Air Potato – 7 Health Benefits, Uses, and Side-effects

It is very important to eat green vegetables to keep your body healthy. Regular consumption of these green vegetables rich in various nutrients protects our body from various diseases or helps in curing many diseases. One such vegetable rich in different nutrients is air potato. This article describes a comprehensive overview of the health benefits of air potato.

Air Potato benefits

What is Air Potato?

Air potatoes are a nutritious root vegetable that is rich in many health benefits. Air potatoes are called air yam, air potato, aerial yam, bitter yam, cheeky yam, potato yam and parsnip yam. Air potatoes are plants in the Dioscoreaceae family. Air potatoes are native to Africa, Asia and Northern Australia. Air potatoes are widely cultivated and have become naturalized in many regions (West Indies, Latin America, Southeastern United States and various Oceanic Islands). Research has shown that methanol extracts in air potatoes contain flavonoids, saponins, cardiac glycosides and terpenoids. [1] It is shown to reduce the glycemic index hence has strong anti-diabetic properties. Air potatoes are not only an excellent source of fiber but also potassium and manganese, which are important for bone health, growth, metabolism, and heart function. In Asia, air potatoes are used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to help against diarrhea, sore throat and jaundice. These have anti-inflammatory properties and contain diosgenin, a steroid that helps in the production of commercial steroidal hormones.

Plant Description

The air potato is a perennial vine with large, green, heart-shaped leaves. It climbs shrubs and trees and grows up to 100 feet. The plant forms bulbils in the leaf axils of twining stems, and tubers underground. These tubers are small, rectangular potato-like. Some types are eaten and grown as food grains, especially in West Africa. Edible type tubers often have a bitter taste, which can be removed by boiling. Some of these potatoes are brown with rough skin, and some are hard with smooth skin. The aerial stems of air potatoes die again in winter, but sprout again from underground tubers.

Nutritional value per 100 g of Air Potato/Dioscorea Bulbifera  

Nutritions Value
Calories 158 g
Carbs 37 g
Protein 2 g
Fat 0 g
Fiber 5 g
Vitamin C 18%
Vitamin B59%
Manganese 22%
Magnesium 6%
Potassium 19%
Thiamine 11%
Copper 23%
Folate 6%

Scientific Classification of  Air Potato/Dioscorea Bulbifera

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Dioscoreales
  • Family: Dioscoreaceae
  • Genus: Dioscorea
  • Species: D. bulbifera
  • Scientific name: Dioscorea bulbifera 

Benefits of Air Potato  

1. Skin disorders 

The mashed type of air potatoes is traditionally used to treat various skin conditions. You can apply it topically to relieve abscesses. 

Read Also: Incredible Health Benefits of Cucumber

2. Treat different eyes disorders 

Air potatoes are eaten to help cure or prevent various eye diseases such as cataracts. 

3. Contains antioxidants 

Air potatoes contain flavonoids and isoflavonoids that may be a source of antioxidants. Although it has been mentioned that flavonoids are poorly absorbed by your body, they may be negligible in terms of antioxidants activity. 

4. Treat respiratory disorders 

Air potato has been used as a home remedy to treat or cure some respiratory disorders. It is good for treating asthma, cough and tonsillitis. 

5. Good for heart 

Eating air potatoes can do various things in your body that can lead to a healthy heart. First, it appears to be able to lower your blood cholesterol levels. Another thing is that it is also able to help control your blood pressure. Normal levels of cholesterol and blood pressure can help keep your heart healthy and reduce the risk of various types of heart disease. 

Read Also: Amazing Health Benefits of Potato You Must Know

6. Anti-inflammatory properties 

Air potato has been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity. It can be very helpful for various conditions such as swelling caused by injury as well as arthritis. 

7. Good for digestive system 

Consuming air potatoes can help improve or keep your digestive system healthy and away from some common digestive disorders. It helps to regulate your bowel movements, thus avoiding conditions like constipation and diarrhea. 

Traditional Uses and Benefits of Air Potato

  • In China, tubers are used internally and externally to treat sore throats, swelling, and poisonous snake bites.
  • It is used to treat boils and fever.
  • Used externally as a poultice, to treat wounds, boils and inflammations.
  • In India, air potato is considered a diuretic and a remedy for diarrhea and hemorrhoids.
  • Air potatoes are used to treat diarrhea, stomach, sensation, fatigue and depression, among other ailments in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Air potato has been used for memory enhancement, anti-aging, constipation and fever, and also as an infusion to be applied to cuts and wounds.
  • Air potato leaves are an effective cure for eye diseases such as conjunctivitis.
  • It is useful in treating jaundice also known as yellow fever.
  • It is effective in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure in the body.
  • It is beneficial in relieving pain, even in cases of broken bones.
  • The powdered roots can be applied externally to treat abscesses.

Uses of Air Potato

Air potatoes are well cooked and eaten. Air potatoes are used in fried, cooked and in various food dishes.

Side effects of Air Potato

Wild, unknown air potatoes may be unsafe to eat or take as medicine or by mouth. It contains chemicals that can cause seizures. Air potatoes also contain chemicals such as the prescription drug Digoxin (Lanoxin). These chemicals can cause dangerously irregular heartbeats.

There is insufficient data to know if the bitter yam varieties raised by farmers are safe to use as medicines, although these varieties are most likely free of toxic chemicals.

Pregnancy and lactation: Not enough is known about the use of air potatoes during pregnancy and lactation. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. 

Therefore, air potato should be used in the right amount considering its benefits and harms as excessive use of any product can harm our health. The above is information provided for general information purposes only. It is recommended that you consult your doctor before using air potato for healing. 

Conclusion 

The information discussed in this article is about the health benefits of air potato. In this article, you will learn about the benefits and harms, uses, and other information of air potato. I hope the information mentioned in this article will be useful to you. Thank you! 

FAQ 

1. What are the benefits of air potatoes?

Ans: Air potatoes are important for supporting bone health, development, metabolism, and cardiovascular function. In Asia, air potatoes are used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to help against diarrhea, sore throat and jaundice.

2. What are the common names of air potatoes?

Ans: Common names of air potatoes are air yam, air potato, aerial yam, bitter yam, cheeky yam, potato yam, parsnip yam.

3. Air potatoes are native to which place?

Ans: Air potatoes are native to Africa, Asia and Northern Australia.

4. What is the scientific name of air potatoes?

Ans: The scientific name of air potato is Dioscorea bulbifera.

5. What is the American name of air potato?

Ans: The American name of air potato is Dioscorea bulbifera.

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