Taro root (latin Colocasia Esculenta) is an edible corm from the family of Araceae plants. CORM (not corn), is basically a thickened underground stem where the plant stores its nutrients.
This explains why corm are powerful healing foods. It is grown mainly in tropical regions including Southern India, Southeast Asia, Polynesia, Hawaii and Japan where it is widely used as a vegetable in the local cuisine.
What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Taro Root?
The root of the taro plant is an excellent source of nutrients such as calcium and iron; Vitamins A, C, B2, C. It is a superb energy booster and can be used in warm compresses, packs and plasters as a natural healer.
Taro is a nutritious plant: its tuber is packed with complex carbohydrates, making it a good source of energy. It also contains fiber (good for the intestines), calcium (for healthy bones and teeth) and iron.
Taro root contains many antioxidants like beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin, as well as minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and copper.
The leaves of the taro plant are packed with vitamins, including vitamin A, B1(thiamin), B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin C—all help to keep the body healthy and disease-free. The leaves also contain useful amounts of calcium and iron.
Taro: The Carbohydrate With Low Glycemic Index
Taro root is a good alternative carbohydrate to potato. Taro can be used in a similar way to a potato, but provides better nutritional value and a much lower Glycemic Index. Taro contains about three times more fiber and 30% less fat than potato.
The low Glycemic Index of taro means that the blood sugar levels don’t rise rapidly, making it a suitable food for diabetics and individuals with blood disorders.
Calorie-wise, 100 grams of taro root provides 112 calories, compared to the 77 calories per 100 grams of potatoes.
What Are The Health Benefits of Taro Root?
Taro root has a unique and powerful “toxin-drawing” ability. It is used by traditional healers to pull toxins out of the body. Used correctly it can draw out poisonous wastes stored in the body’s cells.
Taro root is used as a pack compress to ease aches and pains, in particular:
- Taro is used to treat cysts, fibromas (benign tumors) and lymphatic swelling
- Taro compress packs can reduce inflammation of any kind
- Taro can be used to treat strains, sprains and edema. It facilitates the healing process in cases of injuries such as broken bones, joint sprains and strains, or arthritic joint pains
- Applying a taro pack behind the ear can relieve ear problems
The health benefits of eating taro root:
- Eat taro to maintain healthy vision and prevent cataracts: Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin can prevent vision problems, like macular degeneration or cataracts!
- Eat taro for improved digestion and healthier intestine: Thanks to the high levels of dietary fiber, taro aids bowel movements and improves digestion.
- Taro can help prevent cramps: The high content of potassium helps prevent and relieve menstrual and other muscle cramps.
- Taro keeps the bones healthy: The high content of copper slows down osteoporosis and keeps bones and connective tissues in good health.
Taro Consumption Tips:
Taro has a sweet, mild, nutty and earthy taste. It can be sliced thin and baked at 400oF for 20 minutes, for delicious and healthy chips. It can also be cut up into cubes for cooking in curry as you would with potatoes.
- Taro root juice may sting a little: The juices contained in fresh taro root may momentarily sting the skin for some, and may not be a bother for others. This is completely harmless. After peeling, leave the taro root soaking in water until you are ready to cook it.
- Do not eat raw. Taro roots cannot be eaten raw due to its high calcium oxalate content. It must be cooked before consumption and preferably left in water overnight before cooking to decrease the oxalate content.
- Consumption of taro is probably best avoided if you have a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones. However, it is safe to use it as a compress.
Powerful Taro Root Home Remedies
These are two powerful home remedies that we have used successfully:
1. Taro Root Plaster Bandage To Treat Joint And Arthritis Pains And Earaches
A taro root plaster can be a very effective natural way to relieve pain. You need to apply a taro plaster to the affected area and leave in place for up to 2 hours or until the pain subsides. See recipe below.
2. Taro Root and Ginger Plaster to Eliminate Cysts And Fibromas
A combination of two compresses: one ginger and one taro root, can be used to naturally get rid of fibromas and cysts. First apply the hot ginger plaster to the affected area. Once finished you apply a cool taro plaster.
How To Make A Taro-Ginger Plaster Or Compress
After peeling a taro root, grate the white interior and mix with 5% grated fresh ginger. Spread this mixture in a half-inch layer directly on the skin on the cyst, cover with a cotton gauze and keep in place with a wrap for four hours. Repeat the treatment every day for two weeks, and after that every other day in the six following weeks. See the cysts and fibromas shrink away!!
If you feel your skin burning, it is possible to reduce the quantity of ginger or apply the taro side directly to the skin so the ginger does not have so much direct contact with the skin. Ginger in the compress is a great way to help stimulate blood and body fluid circulation, loosen and dissolve stagnated toxic matter, cysts, mastitis, etc.
Taro Root FAQ
Where does taro grow?
Taro grows well in tropical areas with hot and humid conditions. It’s native to Southeast Asia, Africa, India, China, the Caribbean and the Polynesian islands.
Where can I find taro?
Taro can be found in fresh grocery stores, natural food shops and oriental food stores.
How do you cook taro root and leaves?
Taro root and leaves are usually boiled, roasted, cooked in soups (it’s delicious with coconut cream!) or added to meat dishes.
Is taro poisonous?
Taro root must be cooked before eating. Raw taro may be an irritant to some people due to its high calcium oxalate content.
What are the alternative names for taro?
The scientific name of taro is Colocasia esculenta, but it is sometimes known as albi, arbi, talo, dalo, kalo, aba, aro depending on where you are in the world.
Are eddo and taro the same thing?
Eddo (often called Malanga) and taro are two different plants, even though they are closely related from the family of Araceae. Eddo is much smaller than taro and has an acrid taste.