Medicinal uses of few edible tuber crops by“Dongria Kandha” tribes of Kandhamal district of Odisha, India
This paper describes the systematic study of root and tuber crops consumed by “Dongria Kandha” tribes of two blocks of “Kandhamal” district of Odisha. Periodic surveys were conducted in 25 villages of these two blocks regarding the methods of uses of different wild and cultivated edible tuber crops. Total seven types of edible tuber crops were consumed by this tribe. As no specific reports are available on the tuber crops consumed as food and medicine by this tribe, therefore documentation of tuber crops relating to the methods of uses, along with the morphological parameters were recorded. During survey 10 species of Dioscorea genus were found to be consumed as food as well as medicine to cure various ailments. Among them two species were found to be bitter in taste and unpalatable when consumed raw. Various methods were applied by the tribes to make the tubers palatable. The methods of consumption of ten species of Dioscorea along with the medicinal uses to treat various diseases were described in this article. Therefore these crops are valued for food security and also play a vital role towards diminishing rural poverty as well as have significant contribution towards curing of various diseases.
Dioscorea, Dongria Kandha, Edible tuber crops, Morphological parameters, Unpalatable
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