Prashanta kr. Deb1, Tejendra Bhakta2*,
1Dept. of Pharmacy, Tripura University; Suryamaninagar –799 022, Agartala, Tripura (w).
2Regional Institute of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology, Abhoynagar – 799005, Agartala, Tripura (w).
Dioscorea is a slender twining annual herbs distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical region of the world. Dioscorea is a fascinating plant with many uses in the history of the development of modern pharmacy. The number of species is quite overwhelming (over 600) and the Ethno-botanical uses are most interesting. Dioscorea is a genus of over 600 species of flowering plants in the family Dioscoreaceae. They are tuberous herbaceous perennial climber, growing to 2–12 m or more tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, mostly broad heart-shaped. The flowers are individually inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, with six petals; they are mostly dioecious, with separate male and female plants, though a few species are monoecious, with male and female flowers on the same plant. The fruit is a capsule in most species, a soft berry in a few species. Several species, known as yams, are important agricultural crops in tropical regions, grown for their large tubers. Some species produces large cylindrical tubers penetrating deep into the ground, while other varieties produce small or large tubers close to the soil surface. Sometimes 1-2 tubers are produce at the base of the plant while in the other cases cluster of tubers are observed. Many of these are toxic when fresh, but can be detoxified and eaten, and are particularly important in parts of Africa, and Asia.