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Yakon, a sweet vegetable root that’s natural cure for ailments

Yakon is a sweet root vegetable that is thought to be a natural cure for a lot of physical ailments.

Ruben Villanueva, the man who introduced yakon in Quezon City, said in an interview that way back in 2002, he doubted if it would sell because it was virtually an unknown commodity.

But many people also claim it is rich in medicinal ingredients that are very effective in healing diabetes, high blood, constipation and intestinal pains.

One real heartwarming story behind yakon is the miraculous turn of events that happened to Villanueva’s son.

The little boy had a heart disease and authorities from the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) told his parents that their only son would probably live from seven to eight years at the most.

Devastated, the couple tried to make their son’s last years worthwhile and comfortable.

Looking over the ‘miraculous” root vegetable, the Villanuevas fed the child a few pieces of yakon, which he enjoyed and increased his appetite.

The effect it had on the child was astonishing, his clogged arteries were opened, his skin became clearer and rosier and the doctors at the PHC said the child appeared to be glowing and healthy instead of sickly.

Yakon gave Villanueva’s son nine years more of life as he continued to eat the kamoteng kahoy look alike even up to this day.

It was more than a reward for the couple who wanted to keep their offspring live much longer even if he died later.

Villanueva said that yakon, during the early months of the year, can only be bought as herbal tea suitable for diabetics.

In September, it grows as a vegetable which can be bought at a reasonable price in some selected shops or places at a reasonable price.

It is usually priced at P65 per kilo, while the herbal tea is worth P180 per packet. It can only be harvested in few and remote places like the province of Nueva Vizcaya.

Villanueva added, “The Japanese were actually the ones who introduced this to us and taught farmers to plant it during the second World War. However, when the Philippines went to war against Japan, we could no longer export our yakon product and it circulated only in the country. Soon, it was forgotten little by little until in year 2000 when some mountain natives recalled that it is also some kind of a food and medicinal cure for certain types of sicknesses.”

Before that, the Filipino farmers were warned by the Japanese not to put fertilizer on the yakon plant because they would become poisonous.

However, the Japanese found out that putting fertilizer onto the plants made them grow bigger and longer. They became curious and started eating those that have been given fertilizer with no side effects.

The Filipino farmers’ eyes were opened as they experimented. The magical effect of the fertilizer on yakon increased their production which allowed them to propagate more for commercial purposes even in small quantities for sometime.

It’s true that curiosity brought out the best in placed yakon where it is today—well-known and now in demand as a curative remedy.

Today, yakon is reportedly available only in the Philippines, according to Villanueva. Because of this, it should be treated as a special plant and probably one of the most unique sources of potent herbal medicine.

Yakon reminds us that despite the advanced technology now prevalent in the society, traditional medicine can still be practiced. It doesn’t hurt to look back to cures that do not have chemicals that give additional pains, diseases and other health problems.

Looking back to nature, one can possibly unlock the secrets behind different plants and herbs that may cure even the most terminal diseases.

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