Tacca aspera Roxb

Synonym ► T. integrifolia Ker-Gawl.

Habitat ► Aka hills in Arunachal Pradesh.

Ayurvedic ► Vaaraahikanda (substitute), Vaaraahi. (Dioscorea bulbifera is equated with Vaaraahikanda.)

Folk ► Duukarkand (Gujarat).

Action ► Tuber—nutritive and digestive; applied to haemorrhagic diathesis, cachexia, leprosy and other cutaneous affections.

The tuber contains gamma-amino-butyric acid, glycine, leucine, valine, quercetin-3-arabinoside, D (-)-ribose, n-triacontanol, betulinic acid, castano-genin and taccalin.

Habitat ► Entire Deccan Peninsula, extending into Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

English ► Fiji Arrowroot, Tahiti Arrowroot.

Ayurvedic ► Suurana. (Instead of wild var., cultivated elephant-foot-yam, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius var. campanulatus, is used.)

Siddha/Tamil ► Karachunai.

Action ► Tuber—acrid, astringent, carminative, anthelmintic. Used in the treatment of piles, haemophilic conditions, internal abscesses, colic, enlargement of spleen, vomiting, asthma, bronchitis, elephantiasis and intestinal worms.

The tuber, macerated and repeatedly washed with water, yield a starch (76.0%).

The presence ofbeta-sitosterol, ceryl alcohol and taccalin (a bitter principle) has been reported in the tuber.

Taccagenin and leontogenin have been isolated froma acid hydrolysate of leaf extract. Diosgenin and its derivatives, isonarthogenin and isonu-atigenin together with nuatigenin have also been isolated.

A bitter extract, prepared by washing the grated tubers in running water, is a rubefacient; and is also given in diarrhoea and dysentery.

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