaten fresh or after cooking. Sweet potatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch. They have got over 400% of our daily needs for vitamin A in one medium spud, as well as loads of fiber and potassium. They have got more grams of natural sugars than regular potato but more overall nutrients with fewer calories.

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People allover the world eat sweet potato (both the tubers & the leaves) as vegetable  & also  in different forms.

Medicinal Uses & health benefits:
Possible health benefits of consuming sweet potatoes:
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like sweet potatoes decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

Diabetes:
Sweet potatoes are considered low on the glycemic index scale, and recent research suggests they may reduce episodes of low blood sugar and insulin resistance in people with diabetes. The fiber in sweet potatoes makes a big difference too. Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One medium sweet potato provides about 6 grams of fiber (skin on).

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 21-25 grams of fiber per day for women and 30-38 grams per day for men, which most people do not reach.

Blood pressure:
Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults are meeting the daily 4,700 mg recommendation for potassium.3 One medium sweet potato provides about 542 milligrams.

Also of note, high potassium intake is associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes.

Cancer:
Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition.4 Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.

Digestion and regularity:
Because of its high fiber content, sweet potatoes help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

Fertility:
For women of childbearing age, consuming more iron from plant sources appears to promote fertility, according Harvard Medical School‘s Harvard Health Publications. The vitamin A in sweet potatoes (consumed as beta-carotene then converted to vitamin A in the body) is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis.

Immunity:
Plant foods like sweet potatoes that are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene offer an immunity boost from their powerful combination of nutrients.

Inflammation:
Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in sweet potatoes that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.6

In a study published by the Journal of Medicinal Food, purple sweet potato extract was found to have positive anti-inflammatory and antilipogenic effects as well as free radical scavenging and reducing activity.

Vision:
According to Duke ophthalmologist Jill Koury, MD, vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision. Correcting vitamin A deficiencies with foods high in beta-carotene will restore vision.

Also of note, the antioxidant vitamins C and E in sweet potatoes have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage.

A higher intake of all fruits (3 or more servings per day) has also been shown to decrease the risk of and progression of age-related macular degeneration.
Other Uses:
In South America, the juice of red sweet potatoes is combined with lime juice to make a dye for cloth. By varying the proportions of the juices, every shade from pink to black can be obtained.

All parts of the plant are used for animal fodder.

Sweet potatoes or camotes are often found in Moche ceramics.

Several selections are cultivated in gardens as ornamental plants for their attractive foliage, including the dark-leafed cultivars ‘Blackie’ and ‘Ace of Spades’ and the chartreuse-foliaged ‘Margarita’.

Cuttings of sweet potato vine, either edible or ornamental varieties, will rapidly form roots in water and will grow in it, indefinitely, in good lighting with a steady supply of nutrients. For this reason, sweet potato vine is ideal for use in home aquariums, trailing out of the water with its roots submerged, as its rapid growth is fueled by toxic ammonia and nitrates, a waste product of aquatic life, which it removes from the water. This improves the living conditions for fish, which also find refuge in the vast root systems.

Researchers at North Carolina State University are breeding sweet potato varieties that would be grown primarily for biofuel production.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/281438.php
https://www.plantvillage.com/en/topics/sweet-potato/infos/diseases_and_pests_description_uses_propagation

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Sagittaria sagittifolia

Botanical Name :Sagittaria sagittifolia
Family: Alismataceae
Genus: Sagittaria
Species: S. sagittifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms : Wapatoo. Is’-ze-kn.,Sagittaria japonica.

Common Name:Arrowhead

Habitat :The Arrowhead is a water plant widely distributed in Europe and Northern Asia, as well as North America, and abundant in many parts of England, though only naturalized in Scotland. it is  native to wetlands throughout the temperate regions of Europe and Asia; in Britain it is the only native Sagittaria.

Description:
It is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing in water from 10–50 cm deep. The leaves above water are arrowhead-shaped, the leaf blade 15–25 cm long and 10–22 cm broad, on a long petiole holding the leaf up to 45 cm above water level. The plant also has narrow linear submerged leaves, up to 80 cm long and 2 cm broad. The flowers are 2-2.5 cm broad, with three small sepals and three white petals, and numerous purple stamens.

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Cultivation:        
A pond or bog garden plant, it requires a moist or wet loamy soil in a sunny position. Prefers shallow, still or slowly flowing water up to 30 – 60cm deep. Plants are fairly cold tolerant, surviving temperatures down to at least -10°c, though the top growth is damaged once temperatures fall below zero. They grow best in warm weather and require at least a six month growing season in order to produce a crop. A polymorphic species, the sub-species S. sagittifolia leucopetala is extensively cultivated for its edible bulb in China where there are many named varieties.

Propagation :   
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a pot standing in about 5cm of water. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and gradually increase the depth of water as the plants grow until it is about 5cm above the top of the pot. Plant out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Division of the tubers in spring or autumn. Easy. Runners potted up at any time in the growing season

Edible Uses:
Root – cooked. Excellent when roasted, the taste is somewhat like potatoes. The tubers are starchy with a distinct flavour[116]. The tubers should not be eaten raw[200].The skin is rather bitter and is best removed after the tubers have been cooked. Tubers can also be dried and ground into a powder, this powder can be used as a gruel etc or be added to cereal flours and used in making bread[55, 94].The roots (tubers really) are borne on the ends of slender roots, often 30cm deep in the soil and some distance from the parent plant. The tubers of wild plants are about 15cm in diameter and are best harvested in the late summer as the leaves die down. The dried root contains (per 100g) 364 calories, 17g protein, 1g fat, 76.2g carbohydrate, 3.1g fibre, 5.8g ash, 44mg calcium, 561mg phosphorus, 8.8mg iron, 2,480mg potassium, 0.54mg thiamine, 0.14mg riboflavin, 4.76mg niacin and 17mg ascorbic acid. They contain no carotene. Leaves and young stems – cooked. Somewhat acrid.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
Antiscorbutic;  Diuretic;  Galactofuge.
The plant is antiscorbutic, diuretic. The leaf is used to treat a variety of skin problems. The tuber is discutient, galactofuge and may induce premature birth.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittaria_sagittifolia
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/arrow063.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sagittaria+sagittifolia

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Potato

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Botanical Name :Solanum tuberosum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus:     Solanum
Species: S. tuberosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Solanales

Common Names:Potato,patata,Bengali name :Alu

Habitat : Origin for potatoes in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia (from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex), where they were domesticated 7,000–10,000 years ago. Now potato is cultivated throughout the world and is most common and popular vegetable for human.

Description:
Potato plants are herbaceous perennials that grow about 60 cm (24 in) high, depending on variety, the culms dying back after flowering. They bear white, pink, red, blue, or purple flowers with yellow stamens. In general, the tubers of varieties with white flowers have white skins, while those of varieties with colored flowers tend to have pinkish skins. Potatoes are cross-pollinated mostly by insects, including bumblebees, which carry pollen from other potato plants, but a substantial amount of self-fertilizing occurs as well. Tubers form in response to decreasing day length, although this tendency has been minimized in commercial varieties.

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After potato plants flower, some varieties produce small green fruits that resemble green cherry tomatoes, each containing up to 300 true seeds. Potato fruit contains large amounts of the toxic alkaloid solanine and is therefore unsuitable for consumption. All new potato varieties are grown from seeds, also called “true seed” or “botanical seed” to distinguish it from seed tubers. By finely chopping the fruit and soaking it in water, the seeds separate from the flesh by sinking to the bottom after about a day (the remnants of the fruit float). Any potato variety can also be propagated vegetatively by planting tubers, pieces of tubers, cut to include at least one or two eyes, or also by cuttings, a practice used in greenhouses for the production of healthy seed tubers. Some commercial potato varieties do not produce seeds at all (they bear imperfect flowers) and are propagated only from tuber pieces. Confusingly, these tubers or tuber pieces are called “seed potatoes,” because the potato itself functions as “seed”.

Edible Uses:
Potatoes are prepared in many ways: skin-on or peeled, whole or cut up, with seasonings or without. The only requirement involves cooking to swell the starch granules. Most potato dishes are served hot, but some are first cooked, then served cold, notably potato salad and potato chips/crisps.
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Common dishes are: mashed potatoes, which are first boiled (usually peeled), and then mashed with milk or yogurt and butter; whole baked potatoes; boiled or steamed potatoes; French-fried potatoes or chips; cut into cubes and roasted; scalloped, diced, or sliced and fried (home fries); grated into small thin strips and fried (hash browns); grated and formed into dumplings, Rösti or potato pancakes. Unlike many foods, potatoes can also be easily cooked in a microwave oven and still retain nearly all of their nutritional value, provided they are covered in ventilated plastic wrap to prevent moisture from escaping; this method produces a meal very similar to a steamed potato, while retaining the appearance of a conventionally baked potato. Potato chunks also commonly appear as a stew ingredient.

Potatoes are boiled between 10 and 25 minutes, depending on size and type, to become soft.

Constituents:-–The tuber is composed mainly of starch, which affords animal heat and promotes fatness, but the proportion of muscle-forming food is very small – it is said that 10 1/2 lb. of the tubers are only equal in value to 1 lb. of meat. The raw juice of the Potato contains no alkaloid, the chief ingredient being potash salts, which are present in large quantity. The tuber also contains a certain amount of citric acid – which, like Potash, is antiscorbutic – and phosphoric acid, yielding phosphorus in a quantity less only than that afforded by the apple and by wheat.

It is of paramount importance that the valuable potash salts should be retained by the Potato during cooking. If peeled and then boiled, the tubers lose as much as 33 per cent of potash and 23 per cent of phosphoric acid, and should, therefore, invariably be boiled or steamed with their coats on. Too much stress cannot be laid on this point. Peeled potatoes have lost half their food-value in the water in which they have been boiled.

Medicinal Uses:
Potatoes, of any kind, whether they are raw, boiled, peeled, or mashed all have medicinal and healing properties. Even the water that you used to boil them in can be used. A potato’s skin is rich in fiber, iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium. It even contains your B & C vitamins. When you are cooking potatoes, boil them with the skins still on but washed good. That way you still have the benefits of these needed nutrients.

A potato that happens to have a greenish tinge to it, or that has begun to sprout, may contain a large concentration of solanine. This may affect your nerve impulses, along with causing vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. For your own safety, please stay away from these.

 Warts –— Place a thin slice of raw potato over the wart and cover with a bandage to hold it in place. Leave this on overnight and remove it in the morning when you get up. Repeat this process for a week. If your wart is still present after a week, try substituting garlic for the potato slice.

Freckles — Potato water can fade your summertime freckles. Wet a washrag with some of your potato water and wring out any excess. Place the washrag over your freckles and leave it on for 10 minutes. You can do this daily and in time, you will see those freckles begin to fade.

Indigestion, Stomach Pain, Heartburn –— Drinking raw potato juice will neutralize the acid in your stomach. To get potato juice, grate a potato over a thin towel. Wrap your grated potato in the towel and squeeze it over a cup until all of the liquid is out of the potato. Dilute 1 T of the potato juice in 1/2 cup of warm water and drink slowly. For heartburn, add twice as much warm water as you have of the potato juice and drink this mixture. You can also relieve heartburn by eating a slice of raw potato.

1st Degree Burns — Apply a slice of raw potato, unpeeled, or a slice of onion can be used also, directly over the burn. This will draw out the heat and the pain from the burned area. Leave this on the burned area for 15 minutes. Remove for 5 minutes, and replace with a fresh slice of raw potato for an additional 15 minutes.

Insect Stings — To relieve the pain and swelling from an insect sting, use one of the following for 1/2 hour and then follow with ice on the bite for another 1/2 hour: the juice from a raw potato or an onion, wet salt, or toothpaste.

To carry a raw potato in the pocket was an old-fashioned remedy against rheumatism that modern research has proved to have a scientific basis. Ladies in former times had special bags or pockets made in their dresses in which to carry one or more small raw potatoes for the purpose of avoiding rheumatism if predisposed thereto. Successful experiments in the treatment of rheumatism and gout have in the last few years been made with preparations of raw potato juice. In cases of gout, rheumatism and lumbago the acute pain is much relieved by fomentations of the prepared juice followed by an application of liniment and ointment. Sprains and bruises have also been successfully treated by the Potato-juice preparations, and in cases of synovitis rapid absorption of the fluid has resulted. Although it is not claimed that the treatment in acute gout will cure the constitutional symptoms, local treatment by its means relieves the pain more quickly than other treatment.

Potato starch is much used for determining the diastatic value of malt extract.

Hot potato water has in years past been a popular remedy for some forms of rheumatism, fomentations to swollen and painful parts, as hot as can be borne, being applied from water in which 1 lb. of unpeeled potatoes, divided into quarters, has been boiled in 2 pints slowly boiled down to 1 pint Another potato remedy for rheumatism was made by cutting up the tubers, infusing them together with the fresh stalks and unripe berries for some hours in cold water, and applying in the form of a cold compress. The potatoes should not be peeled.

Uncooked potatoes, peeled and pounded in a mortar, and applied cold, have been found to make a very soothing plaster to parts that have been scalded or burnt.

The mealy flour of baked potato, mixed with sweet oil, is a very healing application for frost-bites. In Derbyshire, hot boiled potatoes are used for corns.

Boiled with weak sulphuric acid, potato starch is changed into glucose, or grape sugar, which by fermentation yields alcohol this spirit being often sold under the name of British Brandy.

A volatile oil – chemically termed Amylic alcohol, in Germany known as Fuselöl – is distilled by fermentation from potato spirit.

Although young potatoes contain no citric acid, the mature tubers yield enough even for commercial purposes, and ripe potato juice is an excellent cleaner of silks, cottons and woollens.

A fine flour is prepared from the Potato, and more used on the Continent than in this country for cake-making.

click to see :Natural medicinal uses of potato  :

Other uses:

1.Potatoes are used to brew alcoholic beverages such as vodka, potcheen, or akvavit.

2.They are also used as food for domestic animals.

3.Potato starch is used in the food industry as, for example, thickeners and binders of soups and sauces, in the textile industry, as adhesives, and for the manufacturing of papers and boards.

4.Maine companies are exploring the possibilities of using waste potatoes to obtain polylactic acid for use in plastic products; other research projects seek ways to use the starch as a base for biodegradable packaging.

5.Potato skins, along with honey, are a folk remedy for burns in India. Burn centers in India have experimented with the use of the thin outer skin layer to protect burns while healing.

6.Potatoes (mainly Russets) are commonly used in plant research. The consistent parenchyma tissue, the clonal nature of the plant and the low metabolic activity provide a very nice “model tissue” for experimentation. Wound-response studies are often done on potato tuber tissue, as are electron transport experiments. In this respect, potato tuber tissue is similar to Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans and Escherichia coli: they are all “standard” research organisms.

Click to see :>10 Surprising Uses For Potatoes  :

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato
http://www.examiner.com/article/medicinal-uses-of-potatoes
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/potato65.html

Brugmansia sanguinea

Botanical Name : Brugmansia sanguinea
Family: Solanaceae
Subfamily: Solanoideae
Tribe: Datureae
Genus: Brugmansia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name : Red Angel’s Trumpet

Habitat :Brugmansia sanguinea  is  native to South America.  (Peru)  (They are endemic to the Andes mountains from Colombia to northern Chile at elevations from 2,000 to 3,000 m (6,600 to 9,800 ft).

Description:
Brugmansia sanguinea is a flowering plant that grow as shrubs or small tree reaching up to 10 m (33 ft) in height. The nodding, tube-shaped flowers come in colors of brilliant red, yellow, orange, or green…….CLICK & SEE

You may click to see pictures of Brugmansia sanguinea  :
It may be grown in a pot and pruned to any size that is convenient. The flowers appear in waves all throughout the year. The tubular blooms average 7 to 9 inches long, and are a vivid orange-red or scarlet, depending on the temperature. Yellow veins run down the side of the tube, giving the blooms a pin-striped look. The flowers aren’t fragrant – but the hummingbirds don’t seem to mind! This is a true species, not a hybrid, so the seedlings will look like the parents.

Cultivation:
Grows well in part shade, or in cool climates, full sun. Plant likes regular water, especially when growing. All plant parts are highly poisonous and should never be injested. Large trumpet flowers open downward and bloom for most of the year. The red angel’s trumpet grows somewhat better in cooler but near frost free climates, e.g. the San Francisco Bay Area, although it will grow in the tropics, flowering may be limited.

Propagation: By seed, by cuttings.

Medicinal Uses:
Brugmansia sanguinea is known extensively throughout South America for its medicinal virtues and ritually brewed with Trichocereous pachanoi as one interpretation of Cimora. … In Ecuador it is currently being cultivated for scopolamine.

Other Uses: Plant is commonly grown as an ornamental for its flowers.

Known Hazards:  All parts of Brugmansia sanguinea are poisonous.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brugmansia_sanguinea
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/content/red-angels-trumpet.htm

http://www.strangewonderfulthings.com/137.htm

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Air potato

Botanical Name :Dioscorea bulbifera
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea
Species: D. bulbifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dioscoreales

Common Names :  Air potato, Varahi in Sanskrit, Kaachil in Malayalam and Dukkar Kand in Marathi

Habitat :The Air potato plant is native to Africa and Asia.

History: A native to tropical Asia, air potato, Dioscorea bulbifera, was first introduced to the Americas from Africa. In 1905 it was introduced to Florida. Due to its ability to displace native species and disrupt natural processes such as fire and water flow, air potato has been listed as one of Florida?s most invasive plant species since 1993, and was placed on the Florida Noxious Weed List by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 1999.

US Habitat: Rapid growing and occurring on open to semishady sites: extending from Florida to adjacent states. All dying back during winter but able to cover small trees in a year, with old vines providing trellises for regrowth. Spread and persist by underground tubers and abundant production of aerial yams, which drop and form new plants and can spread by water.

Description:
Air potato is a herbaceous perennial vine with broad leaves and   high climbing vines to 65 feet (20 m) long, infestations covering shrubs and trees. It has two types of storage organs,twining and sprawling stems with long-petioled heart-shaped leaves. Spreading by dangling potato-like tubers (bulbils) at leaf axils and underground tubers. Monocots.

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A distinguishing characteristic of air potato is that all leaf veins arise from the leaf base, unlike other herbaceous vines such as smilax and morningglories. Flowers are inconspicuous, arising from leaf axils in panicles 4 inches long, and are fairly uncommon in Florida. Vegetative reproduction is the primary mechanism of spread. This is through the formation of aerial tubers, or bulbils, which are formed in leaf axils. These vary in roundish shapes and sizes. In addition, large tubers are formed underground, some reaching over 6 inches in diameter.

Edible Uses:
These tubers are like small, oblong potatoes, and they are edible and cultivated as a food crop, especially in West Africa. The tubers often have a bitter taste, which can be removed by boiling. They can then be prepared in the same way as other yams, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. The air potato is one of the most widely-consumed yam species.

Medicinal Uses:
In folk medicine it has been used to ease the pain on sprained ankles, and certain other uses that is in combination with other plants.  In healing the sprained angle, the fruit of the vine, which is brownish in color is cut in have and the insides are scraped out and put into a cloth or something that will easily let the fluid out of it we massaging the sprained ankle with it. Always massage down toward the ground and outwardly of the foot.  TCM: Indications: rid of toxin, relieves swelling, reduces phlegm, cools blood, stops bleeding.

Air potato has been used as a folk remedy to treat conjunctivitis, diarrhea and dysentery, among other ailments.

Toxicity:
Uncultivated forms, such as those found growing wild in Florida can be poisonous. These varieties contain the steroid, diosgenin, which is a principal material used in the manufacture of a number of synthetic steroidal hormones, such as those used in hormonal contraception. There have been claims[3] that even the wild forms are rendered edible after drying and boiling, leading to confusion over actual toxicity.

Invasive species:
In some places, such as Florida, it is an invasive species because of its quick-growing, large-leafed vine that spreads tenaciously and shades out any plants growing beneath it. The bulbils on the vines sprout and become new vines, twisting around each other to form a thick mat. If the plant is cut to the ground, the tubers can survive for extended periods and send up new shoots later.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Rresources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioscorea_bulbifera
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.texasinvasives.org/plant_database/detail.php?symbol=DIBU

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