Eight Surprising Uses for the Practically Perfect Potato

The potato. We eat them because we love how they taste. We boil them, mash them, bake them and fry them. We douse them in salt, pepper and butter and even eat them raw. But did you know that when you enjoy that tasty spud you are gaining tremendous health benefits? Potatoes are packed with fiber, protein and Vitamins A, B-Complex and C. They are chock full of minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, niacin and potassium. They are used to relieve tummy troubles and inflammation. The versatile potato also has many non-culinary uses.

Here are some suggestions to help you reap the benefits of this vegetable powerhouse (please consult your doctor before using the potatoes to treat any medical ailment):

  1. Potato juice helps decrease the amount of acid in your stomach. Use a juicer to juice raw (cleaned with the skin on for maximum nutrition value) potatoes and drink a few tablespoons approximately 30 minutes before a meal to help prevent heartburn. To sweeten the juice, add a carrot.
  2. Try putting a slice of raw potato on a bruise to reduce swelling. Raw potato slices also relieve the itching caused by insect bites.
  3. Put slices of raw potato on the eyes to help reduce dark circles.
  4. Instead of spending money to freeze a common wart, try rubbing it with raw potato. Continue each day until the wart is gone.
  5. In the 18th and 19th centuries, people often stayed warm by putting hot, baked potatoes in their pockets. Because they retain warmth for a long time, potatoes were also used in poultices to relieve muscle aches. You can make your own potato poultice by boiling 2 potatoes until soft, mashing them, and placing them on cheesecloth or thick gauze. Evenly cover the potatoes by folding the fabric. Place the poultice on the affected area (make sure it’s not too hot!) to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. To make a simple warm compress, wrap a couple of baked potatoes in a kitchen towel and place on the affected area (again, make sure it’s not too hot!).
  6. Keep a few frozen potatoes in the freezer to use as cold compresses as needed.
  7. Added too much salt to your soup? Simply cut a potato in half and add it to the pot. The potato will absorb the excess salt. Remove the potato halves once they begin to soften.
  8. Rub raw potato on your hands to remove food stains (like berry, beet or carrot stains).

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