Dioscorea bulbifera

Parem, Pohnpei

This certain herbaceous vine likes to climb on everything that is in its way. It has several medicinal uses locally, like help easing the pain on sprained ankles, and certain other uses that is in combination with other plants. History or stories of the past depicts that the plant was used as yam, way before the yams found its way to the island of Pohnpei. It was one of the major food productions before that is why one the island of Parem there is so many. It has these thorns that grow on top of the dirt, I imagine it as some means for protection against animals eating the taproot. As old timers would say that Palahi was a lot tastier than the yams planted today. It is similar to some of the yams in its family, but it is the only one with thorns protecting it.

First, in healing the sprained angle, the fruit of the vine, which is brownish in color is cut in have and the insides are scraped out and put into a cloth or something that will easily let the fluid out of it we massaging the sprained ankle with it. Always massage down toward the ground and outwardly of the foot. It is also used for some medicinal uses, but the identities of the other ingredients are of the family.

In talking about the usage of this plant as food, in the ground after a certain time, lies something just like the yams today. It can be put in a uhm, boiled with coconut oil, and it can also be used to feed the pigs and they certainly like it.

Nicholas Victor, Fall 2000.

Further information:

Dioscoreaceae Dioscorea bulbifera "palai"