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Elephant Yam (Suran): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 07/05/2024

Elephant Yam, also known as Elephant Foot Yam, Suran, or Jimikand, is a versatile vegetable that is widely used in cooking and traditional medicine. This large tuberous root vegetable is a staple in many cuisines, especially in India and other Asian countries.

There are primarily three varieties of elephant yam; Gajendra, Sree Padma and Kusum. This root vegetable is grown as an intercrop with bananas and turmeric. The tubers of elephant yam contain high levels of calcium oxalate, which can cause a strong, irritating sensation in the mouth and throat.

Let us find out more about this wonder vegetable!

What is Elephant Foot Yam?

Elephant foot yam is a root vegetable known for its resemblance to an elephant’s foot. This vegetable has rough brownish skin and light purple flesh inside.

Along with its culinary uses, elephant yam offers a range of health benefits. One of the primary benefits is its high nutritional content. It is a great source of vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin B6.

It also contains minerals like potassium and manganese. It is rich in dietary fibre, which is beneficial for digestive health. Also, elephant foot yam vegetables are low in calories and fat. It helps in losing or maintaining body weight.

Nutritional Value of Elephant Yam

Elephant yam is a powerhouse of various nutrients. It is a good source of dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. This table shows the exact amount of elephant foot yam nutrition per 100 grams of serving.

Nutrient Amount
Water 69.6 g 
Energy 118 kcal 
Protein 1.53 g
Total Lipid (Fat) 0.17 g
Carbohydrate 27.9 g
Ash 0.882 g
Fibre 4.1 g
Sugar 0.5 g
Calcium 17 mg
Iron 0.54 mg
Magnesium 21 mg
Phosphorus 55 mg
Potassium  816 mg

Potential Health Benefits of Elephant Foot Yam

If you are still wondering about the elephant foot yam benefits, here is what you need to know:

Elephant Yam May Help Manage Diabetes

Many individuals wonder - is elephant yam good for diabetes? Elephant yam contains flavonoids that might boost insulin secretion. It potentially can reduce sugar levels and other diabetes-related complications.

This tuber vegetable is also low in glycemic index, which may increase blood sugar slowly. However, if you suffer from diabetes, you must consult a doctor before adding Suran to your diet.

Elephant Yam May Help Relieve Pain

The elephant yam tuber could potentially alleviate pain. The analgesic properties of Jimikand extracts may hinder prostaglandin synthesis, which causes inflammation. You may also use it alongside conventional pain relievers to reduce the side effects.

However, if the pain persists, you must see a doctor for expert consultation, instead of self-medication.

Elephant Yam May Help Subside Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Diseases

Elephant yam has been used in traditional medicine to address gastrointestinal issues such as piles, abdominal pain, and constipation. It can enhance gastrointestinal motility. So, consuming it regularly can help in bowel movement in case of constipation. It is also helpful in treating diarrhoea and dysentery as it is a good source of probiotics.

Elephant Yam Have Antifungal and Antibacterial Agent

Elephant yam extract may be used for treating antibacterial and antifungal infections. A phytoconstituent found in elephant yam has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It may potentially treat infections caused by microorganisms.

Elephant Yam Have Anthelmintic Properties

The elephant yam tuber might have properties that can eliminate parasitic worms. However, further studies are needed to determine the extent of its benefits as various parasites affect humans.

Elephant Yam May Help Alleviate Liver Diseases

Quercetin, a flavonoid extracted from elephant yam, may potentially prevent liver damage. This tuber might reduce elevated enzyme levels, boost protein levels, and enhance the condition of damaged liver cells. However, if you are suffering from liver disease, seek advice from a healthcare practitioner.

Elephant Yam May Help in Managing Weight

Elephant yam might be beneficial for weight loss and it can be incorporated into various healthy recipes. With their excellent nutritional value, elephant yams are a healthy food choice. However, you may need to seek advice from a certified nutritionist before making any dietary changes.

Elephant Yam May Reduce Ulcerative Colitis

Elephant foot yam could potentially help with ulcerative colitis. Some phytoconstituents in elephant yam might have anti-colitic properties. However, more research is needed to fully understand its benefits to human health.

Elephant Yam May Balance Oestrogen Level

Elephant foot yam is known to elevate oestrogen levels in women. It aids in maintaining the hormonal balance and reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It has antioxidant properties, and it is rich in vitamin B6. It is beneficial for alleviating PMS symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramps.

Elephant Yam May Lower Cholesterol Agent

Elephant foot yam is known for its ability to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. It is also regarded as a beneficial food for weight loss. It contains omega-3 fatty acids that help elevate the good cholesterol levels in the body. It also lowers the harmful LDL (bad) cholesterol.

This root vegetable contains minimal fat content and it is rich in fibre. These characteristics make elephant foot yam an excellent choice for those seeking to manage their weight effectively.

Elephant Yam May Detoxify Body

Elephant foot yam is known to serve as a powerful detoxifier. It is high in fibre content and it helps in toxins removal from the liver. It also has hepatoprotective properties that can effectively cleanse other internal organs such as the intestines and stomach. It eliminates pathogens and promotes overall health.

Elephant Yam May Boost Immunity

The fibre in elephant foot yam acts as a beneficial supplement for probiotics. It aids in the removal of toxins and pathogens from the body. It also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, which boosts immunity. This yam is believed to possess antibacterial properties. It helps in preventing infections.

Also, elephant foot yam shows cytotoxic and immunomodulatory activity. It enhances the overall health.

Uses of Elephant Foot Yam

Elephant foot yam is not just a nutritional powerhouse; it is also a delicious ingredient. It is a part of regular diet in many regions. Much like sweet potatoes, you can enjoy elephant yam in a variety of dishes.

You can make many elephant foot yam recipes and enjoy the delicious tuber. You can eat this root vegetable in the following ways:

  • Curries

  • Crispy chips

  • Fries

  • Stews

  • Soups

  • Bread slices with elephant foot yam flour

  • Boiled yam for other recipes

  • Baked slices

Elephant foot yam is a versatile ingredient. You can prepare many recipes and enjoy this tuber vegetable. Many people use elephant foot yam flowers to make chutney.

Side Effects of Elephant Yam

There can be some elephant foot yam side effects. Consuming it may have the following symptoms or issues:

  • Itching and irritation in the mouth or throat

  • Burning sensation in the mouth

  • Itchy skin

  • Reddening of the skin

  • May increase oxalate secretion in urine

  • May cause wheal on the skin

  • Elephant foot yam might worsen symptoms for people with asthma, bronchitis, sinus infections, or colds due to its cooling effect on the body.

If you experience any of the adverse reactions after consuming elephant foot yam, consult a doctor and seek appropriate guidance.


The elephant foot yam, with its unique appearance and impressive nutritional benefits, has earned a place on tables across the globe. This root vegetable is versatile and delicious and offers a range of health benefits.

Elephant yam is rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It can contribute to a healthy diet. It helps in improving digestive health, managing diabetes, pain relief, and more. Elephant foot yam flower price is quite affordable, you can either buy it at a local store or go online.

While it is generally safe for consumption, it can still cause some side effects like irritation in the mouth and throat. It can make your skin itchy. Cook elephant foot yam thoroughly before consuming as it will reduce the presence of calcium oxalate crystals which causes irritation.

Also, those with asthma, bronchitis, or other respiratory issues should be cautious about consuming elephant foot yam because of its potential cooling effect.

Consult a healthcare professional before adding Suran to your diet, especially if you have any existing health conditions.

Health Insurance Plan: Why Do You Need One

You have just learned about the impressive benefits of elephant yam for your health. But what if you experience a sudden illness or injury that requires medical attention? Well, medical insurance can help you manage the financial burden of unexpected healthcare costs.

A good health insurance plan, such as Tata AIG's medical insurance, provides financial security during unexpected health issues. It covers medical expenses and allows you to get quality healthcare without worrying about the cost. With Tata AIG, you can easily calculate your health insurance premium using the online health insurance premium calculator. It is a simple way to find a plan that fits your budget and needs.

A health insurance plan also encourages preventive care and early detection of health issues. With a Tata AIG health insurance policy, you can rest assured knowing that you and your family are covered for a wide range of medical expenses.


Is elephant foot yam good for pregnancy?

Pregnant women can generally enjoy elephant foot yam in moderation. There is no evidence of it harming the mother’s health. However, it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor before adding new foods to your diet during pregnancy.

Is there any medicinal use of elephant foot yam?

Elephant foot yam is a part of traditional Indian medicinal practices as per Ayurveda. It is considered as pungent and astringent to taste, and it is a great remedy for promoting digestion, abdominal pain, blood disorder, etc.

Is there a way to get rid of the itch in elephant foot yam?

Elephant foot yam has oxalate crystals that cause itch while eating. Adding lime juice or tamarind in teh yam can reduce the itch as they have mild acidic properties that can neutralise the oxalate crystals in it.

Disclaimer: This is a general guide on the health benefits of Elephant Foot Yam, (Suran, Jimikand). It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. It is advisable to consult a qualified health professional for treatment in severe cases.

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