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Can you Eat Potato Leaves? What are Benefits of Eating them?

Do you wonder if you can eat potato leaves after tasting the delicious dishes of Pumpkin leaves?

Honestly, I also gave it a thought during the lockdown, and trust me! I did not see what I found out after studying a bit.

Generally, depending on the variety of Potatoes, you can and can not eat Potato leaves. Irish or white Potato leaves are toxic due to solanine content, while Sweet Potato leaves are edible and have many health benefits.

sweet potatoes and their leaves
Irish or white Potato leave is not edible, but Sweet Potato leaves are edible.

Even if Potatoes have become everyone’s favorite for their versatile use, Potato leaves do not get along in the kitchen.

Therefore, keep reading to learn more about which Potato plants have edible leaves carrying beneficial properties.

Can You Eat Potato Leaves?

I daresay, “Potato is the king of all vegetables” as it can naturally fit in any cuisine without a problem.

However, Potato leaves are not exactly friendly, even though their tuber gained royal fame for their outstanding delicacy.

As a member of the Solanaceae family, commonly known as nightshades, almost all Potato plant leaves are toxic to human use.

Potato leaves contain the solanine compound, which is toxic to humans or animals, and its consumption can be fatal.

Meanwhile, the concentration of solanine is high in Potato plants’ leaves, stems, and new buds to protect plants from UV light stress.

sweet potato vining plant
Vining Sweet Potatoes leaves contain a lot of beneficial properties.

You might wonder why the tubers are not toxic while every other part is toxic.

The answer is tubers can also get toxic if they turn green from prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Furthermore, Potatoes that you use daily also contain solanine but are in very low concentration.

Therefore, you should avoid eating Potato leaves and Potatoes that have turned green to stay on the safe side.

Similarly, cooking or boiling does not change the toxicity of Potato leaves, so do not eat raw or cooked leaves.

Symptoms of Potato Leaves Poisoning in Human

Generally, common poisoning symptoms develop after 7 to 19 hours of solanine intake via Potato leaves.

Here are a few symptoms of solanine poisoning from the consumption of Potato leaves.

  • Burning and bitter sensation in the mouth and throat
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache 
  • Constipation or diarrhea 
  • Headaches and drowsiness
  • Involuntary urination
  • Difficulty in breathing

Depending upon the severity of the poisoning, it can take approximately 1 to 2 weeks to recover completely.

Furthermore, solanine poisoning can cause coma or even death under critical conditions.

According to ASPCA, all of the Solanum species are toxic to cats and dogs. So, if you notice your pets nibbling Potato leaves, call APCC at (888) 426-4435 for professional help.

What Type of Potato Leaves are Edible?

In contrast to Potatoes with inedible leaves, some Potatoes are edible, bearing high nutritional values.

Sweet Potatoes, a member of the morning glory family, has edible leaves with many benefits.

There is no solanine content in Sweet Potatoes, so you can relish them whether raw or cooked.

Furthermore, Potatoes with vining leaves are edible, while upright Potato leaves are not.

potato
Except for Irish or White Potato plants with upright nature, most of the vining Sweet Potato leaves are edible.

In general, you can steer clear of eating all Irish Potato plant leaves while you can eat Sweet Potato leaves.

Along with white Potatoes, you should avoid eating leaves of other plants belonging to the nightshade family, such as Peppers, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Goji berries, etc.

Here is a brief difference between the Sweet Potato with edible leaves and the Irish or White Potato with inedible leaves.

SpecificationsIrish PotatoesSweet Potatoes
Scientific NameSolanum tuberosumIpomoea batatas
Plant FamilySolanaceae or NightshadesConvolvulaceae or Morning Glory
Growing NatureUpright, ErectCreeping, Vining
Leave ToxicityToxic to humans, petsNon Toxic

Almost all of the vining Sweet Potato plants have edible leaves, like Ornamental Sweet Potatoe and Purple Potato.

Disclaimer: Do not eat the leaves of the plants sprayed with chemical pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides.

How to Eat Sweet Potato Leaves?

The edible leaves of Sweet Potato have a bit strong flavor and taste slightly bitter.

So, there are several methods to use those flavors to complement the cuisine and make it more delicious.

You can boil, steam, stir-fry, or even eat them raw; the choice is yours.

But before you use it in your delicacy, here are a few steps to prepare them, ensuring no nutrition loss.

  • Thoroughly clean them and chop the leaves in any fashion you prefer with the help of a sharp knife. 
  • Add some water to the boiling pan and heat it a bit, adding chopped leaves.
  • Cover the pan and let it be for two or three minutes.
  • Drain all extra water and enjoy mixing it with other cuisines to suit your taste.

Some of the delicious and highly nutritious food recipes of Sweet Potato Leaves are as follows.

Recipe #1 Sweet Potato Salad

  • Add some freshly snipped leaves of Sweet Potatoes into the boiling water.
  • Take out the leaves and dip them in cold water.
  • Mix rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to your liking.
  • Arrange green leaves on the platter with tomatoes, onions, or other veggies you like.
  • Sprinkle some vinegar and sugar on top of it, and your Sweet Potato salad is ready.
cooked potato leaves recipe
You can eat Sweet Potato leaves as a salad or stir-fry.

Recipe #2 Stir Fried Sweet Potato Leaves

  • Thoroughly rinse the freshly pinched Sweet Potato leaves along the stem.
  • Add some olive oil to a pan and give it medium heat.
  • Throw some garlic and ginger into a pan and let it be for a minute.
  • Add the rinsed off Sweet Potato leaves and increase the heat slightly.
  • Add some sesame oil, ground white pepper, water, and salt.
  • Stir it properly and let it cook for a few minutes until all leaves are wilted.
  • Your stir-fried Sweet Potato leaves are all ready.

Other simple yet tasty recipes for Sweet Potato leaves are Sauteed, Coconut cream, stew, and so on.

What are the Benefits of Sweet Potato Leaves?

According to the Journal of Food Science, Sweet Potato leaves contain various micronutrients that are beneficial for the human body.

Some micronutrients include Vitamin A, B-Carotene, Thiamine, Zinc, Riboflavin, Calcium, and Protein.

Refer to the table below to learn more about the nutritional value of sweet potato leaves. 

Nutritional ValueAmount (per 1 cup chopped leaves 35gms)
Energy15 Kcal
Protein0.87 g
Carbohydrate3.09 g
Total dietary Fiber1.9 g
Calcium27 mg
Iron0.34 mg
Magnesium24 mg
Phosphorus28 mg
Potassium178 mg
Vitamin B10.055 mg
Vitamin B20.121 mg
Vitamin B30.395 mg
Vitamin C3.8 mg
Vitamin A1322 IU
Vitamin K105.8 µg
Oleic acid0.007 g
Beta Carotene776 µg

Above mentioned values are recommended by the U.S Department of Agriculture.

Here are some important health benefits that Sweet Potato leaves provide.

  • Anti-Diabetes: It has anti-diabetic compounds that help to reduce blood glucose content.
  • Better Heart Health: It is jam-packed with Vitamin K, which helps to eliminate the root cause of heart attacks and reduce cell inflammation.
  • Antioxidant: It helps to reduce the rate of mutation of Cancer cells effectively.
  • Anti-inflammatory: It helps lower inflammation and helps reduces the chances of other diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
  • Anti-bacterial: Its extract showed effective anti-bacterial properties. It also promotes healthy bowel movements.
  • Better Skin and Hair: The sweet Potato leaves are rich in Vitamin A, which promotes healthy hair growth and fights skin rashes and diseases.
  • Keeps Bone Healthy: Due to the high value of Vitamin K in leaves, it helps to maintain the calcium in bones.

You may be interested in reading about growing sweet Potatoes indoors.

Conclusion

Except for the Sweet Potatoes variety, other Potatoes, like Irish or white Potatoes, have inedible leaves.

Therefore, avoid eating them and keep plants away from your kids and pets to avoid accidental intake.

Moreover, discard green Potatoes and those with a bitter taste as they are filled with toxic solanine.

Happy Gardening!!!

Did you know you can grow Roses from cut flowers in Potatoes?

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