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Herbs & Plants

Dioscorea japonica

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

Common Names :Yamaimo, Japanese mountain yam,Glutinous Yam

Habitat : Native to E. Asia – China, C. and S. Japan.Grows in wooded foothills. Mixed forests and margins, scrub forests, herb communities, mountain slopes, valleys, along rivers and streams, roadsides; 100 – 1200 metres

Description:
Dioscorea japonica is a perennial climber. It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors at least in the mildest areas of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in a fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position or light shade. Prefers a rich light soil. Plants produce tubercles (small tubers that are formed in the leaf axils of the stems), and can be propagated by this means. A climbing plant that supports itself by twining around the branches of other plants. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow March to April in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse and only just cover. It germinates in 1 – 3 weeks at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring as the plant comes into new growth. Basal stem cuttings in the summer. Division in the dormant season, never when in growth. The plant will often produce a number of shoots, the top 5 – 10 cm of the root below each shoot can be potted up to form a new plant whilst the lower part of the root can be eaten. Tubercles (baby tubers) are formed in the leaf axils. These are harvested in late summer and early autumn when about the size of a pea and coming away easily from the plant. They should be potted up immediately in individual pots in a greenhouse or cold frame. Plant out in early summer when in active growth

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Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.

Tuber – cooked. A very pleasant mild flavour with a floury texture, the roots can be eaten as a potato substitute[2]. The starch can be used as a binding agent for other foods. Roots contain about 1.9% protein, 20% carbohydrate, 0.1% fat and 1% ash. Leaf tips – cooked. Tubercles – cooked

Medicinal Uses:
Contraceptive;  Miscellany;  Tonic.

The tubers are prescribed in the treatment of diarrhoea,dysentery, enteritis, enuresis and spermatorrhoea. They are also dried and cut into shavings then used as a tonic. The roots of most, if not all, members of this genus, contains diosgenin. This is widely used in modern medicine in order to manufacture progesterone and other steroid drugs. These are used as contraceptives and in the treatment of various disorders of the genitary organs as well as in a host of other diseases such as asthma and arthritis

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/Dioscorea_japonica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dioscorea+japonica
http://www.perennialveg.org.uk/djaponica.htm

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Positive thinking

Why Not Now?

Waiting For Someday
The time we are blessed with is limited and tends to be used up all too quickly. How we utilize that time is consequently one of the most important decisions we make. Yet it is far too easy to put off until tomorrow what we are dreaming of today. The hectic pace of modern existence affords us an easy out; we shelve our aspirations so we can cope more effectively with the challenges of the present, ostensibly to have more time and leisure to realize our purpose in the future. Or we tell ourselves that we will chase our dreams someday once we have accomplished other lesser goals. In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now—because we view failure as a possibility, our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational. If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, however, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain us.

When regarded as a question, “Why not now?” drains us of our power to realize our ambitions. We are so concerned with the notion that we are somehow undeserving of happiness that we cannot see that there is much we can do in the present to begin courting it. Yet when we look decisively at our existence and state, “Why not now, indeed!” we are empowered to begin changing our lives this very moment. We procrastinate for many reasons, from a perceived lack of time to a legitimate lack of self-belief, but the truth of the matter is that there is no time like the present and no time but the present. Whatever we aim to accomplish, we will achieve it more quickly and with a greater degree of efficiency when we seize the day and make the most of the resources we have at our disposal presently.

All the joy, passion, and contentment you can envision can be yours right now, rather than in some far-flung point in time. You need only remind yourself that there is nothing standing between you and fulfillment. If you decide that today is the day you will take your destiny into your hands, you will soon discover that you hold the keys of fate.

Source:Daily Om