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Taro, Arum

Botanically it is known as Colocasia esculente. It is a member of the arum family (Araceae). It is a large-leaved tropical plant that has been grown as a staple food crop in the orient for more than 2000 years. Although all parts of the plant are edible, it is grown mainly for its fleshy underground corms and tubers which are rich in starch and protein and are usually eaten like potato or used to make flour. Taros are richer than potatoes in carbohydrates and most vitamins and minerals.

The corms and tubers as well as other parts contain needle-like crystals of calcium oxalate that give the plant a bitter taste or itching sensation in the throat. It can be removed by boiling. The leaves and leafstalks are very rich in vitamin C and are eaten as green vegetables. It is an erect plant that rises from 3 to 7 ft. Its whorled leaves are attached near the centre of the blades to the long thick leafstalks. It is originated in Malaysia, India and Indonesia and then introduced in other parts of the world.

Benefit and uses of Taro, arum.

  • Taro is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, and zinc, and a very good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, copper, and manganese. Taro leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Taro corms are very high in starch, and are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, and manganese.
  • Oxalic acid may be present in the taro corm and especially in the leaf, and these foods should be avoided or eaten in moderation by people with kidney disorders, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Taro is a very healthy food and it has been found that babies that are allergic to milk grow strong and healthy when given poi made from taro. Taro is a starch, a carbohydrate
  • Taro leaves can help people with asthma.
  • If someone was cut and bleeding, the taro root could be rubbed to help stop the bleeding. The poi can be used on sores that are infected also by putting some on a bandage.


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