Potatoes have gotten a lot of flak in recent years due to their carbohydrate-rich nature. Proponents of low-carbohydrate diets shun potatoes as awful and unhealthy. However, potatoes—particularly raw potatoes or the juice of a raw potato—have a never-ending list of health benefits.
Potatoes – Health Benefits
Potatoes are packed with nutrients such as potassium, thiamin and niacin as well as vitamin C, making them an ideal part of a healthy diet. They can also be used to treat various ailments, either taken internally or as a topical treatment.
To get a serving of potato juice—either to use in smoothies as a nutrient-rich accompanist to other fruits and veggies, or for use as a topical medicine—simply cube up two medium potatoes, then run them through your juicer. This should yield a half-cup of potato juice. You can leave the skin on but make sure to scrub it thoroughly.
You may wish to mix the potato juice with other fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies, as the taste of potato juice alone is mild and not so palatable.
Nutrients In Potato Juice
Potassium – A 1/2-cup of potato juice provides almost 27% of the daily recommended dietary intake of potassium for all adults. Read more about the importance of potassium in my article about potassium deficiency – causes, symptoms and what to do.
Vitamin C – A 1/2-cup of potato juice provides more than 50% of the dietary reference intake of vitamin C for adults.
Thiamine (vitamin B1) – A 1/2-cup of potato juice provides 20% of the recommended dietary allowance for adult men, and almost 22% for adult women.
Niacin (vitamin B3) – A 1/2-cup of potato juice provides almost 20% of the recommended dietary allowance for adult men and 22.5% for adult women.1
Home Remedies Using Raw Potato
The list of remedies using raw potatoes or their juice is virtually infinite. Although some of these remedies are simply folk remedies passed down through the generations, others have been studied empirically and are backed by hard science. Here are a few great potato remedies you may wish to try:
Digestive health and stomach problems
Potatoes have been used for centuries by people with digestive issues ranging from heartburn to indigestion. A 2006 study performed by researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany and published in the Phytomedicine journal found that two-thirds of patients with digestive upset reported their problems abating when they used potato juice to treat them. 3
According to the Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies from 2013, potato juice has also been used to relieve gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), stomach ulcers and helps cleanse the intestines and reduce the amount of acid in the gastrointestinal system.
Stomach (peptic) ulcers
Another folk remedy with roots in real science is use of potato juice for stomach ulcer treatment and prevention.
A team of scientists from the University of Manchester, led by Dr. Ian Roberts, found that potatoes could prevent and even cure stomach ulcers because of a never-before-known molecule in the juice of the potato that fends off the bacteria that pave the way for stomach ulcers.
Although potatoes may not be the answer to curing all cancer types, one 2013 study published in theFood and Function journal and performed by researchers from China’s Northeast Agricultural University found that a substance in potato juice called patatin was able to halt the proliferation of cancer cells in mice with melanoma cancer.
Also according to Drugs.com, an anti-proliferative effect on human colon and liver cancer cells has been demonstrated in vitro.
Lipid panel improvement and antioxidant qualities
If you had bad cholesterol and high triglyceride levels, potato juice may be the answer to getting your lipid panel numbers where they need to be.
This may be in part due to the antioxidant qualities that potatoes possess. A 2012 study performed by Polish researchers from the Poznan University of Life Sciences found that potatoes are high in antioxidative activity—and that this quality increases when potatoes are processed via juicing.
According to the Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies from 2013, one to two teaspoons of potato juice taken before each meal can help to improve arthritis symptoms.
Alternately, you can boil clean potato peelings in a pot of water for three to five minutes, then strain and cool. You can drink one cup of this up to four times per day to relieve arthritis pain and inflammation. If you suffer from arthritis make sure to combine potato juice with these natural remedies.
Scurvy is a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, whose symptoms are swollen, bleeding gums and problems with wound healing. Due to the high levels of vitamin C, potato juice can be beneficial for fending off scurvy when taken regularly.
Potatoes are a wonderful natural cleanser, especially for facial skin. Grate a raw potato and rub it over the skin, then rinse. The nutrients in the potato can absorb into the skin to nourish and moisturize your face, leaving you glowing and healthy.
Burns, sores, cuts, cracks
To treat minor skin injuries, grate a small amount of potato and mix with honey or olive oil. Apply this mixture to the affected area and fix in place with a bandage for about two hours. To treat a sunburn, slice a potato thinly and place them on the burned area for a few minutes to moisturize skin and relieve pain.
To treat a headache with potato, slice the tuber thinly and place the slices on the forehead.
Awaken tired eyes
You can perk up sleepy eyes by placing a slice of potato over each eyelid and leaving them on for just a few minutes. You can also try these 7 natural ways to get rid of puffy eyes.
Improving liver function
To improve the function of your liver, try a potato skin tea. Just boil the peelings from one large potato in one cup of water for five minutes. Strain and drink once cooled. Drink this daily to keep your liver and gallbladder at top performance.
Relief from swelling and itching
Potato slices can be applied to swollen, tender skin to reduce swelling and can also relieve itching associated with insect bites or dermatitis. Place a slice on the affected area and leave it in place until it warms to body temperature, and replace as needed.
Potatoes – A few precautions
Potatoes can heal, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing in this case—avoid ingesting too much of potato juice per day, as higher dosages may be toxic. It is recommended not to drink more than half a cup of potato juice daily.
Also, potatoes with a greenish color under the skin should be avoided, as these contain higher levels of a chemical called solanine, which can interfere with nerve activity and cause severe nausea, diarrhea and cramping.