A variable species of perennial herb to 3-7 feet tall; leaves all basal from a corm, blades to 2 feet long, upper surface velvety green to bluish-black between primary veins, petioles green to violet or reddish; spathe to 15 inches long, basally green or red-purple, blade expanded, reflexed, yellow. Runs into many forms and variants.
Tropical Asia, where is is commonly grown for food.
Traditional Medicinal: Juice of petioles sometimes used for earache and otorrhea. Juice of the corm used in alopecia. Leaf juice also used for internal hemorrhages, otalgia, adenitis. Internally, a good laxative. Also, used for piles. Also, used as antidote for wasp and insect stings. Heated tubers are applied locally to painful rheumatic joints. Ash of the tubers, mixed with honey, is used for buccal aphthous stomatitis. Raw juice of gabi, mixed with sugar, used as febrifuge. In Hawaii, end of petioles used to stop wounds from bleeding. Stem leaf used on insect bites to prevent swelling and pain. Juice consumed to reduce fever. In Venezuela, the corm is used as an abortifacient and to treat tuberculosis, pulmonary congestion, crippled extremities, fungal abscesses in animals and as an anthelminthic. The Warao use the stem sap for wasp stings. Poi, a ferment from crom shavings, is used bo bathing the sickly to improve muscle tone.
Scientific Studies have shown efficacy in the following areas: • Lactobacillus / The Medicinal Uses of Poi – The possibility of poi being a probiotic in medical nutrition therapy was raised. Investigation has determined that the predominant bacteria in poi are Lactobacillus lactis (95%) and Lactobacilli (5%), containing more lactobacilli per gram than yogurt. It was also considered for use in infants with allergies and failure-to-thrive. This review suggests a need to confirm these results. • Anti-Colon Cancer: The anti-cancer effects of poi (Colocasia esculenta) on colonic adenocarcinoma cells in vitro: The study results suggest that poi may have a novel tumor specific anti-cancer activities and suggests further animal studies and human clinical trials. • Anti-inflammatory: An ethanol extract study of the leaves of Colocasia esculenta in wistar rats showed significant anti-inflammatory actvity with inhibition of carrageenan induced rat paw edema and leukocyte migration and reduction of pleural exudates. • Antioxidant / Flavonoid Glycosides: Study isolated 6 C-glycosylflavonoids and one O-glycosylflavonoid from the shoot system of Taumu (CE) identified as schaftoside, isoschaftoside, orientin, isovitexin, isoorientin, vitexin and luteolin 7-O-sophoroside. Some of the compounds showed strong antioxidant activity. Study results suggest the potential of the leaf of Colocasia esculenta as a source of dietary antioxidant.
Data from Philippine Alternative Medicine; http://www.stuartxchange.org/Gabi.html
Hortus Third, LH Bailey Hortorium, 1975
data regenerated on Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:43:34 -0500