How to Use Potatoes to Heal Infections


Eating good quality food is a very important part of naturopathic treatment. Naturopaths also recommend using food to heal in ways other than eating it.

When I suggest these methods people usually laugh at the idea; but all who use them are amazed at how effective they are. Use organic foods if possible, although generally foods that are not organic will also work.

One of my favourites is the use of potatoes to draw out any infection.  Potatoes poultices have been used for hundreds of years to draw out infection and relieve inflammation. A poultice is made by grating or chopping the potato sometimes a cooked and mashed potatoes may be used although generally it is raw. The potato is then wrapped in gauze or similar slightly porous cloth and placed over the affected area.

There is a simpler way to use potatoes to help heal cuts or bites that have become infected, particularly infections around or beneath the nails. Place a few slices of raw potato over the infected area holding it in place with tape. Leave it on overnight, and replace with a fresh potato during the day. Depending on the infection it will usually draw out the pus within 1-3 days. A nurse came to see me who had an infection under a fingernail for weeks, she had tried “everything” to remove it, including antibiotics, but it never really healed. Frequent hand washing at work meant it was hard to apply healing creams. However she used the potato at night and on her days off, within a few days it was gone.


Potatoes are not the only food that can be used in this way for healing; raw cabbage leaves, help bruising and aid circulation. When applied directly they can give excellent relief to mastitis. Other foods used for different complaints include oats, lemons, onion, garlic (special care is needed as garlic oil can burn the skin), and of course honey. Our very own New Zealand Manuka honey is world famous for its antibacterial and antimicrobial actions.



Cut this out – keep it in your first aid box (or recipe book!). If the remedies make you laugh, even better, laughter is a great therapy. It’s been proved to assist healing, so have a laugh, and use the remedies, you’ll be amazed at how good you’ll feel.


Original Article March 2013

Copyright Jaine Kirtley