The potato peel, which housewives discard in the kitchen bin, is being used to treat burns. Doctors have learnt that in case of minor burns, potato peel bandages work better than conventional dressing. Dr.P.V.Naryanan, a plastic surgeon of Jubilee Mission Medical College, in Thrissur, Kerala, told this correspondent the potato peel bandage has three advantages. It’s cheap, non sticky and heals fast. Patients don’t have to cry out loud when it is taken off as it keeps the skin moist. Also, skin replacement has been found to be quicker when potato peel bandages are used”.
The hospital realized the use of potato peel when renowned plastic surgeon of Mumbai, Dr M.H. Keswani, came visiting. He had been experimenting with potato peels for years. Dr.Narayanan said,”Dr.Keswani told us he started thinking about it after a friend said innocuously how similar dried potato peel was to stored skin used by plastic surgeons. He then realized potato peel did not desiccate quickly. Burns patients lose a lot of water through evaporation from the wound and potato peels prevent quick evaporation.
Dr.Dattareya, an Indian-born doctor working in Holland, visited the jubilee Hospital and was amazed at the healing properties of potato peel. “He has published an article on it in a medical journal,” said Dr Narayanan.
It’s been mentioned even in the ancient books. Potato peels provide moisture; they also have anti-bacterial properties that help in healing burn injuries.
It’s the moisture that helps. The juices in a peel keep the wound moist. Perhaps this helps speed up the healing process. A dry wound is very painful and takes longer to heal.