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Family Euphorbiaceae
Kamoteng kahoy
Manihot esculenta

Mu shu

Scientific name  Common names 
Janipha aipi (Pohl) J.Presl Balangai (Bis.) 
Janipha manihot (L.) Kunth Balinghoy (Tag., Bis.) 
Jatropha aipi (Pohl) A.Moller Kamoteng kahoy (Tag., Ilk.) 
Jatropha diffusa (Pohl) Steud. Kanggos (Bik.) 
Jatropha digitiformis (Pohl) Steud. Kamote ti Moro (Ilk.) 
Jatropha dulcis J.F.Gmel. Katimoro (Ilk.) 
Jatropha flavellifolia (Pohl) Steud. Tapioca plant (Engl.)
Jatropha loureiri (Pohl) Steud. Cassava (Engl.) 
Jatropha manihot Linn. Manioc (Engl.)
Jatropha mitis Rottb.  
Jatropha paniculata Ruiz & Pv. ex Pax  
Jatropha sylvestriis Vell.  
Jatropha stipulata Vell.  
Mandioca aipi (Pohl) Link  
Mandioca dulcis (J.F.Gmel.) D.Parodi  
Mandioca ultissima (JPohl) Link  
Manihot aipi Pohl  
Manihot aypi Spruce  
Manihot cannabina Sweet  
Manihot diffusa Pohl  
Manihot dulcis (J.F.Gmel.) Pax  
Manihot edule A.Rich.  
Manihot esculenta Crantz  
Manihot flabelliflia Pohl  
Manihot flexuosa Pax ex K.Hoffm.  
Manihot loureiriPohl  
Manihot melanobasis Muell. Arg.  
Manihot manihot (L.) Cokerell  
Manihot sprucei Pax  
Manihot ultissima Pohl  
Manihot esculenta Crantz is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ASSAMESE: Kuri aloo, Ximolu alu.
CHINESE: Shu ge, Mu shu.
DANISH: Maniok.
DUTCH: Cassave, Maniok.
FINNISH: Maniokki, Kassava.
FRENCH: Manioc, Tapioca.
GERMAN: Cassava, Maniok.
GIJARAT: Sabudana (pearls).
HINDI: Kasāvā, Marachini, Mara valle kilangu, Maravalli, Simla aloo, Simul alu, Ṭaipi'ōkā, Ṭaipī'ōka.
ITALIAN: Manioca.
JAPANESE: Imo noki, Kyassaba, Maniokku, Tapioka noki.
KANNADA: Kolli, Maragenasu, Sabakki (pearls), Sabba akki.
MALAY: Ubi kayu, Kaspe (Indonesia), Singkong (Indonesia).
MALAYALAM: Cheeni, Kappa, Maraccīni (pearls), Maracheeni, Kolli, Marakizhangu.
MARATHI: Sabu dana (pearls).
NEPALESE: Simal tarul.
PORTUGUESE : Aipim, Macaxeira, Mandioca, Maniba.
SANSKRIT: Karrapendalamu.
SINHALESE: Mangnokka.
SPANISH: Caxamote, Guacamote, Farinha, Huacamote, Mandioca, Yuca.
SWEDISH: Maniok.

TAMIL: Javvarisi (pearls), Kuchikezhangu (roots), Maravallikilangu, Maravallikizhangu.

TELUGU: Kanda, Karrapendalam, Karrapendalamu, Pendalamu, Saggu biyyaṁ.
THAI: Mansampalang.
URDU: Sābūdānā (pearls).
VIETNAMESE: Bột năng (flour), Bột sắn (starch), Sắn (root).

Kamoteng-kahoi is an erect, smooth, half-woody or shrubby plant, 1.5 to 3 meters in height, growing from stout and fleshy roots. Leaves are alternate and smooth (except for some of the upper leaves, which are entire) and dividing to the base into three to seven narrow segments, 10 to 20 centimeters long. Flowers are about 1 centimeter long. Fruit is a capsule, ovoid,1.5 centimeter long, with six, narrow longitudinal wings.

- Planted or semicultivated in settled areas throughout the Philippines for its fleshy and starchy roots.
- Introduced from Mexico in the early colonial period.
- Now pantropic.

• Mandiocin, a glucoside, has been isolated from the leaves.
• Study reports poison of the manioc plant is hydrocyanic or prussic acid, in the tissues, free or combined with a glucoside. The glucoside, phaseolunatin, is also found in various beans, rendering them poisonous.
• In nature, the hydrocyanic acid bound with the glucoside is held in check; but after the root is dug and as wilting occurs, the hydrocyanic acid is freed from the glucoside, and once harmless root, now stale, becomes poisonous.
• Most of the poisonous hydrocyanic acid from the cortical layers of the roots is removed by thorough peeling of the tubers.

• Tuber contains 26 to 40% starch and 1.5 to 2 percent proteids.
• Cassava leaves yield flavonoids, saponins and vitamin C.
• Study on the chemical composition of stalks: ashes 4.97%, cold water extraction 12.04%, hot water extraction 12.57%, 1% sodium hydroxide solution extraction 34.16%, benzene-alcohol solution extraction 4.20%, nitric acid-alcohol cellulose 35.86%, holo-cellulose 72.62%, pentosan 19.20%, acid-soluble lignin 2.51%, acid-insoluble lignin 26.10%, organic solvent-soluble lignin 1.07%, pectin content is 0.02%.

• Two well-known varieties: bitter and sweet.
• The bitter, more robust and planted for its starch, the source of tapioca. The roots containing hydrocyanic acid, considered poisonous but easily dissipated by heat.
• The root, harmless when fresh, becomes poisonous when stale. Thorough peeling of the tubers before cooking removes the chance of poisoning. The sweet variety is grown for use as a vegetable.
• Sweet cassava is not as good a starch producer as the bitter kind, but is non-poisonous, tasty and grown for use as vegetable.
• Tubers considered antiseptic
• Roots considered appetizer, aperient, vulnerary, tonic.
• Bark of trunk considered
• Leaves reported to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity.

Parts used
Tuber, leaves, bark, latex.

Edibility / Nutrition
- Source of tapioca.
- Sweet cassava is not as good a starch producer as the bitter kind, but is non-poisonous, tasty and grown for use as vegetable.
- In the Philippines, tender leaves used as wrapping and as ingredient in vegetable stews.
- Tender leaves used as food among the Indians of Brazil; also of widespread use in Malaysia.
- One of the staple food crops in many regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- In Indonesia, cassava roots used as alternative staple food and tapioca flour as wheat flour substitute in making bread and cookies.

- Leaves used for measles, small pox, chicken pox, and/or skin rashes.
- Used as flour for starch bath.
- Remove peelings and grate the tuber. Extract the juice, add enough water for a baby tub bath and boil.
- Poultice of fresh rhizome used for ulcers.
- Leaf sap latex used for eye conditions.
- Decoction of trunk bark used for rheumatism.
- Poultice of fresh rhizome applied to ulcers.
- In West Tropical Africa, compress of powdered leaves used for fevers and headaches.
- In Cambodia, pounded tubers used for ulcerated wounds.
- In Brazil, ointment useful for ulcers of the cornea; also used to preserve meat.
- In Malaysia, used for headaches, colds, fever and to treat constipation.
- In Guiana boiled down to a syrup and used as aperient.
- In Nigeria used in the treatment of ringworm, tumor, conjunctivitis, sores and abscesses.
- Fish Poison: Fruit used as fish poison in Brazil and California.

- Ruminant Energy Source: Cassava chip can be used as alternative energy source for ruminant feeding. (see study below) (20)

Antimicrobial Activity of Cassava Seed Oil on Skin Pathogenic Microorganisms:
Study showed Cassava seed oil had inhibitory effect on the growth of all test isolates (Staph aureus, Propionibacterium acne, E coli, Pityrospoium ovale and C albicans). (1)
• Antibacterial / Low Toxicity:
The in vitro Antibacterial Activity and Brine Shrimp Toxicity of Manihot esculenta Extracts: Chloroform extracts exhibited antibacterial activity against L. moncytogenes, V cholera, Shigella flexneri, S typhi white ethanol extracts was effective against P aeruginosa, C diphtheria and V cholera. (2)
• Antiamoebicidal Activity :
In a study on the in-vitro effects of extracts on E. histolytica, Manihot esculenta was one of 10 extracts that showed ≥ 50% antiamoebic activity at 96 hours. (3)
• Antitumor Activity: A study has suggested antitumor activity attributed to its triterpenes.
• Decreased Alcohol Toxicity / Increased Cassava Toxicity: Contrary to expectations that consumption of alcohol with a cassava rich diet would potentiate the toxicity of alcohol, co-administration reduced the toxicity of alcohol and potentiated the toxicity of cassava. The protection by cassava on alcohol-induced toxicity may be due to micronutrients like vitamins B and C. However, the toxicity of cassava was potentiated by consumption of alcohol as shown by the degeneration of hepatocytes and cell death. (4)
• Lipid Content of Young Leaves: Study showed young cassava leaves to have low content of lipids (3.02%). Analysis of the fatty acid composition of each of the leaf lipids showed that, with the exception of of steryl esters, all leaf lipids have a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. (5)
• Anthelmintic: A study on fresh cassava leaves incorporated into the diets of West African goats in Cameroon showed decrease in helmintic and coccidia infections. (7)
• Analgesic: Ethanol extract of cassava leaves in mice showed an analgesic effect of similar potency as paracetamol.
• Novel Binder for Paracetamol Tablets: Study showed paracetamol tablets manufactured by using Manihot esculenta starch is better in friability and hardness than those made of industrial starch (Maize). Results showed increased disintegration time and binding capacity. It presents a potential as a cheaper alternative to the tablet manufacturing industry. (9)
α-Cellulose from Waste Stems: Study showed the waste stems of Manihot esculenta to have a high cellulose content. Study evaluated the use of the α-cellulose for paper. As raw material it yielded fiber 65.38%, leather waste 29.01%, waste cambium levels of 5.61%, and α-cellulose 56.82%. Stages of investigation included prehidrolisis, delignification and bleaching stages and analysis of α-cellulose. (14)
Biodegradable Plastic Using Cassava Starch: Study investigated the production of biodegradable plastic using cassava starch as its main component. Cassava starch was mixed with water, epoxydized soya bean oil, glycerol, and polyvinyl alcohol. Material produced yielded desirable mechanical properties and proven to be biodegradable.
Anthelmintic / Leaf Extract / Trichostrongyloid Larvae: Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of Cassava leaves extract against larvae of Trichostrongyloid nematodes using larval paralysis time. Results showed the extract can be used to control the infective stage of trichostrongyloid parasites in small ruminants. (17)
Antioxidant / Effect on Lipoperoxidation: Study on inhibition of lipid hydroperoxides in assay with DMPD showed an IC59 of 55.08 ± 9.83 µg/mL. Total flavonoid by aluminum hydroxide was 1.53 g/100 g of dry powder. (19)
Energy Source for Ruminant Feeding: Cassava roots can be processed as dried chip or pellet. It is rich in soluble carbohydrates (75 to 85%) but low in crude protein (2 to 3%), with an energy value comparable to corn meal but has a relatively higher rate of rumen degradation. Cassava chip can be processed with other ingredients such as tallow, raw banana meal, soybean meal, rice bran, etc. (20)
Nutritive and Anti-Nutritive Composition: Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of raw tubers yield alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, anthraquinone, phlobatannins, saponins, reducing sugars and anthrocyanosides. Raw cassava leaves contain more crude fiber and protein compared to raw or boiled tubers. Raw and boiled tubers and raw leaves yielded vitamins A, C, and E, and minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, and chloride ions; the levels were significantly reduced by boiling. (21)
Antidiarrheal / Leaves: Study evaluated the antidiarrheal activity of a leaf extract of M. esculenta in Wistar rats using castor oil-induced intestinal fluid accumulation and charcoal passage test. Results showed significant antidiarrheal activity by decreasing intestinal fluid accumulation and gastrointestinal motility. (22)
Pesticidal / Grain Pest / Leaves: Study showed M. esculenta can be used as potential grain protectant against Sitophilus oryzae. An ethyl acetate solvent extract of leaves was highly toxic against adults of S. oryzae, with 100% mortality at higher doses and exposure time. (23)
Jedi-Jedi Pill / Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic and anti-diarrheal activities of a Nigerian tri-herbal (Croton penduiflorus, Cassia podocarpa, and Manihot esculenta) decoction branded "Jedi-Jedi Pill" widely used for treating hemorrhoids and associated diseases. Results showed anti-inflammatory (carrageenan-induced paw edema) and anti-diarrheal (castor oil method) capabilities but lacking anti-pyretic action. (24)

Toxicity concerns
Cyanogenic Glucosides / Linamarin: (1) Cassava is a dietary staple in many tropical countries. In times of famine, it may be the only food available. Tissues of all cassava cultivars have been found to have varying amounts of cyanogenic glucosides. (2) Presence of cyanoglycosides, linamarin (93%) and lotaustralin (methyl linamarin, 3%) pose potential toxic effects. Linamarin is hydrolyzed by intestinal luminal bacterial ß-glucosidases to release hydrogen cyanide which can cause acute poisoning. Although traditional methods of cooking (boiling and decanting) and processing remove cyanoglycosides, some residual amounts and toxicity remains.
• In Asia, cassava is processed to make cassava chips and tapioca. In rural Philippines, it is a common and accessible snack fare consumed after simple boiling or frying.
• In traditional use, processing of vegetables with known toxicity through chopping, immersion in water, roasting, crushing, and cooking in boiling water for 30 to 45 minutes before consumption eliminates known toxic compounds or decrease them under non toxic level. (1
A Kwashiorkor Etiology Hypothesis / Cassava and Linamarin: A study hypothesizes that intact linamarin from cassava diets cause Na-K-ATPase inhibition with consequent electrolyte imbalances and potassium depletion, which may results in renal tubular nephrosis, subsequent proteinuria and hypoalbuminemia, hepatocellular damage, pancreatic dysfunction, muscle wasting–all features of kwashiorkor. (6)
Toxicity Study in Rats After Traditional Processing: In Sudan and other countries, cassava roots are consumed mainly as flour. It was suspected that traditional processing was not enough to eliminate all the toxic cyanogenic glycosides. Study in Wistar rats evaluating aqueous and methanolic extracts of tubercular roots after traditional processing reported toxic causing alterations on various serobiochemical and hematological parameters with correlating dysfunction of vital organs. Toxicity was attributed to the presence of cyanogenic glycoside - linamarin and lotaustralin. (10)
Linamarin / Neurotoxic Effect: If cassava is not adequately processed or the consumer has nutritional deficiencies, the cyanogenetic glycosides (linamarin and lotaustralin) makes it potentially neurotoxic. Study evaluated the neurotoxic effects of different concentrations of linamarin (0.75 to 0.30 mg/kg) contained in cassava juice in locomotor alterations in open field and swim tests in adult male Wistar rats. Results showed behavioral changes which may be due to neuronal damage caused
by linamarin consumption in cassava juice. (25)

- Wild-crafted.
- Common backyard planting and market produce.

Last Update August 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antimicrobial Activity of Cassava Seed Oil on Skin Pathogenic Microorganisms
/ TOS Popoola et al / Reserach Journ of Medicinal Plant 1 (2):60-64, 2007
The in vitro Antibacterial Activity and Brine Shrimp Toxicity of Manihot esculenta Extracts / Z.A. Zakaria et al / International Journ of Pharmacology 2 (2): 218-220,2006
The lipids of young cassava (Manihot esculenta, Crantz) leaves / Hun-Teik Khor, Hui-Ling Tan / Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture Volume 32 Issue 4, Pages 399 - 402 / DOI 10.1002/jsfa.2740320414
A study of anthelmintic property of fresh cassava (Manihot esculenta) leaves incorporated in the diet of West African Dwarf goats / Pamo, E T, Awah Ndukum, J et al / Bulletin of animal health and production in Africa / 2006Vol.54(No.3)

Analgesic activity of ethanolic extract of Manihot esculenta Crantz leaves in mice
/ Isnatin Miladiyah, Ferdiyanto Dayi and Sufi Desrini / Universa Medicina, Jan-Apr 2011, Vol 30, No1
FORMULATION OF PARACETAMOL TABLETS USING A NOVEL BINDER ISOLATED FROM MANIHOT ESCULENTA.L AND ITS EVALUATION / V Chalapathi, T V Yuvaraj, A Jaganathan / International Journal of ChemTech Research, Vol.2, No.1, pp 406-411, Jan-Mar 2010
Evaluation of the Toxicity of Manihot esculenta on Wistar Rats after Traditional Sudanese Processing / I Y Adam Shama and A A Ahmed Wasma / Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2011, Vol 6, IIssue 4, Page No.: 418-426 / DOI: 10.3923/jpt.2011.418.426
Manihot esculenta Crantz (accepted name) / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
Study on Chemical Compositions of Manihot Esculenta Crantz (M. utilissima Pohl) Stalks / Cong Jin Chen et al. / Advanced Materials Research, Volumes 236 - 238
Bahekar S*, Kale R / Mintage journal of Pharmaceutical & Medical Sciencesǀ3-4
Biodegradable Plastic from Cassava (Manihot Esculenta) Starch / StudyMode.com. 01 2013. 01 2013
In vitro anthelmintic activity of Cassava (Manihot esculenta) extract on Trichostongyloid larvae /
A. Al-Rofaai, Wahab A. Rahman, S.F. Sulaiman / Proceedings of the 7th IMT-GT UNINET and The 3rd International PSU-UNS Conferences on Bioscience
Manihot esculenta Crantz / Synonyms / The Plant List
Antioxidant and Antiradical Activities of Manihot esculenta Crantz (Euphorbiaceae) Leaves and Other Selected Tropical Green Vegetables Investigated on Lipoperoxidation and Phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) Activated Monocytes / Cesar N. Tsumbu, Ginette Deby-Dupont, Monique Tits, Luc Angenot, Thierry Franck, Didier Serteyn, and Ange Mouithys-Mickalad / Nutrients. 2011 Sep; 3(9): 818–838 / doi: 10.3390/nu3090818
Cassava chip (Manihot esculenta Crantz) as an energy source for ruminant feeding / Metha Wanapata, Sungchhang Kang / Animal Nutrition, Volume 1, Issue 4, December 2015, Pages 266–270
Phytochemical, nutritive and anti-nutritive composition of cassava (Manihot esculenta L) tubers and leaves
/ OAT Ebuehi, O Babalola, Z Ahmed / Nigerian Food Journal, Vol 23, No 1 (2005)
Antidiarrheal activity of ethanolic extract of Manihot esculenta Crantz leaves in Wistar rats / Satish E. Bahekar, Ranjana S. Kale / Journal of Ayurveda & Integrative Medicine, Jan-Mar 2015, Vol 6, Issue 1
Pesticidal activity of the leaves of Manihot esculenta against the pest Sitophilus oryzae
/ Mity Thambi, Tom Cherian / The Pharma Innovation Journal 2015; 4(6): 15-18
Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Pyretic and Anti-Diarrhoeal Properties of an Anti-Haemorrhoid Tri-Herbal Pill
. / Joy Okpuzor*, Adeola Michael Oloyede / Nature and Science, 2009; 7(8)
Neurotoxic effect of linamarin in rats associated with cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) consumption. / Rivadeneyra-Domínguez E , Vázquez-Luna A , Rodríguez-Landa JF , Díaz-Sobac R / Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2013, 59:230-235 / DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.06.004

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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