Yacon the Wonder Root Crop

Yacon Medicinal Root Crop

Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius). A perennial herb endemic to the Andes. With spony stems purple projections; small, terminal yellow to orange colored flowers. A member of the sunflower family, with large, tuberous edible sweet roots, low in calories and are eaten raw. Leaves can tolerate partial shading, a trait useful for agro-forestry. It grows fast in loose, well-drained acidic or alkaline soil rich in organic matters.

yacon root crops

Yacon is not only outstanding nutritious source, but also has a positive impact on health for a modern society marked by excessive consumption of meat, food preservatives, junk foods, etc., and lack of physical exercise. The strong demand worldwide, was not just due to Yacon sweet flavor and easy to eat, but also to its active components and effect on diabetes and the digestive system.

In the Philippines, Yacon was introduced by a Japanese national, in year 2000. it was first grown in some part of Mindanao and later at the Cordillera. Now, Yacon is successfully grown in the Sierra Madre Mountain areas, particularly in the upland of Dupax, Santa Fe and Southern municipalities of Nueva Vizcaya. In 2005, the Nueva Vizcay Yacon Processing and Trading Center was established. A pilot project farm was set-up in the Batangas area the following year (2006). Where Yacon plants are naturally grown and 100% organic farming is used to produce tubers for safer more natural alternative for your health.

Chemical Properties

Several carbohydrates are stored in the tubers (roots) of Yacon; fructose, glucose, surcrose, low polymerization degree (DP) oligosaccharides (DP 3-10 fructans) and traces of starch and inulin (Asamietal. 1989/Ohyamaet. Al 1990).

Fresh roots contain 69-83% water, 0.4-2% protein & 20% sugar, principally inulin, a frucrose polymer. Dry roots contain 4-7% ash, 6-7% protein, 65% sugar and potassium.

Oligofructans with lower DP (average 4.2) may account for up to 67% of dry matter content at harvest (Asmai et al 1991). Oligasaccharides purified form Yacon have been identified as beta-(2-1) fructooligosaccharides with terminal sucrose (inulin type oligofrucans) (Goto et al. 1995).

Dry leaves and stems contain 11-17% protein. 2-7% and 38-41 % nitrogen – free extracts.

Yacon Medicinal Value

1. It is a potential treatment tor Diabetes. Yacon contains inulin, a fructose polymer. It increases the insulin concentration in the body effectively stabilizing blood sugar level.

2. It provides high fiber content that assists in treating digestive problems.

3. Low in calories that make it a perfect nutritious diet for people who are suffering from obesity.

4. It contains properties in the treatment of kidney problems.

5. It is diuretic that helps increase the secretion and expulsion of urine.

6. It reduces and suppress urinary calculi (stones) and acts to dissolve those already present.

7. Yacon helps normalize the stool and reduce the pressure on your colon – hence, reduces the risk of colon cancer.

8. Reduces the risk of Arteriosclerosis with resistance to insulin and dislipemia. and has been shown to be effective in feeding hypercoloric disorder, based fundamentally on carbohydrates. The oligofructose inhibits the lipogenesis and consequently, they have a hypotrigliceridemic effect.

9. Helps relive joint pain, decreases joints swelling and tenderness associated with Arthritis. Gout and Rheumatism.

10. Recent reports say it helps in treating Insomnia, Dysmerorrhea, Myoma, Migraine, Colic and Hyperacidity.

11. Yacon is a pest resistant plant naturally grown, 100% organic that protects you and your families from harmful chemicals, that harm the body and the environment, that shortens life, hence, may prolong life.

How to Use Yacon Tubers and Tea

Tubers: Wash thoroughly and peel the skin. Slice into desired sizes and eat it raw. DO NOT WASH tubers not be eaten to avoid spoilage. Adult: 5-6 (150g). Children: 1-3 slices (75g) – as daily food supplement.

Tea: Boil 3-4 glasses of water, steep one tea bag. Allow to stand for 2 minutes and remove the tea bag. Drink hot or cold. Add honey or kalamansi to taste.

Tuber skin: About 1/8 kg. of tuber skin, boil 3-4 glasses of water for about 5-6 minutes. Remove skin and add honey or kalamansi to taste. Serve just like water daily.

For those suffering from:
* Diabetes, gallstone, obesity, constipation, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, high blood pressure, kidney problem, aging prevention, prostate problem, and other ailments. You can take 200-300g of tubers daily and 4-5 glasses or 800ml. of Yacon tea daily.

Yacon Leaves Herbal Properties and Action

Main Actions (in order):
* hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, liver protector

Main Uses (leaves):

1. for diabetes and high blood sugar
2. as a liver tonic for liver problems
3. as an antimicrobial for kidney and bladder infections
4. as an antioxidant (especially for the liver)

Properties/ Actions Documented by Research:
* antibacterial, antidiabetic, antifungal, antioxidant, hepatoprotective (liver protector), hepatotonic (liver tonic) immunostimulant.

Other Properties/ Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
* antidiabetic, stomachic (digestic aid)

Caution: The leaves will enhance the effect of insulin and diabetic drugs

IMPORTANT NOTE: These are for informational purposes only and are not recommended as a means of treating or diagnosing an illness.

For more information, contact:

Elyacon Agri-Ventures
Pacita complex, San Vicente San Pedro, Laguna
Tel: (02) 808-7835
CP: 0927-2390046

Source: trc.dost.gov.ph

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4 Responses

  1. Rex Puentespina says:

    hello Julius. Is it possible to buy planting materials from you ? Our farm is in Davao.

  2. George Untal says:

    Julius, I would like to try growing yakon in my backyard, but have had difficulties finding a seller for live plants or rhizomes. I am willing to pay for the plants or rhizomes including shipping. Please let me know if you can help.

  3. Julius Cadava says:

    I have a farm located on a mountainous and foggy area. I tried planting several crops but failed, only yakon plant is suited for planting. In my farm, yakon root crops doubles in size co pared to yakon coming from other places, the aroma and taste is also different. I can plant and produce in large countities if i have markets. My farm id located in alamada,north cotabato. I will appreciate it very much if you can advice me the best things to do related to yakon. Thank you so much

  4. Conrad Sambilad says:

    I liked yacon.

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