Potato – proven benefits and uses

potato benefits

The scientific name of the potato is Solanum tuberosum Linn.

Potato is a perennial herb with rough, pinnate leaves. Flowers are rather large, white or purple, star-shaped, and borne on compound inflorescences, 3 to 4 centimeters in diameter. Roots grow round and edible fleshy tubers


• Study yielded a gluco-alkaloid, solanine, in the fresh plant, 0.0101 to 0.0489 %; flowers, 0.6 to 0.7 %; unripe fruit, about 1 %; seeds, 0.25 %; tubers and buds, 0.02%; skin, 0.07%, starchy region, 0.002%; shoots, 0.02 to 0.05%.

Sprouting, growing tubers are considered poisonous, as well as the flowers, unripe seeds, and leaves as they contain solanine. The full-grown tuber does not contain solanine.

• Study isolated putrescine N-methyltransferase, a calystegine,a nortropane alkaloid with glycosidase inhibitory activity.

Medicinal properties and use of potato

• Antiscorbutic, aperient, diuretic, galactagogue, stimulant, emollient, antidote, antispasmodic.

• Considered a nervous sedative and stimulant in gout.

• Leaves believed to be poisonous.


– Very high starch content; valuable as an energy-giving food.

– Potatoes grown in Baguio are deficient in calcium, and only fair sources of iron.

– Good source of fiber, vitamins B and C, and minerals.

– Peels are high in potassium.

Folkloric traditional medicine uses and benefits of potato

– Gently laxative, but non-purging.

– Promotes milk.

– Useful for gout.

– Potato-peel tea for hypertension.

– Poultice of leaves as a tonic.

– Used for scurvy, dyspepsia, hyperacidity, gout and arthritis.

– Decoction of leaves for chronic cough.

– Potato, ground to a paste, applied as a plaster to burns caused by fire.

– Poultice of grated raw potato used for light burns, arthritis, itching, etc.

– Boiled potatoes used as emollient poultices.

– Used as antidote to poisoning by iodine.

– Extract of leaves used as an antispasmodic in chronic coughs, producing opium-like effects. Extract also used as a narcotic.

Scientific proven health and beauty benefits of potato


A 2006 study of commonly consumed roots crops in the Philippines – Kamote (Ipomoea batata); ubi, purple yam (Dioscorea alata); cassava (Manihot esculenta); taro or gabi (Colocasia esculenta); carrot (Daucus carota); yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) showed them to be rich sources of phenolic compounds with antioxidant activity, highest in sweet potato, followed by taro, potato, purple yam and lowest in the carrot.

Anticonvulsant/ prevent or reduce the severity of epileptic fits or other convulsions.:

A study showed potato juice exerted significant anticonvulsant activity in mice. It suggests that potato juice, as well as potato, may influence brain GABA-activity.

Teratological and Toxicological Studies:

Study was done on the effects of acute and chronic administration in pregnant and non pregnant rats of alkaloidal, glycoalkaloidal and phenolic compounds from Solanum tuberosum. None of the compounds produced neural tube defects; a few fetuses had rib abnormalities.

Antiobesity of New Purple Potato Variety:

Study of a purple potato variety showed anti-obesity potential via inhibition of lipid metabolism through p38 MAPK and UCP-3 pathways.

Anti-Adhesion / Antimicrobial Properties:

A study showed S tuberosum has the potential of interfering with the adhesion of oral bacteria. Also, S tuberosum methanolic extract showed a greater then 25 mg/ml MIC value against S epidermis, S typhi and B subtilis.

Toxicity !
Potato poisoning –

• Occurs when someone eats the green tubers or new sprouts of the potato plant. The poisonous ingredient is Solanine which is very toxic even in small amounts. Potatoes should never be eaten when spoiled or green below the skin. Sprouts should always be discarded.

• Symptoms: Delirium, diarrhea, dilated pupils, fever or hypothermia, hallucinations, headache, numbness, paralysis, shock, vision changes, vomiting.

• Treatment: Do not attempt home treatment or alternative remedies. Seek immediate medical help. Depending on severity, treatment might necessitate use of activated charcoal, breathing support, IIV fluids and gastric lavage.

Read about other interesting fruits

Acai berry        Ambarella         Avocado           Bael       Banana      Bilberry      Cocunut   

 Cantaloupe        Cashew apple      Dragon Fruit    Durian      Fig      Jack fruit   Jamun      

 Kiwi       Mango        Mangosteen       Miracle fruit         Pomelo      Papaya       Passion fruit

Phalsa      Pineapple           Plum       Pomegranate        Prickly pear           Quince       

Rambutan           Roselle          Santol          Sapota       Sea buckthorn       Sour Orange     

Soursop           Sweet Lime         Star gooseberry         Star Apple          Strawberry     

Surinam Cherry          Sweet lime              Tamarind               Tomato           Tree tomato     

 Wampi       Watermelon         Wood apple

Read about herbs and spices

Allspice          Alfalfa       Ashwagandha        Bay leaf              Black cohosh           

Black onion seeds       Black pepper        Celery          Chives         Chamomile        Clove

Coriander       Curry leaf         Cumin        Eucalyptus        Fennel            Fenugreek

Garlic      Ginger         Gotu Kola        Hibiscus         Holy basil     Jasmine      Kava Kava

Licorice       Lotus      Majoram          Marigold     Mugwort      Mustard seeds        Neem

Nutmeg       Oregano      Peppermint       Red  clover          Rose         Rosemary           Sage

Sensitive plant     St.John’s wort        Tarragon           Thyme           Triphala powder

 Turmeric       Wheat grass      Wild amarnath