Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)
The edible tubers of Dioscorea alata are purple-coloured and contain anthocyanins, cyanidin and peonidin3-gentiobioside acylated with sinapic acid. The tubers contain surcose, while leaves contain large quantities of Dfructose, D-glucose and the polyols, 2-deoxyribitol, 6-deoxysorbitol and glycerol.

Mouldy yams are reported to contain a compound ipomeanol which is being tested against human lung cancer. (I. Am Med Assoc, 1994, 15, 23.)
Diosgenin obtained from Dioscorea species was used in the first commercial production of oral contraceptives, topical hormones, systemic corticosteroids, androgens, estrogens, progestogens and other sex hormones.
The chemical transformation of diosgenin to estrogen, progesterone or any other steroidal compound does not occur in human body. Topically applied Wild Yam does not appear to cause changes in serum FSH, estradiol or progesterone.
(Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)
Diosgenin, combined with the drug clofibrate, caused a greater decrease in LDL than either substance alone in rats. (Sharon M. Herr.)

Dioscorea anguina Roxb. Synonym D. puber Blume.

Family Dioscoreaceae.

Habitat Wet regions of the Himalayas from Central Nepal, eastwards to northern Bengal, Assam and Chittagong.
Ayurvedic Kaasaalu, Kasaalu.
Folk Koshakanda (Bengal).
Action See D. alata.
Dioscorea bulbifera Linn.
Synonym D. sativa Thumb auct. non L.
D. versicolor Buch.-Ham ex Wall.

††

216 Dioscorea daemona Roxb.

LD)

Family Dioscoreaceae.
Habitat Throughout tropical India, at 1,500ó2,100 m.
English Patoto Yam, Bulb-bearing Yam, Air Potato, Dog Yam.
Ayurvedic Vaaraahi, Vaaraahikanda, Grshti, Banaaalu, Suraalu,
Raktaalu. Substitute for Vriddhi. Unani Baraahikand.

Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants

A Candle of Medicinal Herbís Identification and Usage