Saturday, March 20, 2010


We all love potatoes in many different ways, but there is more to this humble vegetable than just being a gastronomic delight – read on to find out. – Werner (Click on picture to enlarge)

Potato (Spud)
Native to South America, the potato was transported to Europe in the mid-1500s by Spanish sailors. Not until the 1800s however, did this food become a staple in Europe, and it gained popularity in many other cultures as well, because of its nutritional benefits. As a member of the nightshade family, which also includes eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes, contain very small quantities of atropine. This substance is deadly in large amounts, but in small doses it has antispasmodic effects, making potatoes useful for easing gastrointestinal pain and cramping. Potatoes can also be applied externally for muscle pain and skin problems. The more than 100 potato varieties come in many sizes, shapes and colours (yellow, white and blue, for example). Yet despite their physical difference, all varieties of potatoes offer similar health benefits.

Storage and use.

New potatoes, with their thin skins, can be stored for up to a week. Mature potatoes, which have thick skins, last 2 months in a cool, dry place. Before cooking, pare away any sprouts or green spots; these are signs of the development of solanine, which is toxic if ingested in large amounts. Discard potatoes that are excessively soft or sprouted. Cook all types of potatoes in their skins to preserve nutrients.

Therapeutic effect.

The alkaline juice of the potato neutralizes stomach acid and relieves upset stomach, heartburn and even peptic ulcers. Warm potatoes applied externally help alleviate joint and muscle pain and improve circulation. Raw potatoes reduce itching and skins inflammation.


Potatoes are very nutritious, supplying complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein; vitamins A, B-complex and C; and copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin and potassium. When it is possible, eat the nutrient-rich skin. If you do not like it, peel the skin thinly, because many nutrients are concentrated just beneath it.

To promote healthy intestines.
Drinking potatoes water can help cleanse your intestines and reduce the amount of acid in the gastrointestinal system. To prepare it, wash and dice a large potato. Steep it overnight in 1 cup of water to which you've added a pinch of sea salt, strain and drink the water every morning on an empty stomach. Repeat for several weeks.

To eliminate toxins from the body.

A two-day diet of nothing but potatoes is sometimes recommended to flush excess fluid, and the toxins and waste products that fluid may contain, from the body and help purify the blood. Simultaneously, the alkaline substances in the potato bind to uric-acid deposits and remove them from the body, thus relieving gout and arthritis. Eat one large, plain baked potato with the skin five times a day for two days. Drink plenty of water.

To improve liver function.

A tea made from potato skin can relieve gall bladder problems, thereby enhancing the liver's ability to clear waste products and toxins from the body. To prepare, peel a large potato and boil the skin in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain and drink the brew. Used to treat gastrointestinal complaints, arthritis, wounds, skin inflammations, tense muscle and general pain especially in the joints, back and abdomen.

Method of administration

A potato wrap for pain relief. The potato wrap has long history as a folk remedy for all types of muscle and bone pain. Potatoes retain heat for long periods of time, allowing the warmth to penetrate deep into the tissues. To make the wrap, boil 1 lb. of potatoes in their skins until tender. Place them in a linen sack and mash them. Apply the sack to the affected area, placing a towel underneath tightly to your body with a woollen blanket. Remove the only after it has cooled down completely.

Raw potatoes for inflammation

The cooling effect of raw potato slices brings fast relief from swelling (and itching) caused by contact dermatitis and insect bites. The slices are also effective for bruises as well as sties that occur on the eyelids. Peel and slice a potato and apply a slice to the affected skin until the potato warms up. Repeat as necessary.

Potato juice for heartburn

Potato juice helps reduce stomach acid and heal gastrointestinal inflammation because it contains compounds that coat the lining of the stomach. Use a juicer to extract the juice from 1-2 large potatoes (with the skins). Take 3-4 tbsp. of juice half an hour before meals. If you do not like the taste of potato juice when taken straight, mix it with another vegetable juice (such as carrot or beet) or add it to soup.

And now the bad news.
Potatoes are supposed to be one of the world's greatest foods, filled with calcium, niacin, iron, vitamin C and plenty of carbohydrates. A diet of milk and potatoes, the textbooks say, will provide all the nutrients the human body needs. But there is trouble lurking beneath the skin. According to a controversial new theory, potatoes, eaten in large quantities by a population increasingly sedentary and overweight, may be a major contributor to America's alarming rates of heart disease and diabetes.

The problem, according to Meir Stampfer, a nutrition professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, is potato starch. When you eat a potato and that starch hits the saliva in your mouth, its tightly bundled molecules immediately get turned into sugars, which make a beeline for the blood. "You ate a potato," says Stampfer, "but your body is getting pure glucose." The flood of blood sugar sets off a chain reaction. Insulin pours out of the pancreas. Triglycerides shoot up. HDL (good) cholesterol takes a dive. "It's a perfect setup for heart disease and diabetes," says Stampfer.

This is not just a potato problem. It's also a problem with white bread, bagels and most white rice. But couch potatoes don't have to give up their spuds altogether, as long as they eat them in moderation. or they could switch to sweet potatoes and yams, which metabolize less rapidly and wreak less havoc with blood sugar. ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO: They're nutritious, but too many may be too much.
* * * * * * * *
And, a humorous look at the humble spud.

People are like potatoes.
Some people never seem motivated to participate, but are content to watch others do things. - They are called: "Speck Tators."

Some people never do anything to help, but are gifted at finding fault with the way others do things. They're called: "Comment Tators."

Some are always looking to cause problems and really get under your skin. They are called: "Aggie Tators."

There are those who are always saying they will, but somehow, they never get around to doing. We call them: "Hezzie Tators."

Some people put on a front and act like someone else. They're called "Emma Tators."

Then, there are those who walk what they talk. They're always prepared to stop what they're doing to lend a hand to others and bring real sunshine into the lives of others.You can call them: "Sweet Tators."

My thought for today. - Werner
More doors are opened with "please" than with keys. – Author Unknown


Kitchen chief said...

As a lover of potatoes, I found your posting very interesting. I didn’t know that the potato had so many other uses apart from eating them. Thank you for passing this on. And, I loved your last segment, “People are like Potatoes.”

carbonneutraltreehugger said...

Most of our potatoes are grown using synthetic fertilisers which contain heavy metals such as cadmium. Cadmium is easily drawn into root vegetables. This is believed to be strongly linked to protate cancer. Men should only eat organically grown root vegetables for this reason.

T. Asquith said...

Hello again Wern, that's a very good, informative article on the humble spud. This is the type of article you should concentrate upon instead of banging on about that lost cause; fluoride. It's now in the water, a fait acompli. More than half the general population supports it, all dentists support it (NB: Leader of the Opposition is a dentist! Oh, and as for your correspondent's suggestion to resurrect Springborg, give us a break. That would guarantee him becoming a three-time loser). So Wern, you have to come to terms with this, the battle is lost, it's over, move on! Your blog will benefit. As it is, most of your blog 'hits' are mine (you are my hobby!!). However, if you concentrate your blog on providing new informative potato-type things, who knows? you could have one or two more readers.
Bye for now, Tommy

Marg said...

Hey Tommy
I can only guess that your own consumption of fluoride has affected your brain. Why would anyone be happy to be force medicated with a toxic industrial waste product, contaminated as well by lead, mercury, arsenic and aluminium? I guess if you don't like what Werner puts on his blog, you could just not bother to comment. That would make me happy!!!

Sonja Hardy said...

T. Asquith, it is precisely because water fluoridation is currently a fait accompli that it's important to keep plugging away at informing the public about this fraudulent practice, so that more people wake up and demand that it be stopped. Do some research (apart from the misinformation provided by the Government and its agencies) and you will find that fluoridation is neither safe, nor effective - and that NOT all dentists support this practice. Search the internet and find out why the following dentists are against fluoridation, and have had the courage to speak out against it:

1. Dr Andrew Harms, former head of the South Australian branch of the Australian Dental Association.
2. Dr Hardy Limeback, Professor of Preventive Dentistry at Toronto University.
3. Dr Caree Alexander of Port Macquarie.
4. Dr John Colquhoun (deceased) former Chief Dental Officer in Auckland NZ.
5. Dr Bill Osmundson, featured on the DVD Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation - available from the Fluoride Action Network.

Bill Kilvert said...

G'day Werner. Don't listen to Tommy, he does not know what he is talking about when he tells you to stop your anti-fluoridation campaigning and comments. - Keep up the good work.

He probably does not know that the vast majority of countries in the world do not have water fluoridation. Many have tried it and many have rejected it.

All of mainland Europe, Russia, China, India, Japan, most of Africa and Sth America have rejected water fluoridation. In fact only 8 countries in the world now have a saturation level of over 50 percent.

There are very many anti-fluoridation groups throughout Australia and millions of people opposing fluoridation. In fact the Cairns Anti-fluoridation Group has nearly 600 members and supporters and this does not include the hundreds of supporters in the Douglas area.

There is also the "Professionals Against Water Fluoridation" that has a support base of over 2000.

Australia, of course, follow every stupid thing that comes out of the USA, the most corrupt country in the OECD, where multi-national pharmaceutical companies and other "big business" control the Government. - Latest information shows that even the FDA is doing deals with "big business"

The Dental Association may know a lot about teeth, but they have turned a "blind-eye" to fluoride's affects on the rest of the human body, as it does not suit their aims. - Fluoride is not just about teeth! It can have long term damage to other organs in the human body.

Yes, we might have lost this first battle, but the final victory will be our, because we have the facts and truth on our side.

Tommy probably thinks that he is a member of the "Born to Rule" clique, and democracy gets in the way of good government. - Unfortunately our Premier is looking this way as well, so if she does not wake up soon, she will loose Government at the next election.

Swinging Qld. voter. said...

What absolute BS for Asquith to say that the majority wanted fluoride in their drinking water. He could have only got this fallacious message from our four northern non-representative Labor members of parliament. Nobody asked a single question whether we wanted fluoride in the water or not. But Anna Bligh and the Labor Party are experts on spin and fooling the electorate.

John Asquith-Charles said...

Good grief, Werner, another Asquith!!! No relation to me thank goodness! I came across him on facebook - at least I think it is him as he is only a mask - not game to show his proper face!!
Great story on potatoes once again.
Keep up the good work on fluoride.As Marg said, it must be affecting Tommy's brain if he has one.