Of all the tubers (roots) perhaps the most widely used as an article of food is potato. When taken in its healthy state it has much nutritional value. Being farinaceous its use in certain types of diseases is harmful. But for a healthy man and particularly those who do not lead a sedentary life its consumption in moderate quantity is perfectly innocent.
Potato is a native of Andes, from Chille to Columbia and as far north as Mexico. It was scarcely known till the 17th century but has since been widely cultivated in most parts of the civilized worlds. The tuber has many varieties differing in form, size, colour and quality. It is not only used as an article of food but is largely employed for the manufacture of starch and alcohol.
Diseased potato, when taken by mistake, is a poison. The Potato Murrain, is characterised by “the rapid putrescence of the leaves and haulm, which is first indicated by the presence of a little mould, Peronospora intestans, which preys upon the tissues, spreading rapidly in every direction. The tubers also exhibit brown spots on their surface and within their tissues, and according to circumstances decay with greater or less rapidly.” (Treas. of Bot.). This disease by destroying potatoes caused a famine in Ireland in the year 1846 which resulted in the death of thousands of people.
MURE made the first proving of diseased potato (Solanum Tuberosum Aegrotans). One of the most important symptoms noted was that of prolapse of the rectum. Peculiar sensations produced by diseased potato are: of water splashing on head; as if brain were leaping in skull; of something sticking in throat; as if there were a fleshy growth in throat; as if a spring unrolled in left hypochondrium; as if a hollow body were turning rapidly in chest; of stoppage in trachea; of something becoming detached from sacrum; excruciating muscular pains. The symptoms are aggravated by touch and pressure. Headache is aggravated by walking, smelling of alcohol, sleeping and working. (Dictionary of Practical Mat. Medica by CLARKE).
The closest analogues of diseased potato as given by MURE are: Bry., Ars., Pb., Nux v., Sep., Stron., V. tric., Scil., Puls., Graph., Alm., Merc., Nat. m., Ign and Calc. c.
Quarrelsome, irritable mood (Cham., Lyc., Merc., Nat. m.).
Wants change of scenery, etc. (Calc. ph., Tub.).
Imagines at night there are thieves hiding (Nat. m.).
Crowding of ideas (Coff., Aur. m., Lyc., Merc., Nux. mos., Sul.).
Heaviness in vertex (Aloe., Amyg., Calc., Glon., Lach.
Water splashing in head (Dig. as if water is beating against head).
Sensation as if brain leaping in skull (Nux. jerking of brain).
Twitching of left upper lid (Mez.).
Spasmodic contraction of lids (Plumb. Sul., Mez., right).
Lachrymation on waking (Zinc. In morning Calc., Merc., Nat. m., Nux. v., Sul.).
Repeated sneezing followed by cough (Cina., Hep., Seneg.).
Face much swollen esp. about eyelids. (Phos.).
Upper lip bleeding, cracked (Arum. t., Cham., Ign., Nat. m.).
Gums, especially lower, spongy and oozing blood (Carb. v., Ham., Lach., Merc., Sang., Staph., Terb).
Tongue swollen and cracked, early morning (Apis., Bapt., Merc., Plumb., Podo., Vert.).
Canine hunger (China., Cina, Iod., Phos., Psor., Sul.).
Food tastes bitter (China, Puls.).
Salt taste in mouth (Calc., Carb.v., Cycl., Graph., Merc., Nat. m., Puls., Phos., Phos. ac., Rheum., Sep., Sul., Zinc.).
Belly hard swollen and dropsical (Graph., Merc., Sil.).
Stools of black small balls (Nux. v., Op., Plumb., Vert., Vib.).
Straining at stool causes tears. (Vert. alb. causes sweat and fainting).
Prolapsus Recti (Calc., Caust., Dulc., Ign., Lyc., Merc., Nat. m., Pod., Ruta., Sep., Sil., Sul.).
Heat in anus. (Agar., Bry., Eup. perf., Ratanhia Sep., Glon., Pod., Vert. alb.).
Constant micturition while at stool (Aloe., Alum., Colch., Laur., Op., and Tub., Have involuntary flow while, Caus., Cic., Con.; Fl-ac., have profuse flow).
Pain in urethra after micturating (Sars.).
Flatulence presses on uterus (On bladder, Carb. v., Gamb., Ign., Kali c., Zinc.).
Menses smelling of foul fish (putrid. Ign., Psor., Sul.).
Intolerable itching of labia (Hel., Kali bi., Kre., Merc., Plat., Sep.).
Cough with yellow expectoration at night (Am. m., Calc., Phos., Sep., Staph., Sul.).
Palpitation at night when lying. (Ox. ac., Benz. ac.).
Severe pain in lumbar region obliging him to walk bent (Bry., Sul.).
Stiffness and weariness in back (Puls.).
Sleepy in the evening (Ars., Calc., Kali c., Nux. v.).
Dreams of corpses, thieves, fires, (Alum., Mag. c., Mag. m., Nat. m.).
Dreams of falling and corpses. (Thuja, Mag. m.).
Clinically diseased potato is used in the following cases: Prolapse of anus. Painful breasts. Offensive breath. Constipation. Epistaxis. Headache. Irritability. Noma. Offensive odour of body. Pruritus vulvae. Painful scalp. Sciatica. Scurvy. Darkness of skin. Tenesmus. Cracked tongue. Vertebrae painful. Pulsation in vertebrae.
COMPARISON WITH HEALTHY POTATO.
Solanum Tuberosum (Potato) like all other vegetables yields from the tincture of the berries, plant and roots an useful medicine. Green potatoes and the berries are poisonous. And because they are poisonous they are capable of being used as medicine. Sickness, diarrhoea with tenesmus, giddiness, dilated pupils and indistinct vision, a paralytic condition of the tongue, cramps and tetanic spasms are the main features of the poisonings. (Clarkes Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica).
Potato has produced unconsciousness and coma -Diseased potato has produced bad temper and violence.
Potato produces vertigo, headache and stupor. Diseased potato has produced heat, weight and splashing sensation in the head.
Potato produces deep staring eyes; eyes mostly open diseased potato produces heat, pricking and burning in the eyes; and the eyes instead of being open are spasmodically closed.
Potato has much spitting while diseased potato has dry mouth. The former has brown and heavy tongue, the latter white or yellow and swollen tongue.
Both have tenesmus but the retching, vomiting and purging are prominent in potato, while in diseased potato, griping, tearing and other pain in the abdomen and prolapsus of rectum are prominent.
Potato has hurried and irregular respiration while diseased potato has difficulty in breathing with constriction caused by dry mouth.
Potato has small, rapid and scarcely perceptible pulse, while diseased potato has mostly irregular hard and tense pulse.
Potato has tossing to and fro in bed; diseased potato has awful dreams,.
Both have cold sweat.
Potato cures tumours that look like potatoes, while diseased potatoes cure sweat, and breath that have the odour of (diseased) potato.