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Practical Potatoes

Potatoes, found in Peru and Chile as early as 500 B.C., are a staple food grown around the globe. This underground vegetable is fairly easy to find, often inexpensive and versatile for cooking, since it can be added to countless recipes or eaten alone. In addition, the potato can be used for numerous other things besides edibility.

The potato has many medicinal and homeopathic uses and health benefits. The enzyme rich vegetable is high in vitamin c, iron, riboflavin, carbohydrates and potassium.

Interestingly, studies have shown that sanitized potato peels can be more effective than standard gauze when used as wound dressing. Furthermore, potato enzymes even encourage restorative cell properties (Keswani et al., 1990). Additionally, starchy potato liquid reportedly aids in minor joint pain and swelling. When ingested, it helps with upset stomach and can also improve weight loss in conjunction with proper nutrition.

When applied topically, the extract from the potato can ease imperfections and may soothe the skin. Some report that it can even naturally lighten up the complexion and is effective in alleviating dark under eye circles. You can put the juice from the potato on a cotton ball and apply or use slices and lay over the affected area. Make sure you use locally grown or organic, clean potatoes for any recipe that will come into contact with the skin since it will be absorbed.

In addition to culinary and therapeutic uses, if you are into science you likely know that you can also use the potato to produce electricity. Its liquid comprises various chemicals that react and will respond to a conductor, thus producing minor electrical currents.

Fascinating for its various uses, you can even take advantage of its completely biodegradable properties. Don’t discard unused portions, like brown spots or skins, which make great composting material.

It is pretty impressive that nature’s offerings often have multi-duty tasks, from eating to healing and even being capable of supporting a bit of energy production, the potato is just one of earth’s many natural food wonders.

Reference:

Keswani, M.H., Vartak, A.M., Patil, A. & Davies, J.W. (1990). Histological and bacteriological studies of burn wounds treated with boiled potato peel dressings. Journal of the International Society of Burn Injuries. Apr;16(2):137-43. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2350410

Resources:

http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/PotatoHistory.htm
http://www.potatogoodness.com/AboutPotatoes/Potato_Fun_Facts.php
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-809-POTATO.aspx?activeIngredientId=809&activeIngredientName=POTATO
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Entertainment/Wellness/Use-potato-for-skin-care/Article1-817929.aspx
http://www.miniscience.com/projects/potatoelectricity/

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