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What Is Taro Root? Cocoyam, Eddo, Dasheen Health Benefits.

Md. Abdur Rahim 17th Jun 2024

The Eddoe is the one in the photo just below this capsule and is the one Jamaicans refer to as coco. The eddoe also consist of several types like I described earlier. Some with purplish colouring and other white on the inside. It is believed that the eddoe was first cultivated in China and Japan then brought to the West Indies when the Chinese came as expatriates to find work. Eddoe can be grown in almost any soil but prefers loamy well drained soils. Temperatures can range from very cool to very warm and does not take a lot of maintenance.

“One serving of Taro contains 22% of our daily vitamin B6 needs. It also contains Vitamin E, Potassium, Carbohydrates, Copper, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Phosphorus.”


The Dasheen is the other taro that likes a lot of water. It is best cultivated near waterbeds however the water has to be in constant flow as stagnant water propagates rotting of the roots. The dasheen is much bigger in size than the eddoe. This crop was first grown in Asia and like eddoe, found its way around the globe. Both the root and the leaves of this plant can be eaten and is used in many cuisines around the world.

Most of the people eating this wonderful root vegetable and knew that what it was until I mentioned it in a recipe and was asked about it. We use taro in many ways. Both the root and leaves can be eaten but here in Jamaica we use the root more so than the leaves such as main staple, soups, puddings, roasting etc.


Powerful antioxidant which helps to fight free radicals. This vitamin also aids in the metabolism of proteins and assist with proper brain activity. Studies also show that people with adequate supply of vitamin E are at a lower risk for heart disease and heart failure. Vitamin E is also essential for the hair, skin and nails because of its antioxidant properties.

This mineral aids with the proper passing of the stool, the synthesizing of proteins, hormone balance, energy, cell repair, bone health and development, digestion and the proper utilization of other nutrients in the body. Copper aids in growth and development, eye function, hair health, how the body metabolises iron, helps heal wounds, proper heart function and thyroid health.

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