Potato vine plant poisonous

Sweet Potato Greens

General Information

Sweet potato greens are the mildly flavored leaves of the sweet potato plant, often eaten in Asia and Africa. While sweet potatoes are more often grown for their edible tubers in the United States, in many parts of Asia and Africa, sweet potatoes are grown, at least in part, for their edible greens. The greens are edible raw, but are a bit strong in flavor. Try sautéing them in the place of spinach, adding them to stir-fries, or chopping them finely and adding them to salads.

The sweet potato dates back to prehistoric times, likely originating in the tropical climates of Peru and Ecuador. These vines have a delicate texture and can be used similarly to spinach or turnip greens. Like turnip greens, sweet potato greens are slightly bitter and tough, so are best prepared in a way that reduces that bitterness. In southern cooking, bitter greens are boiled for ages; you can vary this by using only enough water to cover the greens, bringing it to a boil, throwing in some salt and the cleaned, roughly-cut greens, and boiling for 5-7 minutes. Then remove the greens and run them under cool water, chop finer, and use in any recipe. You can then sauté them lightly with garlic, a splash with vinegar, a bit of molasses, and add a little Bragg’s amino acids or soy sauce to get the flavor that meat imparts.

Storing & Cooking Information

Handling: Wash and chop sweet potato greens as you would other hearty greens.When looking for sweet potato greens, look for sweet potatoes with dark flesh, and deep green leaves (these are the ones with the most nutrients).

Storing: When washing the greens, uses small amounts of water and subsequently, wrap them in a damp paper towel, cover them in a plastic bag with small holes, and place in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This will allow the greens to keep for several days.

Preparing: In order to prepare sweet potato greens to ensure maximum nutritious value, it is important to follow these steps when preparing sweet potato greens:

  • Rinse and chop the leaves into large chunks and remove the stems.
  • Use a minimal amount of water to reduce nutrient loss
  • Heat oil (with water) in pan and add greens
  • Cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes
  • Remove from heat, drain, and serve immediately

Tips: Sweet Potato Greens can be stir-fried with fresh ginger, sesame oil, and lemon juice. Stir-frying cooks food quickly and helps reduce nutrient loss. The Maori people of New Zealand often use sweet potato broth to treat acne. These greens also pair nicely with brown rice or whole grain pasta.

RELATED: 3 ways to grow watercress at home

What is a sweet potato?

The sweet potato is a popular starchy, root vegetable packed with fibre, antioxidants, vitamins like Vitamin B, C, and A, and minerals like iron, selenium, and calcium. Most commonly confused with the dry yam, the sweet potato has a moist flesh which can vary in colour – from white to orange, and even purple.

Of all the potato varieties, the sweet potato is the easiest crop to grow. Aside from its year-round availability, it also doesn’t need much maintenance and harvest is usually abundant. The vine thrives in tropical weather, needing around five to six months of warm weather to grow.


Can you eat sweet potato leaves?

Yes. Sweet potato plants are typically grown for their sweet tubers, but the leaves are great too. These edible leaves – scientifically called Ipomoea Batatas – contain high dietary fibre and can be absolutely delicious.

In some cultures, sweet potato greens can even be applied topically by crushing its leaves and incorporating it into ointments to treat rashes and skin irritations caused by poisonous plants and insect bites. It is also believed that boiling the leaves and drinking the resulting infused tea can aid in reducing appetite and treat metabolic issues.

218 likes – View Post on Instagram Some of the #perennials that I’m growing in #myfoodforest. From left to right: #katuk #talinum #moringa & two types of #sweetpotatoleaves. All will go in today’s soup together with beans, ginger & turmeric that all came from #mygardentoday!

Health benefits of sweet potato greens

In a study done by the Louisiana State Agricultural Center, it was found that the leaves provide vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Thiamine, Niacin, Zinc, Folic Acid, Calcium, Riboflavin, Iron, Vitamin K, B-Carotene, B6, and Protein.

Here’s how these essential components provide nutrition to one’s body:

Heart health

The presence of Vitamin K in the root crop leaves helps in preventing calcification in the arteries of hard deposits, which causes heart attacks. It also aids in reducing inflammation of cells lining the blood vessels.

Improved eyesight and healing properties

Vitamin A has multiple health benefits, including vision health enhancement, anti-inflammatory properties, and skin regrowth, to name a few.

Vitamin A is also capable of lowering inflammation, reducing the risk of allergic reactions and the chances of neurodegenerative diseases.

Lastly, having the right dosage of vitamin A promotes healthier skin due to the production of collagen to counteract fine lines and wrinkles.

Bone density

In Health Benefits Times, it is mentioned that aside from a healthy heart, the vitamin K in this leafy green is also able to keep the calcium on bones, reducing the risk of bone loss (osteoporosis) and bone fractures, especially in postmenstrual women.

How to cook sweet potato leaves

Raw: Sweet potato leaves can either be consumed raw or cooked. Eating the leaves in its purest, raw form can leave a slight bitterness to the palate while cooking it will release a mild, sweet taste similar to spinach. Whether you decide to add it to a fresh salad or incorporate it into a green smoothie, sweet potato leaves can surely help you add essential nutrients into your diet.

Here are two healthy salad recipes using raw sweet potato leaves:

  1. Apron and Sneakers – Sweet Potato Leaves Salad
  2. Nourishing Days – Sweet Potato Green Salad with Tomato and Onion

Cooked: While cooking greens results in some vitamin-loss, heat can actually activate certain nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes.

You can use sweet potato leaves as a substitute for spinach. The leaves can be paired with fish sauce, aromatics like garlic, ginger, and onion, shrimp paste, and meats.

Get inspired by these tasty recipes:

  1. The Woks of Life – Yam Leaves, Stir-Fried Sweet Potato Leaves
  2. Hungry Go Where – Sweet Potato Leaves In Coconut Milk
  3. Nyonya Cooking – Easy Vegetable Chinese Stir Fry
  4. Noob Cook – Sambal Sweet Potato Leaf
  5. Hadia’s Lebanese Cuisine – Sweet Potato Leaf Stew

RELATED: Everything you need to know about growing cucumbers at home

Step aside, beet greens. It’s time to meet the newest bunch of leaves poised for the superfood spotlight: sweet potato leaves.

Although the greens are widely popular in other areas of the world, they don’t get much love here in the States, where most of us have no idea that sweet potatoes even have leaves, let alone that they’re edible and delicious, with a softer texture and less bitter taste than kale or chard.

But sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

MORE: Meet Kalettes: The Love Child Of Broccoli And Kale

While most supermarkets don’t carry sweet potato greens, that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to find: Many farmers in the South who raise sweet potatoes also sell the greens to specialty Asian food stores, farmer’s markets, and some CSAs during peak growing season, which lasts from May through October. “I love that you get two crops out of one,” says Joan Norman, who sells both the leaves and tubers from her One Straw Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. “We harvest the older leaves and let the new ones keep growing so that the sweet potatoes continue growing, too.”

As for eating the leaves, Norman says they’re best used like spinach, noting her customers like to sauté them, add to smoothies, and even braise in coconut milk. “The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they’re wilted,” she says. “I add a couple drops of fish sauce, too. You can’t go wrong there.”

Check out two more tasty ways to use sweet potato greens:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens
1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve. Recipe courtesy of from The Bitten Word.

Sweet Potato Greens with Grilled Salmon
1 lg bunch of sweet potato greens
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
lemon zest
2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones.
2. HEAT oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
3. ADD leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
4. SEASON salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill. Serves 2. Recipe courtesy of MJ and Hungry Man.

MORE: The 10 Healthiest Greens You Can Eat For The Least Amount Of Calories

Sweet potato leaves Quick Facts
Name: Sweet potato leaves
Scientific Name: Ipomoea batatas
Origin Tropical regions in America
Colors Green (Leaves)
Shapes Alternate, ovate to orbicular, Length: 4-15 cm; Width: 3-11 cm (Leaves)
Taste Bitter
Calories 15 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin K (88.17%)
Vitamin A (9.43%)
Vitamin B2 (9.31%)
Magnesium (5.71%)
Vitamin B6 (5.08%)
Health benefits Heart ailments, Density of bones, Pain during menstruation, Treats cancer, Clots blood
More facts about Sweet potato leaves

Sweet potato leaves is a tropical to temperate climate plant which is cordate, hairless and heart shaped. The upper and lower surface of leaves is olive green in color. The margins are smooth and hairless long petioles. The leaves of sweet potato are generally consumed in the Islands of Pacific Ocean, Asia and Africa. The young and mature leaves of sweet potato have meaningful health benefits.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato leaves

Along with the tubers of sweet potato, the leaves are also edible. Besides its delicious taste It is flavorful with some bitter taste. The leaves are consumed and cooked as spinach. It is a great source of antioxidant, Vitamin C, A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. In comparison to other leafy greens, it possesses more dietary fiber and nutrients.

  1. Heart ailments

Vitamin K helps to prevent the arteries calcification which is one of the main causes for heart attacks. It carries away from arteries and does not allow forming into harmful and hard deposits of plaque. Vitamin K is a vital nutrients in order to reduce inflammation and prevent the cells which lines the blood vessels such as arteries and veins. An adequate intake of Vitamin K helps to maintain the healthy blood pressure and reduces the risk of having cardiac arrest.

  1. Density of bones

Vitamin K helps to maintain the calcium on bones and reduces the chances of osteoporosis. The studies shows that high intake of Vitamin K can eradicate bone loss in osteoporosis patients. Vitamin K is essential for using calcium to form bones. Vitamin K enhances the health of bones and lowers the chances of bone fractures in the postmenopausal women.

The high intake of Vitamin K2 helps to reduce the chances of hip fracture by about 65%. The evidence shows that Vitamin D and Vitamin K works together to enhance the density of bones. Vitamin K has the positive effects on calcium balance. The consumption of foods rich in Vitamin K by the injured patients helps to prevent the sprained ankles and recovers the broken bones.

  1. Pain during menstruation

Vitamin K regulates the hormone function lowers the pain of PMS cramps and menstrual pains. Vitamin K clots the blood and prevents the excessive bleeding during menstruation and relieves pain of PMS symptoms. Over bleeding can cause more pains and cramps during menstruation. The deficiency of Vitamin K can worsen these symptoms.

  1. Treats cancer

Vitamin K helps to reduce the chances of colon, prostate, nasal, oral and stomach cancer. The study shows that high intake of Vitamin K by the liver cancer patients helps to enhance the functions of liver. The intake of Vitamin K helps to reduce the chances of cancer and cardiovascular conditions.

  1. Clots blood

Vitamin K assists in blood clotting which requires twelve proteins to function. Vitamin K promotes the clotting of blood which helps to recover the cuts and bruises quickly. When the blood clotting does not takes place properly then one could experience haemorrhagic disease of new born. This is caused due to the deficiency of Vitamin K. The study shows that the newborns should be given the injection of Vitamin K at birth to prevent from HDN.

  1. Brain health

The study shows that Vitamin K has the role in the metabolism of sphingolipid in which the molecules occur naturally which is present in the cell membranes of the brain. Sphingolipids have a vital role in the cellular actions and assist in forming and supporting the structural role in the brain. An evidence shows that Vitamin K possess an anti-inflammatory properties which prevents the brain from oxidative stress which is a free radical damage. Oxidative stress damages the cells and contributes to the Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease as well as heart failure.

  1. Gum health

Cavities and gum problems are the result of the food low in Vitamin C, A, D and K. The intake of foods rich in fat soluble vitamins helps to prevent the gum disease and tooth decay. It also plays a vital role in the mineralization of teeth and bones. The food rich in minerals and vitamins helps to eliminate the bacteria present in the mouth and teeth. Vitamin K works with other vitamins and minerals to eradicate the bacteria that damage the enamel of tooth. It also maintains the strong teeth by providing adequate amount of minerals.

  1. Reduce inflammation

Vitamin possesses antioxidant properties which eradicated free radicals from the body that damages the cells and tissues. Vitamin A reduces the chances of food allergies and prevents the harmful overreaction. It lowers the inflammation which helps to reduce the chances of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Healthy skin and hair

Vitamin A is essential for the regrowth of skin and to heal wounds. It assists the epithelial cells externally and internally. Vitamins help in the formation of glycoproteins which is the combination of protein and sugar and binds the cells together for the formation of soft tissues.

Vitamin A deficiency results in poor complexion. Vitamin A can promote the health of skin and also counteracts acne. It keeps the wrinkles and lines at bay with the production of more collagen which helps to maintain the skin young. It also provides the healthy hair.

Traditional Uses

  • Sweet potato helps to reduce the chances of liver disease and stomach cancer.
  • It lowers depression and helps to lose weight.
  • The fresh leaf helps to treat neoplasia.
  • The leaves are considered to possess an antioxidant, antimutagen, anti-cancer, anti-hypertension, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It is used to provide relief from constipation.
  • It helps to enhance the immunity power and prevents the disease and infections.
  • The drink made from the leaves helps to eradicate diarrhea, nausea and stomachaches.
  • It is also effective for colds, flus, burns, bug bites and scrapes.
  • It also lowers anxiety, stress and blood pressure.

How to eat

  • The leaves of Sweet potato are consumed as leafy greens.
  • They can also be steamed, fried or boiled.
  • Chop the leaves of sweet potato and add it to the recipes or sautee with garlic and butter.
  • Sauté leaves with sesame oil and ginger. And then season with pepper and salt.
  • It is a best substitute for the spinach.
  • In Asia, the leaves are stir fried with soy sauce and garlic.
  • It could be consumed raw by adding it to the salads.

75% 75% Awesome

Sweet potato leaves a good source of vitamins

“The objective of the study was to determine the ascorbic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 content in a wide range of edible tissues of ‘Beauregard’ and ‘LA 07-146’ sweetpotatoes, two important commercial cultivars in Louisiana,” Barrera and Picha said. The scientists analyzed a variety of sweetpotato tissue types (mature leaves, young leaves, young petioles, buds, vine sections, and root tissue) from a sweetpotato plot at Louisiana State University in late October and again the following September. They conducted a third experiment to study water-soluble vitamin content among different sweetpotato root tissues.

Analyses revealed differences in total ascorbic acid (AA) content among tissue types. Young leaves contained the highest AA content, followed by mature leaves and buds. Buds also contained significantly higher AA content than sweetpotato roots, vines, and petiole tissues. “These results confirm previous studies that sweetpotato foliar tissues are a good source of ascorbic acid, and that young leaves have the highest foliar AA content,” the scientists noted. The experiments showed no presence of thiamin in foliar tissues, a finding the authors say differs from previous studies. “The lack of thiamin in our results might be explained by cultivar differences,” they explained.

Results also showed that riboflavin content differed with sweetpotato tissue type, but was consistently higher in the leaves; mature leaves contained higher amounts of riboflavin than young leaves and other plant tissues, including roots. “Leaf tissue also contained higher total vitamin B6 content compared with other tissues. Mature leaves contained 3.4 times higher vitamin B6 than roots, whereas mature petioles contained 2.3 times more than roots,” the authors said. “Bud tissue and young leaves also contained higher B6 levels than roots, whereas the vine and young petiole tissue contents were lower than roots.”

Barrera and Picha concluded that ascorbic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 contents were higher in leaf tissue than in other tissue types. “Our results indicate that mature and young leaves of sweetpotato could provide significant amounts of vitamin B6 to the human diet,” they said. They noted that the vitamin B6 content in sweetpotato leaves compares well with fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, avocados, carrots, bananas, and cauliflower.

The benefits of consuming sweet potato leaves: Helps reduce risk of chronic diseases and promotes health


July 23-24, 2018 | Osaka, Japan

Milagrosa Chiu Shieh Liu

Comfort Healthy Technology, Taiwan

Keynote : J Regen Med
DOI : 10.4172/2325-9620-C3-013


Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves are loaded with various nutrients, vitamins, dietary fiber, and essential fatty acids. It has great amount of protein, minerals Vitamin B, Beta carotene, Lutein and antioxidants. However, that polyphenols are important antioxidants in sweet potato leaves. The Consumption of polyphenols is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases, possibly via a variety of bio-mechanisms, including antioxidation and antiinflammation. However, sweet potato leaves commonly consumed in Asia possess polyphenols. According recently studies have suggest that polyphenols of sweet potato leaves were bioavailable and could enhance antioxidant defence and decrease oxidative stress in young healthy people. Sweet potato leaves contained in these nutrients which play a role in health promotion by improving immune function, reducing oxidative stress and free radical damage, reducing cardiovascular disease risk, and suppressing cancer cell growth. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a pathological condition with real cure. As standard for macular degeneration therapies are limited, costly, and often associated with undesirable pathological side effects, the role of nutrition in protecting against degenerative diseases is intensively under scientific consideration. Food fortification with lutein extract has been identified as a low budget prescription to prevent the onset and/or progression of AMD. Major sources of lutein are green vegetables and marigold flower. However, available food sources of lutein contain little amount of lutein and consumption of large quantities of food would be required to meet the suggested daily requirement for lutein. Since sweet potato leaves have no economical value and are discarded following sweet potato harvest. The objective of this article was to consider the concentration of lutein in sweet potato leaves as a potential inexpensive source of lutein. In order to help in the fight against AMD. Sweet potato leaves, which contain several nutrients and bioactive compounds, should be consumed as leafy vegetables in an attempt to reduce malnutrition, especially in developing countries. Currently, sweet potato leaves are consumed mostly in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, in African and Asian countries; limited consumption occurs in the United States. In folk remedies, Sweet potato leaves are used to treat irritations of the mouth and throat and can be crushed and used in ointments to help treat skin conditions such as rashes. In Brazil, a hot water decoction of Sweet potato leaves was historically used to help reduce appetite and symptoms of metabolic issues. Chinese herbalist lore says that the leaves can improve the respiratory and renal system function. Like spinach, chard and other greens, sweet potatoes leaves are highly versatile. This comprehensive review assesses research examining the nutritional characteristics and bioactive compounds within sweet potato leaves that contribute to health promotion and chronic disease prevention thus indicating that increased consumption of this vegetable should be advocated. Since reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases is of public health concern, promoting the consumption of sweet potato leaves warrants further and more intensive research investigation.


Milagrosa Chiu Shieh Liu has completed her Doctor degree in Naturopathy in 2000 from Trinity College of Natural Health, Indiana, USA. She has studied the Doctor degree of TCM from Chang Chung University of Traditional Chinese Medicine China. Presently, she is the Global Affairs Officer of COMFORT Helathy Tecnology Co.,Ltd. She has presented in more than 30 international conferences in Asia and Latin American countries. She has been serving as a Psychologist, Nutritionist and Host & Columnist in the program of alternative integrative medicine of CNR/CRI in China and Central TV in Rep Dominican.




About Vera Files

An online post claiming the extract from “talbos ng kamote” or leaves of sweet potatoes can “kill cancer” has been widely circulating on Facebook (FB) for the past three months.

VERA Files Fact Check looked into this and seven other claims made in the post, and found that only half are true. The rest are either misleading, inaccurate, or unsubstantiated.


On July 31, Facebook (FB) page Philippine Health Tips, which posts herbal cures and health benefits of various plants on an almost-daily basis, published on FB a post titled,

“TALBOS NG KAMOTE (Sweet potato leaves) KILLS CANCER
Sweet Potato Leaves Kill 94% of Prostate Cancer Cells in Vitro.”

Citing several unidentified studies which supposedly tested the effects of sweet potato leaves and their extract on humans and mice, the page also claimed the following:

  • the extract slows the growth of prostate cancer tumors in mice by 75%;
  • sweet potato leaves are “active against” leukemia, as well as breast, lung, colon, and stomach cancer;
  • eating at least 100 grams per week of the leaves “decreases lung cancer risk by up to 57%”;
  • the plant’s leaves “boosts immunity” in humans and lowers blood sugar in mice with type II diabetes;
  • sweet potato leaves are “an excellent source” of antioxidants called polyphenols, and anticancer peptides;
  • it gives “400% the alkalizing (sic) power of pure lemon juice”; and
  • the leaves significantly relieved fatigue in mice, increased exercise capacity, and boosted muscle glycogen levels.

To date, the post has been shared over 84,000 times.


Only the claims about the effect of sweet potato leaves and extract on mice are true, as well as the statement about the plant containing antioxidants.

The two claims that the plant can fight specific cancers in humans are skewed, while Philippine Health Tips’ claims of its lung-cancer-preventing capabilities carry inaccuracies. The claim on its “alkalizing (sic) power,” on the other hand, is unsubstantiated.

On being extremely toxic to prostate cancer cells, killing 94% in vitro

Philippine Health Tips’ main claim is misleading. The FB page did not specify which study this came from, but it appears to refer to a 2011 research from the Oxford Journals on Carcinogenesis. The study did not say the extract is “extremely toxic” to prostate cancer cells, but did find that it had significant, “antiproliferative” effect on prostate cancer cells — meaning it prevents cancerous cells from reproducing — while not causing any “detectable toxicity” on normal prostate cells. It also induced “apoptosis” or cell self-destruction in human prostate cancer cells.

The research was done on prostate cancer cells in vitro, or in an artificial setting like test tubes or petri dishes, and in vivo, or inside a living organism’s body. The study did not say 94 percent of cancerous cells were killed in vitro. What it did observe was that oral intake of the extract “inhibited growth and progression” of prostate tumors by about 69 percent in lab mice.

On being “active” against breast, lung, colon and stomach cancer and leukemia

While several studies have indeed found that sweet potato leaves and its extract can fight colon and stomach cancer and leukemia, and can help prevent lung cancer, the leaves’ efficacy against breast cancer cells has yet to be proven. However, there are published studies not on the leaves but on the root crop’s anti-breast cancer activities, such as a 2015 research in Taiwan, and a 2017 and 2019 study in China.

On decreasing the risk of lung cancer by 57% by eating 100g of sweet potato leaves weekly

A research conducted in Taiwan on the matter did not make specific mention of a 57 percent decrease in lung cancer risk caused by the intake of sweet potato greens. Instead, its results pointed out what most people know: that eating more servings of vegetables, chrysanthemum, and sweet potato leaves — which are all rich in vitamin A — decreases the chances of an individual developing lung cancer.

On having 400% the alkalizing power of pure lemon juice

This claim lacks proof. There are no scientific studies pointing to sweet potato leaves or its extract having 400 percent more alkaline than lemon juice.

On boosting the immune system of humans and lowering blood sugar in diabetic mice

A 2005 study in Taiwan on the effect of purple sweet potato leaves does show it can help in regulating a human’s immune functions, proving the former claim, while a 2014 experiment in Japan on how sweet potato greens extract (SPGE) weakens hyperglycemia or high blood sugar in mice, showing an antidiabetic potential of sweet potato leaves, validates the latter.

On being a source of polyphenols and anticancer peptides

Several studies cited in this story prove that sweet potato leaves contain polyphenols and anticancer peptides, specifically the 2007 study which discovered that the spread of colon, stomach, and leukemia cancer cells could be suppressed by a substance found in the polyphenols of sweet potato greens.

On sweet potato extract slowing the growth of prostate tumors in mice by 75%

A 2013 study by the same researchers of the 2011 in vivo and in vitro research mentioned above found that ingesting a polyphenol-rich portion of sweet potato green extract could hinder the development of prostate tumor in mice by approximately 75 percent.

On relieving fatigue, increasing exercise capacity and muscle glucose in mice

The claim pertains to a 2013 research published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics. It looked into the anti-fatigue effects of flavonoids found in sweet potato greens. Flavonoids are phytochemicals reported to have “antiviral, anti-allergic, anti-platelet, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and antioxidant activities.”

The male Kunming mice, which received flavonoids from sweet potato leaves during the experiment, were able to swim longer and had higher muscle glucose content or stored energy after performing the exercise.


Li, C., & Zhang, L. (2013).In vivo Anti-fatigue activity of total flavonoids from sweet potato leaf in mice. Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics, 50, 326-329.

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

Sweet Potato Leaves are a SUPERFOOD

Hello and so excited to share this post thanks to our Singapore Cancer Society BBB Whats App group and the previous day a recipe that I shared about a salad that I had with Sweet Potato leaves that we have grown in our back garden. And the super news is they are just so simple to grow.

So what is so special about this leaf?

Benefits of Sweet Potato Leaf

Sweet Potato Leaves (Cantonese: fun she yip) Kills 94% of Prostate Cancer Cells in Vitro. An extract of sweet potato leaves was discovered to be extremely toxic to prostate cancer cells in this study, killing 94% of them in vitro & slowing the growth of prostate tumors in mice by 75%. Other research has shown that these super-greens are also active against breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer & leukemia. And the health benefits of these greens are not just for the lab. One study in Taiwan showed that eating at least 100 grams per week of this super vegetable decreased lung cancer risk by up to 57%! In other studies, sweet potato leaves boosted immunity (T lymphocytes & natural killer cells) in humans & lowered blood sugar in mice with Type II diabetes. And if you need an energy boost, sweet potato leaves could be just the vegetable for you. A recent study showed it significantly relieved fatigue in mice, increased exercise capacity & even boosted muscle glycogen levels! Why are these greens so powerful? They are an excellent source of potent antioxidants called polyphenols, including the unique & powerful caffeoylquinic acids, & anti-cancer peptides. And alkaline diet fans take note: these greens are one of the most alkalising vegetables out there, delivering 400% of the alkalising power of pure lemon juice, ounce for ounce.

New analysis published in the journal HortScience found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. So it is nutritionally similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

Easy to Grow

Sweet potato is easy to grow. If you can buy a vine from the market or supermarket, then take the vine, take off the leaves, and place in the soil and it will quickly start to root. Or you can use the roots from sweet potato if they come with the product when you buy.

If you can’t get hold of cuttings you can start growing sweet potatoes by planting the tubers. You can use any shop bought sweet potatoes. Place them on the ground, cover them with soil, and keep them moist. The tubers will develop shoots, called slips. They are easy to grow in most climates but especially hot. Here is a very useful website for the full lowdown on sweet potato and growing it.

Recipes to Use the Leaf In

We like this blanched with fresh tomato and raw onion, season to taste and as an extra zip add a

squeeze of calamansi and flax oil / extra virgin olive oil.

Sweet Potato Greens Vs. Prostate Cancer

After publishing our “Growing Camote” video, we received a lot of questions about eating sweet potato greens and their various health benefits.

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Jodi cutting some greens for the dinner salad.

What’s The Big Deal, Just Another Green right?

No……these guys are far more than just a salad topper. I dug and little deeper into sweet potato greens (Ipomoea batatas) and found an interesting study on their effect on prostate cancer cells and how certain polyphenol compounds play a role. Coincidentally, sweet potato greens are an excellent (if not the best) source of dietary polyphenols such as anthocyanins and phenolic acids. They’re also one of our favorite greens here at the house. Polyphenols are a type of chemical that act as antioxidants and protect cells against damage caused by free radicals. These are often associated with anti aging effects and aiding other health problems related to oxidative stress.

According to the Extension Service at the University of Arkansas

Sweet potato leaves represent at least 15 anthocyanin and 6 polyphenolic compounds. These biologically active compounds possess multifaceted action, including antioxidation, antimutagenicity, anti­inflammation and anticarcinogenesis. Sweet ­ potato leaves contain more total polyphenols than any other commercial vegetables, including sweetpotato roots and potato tubers.

That’s right…more total polyphenols than ANY commercially available vegetable.

Prostate Cancer and Sweet Potato Green Extract (SPGE)

In a 2011 study, it was found that an extract of sweet potato is extremely toxic to cells of prostate cancer, killing 94% of them in vitro and produces a slowdown in the growth of prostate tumors in mice by 75%.

Oral administration of 400 mg/kg SPGE remarkably inhibited growth and progression of prostate tumor xenografts by ?69% in nude mice, as shown by tumor volume measurements and non-invasive real-time bioluminescent imaging. Most importantly, SPGE did not cause any detectable toxicity to rapidly dividing normal tissues such as gut and bone marrow. This is the first report to demonstrate the in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity of sweet potato greens in prostate cancer.

I’m not an oncologist, and realize studies like this need to be repeatable and subjected to peer review. However, this is compelling evidence for further evaluation of sweet potato green extract as a regimen against prostate cancer. Below are some of the results from the in vivo part of the study.

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Those poor little mice…..

Other Studies on Sweet Potato Greens

Other research has shown that these leaves are also active against other forms of cancer. A study in Taiwan showed that were associated with the reduced risk for lung cancer.

In another study, purple sweet potato leaves were shown to boost immune system response in humans. Specifically it showed a significant increase in proliferation responsiveness of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Cryopreserved PBMCs are available at https://buypbmcs.com/.These PBMC’s cells include lymphocytes (T cells, B cells, and NK, or “killer” cells) which are the heavy hitters in our body’s immune system.

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But, why waste time with cancer when we can tackle diabetes? This study showed sweet potato greens to lower blood glucose levels in mice with type II diabetes. According to the authors of the study, the sweet potato leaves contain polyphenols such as caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) derivatives. It has multiple biological functions and may help to regulate the blood glucose concentration.

Herbal Shotgun Approach

The thing that’s interesting about these studies is that they’re not using the conventional ‘silver bullet’ method popular in modern medicine. They use whole plant extracts instead of isolating one chemical and testing with it. In other studies, I’ve seen this described as the “herbal shotgun” or “synergistic multi-target effects” approach. It makes sense. Millions of years of evolution have built biological systems that utilize chemicals in multiple channels and in varied ways. Maybe we can build on nature’s “shotgun” biology by doing more studies with whole plants and concentrates. The big plus here is, if more studies can confirm effective treatments using whole plant extracts, therapy could become more available and much cheaper. In the case of sweet potato leaves, it might just involve adding them to your daily diet.


Nutritional and Medicinal Qualities of Sweetpotato Tops and Leaves– University of Arkansas

Polyphenol-rich sweet potato greens extract inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo

Intake of vitamin A-rich foods and lung cancer risk in Taiwan: with special reference to garland chrysanthemum and sweet potato leaf consumption

Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) leaf extract attenuates hyperglycaemia by enhancing the secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)

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