Medical Mythbusting 101: Potato au Leg?
Learn about the mystical leg healing properties of the potato... or complete lack thereof.
I had a patient recently that presented to the office complaining of swelling in both of her legs that had been present for many months. Upon asking her what she had done so far to help reduce the swelling, she informs me that she sometimes boils a potato, mashes it up and rubs it on her legs. At the sound of this I smile and I am immediately glad that she has come to me for help.
There are many old wives tales and home remedies that I have heard to date, but this one is close to the most outlandish. As far as I know, there have been no medicinal properties found in white potatoes that give them “drawing” properties when applied to the skin. At most, the mashed potato gave the patient a soothing feeling much like Oatmeal does to itchy skin.
If you have swelling of the lower legs and feet, this can be a sign of a heart condition, vein/artery problems or a liver condition, just to name a few. If you have swelling of the legs and feet please seek medical attention. And remember, potatoes are best served with sour cream and chives!