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Family Solanaceae
Solanum tuberosum Linn.

Ma ling shu

Scientific names  Common names 
Solanum andigenum Juz. & Bukasov Patatas (C. Bis., Bik., Tag.) 
Solanum aquinas Bukasov Potato (Engl.) 
Solanum chiloense Berthault  
Solanum chilotanum Hawkes  
Solanum cultum Berthault  
Solanum diemii Brücher  
Solanum fonckii Phil.  
Solanum kesselbrenneri Juz. & Bukasov  
Solanum leptostigma Juz. & Bukasov  
Solanum molinae Juz.  
Solanum oceanicum Brücher  
Solanum ochoanum Lechn.  
Solanum oceanicum Brücher  
Solanum samartiniense Brücher  
Solanum subandigena Hawkes  
Solanum Tascalense Brücher  
Solanum tuberosum Linn.  
Solanum zykinii Lechn.  
Solanum tuberosum L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Batates, Batata (Morocco).
CHINESE: Ma ling shu, Tu dou, Yang yu.
CROATIAN: Krumpir.
CZECH: Brambor.
DANISH: Kartoffel, Kartofler.
DUTCH: Aardappel.
FINNISH: Peruna, Potaati.
FRENCH : Ardoffel, Mailinterra, Parmentière, Patate, Pomme de terre, Tartuffel, Tiffel, Truffel..
GERMAN : Aardapfel, Ärdäppel, Bramburi, Erdapfel, Erdbirne, Erpele, Frundbirne, Gummel, Grundbirn, Happere, Hardopfel, Harpfel, Kartoffel, Kartoffeln, Kautüffel, Ketüffel, Krumbirn, Krumbiir, Tartuffli.
HEBREW:Tapouah' adama, Tàpoohéy.
HINDI: Aloo, Aalu.
HUNGARIAN: Burgonya.
ITALIAN: Patata, Pom da terra, Pomi di terra, Tartufolo.
JAPANESE: Jaga imo.
POLISH: Ziemniak, Kartofel.
PORTUGUESE: Batata, Batata-da-terra-semelha, Batatas (pl.), Batateira
RUSSIAN: Kartofel', Kartoshka.
SERBIAN: Krompira.
SLOVAKIAN: Bramboru.
SLOVENIAN: Krompirja.
SPANISH : Papa, Papa común, Patata, Patatas.
SWEDISH: Jordpäron, Kartoffel, Potatis, Potät, Tartuffel.
TAMIL : Urulaikkilangnku.
THAI: Man farang.
TURKISH: Patates.
VIETNAMESE: Cây khoai tây, Khoai tây.

Patatas is a perennial herb with rough, pinnate leaves. Flowers are rather large, white or purple, star-shaped, and borne on compound inflorescences, 3 to 4 centimeters in diameter. Roots grow round and edible fleshy tubers.

- Cultivated at higher altitudes, especially in the Mountain Province, Luzon, and in the Lanao region in Mindanao
- Introduced from America.

• The entire plant contains toxic glycoalkaloids but usually in harmless quantities in the edible tubers. (9)
• Study yielded a gluco-alkaloid, solanine, in the fresh plant, 0.0101 to 0.0489 %; flowers, 0.6 to 0.7 %; unripe fruit, about 1 %; seeds, 0.25 %; tubers and buds, 0.02%; skin, 0.07%, starchy region, 0.002%; shoots, 0.02 to 0.05%.
• Sprouting, growing tubers are considered poisonous, as well as the flowers, unripe seeds, and leaves as they contain solanine. The full-grown tuber does not contain solanine.
• Study isolated putrescine N-methyltransferase, a calystegine,a nortropane alkaloid with glycosidase inhibitory activity. (9)
- Study of fresh unripe fruit yielded α-chaconine, α-solanine, and chlorogenic acid. Aerial parts yielded α-chaconine, α-solanine, aculeatiside A and B. Tubers yielded α-chaconine, α-solanine and protodioscin.   (13)
• Analysis of nutritive value of potatoes, fresh and skin, all varieties, per 100g yielded: (Principle) energy 77 Kcal, carbohydrates 17.49 g, protein 2.05g, cholesterol 0, dietary fiber 2.1g; (Vitamins) folates 15 mcg, niacin 1.061 mg, pantothenic acid 0.278 mg, pyridoxine 0.298 mg, riboflavin 0.032 mg, thiamin 0.081 mg, vitamin A 2 IU, vitamin C 19.7 mg, vitamin K 2 mcg; (Electrolytes) sodium 6 mg, potassium 425 mg; (Minerals) calcium 12 mg, iron 0.81 mg, magnesium 23 mg, manganese 0.141 mg, phosphorus 57 mg, zinc 0.30 mg; (Phytonutrients) carotene-ß 4 mcg, cryto-xanthin-ß 0 mcg, lutein-xanthin 21 mcg. (USDA National Nutrient data base) (16)

• Antiscorbutic, aperient, diuretic, galactagogue, stimulant, emollient, antidote, antispasmodic.
• Considered a nervous sedative and stimulant in gout.
Leaves believed to be poisonous.
• Studies have shown antioxidant, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, corrosive inhibition, anti-ulcer properties.

Edibility / Nutritional
- Very high starch content; valuable as an energy-giving food.
- Potatoes grown in Baguio are deficient in calcium, and only fair sources of iron.
- Good source of fiber, vitamins B and C, and minerals.
- Peels are high in potassium.
- Although foliage is considered poisonous, some African tribes used the tip as a potherb. (20)
- Gently laxative, but non-purging.
- Promotes milk.
- Useful for gout.
- Potato-peel tea for hypertension.
- Poultice of leaves as a tonic.
- Used for scurvy, dyspepsia, hyperacidity, gout and arthritis.
- Decoction of leaves for chronic cough.
- Potato, ground to a paste, applied as a plaster to burns caused by fire.
- Poultice of grated raw potato used for light burns, arthritis, itching, etc.

- Boiled potatoes used as emollient poultices.
- Used as antidote to poisoning by iodine.
- Extract of leaves used as an antispasmodic in chronic coughs, producing opium-like effects. Extract also used as a narcotic.
- In Tanzania, raw potato tubers are squeezed and juice applied as eye drops to improve poor vision.   (12)
- In traditional medicine of Europe, raw potatoes are used for gastrointestinal disorders, and topical potato preparations are used as hot packs for pain or for softening of furuncles. (19)
- Tea prepared from peels of tubers used as folk remedy for tumors. Boiled tuber used to alleviate corns. Powdered tuber, with copper sulfate, used to help callused fistulas. Europeans used to tie raw potatoes behind the ears for delirium. (20)
- Juice prepared from tubers used for treatment of peptic ulcers. Warm juice applied to rheumatic joints. swellings, skin rashes, hemorrhoids. Peeled uncooked potatoes pounded and applied as a cold soothing plaster to burns and scalds. In India, potato skins used to treat swollen gums and burns. (21)
- Raw potato cataplasm used for burns, frostbite, cracks, ulcers, swelling of eyelids. (21)

- Fodder: Potato surplus used for fodder. Animals fed large residues of raw or cooked potato or "distiller's slop" develop a potato eruption. (see toxicity below)
- Alcohol: Boiled with weak sulfuric acid, potato starch is changed into glucose fermented into alcohol, "British Brandy." (20)
- Cleaner: Ripe potato juice excellent for cleaning cottons, silk, and woolens. (20)
- Cosmetics: (1) Facial mask: The National Potato Board has recommended using peeled, shredded, and soaked potatoes as a facial mask for drying oily skin. (2) Anti-aging: Washing the face daily with potato juice (raw potato ground with water) may prevent wrinkles on the face and make the face glow. (3) Skin cleanser and revitalizer. (4) Potato water used for removing freckles. AzelIc acid from potato is alleged to inhibit tyrosinase activity to reduce pigmentation spotting related to breakouts, treats mild to moderate acne, reduced bacterial growth in the follicles. (21)

A 2006 study of commonly consumed roots crops in the Philippines – Kamote (Ipomoea batata); ubi, purple yam (Dioscorea alata); cassava (Manihot esculenta); taro or gabi (Colocasia esculenta); carrot (Daucus carota); yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) showed them to be rich sources of phenolic compounds with antioxidant activity, highest in sweet potato, followed by taro, potato, purple yam and lowest in the carrot. (2)
Anticonvulsant: A study showed potato juice exerted significant anticonvulsant activity in mice. It suggests that potato juice, as well as potato, may influence brain GABA-activity.
Teratological and Toxicological Studies: Study was done on the effects of acute and chronic administration in pregnant and non pregnant rats of alkaloidal, glycoalkaloidal and phenolic compounds from Solanum tuberosum. None of the compounds produced neural tube defects; a few fetuses had rib abnormalities. (4)
Antiobesity of New Purple Potato Variety: Study of a purple potato variety showed anti-obesity potential via inhibition of lipid metabolism through p38 MAPK and UCP-3 pathways.
Anti-Adhesion / Antimicrobial Properties: A study showed S tuberosum has the potential of interfering with the adhesion of oral bacteria. Also, S tuberosum methanolic extract showed a greater then 25 mg/ml MIC value against S epidermis, S typhi and B subtilis. (6)
Antioxidant / Peels: Study investigated in-vitro hydroxyl and NO, DPPH radical scavenging activities and total phenolic content of S. tuberosum peel extracts. Results showed an ethyl acetate extract to contain higher amounts of polyphenolic contents compared to the methanol extract. DPPH radical scavenging activity was dose-dependent . (7)
Corrosion Inhibition: Study of an acid extract of Solanum tuberosum showed potential as a corrosion inhibitor for mild steel which may be due to adsorption of alkaloids and other phytoconstituents. (8)
• Putrescine N-Methyltransferase: Potatoes yield calystegines, nortropane alkaloids with glycosidase inhibitory activity. Based on calystegine formation by the tropane alkaloid pathway, study investigated PMT genes and enzymes. Sprouting tubers contain both N-methylputrescine and PMT activity. Results confirm potato genes and enzymes specific for the tropane alkaloid metabolism are expressed and active. (9)
• Antibacterial / Peel: Study investigated the in vitro antibacterial effects of S. tuberosum ethanol extract of peels. Results showed antibacterial properties more pronounced on gram-positive bacteria, especially S. aureus. (10)
• Anti-Ulcer / Tubers: Study evaluated the potential of S. tuberosum for anti-ulcer activity in pylorus-ligation model and stress-induced ulcers by cold water immersion. Results showed both alcoholic extracts and aqueous extracts of tubers possess anti-ulcer activity. Phytoconstituents tannins, flavonoids, and triterpenes reported to have anti-ulcer activity were present in both extracts. LD50 was 2000 mg/kg body weight. (11)
• Solanine / Antibacterial / Leaves: Study isolated solanine from leaves of potato plant leaves. The solanine showed effective inhibition against Bacillus subtilis and slight inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus. (15)
• Effect on Organ Weight and Hepatic Oxidative Stress in Obese Rats / Peel or Pulp: Study evaluated the effect of consumption of peel flour or pulp flour on accumulation of adipose tissue, organ weight, and oxidative stress in the liver of obese Holtzman rats. Enzyme activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase were measure in the liver. Obese rats that consumed the pulp of Yungay potato variety had less oxidative stress in the liver. (17)
• Wound Healing / Ointment Formulation / Peel and Pulp of Tubers: Study evaluated the healing activity of an ointment formulation prepared from ethanolic extracts of peel and pulp of tubers on wounds induced in mice. Results showed treated groups had better evidence of wound closure and scarring in the histopathological analysis. The 2% ointment formulation showed most effective results. (18)
• Potato-Derived Products / Review: Study reviewed the literature and summarized data on medicinal use of potato-derived products. Five trials were identified: two open uncontrolled studies two open controlled studies and one double-blind study. Results stimulate further studies of oral juice concentrate in patients with dyspeptic conditions, of potato proteinase inhibitor II for weight reduction, and topical potato proteins for preventing protease-induced perianal dermatitis. Review suggests studies with confirmatory design. (19)
Potato Masks / Topical Therapy for Acne: Study evaluated the use of potatoes as external anti-acne agent. Potato masks are prepared from potatoes which are mashed with a blender to a porridge state. Results showed the use of potato masks can result in reduction of mild acne on facial skin. (22)
Antifungal / Peels: Study evaluated the antifungal activity of crude glycoalkaloid extract (concentration 833.33 microgram/mL) from Solanum tuberosum L. (white potato) peelings against opportunistic fungi Candida albicans, C. glabrata, Aspergillus niger, A. fumigatus, and A. flavus. The extract showed an MIC of 104.17 microgram/mL for A. flavus, verifying the antifungal effect of glycoalkaloid. (23)
α-Solanine / Toxicity, Teratogenicity / Anticancer Potential: α-Solanine is a glycoakaloid metabolite produced by solanaceae species. It is highly toxic to animals and humans and is a risk factor for developing congenital malformations. Recent studies have suggested α-solanine possess antimicrobial and anti-tumor activities. Review summarizes the main properties of α-solanine, toxicity and teratogenicity in animal models, and reported anticancer activity against various cancer cell lines in invitro assays. (25)

Toxicity !
Potato poisoning
• Occurs when someone eats the green tubers or new sprouts of the potato plant. The poisonous ingredient is Solanine which is very toxic even in small amounts. Potatoes should never be eaten when spoiled or green below the skin. Sprouts should always be discarded.
• Symptoms: Delirium, diarrhea, dilated pupils, fever or hypothermia, hallucinations, headache, numbness, paralysis, shock, vision changes, vomiting.
- Potato with green discoloration as a result of exposure to the sun, contains solanine and has been known to cause fatal poisonings (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijkm 1962) (20)
• Treatment: Do not attempt home treatment or alternative remedies. Seek immediate medical help. Depending on severity, treatment might necessitate use of activated charcoal, breathing support, IIV fluids and gastric lavage. (3)
Leaves toxicity
• Potato leaves are generally considered toxic. Its use as food is a restricted custom in high mountain communities where the availability of fresh herbs is restricted by long winters, and at times, it may serve as emergency staple. Toxicity is less in young leaves, and preparations that leach out toxins is evidence of adaptive ingenuity of mountain populations.

Wild-crafted use of leaves.
Cultivated for the potato.

Updated February 2021 / July 2017 / March 2014

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: SOLANUM TUBEROSUM / A. Mascief / - Atlas des plantes de France. 1891 / 31 janvier 2001 / Public Domain / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Fichier:234 Solanum tuberosum L.jpg / Hippolyte Coste - Flore descriptive et illustrée de la France, de la Corse et des contrées limitrophes, 1901-1906 / Public Domain / alterVISTA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Juice Exerts an Anticonvulsant Effect in Mice through Binding to GABA Receptors
Planta medica ISSN 0032-0943 CODEN PLMEAA / 2008, vol. 74, no5, pp. 491-496
Local Root Crops as Antioxidant
Potato poisoning - green tubers and sprouts - Overview
University of Maryland Medical Center / Information

Teratological and toxicological studies of alkaloidal and phenolic compounds from Solanum Tuberosum L. / Shakuntala Chaube and Chester Swinyar / Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology • Volume 36, Issue 2, May 1976, Pages 227-237 / doi:10.1016/0041-008X(76)90002-8

Sorting Potato names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 The University of Melbourne.
Study of Antioxidant Potential of Solanum tuberosum peel extracts / Karuna Chauhan / Journal of Integrated Science and Technology, Vol 2, No 1 (2014) Chauhan
Solanum Tuberosum as an Inhibitor of Mild Steel Corrosion in Acid Media / Pandian, Bothi Raja; Mathur Gopalakrishnan Sethuraman* / Iran. J. Chem. Chem. Eng. Vol. 28, No. 1, 2009
Putrescine N-methyltransferase in Solanum tuberosum L., a calystegine-forming plant. / Stenzel O, Teuber M, Drager B / Planta, 2006 Jan;223(2):200-12.
Antibacterial effects of Solanum tuberosum peel ethanol extract in vitro / Raana Amanpour, Saeid Abbasi-Maleki, Moslem Neyriz-Naghadehi, Majid Asadi-Samani /
J HerbMed Pharmacol. 2015; 4(2): pp 45-48.
Anti-Ulcer Activity of Tuber Extracts of Solanum tuberosum (Solanaceae) in Rats / Mohd Fasih Ahmad, Syed Mahboob Ahmad, Raj K. Keservani* , AnoopPradhan / Acta Fac. Pharm. Univ. Comen. LXII, 2015 (2): 32-37. / DOI: 10.1515/afpuc-2015-0029
Traditional Eye Medicines in Tanzania: Products, Health Risk Awareness and Safety Evaluation / Sheila Maregesi M, Bakari Kauke, Godeliver Kagashe and Reuben Kaali / Herbal Medicine, 2016, Vol 2 No 1:2
Steroidal glycosides from the fruits, aerial parts and tubers of potato (Solanum tuberosum) / Hari Prasad Devkota, Khem Raj Joshi, Tomomi Ozasa, Soko Fukunaga, Naotoshi Yoshida and Shoji Yahara / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2015; 3(6): 252-255
Notes on Economic Plants: Your Poison in My Pie—the Use of Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Leaves in Sakartvelo, Republic of Georgia, Caucasus, and Gollobordo, Eastern Albania / RAINER W. BUSSMANN*, NAREL Y. PANIAGUA ZAMBRANA, SHALVA SIKHARULIDZE, ZAAL KIKVIDZE4, DAVID KIKODZE, DAVID TCHELIDZE, MANANA KHUTSISHVILI, KETEVAN BATSATSASHVILI, ROBBIE E. HART, AND ANDREA PIERONI / Economic Botany, 70(4), 2016, pp. 431–437
Isolation of Solanine from Potato Leaves and Evaluation of Its Antimicrobial Activity / Aditya V. Sakhare / International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), Vol 3, Issue 11, November 2014
Potato nutrition facts / NutritionAndYou
Effect of Solanum tuberosum peel or pulp on organ weight and hepatic oxidative stress in obese rats / Ortiz-Rojas VJ, Bernuy-Osorio ND, Zea-Mendoza OA, Vilchez-Perales C / Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica, Oct 2019; 36(4): pp 681-686 / DOI: 10.17843/rmesp.2019.360.4238 / PMID: 31967262
Wound Healing Activity of an Ointment from Solanum tuberosum L. "Tumbay Yellow Potato" on Mus musculus Balb/c / Galy P Rosas-Cruz, Carmen R Silva-Correa, Abhel A Calderon-Peña, Anabel D Gonzalez-Siccha et al / Pharmacognosy Journal , 2020, 12(6): pp 1268-1275 / DOI: 10.5530/pj.2020.12.175
Medicinal use of potato-derived products: a systematic review / J E Vlachojannis, M Cameron, S Chrubasik / Phytother Res., Feb 2010; 24(2): pp 159-162 / DOI: 10.1002/ptr.2829
Solanum tuberosum L. (Potato) / James A Duke, 1983, Handbook of Energy Crops.
Health Benefits and Cons of Solanum tuberosum / M Umadevi, P K Sampath Kumar, Debjit Bhowmik, S Diraivel / Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies, 2013; 1(1) / ISSN: 2320-3862
Topical Herbal Therapy with Solanum tuberosum L. to Combat Acne / Neneng SitiSilfi Ambarwati, Hanita Omar / Kne Social Sciences / DOI: 10.18502/kss.v3i12.4084
Antifungal Activity of Crude Glycolated Extracts of Solanum tuberosum L. (White Potato) Peelings against Candida and Aspergillus Species / Jaime O Yu, Albert L Yap, Alexandria A Tuason, Cyrene C Tan, Irma R Makalinao et al / Acta Medica Philippina, 2019; 53(1): pp 67-72
Suberin Biosynthesis and Deposition in the Wound-Healing Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Tuber Model / Kathynn Natalie Woolfson / Thesis: Doctor of Philosophy, 2018
Toxicity, Teratogenicity, and Anticancer Activity of α-solanine: A Perspective on Anti-cancer Potential / Adriana Ordoñez-Vasquez, Victor Aguirre-Arzola, Myriam Angelica de la Garza-Ramos, Fernando Suarez-Obando et al / International Journal of Pharmacology, 2019; 15: pp 301-310 / DOI: 10.3923/ijp/3029.301.310

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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