The potato is probably the most widely used and best-known vegetable of them all. The organic potato has the most beneficial effects that are unfortunately all but lost when cultivated by commercial methods. Potatoes grown by commercial methods are subjected to chemical fertilisers, insecticides and, in some cases, the foliage treated to a weak solution of cyanide to break it down and make the vegetable easier to harvest.
The real benefits of the potato is to be found when it is raw.
Potato juice is a wonderful antacid and a simple remedy for indigestion. To make potato juice, peel two potatoes and put them in a juicer. The juice contains solanin and vitamin C, which is recommended for those with an over-acid stomach. By sipping a glass of potato juice immediately before a meal, the burning sensation of an over-acid stomach will disappear soon.
The juice is also an excellent cleanser, effective for skin conditions such as eczema.
Potatoes retain heat well, so next time you need a hot compress, boil a potato, wrap it in a clean cloth or sock and apply it to those aching muscles, earache or a sore throat.
For dark circles and puffiness under the eyes, peel and slice a raw potato into large slices.
Wrap them in a cloth or handkerchief and place them on your eyes for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Doing this regularly will reduce your dark circles considerably. You can also apply potato juice under your eyes with a cotton ball to fade away dark circles. It is unfortunate that potatoes have to be cooked before they are eaten as this greatly reduces their nutritional value, especially if the skin has been removed. There is very little in the way of vitamins and minerals – all that is left is starch! Once the potato or the juice has been cooked, it does not have any remedial effect at all. As in many vegetables, cooking will destroy the healing and nutritional properties. Unfortunately, most people eat potatoes in the form of greasy French fries or potato chips, and even baked potatoes are typically loaded down with fats such as butter, sour cream, melted cheese and bacon bits.
Who knew that the humble potato had so many medicinal properties? Interested in learning more about other foods and plants you may have in your house and garden? Enrol in our 12 lesson herbal medicine course online today! We cover the fundamentals of herbal medicine and take a step further into looking at specific body systems, their functions, associated health risks and preventative techniques.