The corm or tuber of Amorphophallus campanulatus plant is commonly known as Suran, Sooran, Zamikand, Jimikand and elephant foot yam. It is cultivated all over India and commonly used as a vegetable. Suran is cooked as a vegetable only after washing, cutting and boiling in lemon, tamarind, alum or vinegar water to get rid of its irritant properties.
Suran is also used as a medicine in treatment of piles, acute dyspepsia, abdominal colic, elephantiasis, fistula, glandular swellings in the neck, urinary diseases and dropsy. It belongs to Panchagni / Pancha hutashna group of Ayurveda and especially useful in constipation, piles, liver diseases, and deranged digestion. It is one of the best vegetable for patients suffering from chronic constipation and piles.
Plant Description: Elephant Yam is a tropical plant and requires loamy non alkaline soil, temperature above 25 degree Celsius and rainfall between 1000-1200 mm/annum. When the conditions are humid, leaves grow. Dry condition favors growth of tuber.
The plant is a perennial stemless herb, with tuberous roots. The tuber is underground stem. It is sub-globose, depressed, bulbiferous, dark greyish-brown, warty and 18 to 25 cm in thickness. Rootlets are thin. Petiole is radically developed from the depressed portion of the globose tuber side by side with the spathe and spadix. Spathe is broadly campanulate, light green with whitish patches outside, dark-purple at base. Spadix is stout, with pistillate region at the base, staminate above and upper most sterile, subglobose or amorphous, dark purple, irregularly lobed appendix, spongy, broader than long and whitish within.
The tuber has sometimes many bulbils, each of which gives forth no spathe nor spadix, but only a petiole with leaves.
- Flowering occur before leafing every year from the previous year’s tuber.
- Fruit is ovoid berries.
- Plant type / Growth Habit: Herb
- Plant origin: Native to tropical Asia
- Duration: Perennial
- Distribution: Along forest borders in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Also found in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indinesia, and other countries of South-east.
- Range: Tropical regions from Madagascar to Asia, Polynesia and northern Australia
- Propagation: Offsets of the corm or by fresh seed
- Habitat: Widely cultivated throughout the upper Gangetic plains and in peninsular India
- Part(s) used for medicinal purpose/edible part: dried tuber / Corm
- Texture: Starchy
- Odour: Not distinctive
- Taste: Acrid
Vernacular names / Synonyms
- Scientific name: Amorphophallus campanulatus
- Sanskrit: Soorana, Kandula, Arshoghna, Kandayak, Gudaamaya-hara, Kandala, Suranah
- Bengali: Ole
- English: Elephant-foot Yam, Elephant Yam, Cheeky yam, Corpse flower, Corpse plant, Telinga Potato, Voodo lily
- Gujrati: Surana
- Hindi: Suran
- Kannada: Suvarna gadde
- Malayalam: Chena, Kattuchena, Kattuchenai, Cena Karana
- Siddha: Karnsa
- Tamil: Karunai Kizhangu
- Telugu: Mancai Kanda Durada Gadda
- Unani: Soorana, Zamin-qand, Zamikand
- Arabic: Batata el-feel
- Bangladesh: Ol
- China: Bai Ban Mo
- Myanmar: Wa
All plants are scientifically classified into main 7 levels viz. Kingdom, Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. A genus comprise of many species and botanical name consists of Genus (uppercase) followed by Species (lowercase). Genus consists of many species which are closely related and have lots of similarities. Species is the lowest level and represents the group of same plant.
The botanical name of Sooran is Amorphophallus campanulatus (Roxb.) Blume ex Decne. It is the cultivated species of Suran and used as vegetable whereas Amorphophallus sylvaticus is wild species. Amorphophallus sylvaticus contains more calcium oxalate due to which it is more sharp and acrid.
Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.
- Kingdom: Plantaex
- Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
- Superdivision: Spermatophyta
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Liliopsida
- Subclass: Arecidae
- Order: Arales
- Family: Araceae – Arum family
- Genus: Amorphophallus Blume ex Decne. – amorphophallus
- Species: Amorphophallus campanulatus
- Amorphophallus dubius Blume
- Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson var. campanulatus (Decne.)
- Draconitum paeoniifolius Dennst.
Constituents of Amorphophallus campanulatus
The tuber contains an active Betulinic Acid, β-Sitosterol, Stigmasterol, Lupeol, Triacontane, Glucose, Galactose, Rhamnose, diastatic enzymeamylase and amino acids.
Food Value per 100 grams
- Energy 70 KJ
- Water 80 gram
- Protein 1.2 gram
- Fat 0.1 gram
- Fibre 0.8 gram
- Carbohydrate 18.4 gram
- Oxalic Acid 1.3 gram
- Minerals 0.8 gram
- Calcium 50.0 mg
- Phosphorus 34.0 mg
- Iron 0.6 mg
- Thiamin 0.06 mg
- Riboflavin 0.07 mg
- Niacin 0.7 mg
- Carotene 260 mcg
- Vitamin A 434 I.U.
Ayurvedic Properties and Action
Surana is astringent, and pungent in taste (Rasa), pungent after digestion (Vipaka), and is hot in effect (Virya). Due to hot potency, it subdues Vata (Wind) and Kapha (Mucus) and increases Pitta (Bile). It has property of digestion, purging, and gives feeling of lightness. It is considered bad for sperms and fetus.
- Rasa (taste on tongue): Kashaya (Astringent), Katu (Pungent)
- Guna (Pharmacological Action): Tikshna (Sharp), Ruksha (Dry)
- Virya (Action): Ushna (Heating)
- Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Katu (Pungent)
Action / Karma
- Krimighna: Curer of worms
- Arshoghna: Curer of piles
- Ruchya: Improve taste
- Vedanahara: Pain killer
- Vatakar: Increases Vata
- Pittakar: Increases Pitta
- Kaphahara: Reduces Kapha
- Dipana: Improves digestion
- Raktapittakar: Causes bleeding disorder, in larger dose
- Dadrukara: Causes dadru
- Kushthakara: Causes skin diseases
- Abdominal diseases Udar Roga
- Asthma, bronchitis, cough
- Diseases due to vitiated blood
- Diseases of liver
- Eczema Vicarchika
- Enlargement of spleen
- Enlarged prostrate
- Filariasis elephantiasis Shleepad
- Piles Arsha
- Tumor / Arbuda, Granthishotha
- Suran is useful in diseases that occur due to vitation of Vata and Kapha.
- Arsha Hita Tablets
- Trailokya Chintamani Ras
Important Medicinal Properties
Amorphophallus campanulatus is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. These also indicate the conditions in which we should avoid it. For example, it is emmenagouge and suitble for amenorrhoea but not in pregnancy.
Below is given medicinal properties along with the meaning.
- Anti-asthmatic: Treat or prevent asthma attacks.
- Antioxidant: Neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals and other substances.
- Anti–dysenteric: Relieving or preventing dysentery.
- Analgesic: Relieve pain.
- Anticatarrhal: Remove excess mucous from the body.
- Anti–dysenteric: Relieving or preventing dysentery.
- Anticonvulsant: Prevent or reduce the severity of epileptic fits or other convulsions.
- Aperient: Used to relieve constipation.
- Antiemetic: Useful in the treatment of vomiting.
- Anthelmintic: Antiparasitic, expel parasitic worms (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body.
- Carminative: Preventing the formation or causing the expulsion of flatulence.
- Diaphoretic: Promote sweating.
- Digestive: Digestant.
- Depurative: Purifying agent.
- Emmenagogue: Stimulates or increases menstrual flow.
- Hepatoprotective: Prevent damage to the liver.
- Stomachic: Stimulates gastric activity.
- Tonic: Restore or improve health or well-being.
Medicinal Uses of Amorphophallus campanulatus
Suran or Amorphophallus campanulatus is a very well-known vegetable. The corm is cooked as curry after washing and boing in tamarind water. It is never prepared without boiling.
Sooran is also used as a medicine both internally and externally. Internally the purified powder of corm is given in treatment of piles, bleeding piles, fissure, fistula, indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery and constipation. It is high in fiber content and therefor gives relief in constipation. Externally, corm paste is applied for allergies and to relieve pain in acute rheumatism.
Suran offers numerous health benefits and helps in many ailments.
- It is used as a restorative in dyspepsia, weakness etc.
- It stimulates secretion of digestive juices and liver.
- It increases appetite and taste.
- It is given as a vegetable in intestinal diseases, sluggish liver and digestive disorders.
- It is used in treatment of piles, rectal polyp format ions and condyloma.
- It is emmenagogue and increases flow of blood to pelvic.
- The Suran pickle is hot and carminative.
- The crushed seed relieves tooth-ache.
- The corm and the seeds are used as irritants and relieve the pain of rheumatic swellings when applied externally.
- The paste of the tuber mixed with honey and clarified butter is applied to alleviate filaria.
- For piles, Suran and Mahua flowers are pounded and taken twice a day for one month.
- As a medicine for constipation, piles, dysentery, asthma, seminal weakness, obesity, general debility etc., powder of corm can be taken daily in recommended dosage.
Dosage of Amorphophallus campanulatus
Suran causes irritation when taken orally. So, it should be purified (shodhan) before use as a medicine. For this purpose, Suran is wrapped in layer of mud (about 2 inches) and dried in sun. After this, it is roasted over cow dung cakes (uple) till the mud is red. At this point corm is removed and washed. Washed corm is peeled and cut into pieces and again dried in sun. The dried pieces are powdered. Or
Suran is boiled in water containing good amount of tamarind. Boiled Suran is taken out, cut and peeled. The pieces are dried in sun and. completely dried Suran is ground to make powder.
This powder can be taken in dose of 5-10 grams for various ailments.
Contraindications, Interactions, Side-effects and Warnings
- The tubers contain calcium oxalate and acrid juice. It is important to remove the acrid juice through boiling and washing, otherwise the vegetable can cause irritation in the mouth. The corm should be boiled in tamarind water or buttermilk before use.
- It is hot in nature, so should be used with caution in summer and by hot temperament individuals and menstruating women.
- It increases heat inside body.
- Antidote for overdose is tamarind fruit extract in buttermilk
- It should not be taken by persons with skin diseases and suffering from bleeding disorder or raktapitta.
- Do not take during pregnancy and breast feeding.
- Avoid in blisters, dryness and persistent bitter taste in the mouth, red eyes, hot and watery face, inflammation of the body, skin diseases and high pitta.
- Intake in large amount can cause burning sensation.
- Do not eat in excess.
- It causes itching on skin contact.