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Sweet Potato: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   22-Dec-2020

Sweet Potato is a very popular vegetable that is well-loved and highly consumed by people all over the world. The vegetable is not only good in taste but also enriched with various nutritional qualities. Sweet Potato is eaten by people all over the world and is known by many names. The popular names of Sweet Potato in and around the Indian subcontinent are Mitha Alu, Misti Alu, Genasu, Ratala, Yam, Kumara, Carkkaraivalli, and Samarkand. Sweet Potato is well known for its nutritious value and Is often used as a substitute for Potatoes by diabetic patients. It contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals well. It can be consumed in various ways and even used in skincare products—the vitamins and fibers in Sweet Potato help in improving skin health. In Ayurveda, Sweet Potato is often regarded as a vegetable that can cure many diseases.
 
Properties of Sweet Potato
It has been acknowledged by both science and Ayurveda that Sweet Potato has a lot of good properties that can be beneficial to one's health. Here are the properties of Sweet Potato according to Science and Ayurveda:-
 
● Properties of Sweet Potato according to Science:
1. Rich in vitamins
2. Rich in fires
3. High carbohydrate content
4. Low glycemic index
5. Antioxidant properties
6. Rich in starch
7. Contains Caiapo
8. Contains Anthocyanin
9. Boosts immunity 
 
● Properties of Sweet Potato according to Ayurveda:
1. Snigdha or Oily properties 
2. Ropan or healing properties 
3. Guru or heavy properties
4. Koushana ( not too hot, not too cold) properties
5. Vajikarana or aphrodisiac properties
6. Balya or tonic properties
7. Vata balancing properties 
 
Curative abilities of Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato is said to be rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The various good properties of Sweet Potato makes it a very valuable vegetable that helps improve the immune system and solve various health issues. Ayurveda especially strongly believes that Sweet Potato can be used to cure various illnesses from skin problems to gastric problems. Here are some ways Sweet Potato can cure diseases:-
 
● Diabetes
It is beloved that Sweet Potato can help regulate sugar levels and cure diabetes. Diabetic patients often use sweet Potato itself as a substitute for Potatoes, strictly prohibited from consumption. Sweet Potato contains a constituent called Caiapo, which can help regulate sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion.
 
● Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea or Atisar, as called in Ayurveda, can be easily cured by eating Sweet Potato. Ayurveda believes that Diarrhoea is caused by a bad diet that causes the accumulation of toxins in the body. These lead to a weak digestive fire and an aggravated Vata. Vata Dosha then causes body fluid to mix with stool and create watery or runny excretion. Sweet Potato has a strong Vats balancing property that can cure aggravated Vata. Hence, it can restore Vata and cure diarrhoea.
 
● Wounds and bruises
According to Ayurveda, Sweet Potato can help cure wounds and bruises. Sweet Potato is enriched with Ropan or healing properties that can cure wounds. Applying Sweet Potato on wounds can help in bringing down swelling and restoring skin health.
 
● Obesity
In Ayurveda, Obesity can be cured by Sweet Potato due to its Guru or heavy nature. The guru nature of Sweet Potato gives a sense of a full stomach after consumption. This leads to a decrease in appetite and a consequent low food intake. This helps in regulating weight by reducing the chances of overeating. Hence, Sweet Potato can help to cure obesity by regulating food intake.
 
● Erectile Dysfunction or Low Stamina
Male sexual dysfunction occurs due to a lack of stamina or weak libido. This can cause erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and no interest in sexual intimacy. Sweet Potato is considered to have strong aphrodisiac properties known as Vajikarana in Ayurveda. This aphrodisiac property can help in increasing libido and correcting sexual dysfunction in men.
 
● Hair fall
Hair fall can take place due to several reasons. It can be due to an excessively dry scalp that leads to breakage. Sweet Potato has a Snigdha or oily property that keeps the scalp nourished and avoids breakage. In Ayurveda, hair fall can also be caused by an aggravated Vata. Sweet Potato has Vata balancing properties, which can help restore balance and eventually reduce hair fall.
 
● Skin Problems
Sweet Potato can cure various skin problems that can be difficult to deal with. Sweet Potato has Snigdha or oily property, which can help in nourishing dry skin. This, in turn, also reduces and cures wrinkles and fine lines. It helps keep skin hydrated and healthy for a long time.
 
 
Scientific Views and Ayurvedic Views on Sweet Potato
Ayurveda has always asserted that Sweet Potato can be very beneficial for our health. Science also recognizes certain abilities of Sweet Potato to combat diseases. Here are the scientific and Ayurvedic viewpoints on Sweet Potato:-
 
● Skin Issues

Science

Ayurveda

It has been recognized by science that Sweet Potato has a high nutritional value and is especially rich in vitamins. Beta-carotene, which is present in Sweet Potato, is known to fight free radicals that cause aging. Hence, it can slow down the aging of the skin and age-related skin problems. Vitamin C in Sweet Potato helps strengthen our immune system and keep skin healthy.

According to Ayurveda, Sweet Potato can cure skin problems due to it's Snigdha or oily property. Sweet Potato can keep dry skin hydrated and refreshed. It also balances the body's Vata property that is responsible for causing wrinkles and other skin problems. Wounds on skin and inflammation can also be cured by Ropan or the healing properties of Sweet Potato.

 
● Sexual Wellness in Men

Science

Ayurveda

Sweet Potato is enriched with Vitamin A, which can help in improved production of sperm. Folic Acid, which is present in Sweet Potato, has strong antioxidant properties that can help sexual wellness in men.

In Ayurveda, Sweet Potato is said to have an aphrodisiac property, which can improve libido. This helps men with erectile dysfunction and low libido. It also helps improve stamina and prolong sexual intercourse by reducing the risk of premature ejaculation.

 
● Healing Wounds

Science

Ayurveda

Sweet Potato is rich in fiber content, which can facilitate the healing of wounds and cuts. Fibers in Sweet Potato can absorb fluids that come out of the wound. It can also help in protecting the wound.

In Ayurveda, wounds can be healed by using Sweet Potato. Sweet Potato is said to have Ropan or healing properties that can bring down inflammation and help heal wounds.

 
● In Children

Science

Ayurveda

Sweet Potato is enriched with nutrients that can be very helpful for children. It contains Vitamins and minerals that are good for eyesight, immunity, and overall health. Sweet Potato is given to babies as the first food. Sweet Potato also has a high fiber content that helps in curing constipation. The high carbohydrate content of Sweet Potato helps provide energy to children.

Ayurveda, too believes that Sweet Potato has a high nutrition value and can be extremely beneficial to children for their overall health. It also contains balya or tonic property that helps flush out toxins.

 
Different ways of using Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato is a versatile vegetable that can be used in various ways. It can be consumed or used as a skincare product as well. Here are some ways you can use a Sweet Potato:-
 
● Sweet Potato Boiled
Sweet Potato is very flavorful and can be eaten directly after boiling. You can dice it and add it to curries and mixes.
 
● Sweet Potato Mashed
Sweet Potato can be had as a side dish with meals. Boil some Sweet Potato and mash them. Add some salt and pepper or other condiments as per taste.
 
● Sweet Potato Skin
Sweet Potato skins are a good source of Potassium and fiber. They are completely edible as well. You can have crispy Sweet Potato skins by frying or baking them. 
 
● Sweet Potato Powder
Sweet Potato powder can be good for people who do not like its taste. You can eat about ½ or 1 teaspoon every day.
 
● Sweet Potato Paste
Sweet Potato paste can be easily made at home and used to heal wounds. It can be made by boiling them, mashing them, and adding coconut oil to create the paste.
 
● Sweet Potato Face Pack
Sweet Potato face pack can be extremely beneficial for the skin. It will keep the face hydrated and fresh due to it's Snigdha property. You can easily make it at home by boiling Sweet Potato and adding pumpkin puree and coconut milk in it.
 
● Sweet Potato Hair Pack
A Sweet Potato hair pack can be super nourishing for the hair and scalp due to it's Snigdha or oily property. You can make a hair mask at home by adding coconut oil, olive oil, and honey to mashed Sweet Potato.
 
How to use Sweet Potato
We now know that Sweet Potato has a lot of curative abilities. Here are some ways you can use Sweet Potato to deal with health issues:-
 
● For Obesity
Sweet Potato has a Guru or heavy nature that can reduce appetite and cause a feeling of heaviness in the stomach. This helps to reduce weight by restricting food intake. You can consume mashed Sweet Potato as a side dish to regulate your food intake. Here's how to make it:-
Take some Sweet Potatoes, peel, and boil them. Mash them till they are soft and mushy. Add salt, pepper, or other condiments as taste. Eat with meals daily to reduce weight.
 
● For Diarrhoea
You can eat Sweet Potato after a light meal to control diarrhoea. Eat mashed potatoes with some salt and pepper after a light meal. You can also have diced and boiled Sweet Potato. Eat every day till your diarrhoea is cured.
 
● Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction or sexual dysfunction in men can be cured by regular intake of Sweet Potato. Men who suffer from low libido and sexual problems should eat diced or mashed boiled Sweet Potato every day before taking meals to improve sexual health.
 
● For Wounds
You can use a Sweet Potato paste to help heal wounds. Take some (½ or 1 cup) Sweet Potato and boil them. Remove the pulp. Take this pulp and mix it with coconut oil to create a paste. Apply this on wounds or affected areas to heal them. Repeat till the place is healed.
 
● For Skin
Sweet Potato can hydrate dry skin and reduce wrinkles due to it's Snigdha or oily nature. You can use a homemade face pack to eliminate dry skin. Take some Sweet Potato as per requirement and boil them. Take the pulp out and mix it with coconut oil and pumpkin puree. Make a paste out of it. Put this paste on your face. Wait for 20-30 minutes, then rinse out with water. Repeat once a day for smooth, wrinkle-free skin.
 
● For Hair Care
Sweet Potato is Snigdha or oily in nature. This makes it a good hair care product for dry hair and scalp. You can make a homemade hair pack with natural ingredients to cure dry scalp. Take a half Sweet Potato and boil it. Take out the pulp and mash. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and honey to this paste. Add some coconut oil. Stir this mixture to produce a paste-like hair pack. Apply on your damp hair and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Wash out with water and shampoo. Repeat once a week for healthy hair
 
Side Effects of consuming Sweet Potato
Although Sweet Potato is very nutritious and beneficial for the body, some side effects are associated with consuming Sweet Potato. You need to keep these points in mind to avoid facing the side effects of Sweet Potato:-
 
● Sweet Potato had a tendency to lower sugar levels. Hence, patients who suffer from diabetes and take regular medication must take care while taking Sweet Potato as it might drastically alter sugar levels and cause problems.
 
● Pregnant women are advised to stay away from Sweet Potato if they are hypersensitive to plant products. There is not enough scientific evidence to show that it is completely safe for pregnant women to eat Sweet Potato; hence they should take precautions or consult their doctors before taking it during pregnancy.
 
● Sweet Potato is rich in Oxalic acid, which can cause kidney stones. Oxalic acid can sometimes crystallize to form stones in the kidney, which can cause infections and pain. Patients who have a weak urinary system or frequently get kidney stones should avoid taking too much of Sweet Potato.
 
● Some people are hypersensitive to plant products and get allergies or allergic reactions to it. Those people should also avoid eating Sweet Potato as it might cause some allergic reactions. They might end up getting oedema on the hands and face. Hence, care must be taken that allergic people are not given Sweet Potato.
 
● Sweet Potato should not be eaten raw as it can cause problems in the digestive system. 
 
● Sweet Potato is Guru or heavy in nature. Hence, people who have a week digestive system should avoid taking too much Sweet Potato as it can cause gas.
 
● Sweet Potato has a high carbohydrate content. Hence, people who are on low carb diets should avoid consuming Sweet Potato.
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q. Can you eat Sweet Potato skins?
Yes, you can eat the skin of the Sweet Potato. Skins are generally baked or fried for consumption. It is high in potassium and fiber content; hence it is beneficial for health, especially the stomach.
 
Q. Can Sweet Potato cure diabetes?
Sweet Potato has a component called Caiapo, which can help regulate sugar levels in the blood by promoting insulin production. Hence, Sweet Potato can, indeed, cure diabetes.
 
Q. Can you eat raw Sweet Potato?
It is not advisable to eat raw Sweet Potato as it can cause severe stomach problems and flatulence. Cooking Sweet Potato makes it easier to digest and also improves its taste.
 
Q. Can Sweet Potato cause allergies?
Sweet Potato can cause allergies in people who are hypersensitive to plant-based products. If you are one of them, consult a doctor before prescribing yourself a Sweet Potato dose.
 
Q. Can Sweet Potato cure constipation?
Sweet Potato is rich in fiber. We all know that fibrous food helps to clear stool and promote the smooth passage of stool. Taking Sweet Potato, especially the Sweet Potato skin, can cure constipation. The Vata balancing property of Sweet Potato also helps cure constipation that is caused by aggravated Vata.
 
Q. Can Sweet Potato benefit children?
Sweet Potato is rich in nutrients and fibers, which can be extremely beneficial for children. It also has Balya or tonic properties, which can flush out harmful toxins from the body.
 
Q. Can Sweet Potato cure diarrhoea?
Yes, Sweet Potato can be helpful in curing diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is caused by an aggravated Vata due to unhealthy lifestyles. Sweet Potato has Vata balancing property that helps restore balance and cure Diarrhoea.
 
Q. Can Sweet Potato improve hair health?
Sweet Potato has Snigdha or oily properties. This helps in keeping the scalp nourished and prevents dry scalp problems. Using homemade Sweet Potato hair masks can help improve hair health.
 
Q. Can be consuming or using spoilt Sweet Potatoes cause health problems?
Yes, you should not eat spoilt or rotten Sweet Potato as it will lead to health complications. Bad Sweet Potato can cause liver and neurological defects.
 
Q. Can Sweet Potato benefit men?
Sweet Potato is considered to solve multiple sexual dysfunctions in men. Sweet Potato is said to have aphrodisiac properties, which help in improving libido. The Vitamins in Sweet Potato can help improve the quality of sperm. Sweet Potato can help cure sexual problems like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and low libido.

NS Desk

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