Vol. 3, Issue 5 (2015)
Food and medicinal values of certain species of Dioscorea with special reference to Assam
Author(s): Barnali Dutta
Abstract: The genus Dioscorea belonging to the family Dioscoreaceae, commonly known as yam, comprises of about 600 species distributed throughout the world, but mostly in tropical region. Most species contain steroid saponins and also sapogenins, such as diosgenin, which is the starting material for synthesis of many steroidal hormones used as anti-inflammatory, androgenic estrogenic and contraceptive drugs. The members of the genus Dioscorea areone of the oldest tuber crop cultivated or harvested from wild in the tropical regionthroughout the world and constitute one of the major food item for many ethnic groups. The genus is considered to be among the most primitive of angiosperms and was known to occur and well diversified approximately 75 million years ago in parts of the southern hemisphere at the end of the cretaceous period. The yams are subsequently introduced in several parts of the world and the early spread appears to have been via Antarctic continent. The present paper deals with 16 species occurring in Assam India which have been used as a source of food and to cure certain ailments by one or the other ethnic communities of the region.
Tuber of Dioscorea alata
How to cite this article:
Barnali Dutta. Food and medicinal values of certain species of Dioscorea with special reference to Assam. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 2015; 3(5): 15-18.