Healing Benefits Of Potatoes

Introduced to Western Civilization in 1530, it took the potato 200 years to become popular. Learn the healing properties of potatoes.

Potatoes, the favorite staple of man, didn't actually become a favorite staple of Western Civilization until just about 250 years ago. But potatoes were cultivated in the mountains of Peru for thousands of years, and were thought to be an important diet source of the Inca's.

When the Spanish Conquistadors, who were in search of gold and silver, found the potato instead, they soon began shipping it back to Spain on their ships in the 1530's. However, Western Civilization didn't trust the potato, because it is a member of the deadly nightshade family, and contains toxic alkaloids. So it took some 200 years for potatoes to catch on. In fact, it is said that if potatoes were a new discovery in today's day and age, scientists would probably condemn it as not safe for human consumption.

Of course, potatoes are a highly nutritious vegetable, being rich in vitamin C, the B-complex vitamins, and have good doses of the minerals iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.

Besides being an economical and nutritious food source, potatoes also have medicinal properties. A potato tuber is antispasmodic, mild anodyne, digestive remedy, diuretic, and emollient.

A potato is good for stomach ulcer, duodenum ulcer and stomach acidity. To use the potato for these ulcerous conditions, wash and grate several red skinned raw potatoes. (Other colors are also good, but the red is considered the best for this purpose.) Put in a cheesecloth and squeeze to remove the juice. Or slice the potatoes, sprinkle with a small amount of salt, let sit overnight and collect the juice the next morning. Drink 1/2 cup of this raw potato juice three times a day before meals for a great benefit. The juice is also considered a good liver remedy and can be helpful for gallstones and other gallbladder problems. Some believe that a small amount of potato juice applied to the temples during a headache can bring relief.

Mashed potatoes have been used as a poultice to many aches and pains over the years. And slices of raw potatoes can soothe skin inflammations, burns and scalds and chilblains. For burns, mix a grated raw potato with a little olive oil, and apply to affected area. This mixture works well for dry, chapped skin as well.

So as you see, potatoes are good for your stomach in more ways than one!

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