BENEFITS OF YAM – ELEPHANT FOOT

March 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Tips for Ayurveda



benefits of  Elephant foot yamYam is used in traditional medicine systems, and in Ayurveda it is used for numerous illnesses ranging from minor ailments such as coughs through to improving the quality of sperm and for liver and spleen disorders. As a vegetable the tuber is used to treat piles and hemorrhages.

The improved varieties of elephant-foot yam are non-acrid, and endowed with excellent cooking qualities. The tubers are prescribed as medicine in Ayurveda to treat piles, dysentery, asthma, swelling of lungs, vomiting and abdominal pain. It is used as a blood purifier. The paste of tubers is applied externally to reduce pain in arthritis.

In India, yams are eaten only as a supplement to cereals. The main edible species in India (especially South India) is the elephant foot yam. Each vegetable offers varied health benefits and has different cooking uses. In scarcity of different staple foods, yam is used. So it is also sometimes referred to as a ‘famine food’.

Medicinal values of Elephant foot yam

It has been proved that elephant foot yam has many medical benefits as its root is highly stomachic, restorative, carminative and tonic.

  • The cooling effect of yam can be a cure for Hypertension.
  • Yam is dried and often used as a treatment for piles and dysentery..
  • Yam helps to reduce cholesterol levels in blood. So it can be used as slimming food because it lowers cholesterol levels and promotes weight loss and also has a high concentration of key minerals.
  • Yam can even act as an anticoagulant.
  • Elephant foot yam can be safely consumed by diabetic people.
  • Elephant foot yam helps to maintain the hormonal balance by increasing the estrogen level in women. It can relieve the women from pre-menstrual syndrome as well.
  • Hemorrhoids patients are also prescribed to have elephant yam.
  • Powerful antioxidant Vitamin C is present which delays aging.
  • It is also provided as a medicine for treatment to patients suffering from acute rheumatism.
  • Irregular bowel movements and constipation can also be cured by consuming yam.
  • Yam reduces muscle spasms.

However, it should be borne in mind that elephant yam is a cooling food. Hence patients suffering from cold, sinus infection or asthma should avoid its intake.

  • The sap from the stem is fermented and used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
  • The inside of the stem is cut and eaten raw as an antidote for snakebites.

Nutritional  profile of Elephant foot yam

Elephant foot yam has a rich nutritional profile.

  • It provides energy about 330KJ/100g (approximately).
  • Potassium, Phosphorous and Magnesium are the key minerals found in elephant yam. It also contains trace minerals like zinc, copper and selenium.
  • It also contains Calcium. 50-56mg/100g of its contents is Calcium.
  • Its 18-24% is carbohydrate content.
  • About 0.8% is fiber..
  • Its water content is about 72-79%
  • 1.7-5.0% of its content is protein.
  • It has omega-3 fatty acids which are known to increase the good cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Diosgenin, a molecular hormone which has potential anticancer effects, is found in yam.
  • Elephant foot yam is high on vitamin B6 content.
  • It also contains Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

From its wide medicinal benefits and nutritional profile we can hereby conclude that elephant yam is very potent source of nutrition. So its consumption will prove beneficial to health. It can also be consumed by people looking for weight reduction as it is low on fat content (0.2-0.4%). Yam is a healthy low fat food.

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