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Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.

Convolvulus batatas L.
Ipomoea apiculata M. Martens & Galeotti
Convolvulus tiliaceus auct. non Willd.
Ipomoea fastigiata (Roxb.) Sweet
Ipomoea tiliacea auct.non (Willd.) Choisy
Ipomoea triloba auct.non L.

Group: Dicot
Family: Convolvulaceae - Morning-glory family
Duration: Annual
Growth Habit: Vine, Forb/herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Misti Alu.

Tribal Name: Lyho (Khumi), Ranga Alo (Chakma).

English Name: Sweet Potato.

Description of the Plant:

A prostrate herb with trailing stem and tuberous roots; tubers red, white or rarely yellow. Leaves ovate-cordate, acute angular or more or less lobed.Flowers 1-several in axillary cymes.Corolla funnel-shaped, pale violat.Capsule ovoid, rarely formed.

Chemical Constituents:

Leaves are a good source of vitamins B and C. Tubers, particularly mouldy ones, contain lung toxic, hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic 2- and 3-substituted furan terpenes and related compound. Hepatotoxic 3-substituted furan terpenes include ipomeamarone and it derivatives, ipomeamaronol and myoporone. Lung toxic compounds are 1, 4-dioxy-1-(3-furyl) pentanes and 4-ipomeanol (most abundant). Hydrocyanic acid (30mg/100g), oxalic acid (1.0%) and phytic acid (8%) and phytosterols are also present in the tubers. Sweet potato also contains scopoletin and some fungicidal and bactericidal substances and enzymes.

Stem tips contain indole-3-acetic acid. Sweet potato is capable of forming phytosterols are also present in the tubers (Ghani, 2003). A new furanoterpenoid-dehydroipomeamarone has been isolated from roots infected with Ceratocystis fimbriata. It also contains n-pentacosane, n-heptacosane, n-non-acosane, ß-sitosterol, palmitic acid, NaCl, and three unknown compounds A, B and C respectively (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Mode of Uses:

  • Leaves are cooked as vegetable. Boiled tubers are edible (Khumi).
  • The roasted or boiled tubers are eaten. Leaves are eaten as vegetables. Cooked tubers also eaten (Chakma, Tripura, Bawm.
  • Plant is used as antidiabetic. Whole plant or its infusion is used in low fever and skin diseases. Root is aphrodisiac and laxative; useful in strangury and diarrhoea. Leaf paste with salt is applied to whitlow. Leaves are good source of vitamin B and C.


Cultivated throughout the country.

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