Yam (Dioscorea species): Future Functional Wild Food of Tribal Odisha, India
Pp. 165-185 (21)
Food security and effective medicines continue to be challenging issues for
the third world. Functional plants give us some bio-resources having food and
medicinal values. Several species of the genus Dioscorea available in tribal Odisha in
India are parochially used as food and medicines for various diseases and disorders.
Dioscorea is a monocot having starchy tuberous root. Some tubers are sweet and some
are bitter in taste, due to their high content of phenolic compounds and other antinutritional
factors. These vines have diverse bioactive compounds including steroidal
saponin, diosgenin etc. Keeping this in mind, the ethnobotanical values and contents of
bioactive compounds of these vines were collected from field and literature survey. The
analysis of the obtained data permits to justify its consideration as a future functional
food. The present investigation also highlights the importance of wild edible plants as
functional foods and their potentials for the formulation of new drugs.
Bioactive compounds, Dioscorea, Ethnobotany, Functional food.
National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha, India.