Konjac: Natural Herbal Treatments

Common name for Konjac:

Konjac is known as Amorphophallus konjac. It is also known by various names such as snake palm, devil's tongue, elephant yam, voodoo lily or konjaku.

Occurrence of Plant:

Konjac is generally cultivated in the warm subtropical weather of China, eastern Asia, Japan, Korea and Indonesia. A perennial plant, it grows from a large corm and can be up to 25 cm in diameter. Local people often refer to konjac as yam.

Parts used of :

The roots, tuber, corm and seeds of konjac is used for improving and curing health problems.

Medicinal Benefits and Health Uses :

Konjac is used in different forms for different health purposes. The tubers as well as the roots are used to treat and prevent several health problems.

  • Since konjac consists of a substance called Glucomannan, which is rich in fiber and low on calories, it can help people control their weight, reduce cholesterol and keeps the digestive tract clean and free of toxins. People also use it as a diet food.
  • Since the roots are acrid, these are used in herbal medicines to treat boils.
  • Rich in starch and caustic, konjac is used as an external stimulant.
  • The tubers, roots and corms are used to treat hemorrhoids.
  • The roots are combined with several other herbs to cure dyspepsia, piles, colic, fistula, skin as well as blood diseases, urinary infections and colic.
  • Since the roots are acrid, these are used to treat opthalmia.
  • The crushed seeds of konjac are said to relieve toothache.
  • The fresh corms of konjac are often used to treat rheumatism. Since these are acrid, these are made into poultices that can soothe rheumatic swellings.
  • In India, konjac is also used as a stomach tonic.

Administered as:

Konjac is made into herbal medicines, powders and concoctions, which are said to be healing. Konjac corms are ground into flour, which is good for people who want to lose weight.

Culinary Uses of Konjac:

Most of these countries cultivate konjac for the large corms. Since these are starchy and glutinous, the corms are turned into jelly and flour. It is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin and thus, used in making jelly-based desserts and food products. Though is has a very bland taste, people use it for its texture and use it to prepare dishes like oden (a Japanese dish) and noodles. The Japanese also make jelly out of it by mixing the flour with limewater and plain water. They also make shirataki, a form of noodles and use it in dishes like gyudon and sukiyaki.