Potatoes reduce inflammations. Their juice is applied externally to heal burns, and is drunk to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers. A demulcent, potatoes are an easy to digest starch for those with nervous indigestion or indigestion related to liver weakness.
Potatoes belong to the nightshade family – plants containing poisonous alkaloids. However, it is relatively easy to identify whether a specific potato is overly toxic. If a potato has a green shade to its peel, it is suspect. Cooking will not remove these toxins. Cutting out the green portion will. Besides greening, a sharp, burning sensation on the tongue upon eating the potato is another sign of excessive alkaloid levels.
Taste: sweet, astringent
Natural Attributes: heavy, dry, expansive
Tissue impact (Vipak): sweet (nourishing)
Thermal impact (Virya): cooling
Dosha impact: Increases Vata, decreases Kapha and Pitta
Digestive impact (Agni): easy to digest
Channels (Srotas): slightly opens
Feces: retains, binds loose stools
Strength (Bala): improves strength
Mind (Manas): Tamasic
Effect: demulcent, nutritive, styptic, sedative, alkalizing
Chinese five element impact: Earth
Chinese medicine syndromes: tonifies spleen-pancreas, harmonizes stomach
- Nourishment (rasa):
- Blood-circulation-liver: Rich in Potassium; balancing for diets rich in sodium and salt, balancing red meat consumption, lowers blood pressure
- Mental: grounding, insomnia
- Skin: burns, inflammations
- Digestive system: inflammation in the GI tract, regular elimination, binding loose stools, stomach and duodenal ulcers (potato juice), renewal of intestinal flora (potato skin)
Potassium- balancing for diets rich in sodium and salt
Harmful for: weak liver, rheumatoid arthritis, slow digestion, candida, parasites
The preparation of a potato has a great deal to do with whether it is calming or irritating to a given Dosha. While potato is beneficial to Kapha, french fries, potato chips and baked potato with cream cheese are not. These preparations turn the dry potato into oily and heavy food inappropriate for Kapha’s. Similarly, Vata’s can handle a baked potato if it is served with a generous amount of butter or ghee or yogurt on it, with salt, balancing out its dryness. Vata’s need their potatoes well spiced and oiled. Pitta’s and Kapha’s do best with their potatoes boiled or stewed, not fried.