Prairie turnips facts

Prairie Turnip is an herbaceous perennial plant which is inherent to Plains of Central North America. The tuberous roots are consumed. Native Americans were the first one to utilize the Prairie turnip as a food medicine. The roots were used to cure gas related pains, sore throat and ease fractures and sprains. The root of Prairie Turnip is rich in fibers, protein, and carbohydrates.

Name Prairie Turnips
Scientific Name Psoralea esculenta
Native Prairies,  dry woodlands of Central North America
Common/English Name Prairie Turnip, Tipsin, Indian Breadroot, Timpsula, Scurfpea, Teepsenee, Tipsin, Breadroot scurf pea, Breadroot, Pomme blanche, Large Indian breadroot, Pomme de Terre and Tipsinna
Name in Other Languages Chinese: Shi Yong Bu Gu Zhi
French: Pomme Blanche
German: Prairierübe
Japanese: Pusorarea Esukurenta
Plant Growth Habit Herbaceous perennial
Soil Well drained
Lifespan 3 to 6 years or more than that
Root Starchy tuberous
Stem Hairy,  30 cm (12 inch)
Leaf Alternate, oblong to egg shaped, elongate to oval; Length: 2-6 cm
Flowering Season July – August
Flower Short, cylindrical, blue or purple, Length: 5-10 cm (4 inch)
Tuber shape & size Spindle shape, Length: 4-10 cm (4 inch)
Flesh color White
Tuber peel Thin
Fruit Season Early July to Late August
Major Nutritions (Raw) Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.059 mg (4.54%)
Selenium, Se 1.9 µg (3.45%)
Carbohydrate 4.49 g (3.45%)
Total dietary Fiber 1 g (2.63%)
Iron, Fe 0.16 mg (2.00%)
Magnesium, Mg 8 mg (1.90%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.022 mg (1.83%)
Calcium, Ca 16 mg (1.60%)
Manganese, Mn 0.034 mg (1.48%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.011 mg (0.85%)
Health Benefits
  • Treats anemia
  • Brain health
  • Reduce oxidative stress
  • Reduce heart ailments
  • Treats asthma
  • Prevent cancer
  • Prevent diabetes
  • Losing weight
  • Maintains energy
  • Forbid osteoporosis
Calories in 1 bulb peeled (12.6 gm) Raw 20 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • Prairie turnips were used to treat the intestinal distress and irritable bowel syndrome and also prevent diabetes.
  • The roots helps to cure gas related pains, sore throat, ease fractures and sprains.
  • In India it is consumed uncooked, boil or roasted.
  • The flour from the roots is used to make pudding.
  • The flour of Prairie turnip is used as an ingredient in Indian fry bread recipes.


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