School of Chinese Medicine
Dioscorea bulbifera L. (Chinese: Huangdu, common name: air potato) is a traditional herbal medicine in China, and it is also one of the most widely consumed yam species, especially in West Africa. Studies have verified that D. bulbifera is effective in treating a wide range of diseases, such as pharyngitis, goitre, pyogenic skin infections, orchitis and cancer. However, more and more studies have also reported liver and kidney damage caused by D. bulbifera. To promote understanding of the bioactivity, toxicity and methods for detoxification of this medicinal and edible plant, the present article reviews the most valuable recent reports on its phytochemistry and pharmacological effects. The possible reasons for its toxicity include the toxic effects of diosbulbin B and D on hepatocytes, the inhibition of antioxidant enzymes in liver mitochondria, and inhibition of enzymes that ordinarily metabolize the herb’s components. Synergistic compatibility detoxification may help to reduce toxic effects and improve therapeutic effects. More clinical trials are also required to fully achieve its therapeutic potential.
Dioscorea bulbifera, Pharmacological effects, Toxicity, Detoxification
Source Publication Title
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017. The final publication is available at link.springer.com via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11101-017-9505-5
This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81603381, 81673691) the Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (2014A030313766, 2016A030313008), the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Committee (JCYJ20160518094706544), and the Faculty Research Grant of Hong Kong Baptist University (FRG2/15-16/022, FRG2/16-17/053). The authors would like to thank Miss Qi-Lei Chen and Hao-Ming Fang (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) for their professional expertise.
Link to Publisher's Edition
Guan, X., Zhu, L., Zhang, Y., Chen, H., & Yi, T. (2017). Bioactivity, toxicity and detoxification assessment of Dioscorea bulbifera L.: A comprehensive review. Phytochemistry Reviews, 16 (3), 573-601. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-017-9505-5