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Food Sources of Potassium:

  • Apricots, dried or fresh
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Beans
  • Beef liver
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brown rice
  • Cod
  • Dates
  • Dulse
  • Flounder
  • Fruits
  • Milk
  • Orange juice
  • Peach
  • Potatoes
  • Raisins
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Squash, winter
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomato, raw
  • Torula yeast
  • Vegetables
  • Yams

Herb Sources of Potassium:

  • Catnip
  • Hops
  • Horsetail
  • Nettle
  • Plantain
  • Red clover
  • Sage
  • Skullcap

Other Sources of Potassium – Brand Names

Types of Potassium available for use as supplements include:

  • Potassium Acetate
  • Potassium Bicarbonate
  • Potassium Chloride (Salt substitutes)
  • Potassium Gluconate
  • Organically Bound Minerals (Standard Process Labs)
  • Min-Tran (Standard Process Labs)

There are a HUGE amount of potassium supplements out there under about 50 different names.

Signs of Potassium Deficiency:

  • Abnormally dry skin
  • Acne
  • Chills
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Diminished reflex function
  • Edema
  • Fluctuations in heartbeat
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Growth impairment
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Insatiable thirst
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscular fatigue and weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Nervousness
  • Periodic headaches
  • Proteinuria (protein in the urine)
  • Respiratory distress
  • Salt retention

Health Concerns – What Potassium is used for:

  • High blood pressure (for people not taking potassium-sparing diuretics)
  • Congestive heart failure

What Potassium Does:

  • Aids in maintaining a regular heart beat
  • Helps prevent stroke
  • Important for a healthy nervous system
  • Maintains blood pressure
  • Maintains muscle tone and proper muscle contraction
  • Regulates levels of acidity
  • Regulates the transfer of nutrients through cell membranes
  • Regulates water balance
  • Required for carbohydrate and protein metabolism

Cautions & Comments About Potassium

  • High potassium intake (several hundred milligrams at one time in tablet form) can produce stomach irritation
  • Kidney disorders, diarrhea, prolonged vomiting and the use of diuretics or laxatives all disrupt potassium levels
  • Potassium is needed for hormone secretion.  The secretion of stress hormones causes a decrease in the potassium-to-sodium ratio both inside and outside the cells.  As a result, stress increases the body’s potassium requirements.
  • Drug Interactions: The following drugs are known to interact with the absorption of potassium:
  • Amilorid: causes a dangerous rise in blood potassium.
  • Atropine: increases the possibility of intestinal ulcers, which may be caused by potassium supplements.
  • Belladonna: increases possibility of intestinal ulcers.
  • Calcium: increases likelihood of heartbeat irregularities.
  • Captopril: increases likelihood of potassium overdose.
  • Digitalis preparations: may cause irregular heartbeat.
  • Enalapril: increases chance of overdose.
  • Laxatives: may decrease effectiveness of potassium (due to the fact that they leach potassium from the body).
  • Spironolactone: increases blood potassium.
  • Triamterene: increases blood potassium.
  • Vitamin B12: slow release supplements may decrease the absorption of vitamin B12, increasing requirements.

Helpful Links and Handouts for Potassium: