Basic Information



Species                       : Dioscorea bulbifera Linn.

Local Name                 : Geetha tarul (Nep), Kachyo,Kaching (Lep)

Synonym                     : D. Sativa Thunb

Family                         : Dioscoreaceae

Habitat                       : A climber.

Distribution                : Distributed to temperate region.

Sikkim            : Sangadorjee (Rinchenpong), Tashiding, Burtuk, Machung to Chuchachen Pokhari, Balwakhani, Suntale Forest, Rateypani, Gangtok,

                      Yoksum, Singtam, Martam, Kabi Sotak, Chungthang, Lachung, Thingling.

Out side        : Darjeeling (West Bengal), Assam, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Bhutan (Samchi, Phuntsholing, Chukka, Sarbhang, Gaylegphug, Punakha,

                       and Tashigang), Terai.

Morphological information

Tubers variable, Bulbils numerous, irregular in shape 2.5 cm or more across brown, warted. Stem twining to the left. Leaves usually alternate, about 10- 15 by 7.5- 10 cm often much larger or smaller, ovate, acuminate, base more or less deeply cordate, lobes rounded, 7- 11 nerved. Male spikes 5- 10 cm long, clustered axillary clusters of 2 5.Capsule 1.8- 2.2 cm long, oblong. Seeds winged at the base.

Flowering              : June- September

Fruiting                 : September-November

History                 :

Parts                    : Tuber.

Status                  : Endangered in wild.



Isolation and structure determination of furanoid norditerpenes- disobulbinosides D and F- from tubers; disobulbins D, E, F, G and H isolated and their structures elucidated; a new dihydrophenanthrene (2,4,6,7- tetrahydroxy-9, 10- dihydrophenanthrene, I) and a new phenanthrene (2,4,5,6- tetrahydoxy-phenanthrene), in addition to diosbulbins B, D and D- sorbitol isolated from rhizomes.



The tuber is bitter, pungent; fattening tonic, alternative, aphrodisiac, stomachic, anthelmintic; useful in dyspepsia, urinary discharge, leucoderma, bronchitis, vata biliousness, piles, tumors, strangury.


The tuber has a sharp bitter taste expectorant, astringent to the bowels; useful in asthma, bronchitis, and pain in abdomen.



The tubers are applied to ulcers after being dried and powdered. In the plains of the Punjab, the leaves are used medicinally and sold under the name of totar puttr. It is also used in piles and dysentery.



1. Kirtikar, K.R.; and B.D Basu. Indian Medicinal Plants with illustration (Vol. 10) Oriental Enterprises, Rajpur Road, Dehradun, Uttranchal. 3431- 3436.

2. Noltie, H.J. (1994). Flora of Bhutan (Vol.3 part 1), Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 9.

3. Progress Report of the Project "Studies on Medicinal Plants of Sikkim" (1998- 2001). State Council of Science and Technology for Sikkim.