Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Solanum tuberosum

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solanum tuberosum L.


The name "potato" came from the Spanish word "patata" (the original Quechua word appears as "papa"). Many other European languages took forms of this Spanish name, but popular alternatives or shortened forms exist in English, such as spuds, murphies, taters, or tatties (Scotland). In the Americas, Spanish-speakers use the word "papa" more commonly than "patata". Interestingly, French-speakers call the potato pomme de terre, meaning literally "apple of earth" (Dutch speakers use the similar term aardappel. Hebrew speakers say תפוח אדמה, meaning "apple of the earth" too. German speakers use the term Kartoffel, which derives from an Italian equivalent of truffle).


Traditional name

Ita: patata
Engl: potato
French: pomme de terre
Germ: kartoffel

Used parts

The symptoms are the result of eating new potatoes, green potatoes, an extract and the berries


Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Lamiidae / Tubiflorae; Scrophulariales; Solanaceae - Tomato / Potato Family


Original proving

no proving

Description of the substance

The potato (plural form: potatoes) (Solanum tuberosum) is a perennial plant of the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family, grown for its starchy tuber. In recent centuries potatoes have become the world's most important tuber crop and its fourth most important source of food energy (after rice, wheat, and maize): farmers and gardeners grow them world-wide. Growers cultivate thousands of different varieties of potato. The potato originated in the Andes, in the area of present-day Peru. Pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Andean cultures cultivated around 200 different kinds of potatoes.

The potato has only a very distant relationship with the sweet potato. In areas of the United States where sweet potatoes grow commonly, people sometimes refer to the "Irish potato" to distinguish the two, a reference to the widespread cultivation of potatoes in Ireland in the 19th century.
The Potato is nearly related to the Nightshades, belonging to the same genus, Solanum. Its flowers are very similar in form, but larger and paler in colour than those of Solanum Dulcamara.
The stalks, leaves and green berries possess the narcotic and poisonous properties of the Nightshades, but the tubers we eat (which are not the root, but mere enlargements of underground stems, shortened and thickened, in which starch is stored up for the future use of the plant), not being acted on by light, do not develop the poisonous properties contained by that part of the plant above ground. The influence of light on the tubers can be observed if in spring-time young green potatoes are exposed to daylight, when it will be found that they become poisonous and have a disagreeable taste.
Potato plants have a low-growing habit and bear white flowers with yellow stamens. They grow best in cool climates with good rainfall or irrigation such as in Maine, Idaho, Colorado, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Belarus, Germany, Peru, Poland, and Russia. But they adapt readily, and producers grow them, at least on a small scale, in most temperate regions.

Buds called "eyes" appear on the surface of potato tubers. Since common varieties of potatoes do not produce seeds (they bear sterile flowers), propagation occurs by planting pieces of existing tubers, cut to include at least one eye. Confusingly, these pieces can bear the name "seed potatoes". The haulm or shaw of the potato plant may wither if early harvesting does not occur.

After potato-plants flower, some varieties will produce little green fruits that look similar to green cherry-tomatoes. These produce seeds like other fruits. Insects can cross-pollinate the flowers of different potato plants. Each of the fruits can contain up to 300 true seeds. One can separate the seeds from the fruits by putting them in a blender on a slow speed with some water, then leaving them in water for a day so that the seeds will sink and the rest of the fruit will float. The fruit contains poisonous substances: one should not eat it.

Gardeners should plant seed potatoes twelve inches deep, if the soil will allow it; after this, open a hole (about six inches (150 mm) deep and not more than twelve inches (300 mm) in diameter) and place horse-dung or long litter therein, about three inches (75 mm) thick. When the young shoots make their appearance they should have fresh mould drawn around them with a hoe; cover the tender shoots to prevent the frost from injuring them; and earth them (but do not cover them) when the shoots make a second appearance, as in all probability the season will become less severe.
At harvest time, workers generally dig up potatoes with a three-prong grape or fork, but at other times, in dry weather, the plough can serve as the most expeditious implement for unearthing potatoes. After gathering the interval, break and separate the furrow taken by the plough, thus gathering the crop more completely than when taken up by the grape.