Cassava (also known as manioc or yucca) is a vegetable that grows in tropical countries. It is an important food source for an estimated 600 million people worldwide, especially in developing countries. Cassava is an important food during drought or famine and is believed to provide more than a third of caloric content in Africa. Cassava is a staple in the humid and subhumid areas of tropical Africa.
Cassava contains high levels of cyanic glycosides. These toxic substances are removed during processing to prevent them from being converted to hydrogen cyanide, which may cause diseases and sometimes death. Researchers are working to create a form of cassava that has reduced levels of cyanic glycosides, as well as higher nutritional value, as a way to reduce malnutrition and chronic illness in developing countries.
At this time, there are no high-quality studies that support the use of cassava for any medical condition. Some research suggests that cassava salt solutions may help rehydrate children who suffer from acute diarrhea.
Acetone cyanohydrins, aipim, akpu (Nigeria), alpha-galactosidase, attiéké, balanghoy (Philippines), bankye (Twi), beta-galactosidase, cassaba, cassada, cassava, chickwangue, cu san (Vietnam), cyanide, cyanogenic glucoside, cyanogenic glycoside, cyanohydrins, farofa, foufou, fufu, gari, glucosides, glycosides, hydrogen cyanide, hydroxynitrile lyase, kamoteng kahoy (Philippines), kappa (India), kassav (Haiti), khoai mì (Vietnamese), Lactobacillus plantarum, lafun, linamarase, linamarin, lotaustralin, macaxera (Brazil), mandi´o (Paraguay), mandioca, Manihot esculenta, Manihot esculenta Crantz, Manihot esculenta Grantz, Manihot utilissima, manioc, manioca (Polynesia), maniok (Sri Lanka), manioke (Polynesia), mihogo (Swahili), mogo (Swahili), mushu (China), singkong (Indonesia), tapioca, thiocyanates, ubi kayu (Malaysia), ugburu (Nigeria), yucca, Yuccabrevifolia Engelm.
Note: Cassava is a food and is often consumed as a flour. It is found in foods such as bread, pasta, tapioca, and fufu.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Cassava salt solutions have been shown to help rehydrate children who are suffering from mild dehydration caused by acute diarrhea. These solutions are easy to make, readily available, and cheaper than the World Health Organization/Oral Rehydration Solution (WHO/ORS). However, more well-designed studies are needed before firm conclusions can be made.
Manioc flour, which comes from cassava, has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory effects. However, there is a lack of evidence supporting cassava's use for this condition. Further research is needed.