It was the craziest thing I had ever heard of. Relieve headaches with potato? I was at a point watching my daughter suffer with debilitating migraines several times every week, that it was just crazy enough to be worth a try!
There was no rhyme or reason to the migraines that we could see at that point, just that they were always there, and she was unable to do much of anything else because of them. Many times, the migraines would be heralding seizure activity, so we were desperate to try anything to make the migraines go away. I had been in Costa Rica for 2 years or so at the time, when a Tica (Costa Rican girl) friend was at our home on a day when we were dealing with a pretty severe migraine. She suggested an old home remedy that her grandmother used to use. I had quite a few different remedies from Tico (Costa Rican) grammas that had been shared with me up until this point, like how to cure a cough and how to get rid of a stomach ache, that I had tried and found to be amazingly helpful. I was also practiced with other natural remedies like using wet socks for fever reduction, or special teas to speed up recovery from cold or flu, so I was ready for a new remedy to try and prove! I will admit that this one was a little more odd than the rest of them. She told me to put potatoes on my daughter’s head. Keep in mind, sometimes when you are trying to heal, are chronically ill, or just can’t take the ‘status quo’ of how you feel any more, you are willing to try anything, no matter how silly, weird, or crazy it might sound, just to feel better and find some relief. When the typical ‘fix’ doesn’t touch your problem, when someone says ‘try potatoes on your head’, you are very likely to do it to see if you can relieve headaches with potato!
Right then and there, she walked me through their process and we waited. The remedy actually worked! Within about 30 minutes, after using the potatoes like we had been instructed, the migraine was be gone – it was miraculous, really! I asked why it worked, and she had no idea, just that her family had been using that method for years, and it had always worked for them. We used this remedy for quite some time for migraine relief with much success along with bewilderment! At that time, there was no way for me to research the mechanism behind the suggestion to relieve headaches with potatoes, so I went with it, because it did not matter why it worked, because it just did!
Since then, I have researched more and discovered that this is not only a Latino remedy for headaches and migraines, but it has been widely used around the world for centuries. For example European countrymen would use thick slices of raw potato to calm migraine pain. They would wrap the potato slices in a thin cloth around the head. An Irish folk remedy for headaches is to loosely tie a bandanna around the head and then slip some slices of raw sliced potato between the head and scarf, placing the potatoes strategically where the pain is throbbing (like over the temples or over the eyes …. After an hour the potato slices would be very warm and the headache relieved. (1) The Greeks and the Romans applied crushed raw potatoes on their foreheads to get rid of headaches. Others gently massage the temples with raw potatoes or place slices to each side of the forehead. So if so many different cultures are using this method, what is it about potatoes that they know but we have lost through the years?
In my research, it usually seems to get down to nutrition and how something affects your body positively or negatively. Things can be affected by an overabundance of something that is not necessary in high amounts. On the flip side, a deficiency of something that your body desperately needs to function at its optimum potential could cause problems, like headaches. The nutrition in potatoes could very well be the key to relieving headaches, not only by eating them, but even by absorbing them through the skin. Depending on the cause of your headache or migraine (blood sugar, hormones, vitamin deficiency, food intolerance, inflammation of sorts, toxins… the list can go on and on), potatoes are full of important nutrients that if you are deficient in any of them, could be a potential trigger, or part thereof, of your headache. Potatoes can also add much needed vitamins or minerals to relieve the pain as well.
Just the juice alone from the potato can provide a good amount of the recommended daily intake for adults. Potato juice includes Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Potassium. Potassium deficiency is one of the first things that you want to address, especially if you have frequent headaches or migraines, as it is a critical component of the electrolyte balance in your body. Potassium has the ability to sooth pain in the head. One idea to treat chronic headaches is to drink one-quarter cup of hot potato juice before each meal, no more than three times per day. The 37 g of carbs in a medium (baked) potato can ease a tension headache by upping serotonin levels, as long as you keep the fat and protein below 2 g. (2) The ability to relieve headaches with potato has been proven at my house using the Costa Rican home remedy below. I’d love to hear what kind of results you might have with relieving headaches with potato as well!
Relieve Headaches With Potato
- Thinly slice several potatoes (preferably with a mandolin, for easy placement around the head).
- Soak potato slices in rubbing alcohol.
- Place a fairly loose-fit wide cloth headband around your head.
- Drain the rubbing alcohol off of the potato slices so as to not have it drip into your eyes.
- Gently slip the potato slices one right next to the other under the headband all the way around your head.
I still to this day don’t understand the purpose for the rubbing alcohol, but I can say that when nothing else worked, this did!
Any remedy that has been proven to work is wonderful at the time that you need it. I am a firm believer after all that I’ve experienced, that remedies are great, but I don’t want to solely rely on them day in and day out. Sometimes remedies are like a band-aid. They are very helpful at the time when needed, but the thing that I really want to encourage you to do is to get to the root cause of the problem so that you don’t even need the band-aid anymore. I pray that this remedy works for you when you do have a headache, but more than that I pray that you are able to get to the root cause, whatever that is, so that you never need the band-aid again!
**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I don’t play one here at Passionate For Truth. This is not medical advise. These remedies are shared for your benefit because of my own research and/or personal experience and are for educational purposes only. I hope to encourage you to research some of these possibly ‘newer’ ideas to you for yourself! Remedies shared are not meant to diagnose, treat, nor stated to cure any disease. Your medical decisions are completely up to you. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA. See my full disclaimer here.