Potato – potato

tuberosum); potatoes 

Annual (in culture) and perennial (in the wild) herbaceous tuberous plant of the nightshade family. There are several stems, they are erect or ascending, ribbed, branched, 60-100 cm high. The leaves are intermittently ovate, with 7-11 ovate leaflets. Flowers bisexual, regular, in apical curls; corolla fused-petaled, white, pale pink or purple. The fruit is a berry. Blooms in June – July.

Spread. Comes from South America. In Ukraine, potatoes are grown as a valuable food, technical and fodder crop.

Raw material . Tubers of red varieties of potatoes are used for medicinal purposes. The flowers of the plant are also used in folk medicine.

Chemical composition. Potato tubers contain about 25% of dry matter, the main components of which are starch (80-85%) and protein (up to 3%). In addition to starch, tubers also contain other carbohydrates – fiber, pectin substances, mono- and oligosaccharides. Potato protein contains 14 out of 20 essential amino acids, and the coefficient of its nutritional value compared to chicken protein, which is considered the most complete for human nutrition, is 0.85. Potato tubers are also rich in vitamins. They contain ascorbic acid (10-54 mg %), almost the entire vitamin B complex (thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folic and nicotinic acids), carotenoids, tocopherols, nicotinamide, biotin and the anti-ulcer factor – vitamin U, etc. About 1% of dry matter is accounted for by minerals — compounds of potassium (up to 568 mg %), phosphorus (45-50 mg %), calcium (12-15 mg %), iron (1 mg%), sulfur, manganese, iodine, nickel, cobalt, copper, etc. In addition, sterols (stigmasterin, campesterin, sitosterol), lipids and organic acids (coffee, chlorogenic, citric, oxalic, malic) were found in potato tubers. The entire aerial part of the plant and the skin of the tubers contain glucoalkaloids, the main 3 of which are solanine and chaconine.

Pharmacological properties and use . Juice from potato tubers has antacid, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, antispasmodic and diuretic properties; it helps lower blood pressure (acetylcholine action), normalizes bowel function. The use of potato juice is indicated and gives a good therapeutic effect in gastritis and peptic ulcer, which are accompanied by increased secretion of gastric juice, in spastic constipation and dyspepsia, and in persistent headaches. Side effects in the treatment of raw potatoesit is not marked with juice. To obtain juice, well-washed and dried tubers, without sprouts and green areas, which contain an increased amount of solanine, together with the husks are rubbed on a grater or passed through a meat grinder, and the resulting pulp is squeezed through 2 layers of cheesecloth. Grated raw potatoes are widely used in dermatology and cosmetics: they treat pustular eczema, pyoderma, dermatitis, burns, purulent wounds, leg ulcers and other ulcerative skin diseases. In the case of a leg ulcer, a layer of grated raw potato 0.5-1 cm thick is placed on the entire affected surface, covered with a napkin made of 6-8 layers of gauze and left in this state for 4-5 hours, periodically moistening the bandage with fresh potato juice. If the procedure is carried out daily, the ulcers will be epithelialized in about 3 weeks. In cosmetic practice, mashed raw or boiled potatoes “in their skins” are included in nourishing masks (for dry skin, sunburn, etc.). With catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, they inhale a pair of hot crushed potatoes, cooked “in a uniform”. It is recommended by scientific and folk medicine as a diureticpotatoon a diet Baked unsalted potatoes are introduced into the diet of patients with kidney and cardiovascular diseases with edema. Potatoes are raw materials for the production of starch, glucose, alcohol and lactic acid, which are widely used in medical practice. Starch, in particular, is taken orally and in enemas as an enveloping agent for poisoning to protect the mucous membrane of the stomach. It is used in the form of jelly after emptying the stomach. Recently, the above-ground part of the plant has attracted the attention of researchers as a source for obtaining the alkaloid solanine, which is chemically similar to corticosteroids and cardiac glycosides. In large doses, solanine causes severe poisoning, and in small doses it causes a steady and long-term decrease in blood pressure, increases the amplitude and decreases the frequency of heart contractions, exhibits anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and anti-allergic effect. This indicates that it is not by chance that the infusion of potato flowers is used in traditional medicine as a means that has hypotensive properties and stimulates breathing.

Medicinal forms and applications .

Internally – drink half a glass of raw potato juice 3 times a day (on an empty stomach, before lunch and before dinner) for 2-3 weeks, repeating the course of treatment after a week’s break. During juice treatment, physiotherapeutic procedures, drug treatment are stopped, and a gentle diet is followed. In autumn and spring, when exacerbation of ulcer disease is most likely, it is recommended to drink raw potato juice for 2 weeks for preventive purposes (the dose can be reduced by half).

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