Taro (Colocasia esculenta) is a root vegetable that resembles a hairy potato. It is used in many cuisines throughout the world, and it even grows as a decorative plant in the city gardens of New York. You can use taro as a potato substitute for almost every recipe. Taro surpasses potato in taste, nutrition, and medicinal benefits. Taro is highly valued in Ayurveda as a prebiotic food (nourishes the friendly bacteria in the gut). With its slippery nature, taro serves a binder of toxins seated in the colon and blood. In the words of Dr. Teitelbaum, taro is the “packaging and shipping” of toxins—it binds them and drives them out of the body, therefore it is an important ingredient in detox Ayurvedic protocols. Taro is also very effective in soothing irritated stomach and gut.
It is best to include taro in your diet at least 2-3 times per week (every day is also fine). Always use the taro cooked and peel it before cooking.
There are several varieties of taro. Vaidya Rk Mishra recommended to use the small ones. Taro root is available in Indian and Asian grocery stores. I’ve also seen it in some Whole Foods stores. Other names for taro are: albi, dasheen, eddo, arwi.