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Manihot esculenta Crantz

Janipha manihot (L.) Kunth
Jatropha dulcis J. F. Gmel.
Jatropha manihot L.
Manihot aipi Pohl
Manihot dulcis (J. F. Gmel.) Pax
Manihot leptopoda (Mull. Arg.) D. J. Rogers & Appan
Manihot manihot (L.) Cockerell
Manihot melanobasis Mull. Arg.
Manihot utilissima Pohl.

Group: Dicot
Family: Euphorbiaceae - Spurge family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Shrub

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Shimal alu.

Tribal Name: Thing bazik, Thingba (Bawm), Seme alu (Chakma), Akuho (Khumi), Asa Mrwak, Lapai baou (Marma), Yam-wi (Murang), Kapela alu (Tanchangya), Tha Bucchuk (Tripura).

English Name: Cassava, Tapioca.

Description of the Plant:

A tall, herbaceous plant with cluster of tuberous roots. Leaves, deeply 3-7 parted; lobes lanceolate, acuminate. Flowers in paniculate racemes, males usually above and female below.Capsule of three 2-valved cocci.

Chemical Constituents:

Plant contains cyanogenetic glucoside; latex contains essential oil 0.13%, saponins 1.14%, glucoside 1.66%, and dyes 3.8%; essential oil contains sulphur in organic combination (Chopra et al., 1992). a- and ß- carotenes and hydroxylcarotenes have also been isolated from the plant. Linamarin has been isolated from tubers. Leaves contain rutin, quercetin, chlorogenic acid esters of p-coumaric, caffeic, ferulic and sinapic acids, glycosides of caffeic and ferulic acids, luteolin glycosides, amentoflavone and podocarpusflavone A. Leaves and roots also contain Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Manihot esculenta Crantz

Manihot esculenta Crantz

Mode of Uses:

  • Paste prepared from the tuber by boiling in water and used as curry. Chutney is prepared from the leaves boiled in water and mixed with chili (Bawm).
  • Boiled tuber is used as one of the ingredients to prepare local beer (Khumi).
  • Water extract of the root is used for treating jaundice. The root is also given in the form of pills (Marma).
  • Tuber is eaten. Prickle is prepared from boiled leaf (Murang).
  • The leaves are cooked as leafy vegetable. Boiled tubers are eaten with or without curcuma and tuber also used in curries (Bawm,Chakma, Marma and Tripura).


Cultivated by the tribal peoples in Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Cox's Bazar, Madhupur and other tribal areas.

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