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Phytochemical analysis and gc-ms study of dioscorea (yam) in Wayanad District-Kerala state

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Abdussalam, A.K. Jathina M. Jamsheena, K. and Ratheesh Chandra, P.

The present study deals with the identification, documentation, ethno-botanical exploration and Phytochemical analysis of Dioscorea species with respect to food value of wild edible plants from Northern parts of Kerala.  Dioscorea – a genus of wild tuber crops is one of the major underground medicinal food sources among rural and tribal populace of Northern parts of Kerala. Eighteen  species of Dioscorea are reported in  Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts of Northern Kerala of which all except Dioscorea alata are wild while the latter is a cultivated one. The species are unique for their medicinal, food and economic values. The details in the terms of ethnobotanical values, bioactive compounds, pharmacological potentials, diversity in selected districts of Northern Kerala and their therapeutic uses in maintaining health care have been documented through field survey using passport data and from literature. The richness of these valuable tuber crops is declining due to various anthropogenic activities. Therefore, an attempt was made to document the therapeutic values, diversity and food potentials of these species. Most species contain different chemical compounds such as alkaloid, phenol, steroid etc. GC-MS analysis the selected species show the different components present in the methanolic extracts of Dioscorea alata.  The implications of this study in terms of sustainable use of these tuber crops by the rural and tribal communities and their conservation have been discussed along highlights the medicinal potential of the Dioscorea species found in Northern Kerala.

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