Sweet potato

Origin: Sweet potato has an interesting history and is one of the oldest vegetables in the world. 

Sweet potatoes are believed to have originated thousands of years ago in Central America. History reveals that Christopher Columbus after the first voyage to America in 1492, when to Europe and took back sweet potato from there. After his first voyage to the Americas in 1492, Christopher Columbus took sweet potatoes back home to Europe.

It natively belongs to the tropical areas of America and later spread to the Caribbean region and the other Southeastern United States. Then it was introduced into China in the late 16th century. It reached Asia, Africa, and Latin America during the 17th and 18th centuries. In Europe, Spanish and Portuguese were very fond of sweet potato.

Because of hardiness, adaptability, and easy cultivation, it became popular all over the world.

Scientifically: Sweet potato is from the Morningglory (Convolvulaceae) plant family. It is often confused with common potato, Solanum tuberosum. Botanically, sweet potato is known as Ipomoea batatas. The color and texture of sweet potato are in red, purple, brown and the flesh is in white, yellow, orange, and purple. It is a herbaceous, perennial vine, and has alternate heart-shaped leaves and has medium-sized fused-petaled flowers. It is an edible tuberous root is long and tapered. Sweet potatoes grow best when the summers are long and hot and there is plenty of rain. 

Usage: Sweet potato is a highly nutritious vegetable and is rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, vitamin B6.iron, and calcium.  Sweet potato is usually eaten boiled, fried and baked. It has sweet, starchy taste. It is used in making curries, salads, pies, and desserts. It has anti-inflammatory, thus helps in treating type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It also helps in regulating blood pressure.

Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin C, which helps in smoothening the wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen. It also improves vision health.  It has high levels of beta-carotene, which helps in cell reproduction and prevents anti-aging. It also boosts hair growth. 

Below are some DIYs with sweet potato:

-    Rubbing sweet potato peels on the face helps in controlling excess sebum production. 
-    Take half a boiled sweet potato, add a teaspoon of honey, a pinch of ginger powder, and a tablespoon of milk. Combine all the ingredients together and make a paste. Apply this paste on the face for 15 minutes and then rinse it off while massaging. This remedy helps in moisturizing the skin and replenishing the skin cells.
-    Take one boiled medium-sized sweet potato, 1 tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Combine all the ingredients together in a smooth paste and apply on the scalp and hair length. Keep it on for 30 minutes and then rinse. This remedy helps in moisturizing and strengthening the hair.
-    Cut a raw sweet potato in thin slices. Put these slices on the eyes and rest for 15 minutes. This helps in removing eye bags.
-    Take a boiled sweet potato, peel and mash the flesh. Add a tablespoon of yogurt and combine it with mashed potato. Apply this paste on the face for 10 minutes and then wash it off. This helps in reversing signs of aging.