Amorphophallus paeoniifolius

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Elephant foot yam
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Thomsonieae
Genus: Amorphophallus
Species: A. paeoniifolius
Binomial name
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius
(Dennst.) Nicolson

A. campanulata

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, the Elephant foot yam or Whitespot giant arum [1][2] or Stink lily, is a tropical tuber crop that offers excellent scope for adoption in the tropical countries as a cash crop due to its production potential and popularity as a vegetable in various delicious cuisines.

Elephant foot yam

Elephant foot yam is basically a crop of Southeast Asian origin. It grows in wild form in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries. In India it is grown mostly in Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa. In India it is popularly known as oal in Hindi ol (ওল) in Bengali, suran or jimikand in Hindi, senai kizhangu in Tamil, suvarna gedde in Kannada, chena (ചേന) in Malayalam, oluo in Oriya,pulla ganda in Telugu and kaene in Tulu.

However, in Tonga, teve was seen as the most inferior of all yam species, only to be eaten if nothing else was available. In Bihar its used in Oal curry, Oal bharta or chokha, pickles and chutney also called Barabar chutney as its has mango,ginger and oal in equal quantity hence named barabar (meaning in equal amount). In West Bengal, these yams are eaten as fried or as yam curry. The plant body of elephant foot yam is also eaten in West Bengal as green vegetable called Bengali: ওল শাক "ol shaak".

As per Indian Medicinal Plants dictionary by C.P. Khare, published by Springer, the Elephant-foot yam has several medicinal benefits and widely used in Indian medicine including Ayuverda, Siddha and Unani. The corm is prescribed in bronchitis, asthma, abdominal pain, emesis, dysentery, enlargement of spleen, piles, elephantiasis, diseases due to vitiated blood, rheumatic swellings.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of corm in prostatic hyperplasia. (The corm is irritant due to the presence of calcium oxalate. It can be consumed after it is washed well and boiled in tamarind water or butter milk.) The corm contains an active diastatic enzyme amylase, betulinic acid, tricontane, lupeol, stigmasterol, betasitosterol and its palmitate and glucose, galactose, rhamnose and xylose.