Kamoteng kahoy

Family • Euphorbiaceae - Manihot esculenta Crantz - CASSAVA, TAPIOCA PLANT - Mu shu

Scientific name

Jatropha manihot Linn.
Jatropha janipha Lour.
Jatropha loureiri Steud.
Manihot esculenta Crantz
Manihot loureiri Pohl
Manihot manihot (L.) Cokerell
Manihot melanobasis Muell. Arg.

Common names

Balangai (Bis.)
Balinghoy (Tag., Bis.)
Kamoteng kahoy (Tag., Ilk.)
Kanggos (Bik.)
Kamote ti Moro (Ilk.)
Katimoro (Ilk.)
Tapioca plant (Engl.)
Cassava (Engl.)
Manioc (Engl.)
Mu shu (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

ASSAMESE: Kuri aloo, Ximolu alu. MARATHI: Sabu dana (pearls).
CHINESE: Shu ge. NEPALESE: Simal tarul.
DANISH: Maniok. PORTUGUESE : Aipim, Macaxeira, Mandioca, Maniba.
DUTCH: Cassave, Maniok. SANSKRIT: Karrapendalamu.
FINNISH: Maniokki, Kassava. SINHALESE: Mangnokka.
FRENCH: Manioc, Tapioca. SPANISH: Caxamote, Guacamote, Farinha, Huacamote, Mandioca, Yuca.
GERMAN: Cassava, Maniok. SWAHILI: Mhogo.
GIJARAT: Sabudana (pearls). SWEDISH: Maniok.
HINDI: Kasāvā, Marachini, Mara valle kilangu, Maravalli, Simla aloo, Simul alu, Ṭaipi’ōkā, Ṭaipī’ōka. TAMIL: Javvarisi (pearls), Kuchikezhangu (roots), Maravallikilangu, Maravallikizhangu.
ITALIAN: Manioca. TELUGU: Kanda, Karrapendalam, Karrapendalamu, Pendalamu, Saggu biyyaṁ.
JAPANESE: Imo noki, Kyassaba, Maniokku, Tapioka noki. THAI: Mansampalang.
KANNADA: Kolli, Maragenasu, Sabakki (pearls), Sabba akki. URDU: Sābūdānā (pearls).
MALAY: Ubi kayu, Kaspe (Indonesia), Singkong (Indonesia). VIETNAMESE: Bột năng (flour), Bột sắn (starch), Sắn (root).
MALAYALAM: Cheeni, Kappa, Maraccīni (pearls), Maracheeni, Kolli, Marakizhangu.

Kamoteng kahoy

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.

Kamoteng kahoy2

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) 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


(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

(4) 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

(5) 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


(7) Study on Chemical Compositions of Manihot Esculenta Crantz (M. utilissima Pohl) Stalks / Cong Jin Chen et al. / Advanced Materials Research, Volumes 236 – 238


(9) Biodegradable Plastic from Cassava (Manihot Esculenta) Starch / StudyMode.com. 01 2013. 01 2013

Kamoteng kahoy3
– 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 fo 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 anti-rheumatic.
• Leaves reported to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity.

Kamoteng kahoy4
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.

Kamoteng kahoy5

– 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.

Study Findings
• 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).
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• Anthelmintic: A study on fresh cassava leaves incorporated into the diets of West African goats in Cameroon showed decrease in helmintic and coccidia infections.
• 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.
•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.
• 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 Trichostrongyloidnematodes using larval paralysis time. Results showed the extract can be used to control the infective stage of trichostrongyloid parasites in small ruminants.

Toxicity concerns 
• Cyanogenic Glucosides / Linamarin: 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. 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.
• 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.
• 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.

Common backyard planting and market produce.