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Family Solanaceae
Solanum tuberosum Linn.

Ma ling shu

Scientific names  Common names 
Solanum andigenum Jus. & Bukasov Patatas (C. Bis., Bik., Tag.) 
Solanum kesselbrenneri Juz. & Bukasov Potato (Engl.) 
Solanum subandigena Hawkes  
Solanum tuberosum Linn.  
Solanum tuberosum is the preferred name. EOL

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 varieities, 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.

- 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.
- 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)

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 coontain 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 stree-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 sllght inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus. (15)

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.
• 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 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): 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


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.

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