Herbs & Plants

Dioscorea hispida

Botanical Name :Dioscorea hispida
Family : Dioscoreaceae – Yam family
Genus :  Dioscorea L. – yam
Species : Dioscorea hispida Dennst. – intoxicating yam
Kingdom ; Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision:  Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass : Liliidae
Order : Liliales

Synonyms:  Dioscorea triphylla L., Dioscorea hirsuta Dennst.,Dinoscorea daemona Roxb

Common Names:
Malaysia:Ubi arak,gandongan,gandong mabok
English :Asiatic bitter yam, intoxicating yam
Indonesia: Gadung, Sikapa,ondo
Thiland:Kloi,kloi-nok, kloi-hanieo

Habitat :Dioscorea hispida is native to India, South east Asia, China and Nuw Guinea.Growing wild, chiefly in thickets and forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.

Dioscorea hispida is a twining vine, arising from tuberous roots, and reaching a length of several meters. Stems covered with few or many short, sharp spines. Leaves are 3-foliolate, the leaflets 12 to 20 cm long, somewhat hairy, the lateral ones oblique, oblong-ovate, the terminal one equilateral, oblong to oblong-obovate. Panicle is axillary, slender, hairy, 12 to 20 cm long. Flowers are small; unisexual male flowers with 6 stamens; female flowers similar to males, 3-winged, 3-celled, ovules 2 in each cell. Fruit is a capsule, oblong and about 5 cm long. Flesh and sap of tubers are yellowish. click to see

Click to see the pictures…..

Edible Uses:
– Despite known toxicity, in Thailand, where it is referred to as Kloi, tubers are used to make a dessert called Kao Nuew Kloi.
– In Kerala, India, tuberous herb cooked with salt, chili, tamarind and tumeric powder and used as curry.

– Contains a poisonous alkaloid, dioscoreine, acting like picrotoxin.
– Study of mineral content reports the tubers are a good source of phosphorus, calcium and iron.

Medicinal Uses:
Tuber, relieves abdominal spasms and colic; fry in vegetable oil, topically apply to remove pus from wounds, clears melasma. Toxic substances such as dioscorine were found in tubers which cause palpitations, nausea, vomiting, throat irrita­tion, sweating, blurred vision and unconscious­ness.

Tuber, raw or cooked used as anodyne and maturative for tumors and buboes.
Also used arthrtic and rheumatic pains. sprains and contusions.
Use poultice of freshly pounded material or decoction as external wash.
In Johore, decoction of tuber used as alterative and diuretic in chronic rheumatism.

Other Uses:
• Bleaching: Yellow juice from the flesh and sap of tubers is used for bleaching clothes and abaca fibers.
Poison: Juice of tubers used in criminal poisoning. Also, used as an ingredient together with Antiaris toxicaria in the preparation of arrow poisons.
• Livestock: Tubers used as cure for myiasis of the scrotum in carabaos.

• Phytochemicals / Phenolic Content: Study showed phenolic acids were present in only small amounts in Kloi tuber, compared to relatively high phenolic content for other yam Dioscorea species. The anomaly was attributed to the sample preparation, hydrolysis time and/or pH. Preliminary findings and documented nutritive value suggest the tuber as a potential source of phytochemicals for cosmetic, pharmaceutical or dietary antioxidant use.

Caution !
– Tubers contain the poisonous alkaloid dioscoreine, resembling picrotoxin.
– It is a nervous system paralyzant, not a protoplasmic poison.
– It has been reportedly used in criminal poisoning.

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


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