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Family Leguminosae
Sinkamas
Pachyrhizus erosus L. Urban
POTATO BEAN

Di guo

Scientific names  Common names
Cacara bulbosa Thouars Hinkamas (Tag.)
Cacara bulbosa Rumphius ex Du Petit-Thouars Jicama (Engl.)
Cacara erosa (L.) Kuntze Kamah (Sbl.)
Cacara palmatiloba (DC.) Kuntze Kamas (Ilk.)
Dolichos articulatus Lam. Lakamas (Pang.)
Dolichos bulbosus L. Sikamas (Pamp.)
Dolichos erosus Linn. Singkamas (Tag.)
Dolichos palmatilobus DC. Sinkamas (Tag.)
Pachyrhizus angulatus DC. Chop-suey bean (Engl.)
Pachyrhizus articulatus Walp. Manioc bean (Engl.)
Pachyrhizus bulbosus (L.) Kurz Mexican yam bean (Engl.)
Pachyrhizus erosus L. Urban Potato bean (Engl.)
Pachyrhizus jicamas Blanco Yam bean (Engl.)
Pachyrhizus palmatilobus (DC.) Benth. & Hook.f.  
Pachyrhizus strigosus R.T.Clausen  
Robynsia lobata M.Martens & Galeotti  
Robynsia macrophylla M.Martens & Galeotti  
Stizolobium bulbosum (L.) Spreng.  
Stizolobium domingense Spreng.  
Taenicarpum articulatum (Lam.) Desv.  
Pachyrhizus erosus (L.) Urb. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ASSAMESE: Sakalu.
BURMESE: Pre myit.
CHINESE: Sha ge, Di guo Liang shu, Dou shu, Fan ge, Tu gua, Bai tu gua.
DANISH: Yamsbønne.
DUTCH: Bengkoewang, Hoewi iris, Hoewi hiris.
FRENCH: Dolique bulbeuse, Pois patate, Pois manioc.
GERMAN: Yambohne, Yamsbohne, Knollige Bohne.
HINDI: Mishrikand.
INDONESIAN: Bengkoang.
ITALIAN: Fagiolo patata, Dolico bulboso.
JAPANESE: Mame imo ?
KHMER: Pe'kuëk.
LAOTIAN: Man ph'au.
MALAY: Bengkuang, Kacang sengkuang, Mengkuwang, Sengkuang , Sengkuwang, Besusu (Java).
NEPALESE: Keshaura.
PORTUGUESE: Jacatupé, Jacutupé, Jocotupé.
SPANISH: Jícama (Mexico), Judía batata, Jiquima.
SUNDANESE: Bangkowang.
TAMIL: Tani uttan kai.
THAI: Mankaeo (Man kaeo), Huapaekua, Man lao.
TURKISH: Köklü böyrüce.
VIETNAMESE: Cu san, Curdau, San.

Gen info
Pachyrhizus is derived from the Greek word meaning "thick root."

Botany
Sinkamas is a coarse, climbing, herbaceous vine growing from large, edible, turnip-shaped, fleshy roots. Leaflets, at least the terminal ones, are broader than long, up to 15 centimeters long and 20 centimeters wide, with a deltoid base, shallowly lobed upper half, and the lateral leaves inequilateral. Racemes are up to 45 centimeters in length, while the lower nodes produce short branches and the other nodes several flowers each. Flowers are pale blue or blue and white, 2 to 2.5 centimeters long, about 1.5 centimeters wide. Pods are about 10 centimeters long, 10-12 millimeters wide, flat and hairy, containing 8 to 10 seeds.

Distribution
- In settled areas, in thickets and hedges throughout the Philippines, at low and medium altitudes.
- A native of tropical America.
- Now pantropic.

Constituents
• Roots are high in carbohydrates; good source of calcium and iron.
• Young pods are also good sources of calcium and iron.
• Seeds yield a colorless and limpid oil, 38.4%
• Seeds also yield a poisonous substance, pachyrrhizid, a glucoside; toxic to fish if pounded and dropped in water.
• The seeds also contain a toxic resin.

• Nutrient analysis of tubers showed a high level of moisture, appreciable carbohydrates, crude fiber and protein, with negligible lipid, with a caloric value of 39 kcal per 100 g. Micro- and macro-nutrient analysis showed a potential source of potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Tuber also yielded significant ascorbic acid and detected thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin and folic acid. (6)

Properties
• Pounded seeds are toxic to fish; powdered seeds are reportedly fatal to dogs.
• Seeds considered acaridal and insecticidal.
• Studies have suggested antiviral, anti-osteoporosis, antifungal, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, insecticidal, and skin whitening properties.

Parts used
Roots and stems.

Uses
Edibility / Nutritional
- Roots are eaten raw or prepared.
- Young pods sometimes used as vegetable.
- Roots are high in carbohydrates; good source of calcium and iron.
Folkloric
- Decoction of the roots used as a diuretic.
- Warmed poultice of the stem pulp applied to painful areas in the leg.
- Seeds are laxative; and the oil of seeds is purgative in doses of 40 gms.
- Tincture from seeds used for treatment of herpes.
- In Taiwan, roots used for fever and hemorrhages.

Studies
CNS Depressant Activity: PE seed is known to contain rotinoids, flavonoids, phenylfuranocoumarins with antifungal, antisecretory, antibacterial and spasmolytic activities. Study showed CNS depressant effect with decreased locomotor activity, muscle relaxation, antianxiety and antiaggressive activity. (1)
Anti Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV): Studies on seeds of PE isolated 9 known components – 5 rotenoids, two isoflavonoids, one phenylfuranocoumarin and a monosaccharide. Moderate anti-herpes simplex virus activity was observed. (2)
Yam bean seed poisoning: Five patients presented with signs and symptoms mimicking acute cyanide intoxication with perioral numbness, nausea and vomiting after ingesting soup made from yam bean seeds. One patient progressed to severe metabolic acidosis and coma, requiring aggressive therapy. (3)
Anti-Osteoporosis: Study of the effects of EA extract of root of P. erosus on bone loss in ovariectomized rat model showed significant prevention of bone loss in OVX rats. Significant prevention of uterine atrophy and increased body weight gain were observed. Results suggest a phytoestrogen compound that could be of benefit in postmenopausal women. (4)
Antifungal / Phytochemicals: A dichlormethane extract yielded rotenone, erosone, paquirrizone, dolineone and paquirrizine. The acetone extract yielded dehydroneotenone. The secondary metabolites significantly inhibited postharvest fungi. (5)
Nutrient Analysis / Phytochemicals: Tuber showed a high level of moisture, appreciable carbohydrates, crude fiber and protein, with negligible lipid, with a caloric value of 39 kcal per 100 g. Micro- and macro-nutrient analysis showed a potential source of potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Tuber also yielded significant ascorbic acid and detected thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin and folic acid. (6)
Antioxidant: Study showed highest Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) for raw jam bean with 50% methanol extract, and lowest with water extraction. (7)
Immunomodulatory: Study evaluated the immunomodulatory effect of bengkoang fiber extract in vitro and in vivo. BFE facilitated IgM production by human hybridoma cell line HB4C5 cells. Also, BFE dose-dependently facilitated production of IgM, IgG, and IgA by mouse primary splenocytes. Results suggest BFE has positive in vitro and in vivo effects on the immune system. (10)
Insecticidal: Study evaluated the insecticidal efficacy of mintweed, yam bean and celery seed extracts on Aedes aegypti L. Yam bean (Pachyrhizus erosus) was most toxic to Ae. aegypti 2nd instar larvae and adults. YSE in combinations produced strong synergistic effects to the other extracts. (11)
Yam Starch as Sunscreen: Yam starch (Pachyrhizus erosus (L.) Urb.) was evaluated in Swiss Webster female mice strains for sunscreen properties. Results showed sunscreen activity in vivo in mice. Increase in concentration showed an increase in viscosity, while color, odor, and homogeneity of the formulation did not change during storage. (12)
Hypoglycemic Effect: Study evaluated the inhibitory effect of jicama extract on α-glucosidase, α-amylase, and postprandial hyperglycemic in STZ-induced diabetic mice. Results showed decrease in postprandial blood glucose level with high inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase and α-amylase activities. (14)
Functional Properties of Yam Bean Starch: Study on the functional properties of starch extracted from yam bean showed the starch paste to have a high viscosity profile, high retrogradation tendency and low stability on cooking. Similar to those of cassava starch, yam bean is a potential new source of starch. (15)
Antioxidant / Skin Whitening / Anti-Tyrosinase Inhibiting Property: In Indonesia, roots have been used as excipient for sun screening and skin whitening paste. Study for active compounds yielded three isoflavonoids: daidzein, daidzein-7-O-ß-glucopyranose, and 5-hydroxy-daidzein-7-O-ß-glucopyranose, and a new pterocarpan (8,9-furanyl-pterocarpan-3-ol, which showed antioxidant activities (SC50 values of 2.11, 11.86, 0.69, and 7.86 respectively, with tyrosinase inhibiting activities with IC50 of 5.35, 22.20, 4.38, and 7.49 mM, respectively. (16)
Oviposition Deterrent Activity: Study showed the potential of crude extract of yam bean in preventing diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, from ovipositing on its plant host. (17)
Rotenone Deterrent Activity: Study evaluated the cytotoxicity of rotenone isolated from P. erosus seeds on K562 human leukemia cells. Rotenone exhibited significant cytotoxic activity (IC50=13.05 µM) by MTT assay. Rotenone induced cell death and caspase-3 activation. (18)
Diuretic / Hypotensive Effect: Study of methanolic extract of tubers of Pachyrhizus erosus in male Sprague-Dawley rats showed potential blood pressure lowering activity at dose of 200 mg/kg. A diuretic effect was evident only at 50 mg/kg dose. (19)

Availability
Widely cultivated for its edible roots.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.


Last Update June 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Seeds / Pachyrhizus erosus (L.) Urb. - yam bean / Tracey Slotta @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE / Public Domain / File:Pachyrhizus erosus Blanco2.249.png / Franciso Manuel Blanco (OSA), 1880-1883 / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
Pharmacological evaluation of Pachyrrhizus erosus (L) seeds for central nervous system depressant activity / Abid Mohd et al / Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology ISSN 0019-5499 / 2006, vol. 50, no2, pp. 143-151
(2)
Studies on the Constituents of seeds of Pachyrrhizus erosus and Their Anti Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Activities./ Ampal Phrutivorapongkul et al / Chem Pharm Bull / ISSN:0009-2363 / VOL.50;NO.4;PAGE.534-537(2002)
(3)
Yam bean seed poisoning mimicking cyanide intoxication / Y M Hung et al / Internal Medicine Journal
Volume 37 Issue 2, Pages 130 - 132
(4)
Phytoestrogens of Pachyrhizus erosus prevent Bone Loss in an Ovariectomized Rat Model of Osteoporosis / Arief Nurrochmad, Fransiska Leviana et al / International Journ of Phytomedicine, 2010, Vol 2, No 4.

(5)
Antifungal Activity of Seed Powders, Extracts, and Secondary metabolities of P. erosus L. Against Three Postharvest Fungi / Laura Leticia Barrera-Necha, Silvia Bautista-Banos et al / Revista Mexicana de Fitopatologia, 2004, Pp 356-361
(6)
Nutritional and anti-nutritional components in Pachyrhizus erosus L. tuber / A S M Noman, M A Hoque, M M Haque et al /
Food Chemistry, Vol 102, No 4, 2007, Pp 1112-1118 / doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.06.055
(7)
Total antioxidant status of Jam Bean ( Pachyrhizus Erosus L. Urban) / V Huerta lng Quimica / Session 89G, Nutraceutical & Functional Foods: General III
(8)
Pachyrhizus erosus (L.) Urb. / Chinese names / Catalogue of Life, China
(9)
Sorting Pachyrhizus names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
(10)
Immunomodulatory activity of Bengkoang (Pachyrhizus erosus) fiber extract in vitro and in vivo.
/ Ika Dyah Kumalasari, Kosuke Nishi, Eni Harmayani, Sri Raharjo, Takuya Sugahara / Cytotechnology, January 2013 /
(11)
INSECTICIDAL EFFICACY OF MINTWEED, YAM BEAN AND CELERY SEED EXTRACTS ON Aedes aegypti L. / YONGKHAMCHA B. AND INDRAPICHATE K.* / International Journal of Agriculture Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 3, 2012, pp-207-212.
(12)
Activities of Yam Starch (Pachyrhizus erosus as Sunscreen in Mouse and the Effect of its Concentration on Viscosity / Abdul Karim Zulkarnain*), Novi Ernawati, Nurul Ikka Sukardani / Majalah Obat Tradisional, Traditional Medicine Journal
(13)
Pachyrhizus erosus / Synonyms / The Plant List
(14)
Hypoglycemic Effect of Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus) Extract on Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice / Chan Joo Park and Ji-Sook Han / Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2015 Jun; 20(2): 88–93. / doi: 10.3746/pnf.2015.20.2.88
(15)
Functional properties of yam bean (Pachyrhizus erosus) starch. / Mélo EA1, Stamford TL, Silva MP, Krieger N, Stamford NP. / Bioresour Technol. 2003 Aug;89(1):103-6.
(16)
BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS IN BENGKOANG (Pachyrhizus erosus) AS ANTIOXIDANT AND TYROSINASE INHIBITING AGENTS / Endang Lukitaningsih*, Ulrike Holzgrabe / Indonesian J. Pharm. Vol. 25 No. 2 : 68 – 75 / DOI: 10.14499/indonesianjpharm25iss2pp75
(17)
Oviposition Deterrent Activities of Pachyrhizus erosus Seed Extract and Other Natural Products on Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) (CC) / Adi Basukriadi, Richard M. Wilkins / Journal of Insect Science / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieu106 244
(18)
Rotenone isolated from Pachyrhizus erosus displays cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in K562 cells
/ Edgar A Estrella-Parra, Juan Carlos Gomez-Verjan, Ignacio González-Sánchez, Ricardo Reyes-Chilpa / Natural Product Research 28(20):1-6 · July 2014
(19)
Evaluation study of the diuretic and blood pressure lowering effect of the methanolic extract of Pachyrhizus erosus tubers in male sprague-dawley rats / Ms. Bettina Maria Acuna, Mr. Jan Michael Salcedo, Ms. Charisse Semillano, Ms. Mariel Sta Ana, Ms. Ida Maribeth Timbol, Ms. Imei Tiongco and Mr. Ranel Uy /
University of Santo Tomas, Philippines

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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