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The Science Behind Solanum tuberosum: Unveiling the Potato's Secrets

Introduction Of Potato (Solanum Tuberosum)

Potato botanical name is Solanum tuberosum with the Solanaceae family. Potatoes are cultivated all around the world and commonly known as the irish or white potato. It contains many medicinal properties as it is a stable food. The fruits of potatoes are not consumed as it contains the alkaloid solanine as a toxic substance in it. It is an important source of alcohol. It contains a rich amount of starch in it. It is explained in shaak varga. According to the bhava mishra there are the six varieties of the potato that are described below. Let us discuss in more detail about the potato and its uses in our day to day life.

Potato (Solanum Tuberosum)

Different Type Or Varieties Of Potato (Solanum Tuberosum)

According to the bhava mishra there are the six varieties of the potato that are described below

  1. Kaasht aaluka (kataalu) - In this variety the tubers are hard
  2. Shankh aaluka (shankaalu) - The potato is white in color
  3. Hasthy aaluka - The potato are large in the size
  4. Pind aaluka (suthani)- The potato are globular in the shape
  5. Madv aaluka (deerg suthani)- The potato is sweet in taste and the outer surface is hairy.
  6. Rakt aaluka (rathaalu) - The potato is red in color and also called a rathanda.

Geographical Distribution Of Potato

Potato is a perennial herb and grows in the native of american and all over india by the portuguese and cultivated around the whole world. It mostly grows in the cool climates for better results.

How To Identify A Potato (Solanum Tuberosum) Plant

  • Height - That grows upto to 60 cm in height
  • Leaves - Pinnate, single terminate leaflet and contain 5-9 in numbers
  • Leaflet - Ovate and small
  • Flowers - Pink, white, red, purple, blue
  • Stamen - Yellow in color
  • Fruit - Spherical or ovoid in the shape, green in the color, diameter will be 2-4 cm
  • Seeds - Each contains the 300 seeds
  • Rhizome - Grows from the basal nodes of stem below the ground and each node contains the 3 rhizome

Scientific Classification Of Potato

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Viridae Plantae
  • Division - Tracheophyta
  • Subdivision - Spermatophytina
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Order - Solanales
  • Family - Solanaceae
  • Genus - Solanum
  • Species - Tuberosum
  • Botanical Name - Solanum tuberosum

Synonyms Of Potato

  • Solanum andigenum
  • Parmentiera edulis
  • Battata tuberosa
  • Lycopersicon tuberosum

Different Name According To Languages

  • Hindi name - Aalu
  • English name - Potato
  • Sanskrit name - Golakandah
  • Portuguese name - Batata
  • Germany name - Kartappe
  • Bengali name - Golalu
  • Konkani name - Botate
  • Gujarati name - Papeta
  • Marathi name - Batata
  • Malayalam name - Urulakkilan
  • Tamil name - Urulaikkizhangu
  • Kannada name - Alugadde, Batate
  • Telegu name - Bangaaladumpa
  • Germany name - Kartappe
  • Spanish name - Papa
  • French name - Pomme de terre

Medicinal Uses Of Potato

  • Rasa (taste) - Madhura (sweet)
  • Guna (physical properties) - Ruksha (dry), Guru (heavy)
  • Virya (potency) - Sheeta (cold)
  • Prabhava (effects) - Kaphanila kara (increase the kapha and vata dosha)

Description Of Potato (Solanum Tuberosum) In Different Samhitas

  1. In Charaka Samhita
    • Ch.su. 25/39- described as the most unwholesome in tubers
    • Ch.su. 27/98- described in the shaak varga
  2. In Sushruta Samhita - su.su.46/298
  3. In Ashtanga Hridaya - Ah. Su. 6/93
  4. In Bhava Prakasha Nighantu - explained in the shaak varga

Nutritional Values Of Potato (Solanum Tuberosum)

  • It mostly contains the starch in it
  • Rich in many minerals like the iron, copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulphur, and phosphorus
  • Rich in vitamins also like vitamin A,C,B1,B2,B6, beta carotene, and the folic acid.

Potato Nutritional Information

Within a medium potato is

Attribute Amount
Calories 265
Carbohydrates 61 grams
Protein 6 grams
Fibre 4 grams
Fat 0 grams
Sugar 5 grams

Uses Of Potato (Solanum Tuberosum)

  • Durjara - Heavy and difficult to digest
  • Vishtambhi - That causes bloating
  • Vrishya(aphrodisiac)
  • Balya - Improve or promote the strength
  • Rakta pittanut - Helpful in bleeding disorders (raktapitta)
  • Pandu (anaemia) - As it rich in iron and folic acid

According To Modern

  • It might possess antioxidant (that could stop cell damage) properties
  • It might possess anti cancer (that works to treat the malignant disease) properties
  • It might possess anti obesity (helps to treat the obesity) properties
  • It might possess anti allergy (helps to prevented by anti allergic substance) properties
  • It might possess anti inflammatory (helps to treat inflammation and alleviate pain) properties
  • It might possess anti bacterial (to get rid any potentially dangerous bacteria) properties

Chemical Constituents Of Potato

  • Folates
  • Carotenoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenolic acids
  • Anthocyanins
  • Phytates

Parts Used Of Potato

  • Leaves
  • Tuber (kand)

Home Remedies With The Potato

  • In pain or skin rashes - Boil the potatoes in the water and make a poultice with it and used for the joint pains, rheumatic joints, haemorrhoids, skin rashes, and swelling of the affected area of the body as it contains the soothing property in it.
  • In swelling of gums and burns - Use the skin of potato for the swelling in gums and burns of the body and apply it externally that may be helpful in the skin irritation and rashes due to its soothing properties.
  • For dark circles - Take a slice of potato and kept under the eyes it is helpful to treat the dark circles under the eye.
  • In chronic cough - Use the juice or extract of the potato leaves it acts as antispasmodic effect on the body and given in the chronic cough.
  • In burns or scalds - Use the paste on uncooked potatoes and use as a soothing plaster in burns and the scalds.
  • As anti ulcer - Extract the juice of raw potato that is useful to treat the intestinal and gastric ulcers, colitis of the body as it contains the anti ulcer and the healing properties in it.
  • In constipation - Use the steamed or boiled potatoes as this remedy helps to form loose stools and relieve the symptoms of the constipation. Do not consume in excess as it causes flatulence.
  • In acidity - It helps to relieve the symptoms of acidity as it contains the antioxidant properties in it and helps to control the acid level in the stomach.
  • In high blood pressure - As the potato is rich in fibres, potassium and in kukoamines chemical in it and high in anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid so it helps to keep the blood pressure in a normal state.
  • In obesity - Intake of limited boiled potato can help in weight loss and also helps to balance all three dosha of the body.
  • In improper brain functioning - As it contains the vitamin B6 and potassium in it so helps in reducing stress, anxiety and improve the functioning of the brain.
  • In inflammation - As it contains the anti inflammatory and healing properties in it.
  • In improper functioning of the digestive system - As potatoes contain a high amount of fibre in it that helps in proper digestion and helps in balancing the dosha of the body.
  • In low immunity - As the potato is rich in vitamin C it helps to improve the immunity of a person.

How Then Should We Eat Potatoes?

Ayurveda describes potatoes as one of the cold, dry and astringent vegetables that weakens the agni (digestive fire ) of the body and induces constipation. So consume the potato in described below ways as all of these will improve the potato digestibility.

  • Potatoes should always be cooked with modest amounts of natural oils like the coconut oil, ghee and olive oil with some of the digestive spices like the turmeric, thyme, fennel, cumin, or more.
  • You should not have more than 20-30 % potatoes on your plate. Foods that are primarily made up of potatoes like mashed potatoes, french fries, these are difficult to digest.
  • So combine it with the warm veggies like carrots, beets, spinach, parsley, green onions, and basil.

Who Can Not Take Potato

As potato is not harmful for the human body if we take it in excessive amount in certain condition then it may affect the body functioning such as in Diabetic people because As potato contain the high amount of glycemic index in it so there can be rise or fall in the sugar level because when it eat carbohydrate our body convert the sugar in to the glucose by end result and it goes to the bloodstream and increase the blood sugar level in the body and diabetic people not produce so much insulin so, glucose molecule not enter in the cell and remain in the bloodstream and increase the blood sugar level of the body.

Conclusion

As we see in this whole article the potato is a very useful herb and used in every kitchen in today's life. It is explained in the shaak varga of ancient text. It is easy to grow and contains many nutritional values in it such as it provides the protein, carbohydrate, vitamins (specially vitamins C and B6), and minerals (especially potassium and iron).

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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

MD (ALT. MEDICINE)

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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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