Botanical Name : Dioscorea alata Linn.
Family : Dioscoreaceae
Latin name : Doiscorides = physician: bulbifera = yielding bulbs or sativa = cultivated
Names in different Indian languages :
English : Wild Yam, Greater Yam,Asiatic Yam
Hindi : Chupri alu, khamalu
Kannada : Tengugenasau, heggenasu
Malayalam : Kachil,kavattu
Sanskrit : Aaluka
Tamil : Perumvalli kizhangu
Telugu : Pendalamu
Folk : Kathaalu
Vrushti. Varahi, Grushtika, Madhavi. Kanti, Vanamalini. Grushti, Saukari,Kaashthaaluka, Aaluka, Aalukas
Dioscorea atropurpurea Roxb.
Dioscorea globosa Roxb.
Dioscorea purpurea Roxb.
It is a creeper with a slimy stalk having small nodes of about 3 cm. diameter in the angle of the leaf stalk.
Leaves – compound, 6-18 cms. long and 5-12 cms. wide with pointed tips and 9 veins on them. The inflorescence of male flowers is 6 to 12 cms. long and that of female flowers is 12 to 30 cms. long.
Fruits – tri-winged.
Seeds – also winged. Its tuber is used for medicinal purpose. It is grey with thick and long hair like pig’s hair, but looks yellowish white when cut. Bhavaprakash has described another variety named chaniiakaraluk
Distribution & Habitat :
Chemical constituents :
Diosgenin , anthocyanins, cyanidin , peonidin, gentiobioside
Guna : laghu, snigdha;
Rasa : katu, tikta, madhur;
Vipaka : katu:
cholagogue, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, diuretic
Dosha : Kaphavataghna, pittakarak.
Dhatu : Shukra (spermatogènic), rakta (dermatoses), all dhatus (rejuvenator and nutritive).
Mala : Mutra, purisha
Prameha, gulma,piles, leucorrhoea,vomiting, dysentery, gout, burning sensation, dyspepsia, cephalgia
Part used : Whole plant
Leaf juice 10-15 ml
Powder 2-4 g
Decoction 50-100 ml
External use : Oil heated with tubers is used in sinuses.
Internal uses : Being an appetizer, carminative and anthelmintic. it is used in loss of appetite, colic and worm infestations. It is also used in blood disorders, lymphadenitis, infertility, dermatoses, syphillis and general debility as it acts on rakta, rneda and shukra dhatus.