Dioscorea bulbifera – Famine Foods

Dioscorea bulbifera


India (Kumaon region, western Himalayas): axillary tubers cut into pieces, steeped in water, and boiled prior to eating. Maharashtra State (Thane District): the Warli tribe eat the roasted roots. (Rajasthan): tubers boiled and mixed with flour. (Hawaii): aerial bulbs eaten. Handy states these are poisonous but is not familiar with detoxification or preparation techniques. Sturtevant records its use elsewhere, but does not refer to its toxicity. Tanzania in the Mtwara, Lindi and Mahenge regions: plant is noted is noted as poisonous and “specially prepared.”

Additional Information

Name Authority:
English: Air Potato. Hawaiian: Ho. Hindi: Kadu kanda [Bitter sweet roots]; western Himalayas (Kumaon region): Genthi.
http://wildlifeofhawaii.com/flowers/1965/dioscorea-bulbifera-air-yam/ http://pvs.kcc.hawaii.edu/ike/moolelo/polynesian_plants.html

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