Yacon – Scientific name: Polymnia sanchifolia

English: Yacon
Tagalog: Yakon

There is now a new root crop that goes by the unusual name yacon. Recognized as a health food, it is also known as the apple of the earth because although it is grown underground like any other root crop, its fruit resembles an apple or a pear. Also, unlike regular root crops whose carbohydrate content eventually turns to starch, then sugar, when ingested, the yacon stores carbohydrates in the form of inulin and not starch. High in inulin, it serves as a sucrose-free food for diabetics.

The yacon is also low in calories, thus making it a good, nutritious diet food. While a sweet potato contains 125 calories, a potato 77 calories and a taro 60 calories per 100grams, the yacon has only 54 calories. It contains carbohydrates (oligo-fuctans),which pass through the digestive tract unmetabolized, so that it is perfect for those who suffer from obesity. Add to this the fact that the yacon purifies the blood and whose high-fiber content assists in digestion.


The yacon is believed to be a lost crop of the Incas. A little known plant of the Andes, it grows wild in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It also grows at medium altitudes in South America. In the warm, temperate Andian Valleys, it can be found at altitudes up to 3,200 meters. It can be cultivated worldwide, and in the Philippines, it is grown 100% organically.

The absence of harmful chemicals and insecticides makes it even healthier. A herbaceous plant with dark green celery like leaves, it has hairy aerial stems that reach up to 2 meters in height as well as small, daisy-like yellow or orange flowers that a repacked close together at the top of the plants. Yacon tubers are irregularly spindle to round and can vary considerably in shape, size and sweetness.


The yacon, which is a member of the sunflower family, is grown primarily for its edible roots. While it looks like sweet potatoes or yam on the outside with its brownish, sandy skin, inside, the yacon looks more like a juicy fruit such as the apple and the pear. Just peel off the skin, wash it, slice it up into pieces, and eat it raw. It feels just like a pear or an apple to the bite, with a crunch accompanying small bursts of juice.

The yacon can also be boiled or sauteed in oil. Having all the characteristics of a health food that aids in the maintenance of good health, the yacon contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, Vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, phosphorus, niacin, iron, carotene, protein, lipids, cellulose, glucide and fiber.


More than just being a valuable health food, the yacon has also been discovered to have medicinal values. The tuber can be used as medicine. Simply preserve it for 10 days so that it reaches its full level of sweetness, and then peel it, slice into thin cuts and eat it raw. Its leaves also have medicinal properties. Do the leaves naturally in the shade, then cut into suitable sizes and boil in water to make a cleansing tea. The recommended daily intake of the yacon tea is 2 cups daily. Because the inulin content of the yacon is 60 to 70%, it helps control the blood glucose and keep it at a normal level. So those who are eating the tuber will notice initial results within 7 to 10 days, while those who drink its tea can expect initial health benefits in as short as 4 to 5 days. Above all else, the yacon is delicious!

40 thoughts on “Yacon – Scientific name: Polymnia sanchifolia

  1. hyakuta rolet

    i want to buy yakon or yacon tablet.i heard its good for diabetic people.i also want other herbal medicine for diabetis & also for prostate problem

  2. Luisa Mercado

    I am eating Yacon now. I started intake 4 days ago because somebody told me it reduces high blood pressure. I have no question about it’s taste because I find it sweet and delicious like pear or apple. There is no question either of price because I can buy it cheap from our supplier (who bought it from Davao – 12 hours ride by bus to our place in Surigao del Sur).

    My questions are:

    1) Can this root crop be safe for paralytics like me? Of course, I have tendency to have high blood pressure though I have maintained my blood pressure to normal.
    2) If safe, how much intake could I be allowed to eat a day?
    3) Aside from diabetes, what other sicknesses would benefit from this root crop?
    4) Are there known side effects? If there are, kindly inform us (my friends and I), sir.
    5) Like any other root crops that we can plant using the “root” tubers, can I also plant it in my backyard so that I won’t have to buy anymore? Aside from this, I could also enjoy the benefit of the lives for tea. If so, please tell us how to do it.

    Thank you very much for taking time to read this comment.


  3. denen

    yes it is safe, It is safe to eat, just remember in everything moderation is the rule, everything in excess is not good. Aside from diabetics, indigestion or constipation may be relieved, hemorrhoidal diseases may also adress as well because it is high in fiber. Medically speaking, if your diabetes will be controlled, hypertension also will be controlled, incidence of stroke or cerebral bleed will also decrease.God bless us all

  4. Britz Williams

    I am also wanting to know more about Yakon/Yacon, is it possible to export the fruit or seed to New Zealand.

  5. s.bulanahgui

    please send me an imformation on how to propagate this plant all about on growing yakon and everything about this plant yes i like its taste for i have eaten this crop now i have planted one but i have no knowledge on how to harvest its crops

  6. Go, Hylyne

    hello everyone! hope you can help me with this as soon as possible.

    There is a project given by our teacher in entrepreneurship and it’s about making new products for spread (“palaman” in tagalog). Then I proposed YACON SPREAD but then she disapproved it. According to her, there was a time when some people were hospitalized due to yacon. But when I read articles and researches on yacon, there were no bad side effects I’ve seen. I am really disappointed with what she said because I’m thinking that yacon as spread is really a good idea..

    So this is my query: can you help me prove her there are no bad effects of eating yacon? Or can you give me some advices regarding this.. Thanks! I’m looking forward for any reply. ­čÖé

  7. emy

    Sa Baguio , marami kayong mabibibling yakon. My husband and I are users of yakon we love the taste and its really good for diabetics and the colon



  9. lorie

    im on a thesis studying yacon.. and im stuck on thinking what is the best product made from yacon to study with. pls do help… also the best way to preserve it… thanks for any help you may extend….

  10. ellen mondo├▒edo

    I’d like to know if yacon works well on type1 diabetic coz i have a daughter who is insulin dependent for 4 years now and i pity her so much injecting insulin 4xa day.

    If it really works in regulating sugar level maybe,she could lessen the mode of injection from 4xa day to 2xa day.

    Pls. i need your reply and i would like to know also if there’s is someone who supplies yacon tea or yacon capsule here in cebu city and how much.

    thank you and God Bless!

  11. rose natividad

    I’m interested with this root crop yacon but i’m not familiar with it. How do the plant looked like as well as the root crop..I am from zamboanga and i’m wondering if we have the plant here

  12. marites

    may mild goiter po ako, dahil sa maraming benefits ang meron sa yakon gusto ko rin matikman ang yakon kaya lang po medyo alanganin ako kunti dahil ang goiter po ay bawal sa root crops, pwede ko po ba malaman further kung kakain ako ng yakon di kaya masama sa goiter ko, pls reply tnx

  13. Minda

    Hanggang ngayon hindi pa nasasagot ang tanong ko.
    May nodular goiter po ako, pwede po ba ako kakain ng yacon?
    Hindi ba ito makasama sa goiter ko? Almost 2 weeks na ako kumakain ng yacon. Pls. repl my question.

  14. Pinoy Herbs Post author

    Hindi naman po siguro kasi wala namang sulphur content ang yacon at kung meron man ay konti lang siguro. Ang sulphur kasi ang nag-ba-block sa iodine intake natin. Kumain din kayo ng mga pagkain na mayaman sa iodine at gumamit ng iodized salt.

  15. Cristy

    I learned a l0t ‘b0ut yac0ns’benefit and its great to kn0w coz i can tel my mother and cousin whats best alternatives 4 their highbl0od

  16. elylyn zamora

    may tanong lang po ako may non toxic nodular goiter po ako pwedi po ba ako kumain ng Yacon,please answer and saan ko ba yan mabibili nandito po ako sa abroad’ salamat po may our Lord heal the people who have a health problem.

  17. abet

    Gusto ko po sanang magtanim ng Yakon, saan po ba maaring makakuha ng seedlings nito para itanim. puede kayang tutubo kung ang yakon tuber lang ang itanim.

    Please Advice. Many thanks.

  18. tiny

    Yes, yacon is very good for those who have arthritis. My cousin told me about it because he had a worker who could not walk because of his gout, he was given yacon and was able to walk back again just after two days. I have high blood sugar and is fighting it with healthy diet and exercise, I take Yacon, ampalaya and guyabano…but amongst all yacon is the yummiest. I simply get it from the grocery…SM hypermart has it.

  19. minnie

    hi am a diabetic however am currently pregnant, i would like to ask if its safe for me to eat yacon? thanks

  20. Pingback: Plants of the tropical forest – yacon | Plant Growth

  21. khandee

    Hello po, I am one of a student here in GENSAN, meron po kaming activity sa school and my main product po is yacon pwede niyo po ba akong tulungan sa nutritional facts nito…thankyou

  22. biboy

    Can you tell me,where i can get yacon or yakon in bohol,philippines…if you know the exact location,pls inform me immediately. thank you.

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