Yam (Dioscorea species): Future Functional Wild Food of Tribal Odisha, India
- Pp. 165-185 (21)Sanjeet Kumar
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.