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Dioscorea hispida Dennst.


Disocorea triphylla Linn., Dioscorea daemona Roxb, Dioscorea Disocorea triphylla var. reticulate, Dioscorea hirsute Dennst. [1] [2]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia Gadong, Gadog, Gadong Lilin, Gadong Mabuk,Ubi Arak, Ubi Akas, Taring Pelandok, Sulur Gadong, Ubi Gadong, Ubi Akar (Malay); Gadongan, Kedut, Hubi Gak, Bigap, Gang, Gong, Kuoe, Kuoi, Ki-e (Sakai); Gakn, Ubi Bekoi, Bekoi, Bekoya (Tembe); Ha, Ha-u (Pangan and Semang)
Indonesia Gadung, Sikapa, Ondo
Thailand Koi, Kloi, Kloi-nok, Kloi-hanieo
Philippines Bagay, Gagos, Kalut, Karot, Karoti, Kayos, Kalot, Korot, Kulot, Mamo, Name, Orkot
Myanmar Kywe
India Maranpash Poll, Palidumpa,Pashpoli
China Bai Shu Lang
English Asiatic Bitter Yam, Intoxicating Yam [1] [2]

General Information


Dioscorea hispida is a member of the Dioscoreaceae. It has large tubers from which sprouts spiny glaucous stem. The leaves are trifoliate with leaflets thin, ovate cuspidate and reticulate. The side ones are unequal. They measure 7.5-15cm long and 5-10cm wide with petioles 7.5-15cm long. The male panicles are lax, tomentose and 5-15cm long. The flowers are crowded together, very small and greenish yellow in colour. The perianth is tomentose and there are 6 stamens. The female spike is solitary. The capsule is oblong, tomentose with three stout ridges. They measure 5cm long and 1.5cm wide. The seeds are 2.5cm long. [1]

Plant Part Used

Tubers and leaves

Chemical Constituents

Dioscorine; dioscorinine

Traditional Used:

Properties attributed to the tuber in Traditional Chinese Medicine include clearing of heat, resolving of toxing and dispersing swelling. In Malay Medicine it is considered an alterative and diuretic. 

Inflammatory diseases

The tuber is used to treat sores of puru (oriental sores), abscesses, chancre, whitlows and bites of rabbits, jackels and dogs. In Bangladesh it is used in the treatment of arthritic and rheumatic pains, sprains and contusions. In the treatment of ulcers the addition of the tuber was believed to provide a means to control the proliferation of maggots.  [2-7]

Pre-Clinical Data


No documentation


The tuber contains two alkaloids (dioscorine and dioscorinine) which are poisonous. To render it edible a meticulous process of detoxifying the tuber was done. One method used in the South Pacific Islands, is by making very thin slices of the tuber and coating it with ashes, then soaked in streams or in salt water for 3 or 4 days, after which they should be sun dried. 

The signs and symptoms of poisoning are as follows; initially there is a feeling of discomfort in the throat intensifying to burning sensation. Then the victim feels giddy followed by haematemesis, sensation of suffocation, drowsiness and exhaustion. A piece of tuber the size of an apple is sufficient to kill a man within 6 hours. [2] [4]

Teratogenic effects

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1) Botanical Info


1. Ridley HN. The Flora of the Malay Peninsula Volume IV, L. Reeves & Co. Ltd. London, 1925 pg. 314
2. Burkill IH. A Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula Volume 1, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 1966, pg. 831 – 835
3. Zhou J. Encyclopedia of Traditional Chinese Medicine Volume 5 Springer-Verlag, Berlin pg. 429
4. Merril EM. Emergency Food Plants and Poisonous Plants of the Islands of the Pacific U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington 1943 pg. 18 – 19
5. Philippines Medicinal Plants. Available from [Accessed on 18th February 2013]
6. Medicinal Plants of Bangladesh. Available from [Accessed on 18th February 2013]
7. Khare CP., Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary Springer, Berlin 2007 pg. 216

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