P.G. Department of Botany, Ranchi University, Ranchi
Received 18th December, 2008; Revised 16th February, 2009
Abstract : Wild yam has tuberous rhizomes, twining stems, heart shaped leaves, yellow green flowers, and winged seed pods. Wild yam is one of the several species containing diosgenin, a precursor of progesterone used to make contraceptive pills. It also yields steroids and cortisone, anti-inflammatories to treat rheumatism, and hydrocortisone creams for eczema. The tuber reduces painful labour spasm, colic, and leg and menstrual cramps. Dioscorea species tuber is a kidney, lung and stomach tonic. The mildly toxic tubers of D. bulbifera, the locally available yam treat sore throat snakebites and boils1.