Potatoes Cured our Holiday Cough

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Potatoes Cured Our Cough

One of the worst things that can happen during the holiday season is getting sick! Sometimes, being around several people causes germs to spread faster than you can run away from. Since I am getting on a plane in the morning, I thought I would share my, how potatoes cured our cough, with you! My youngest son was always sick when he was small – he has asthma, and his colds would always turn into pneumonia. We must have spent 100 nights in the children’s emergency room. It never failed – he caught a cold, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and bam – it was pneumonia the next day!

I am not a naturalista by any means; I am that girl who calls the doctor for antibiotics, all the time, for everything. I just think they work for us, and I even try to have some on hand whenever we are traveling; however, it is really tough to find antibiotics when we are traveling.

One summer vacation, I was at my wit’s end. This little boy had pneumonia again and again; he spent half his holiday on a breathing machine. I really did not know how to make him better. As a mom, it kills you to see your kids hurt or sick!

Well, I am married to a Lithuanian who does not believe in medicine, and he won’t take any unless he is dying. I had tried every medicine under the sun and been to every doctor. I was ready to give up on him ever getting fully healthy again. That day, my hubby came to me and said, “My mom told me to boil some potatoes, mash them, and put them on his chest.” First of all, his mom is a doctor – ears, nose, and throat specialist – BUT I was not having any of it! I actually laughed and said, “Are you crazy?! Potatoes?! What is that going to do?!” He went on to tell me that when he and his brother were kids “potatoes cured our cough“. UMMM ok! As I tried to call doctors and read about medicines that could cure his cough and congestion, the hubby went about boiling some potatoes.

Potato Poultice

He took two potatoes, skin on, diced them, covered them with water, and boiled them until they were soft enough to mash. This takes about 30 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes.  Once they were soft, he mashed them up with a potato masher.  Then, he took all of the mashed potatoes, put them in a dish towel, and rubber banded it to hold the potatoes inside. He placed that bag of potatoes (or potato poultice) on my son’s chest and left it there for over an hour.  He reheated it in the microwave a second time and put it back on his chest again. Of course I am still laughing thinking, “Whatever!” Then something amazing happened!  No, really, like a freaking miracle.  My son’s color started coming back, his chest congestion eased up, and he started to breathe without the machine. The healing did not happen instantly, but it did happen within a few hours!  I thought, “OH MY GOODNESS! Potatoes cured our cough”.   So, what did we do? We made more potatoes! Within a 24-hour period, his cough was almost gone, he was breathing again, and we could enjoy our vacation. Yippee! 

Now you can imagine what we do now whenever anyone has a chest cold or cough that just won’t go away. This is especially handy when traveling because sometimes it is hard to find a doctor who will see you on vacation. If you do find a doctor, it will cost you a pretty penny; that’s for sure! I had to apologize to the hubby because he and his mom were right potatoes cured our cough, I was wrong. After this “miracle”, I started to research why this would work or help cure the congestion. Come to find out, potatoes can pull out toxins from your body. I was impressed and have to tell you it works! So, if you get sick on vacation, don’t worry about the doctor – just run to the local grocery and grab some potatoes!


Potatoes Cured Our Cough

  • Chop two, unpeeled potatoes into one-inch tubes.
  • Boil the potato cubes. When soft, mash them.
  • Spread the potatoes onto a dish towel (or cheesecloth).
  • Test the temperature with your hand making sure it’s not too hot. If it’s too hot, add another dish towel, removing it later once it cools down a little.
  • Apply the poultice directly to the chest.
  • Remove the poultice once it is cold.
  • You can microwave it a second time if needed.

There you have it, how potatoes cured out cough! Another thing you can do is remind your kids to wash their hands frequently! Tell them not to put their hands in their mouths (ewww, yuck) after riding on an airplane or public transportation! My kids want to touch everything, and all I see are germs! Carry hand sanitizer and use it frequently – the taste is not so good so it will help keep their hands out of their mouths!

Enjoy your holidays, and stay healthy!


– Stacey




  • Reply December 31, 2017

    Lonna Watkins

    My grandmother used raw sliced potatoes instead of cooked ones. I suppose I worked… I was too young but it was her custom over and over
  • Reply December 25, 2017

    Marina Smith

    Thank you! Hoping this saves our Christmas! :-)
  • Reply December 6, 2017

    Nelda Gibson

    Could you reheat tthe left over mashed potatoes and apply as needed
  • Reply December 13, 2013


    Hi Stacey...wow...another awesome post so short before you leave. I can understand you really well. I am working in a hospital and see all kinds of emergencies and severe illnesses- so you are always in panic when someone gets ill in your family. Benas seems to be like my husband...they have a "male logic" in these things ;-). I think the truth is somewhere in between. I am also a big friend of antibiotics, but at work I found out the more and more often you take them, the less they work. And our health is the most precious thing we`ve got ! Even I have no kids until now I can understand you so well when you described how you felt when your son was ill. It must be horrible. The crazy thing is: my grandpa who lived togehter with my family in one house went very old, and he always knew some tricks. He believed his doctors in most things- but sometimes he just went in the garden...and came back with miracles. I played handball for a long time, and just guess what helped me when I had a sprained foot ? Yes...potatoes !!! He also made a juice from onions and sugar against cough. And he told me to drink fresh ginger with hot water when you feel like getting a cold...always helps. So I now try to mix more and more. Sometimes you have to take antibiotics- no question about that. But sometimes- family miracles ! And it`s so good to have somebody who can understand me that I always travel with cleaning wipes, antiseptic spray etc. ;-) thank you for that ! And have a wonderful and healthy holiday ! (btw.- that`s no joke- hot wine always helps me when no ginger is near...) Can`t wait until the next wonderful post...it`s always like finding the new issue of your favourite magazine...jippiiieeeeh !
    • Reply December 13, 2013


      Thank you again for reading! I always appreciate your comments! Yes, It really does work ~ Have a wonderful Holiday see you soon! Stacey ~

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