Potassium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and wellness, especially for muscle and nerve function.
Due to potassium’s involvement in various body systems, it’s necessary to consume sufficient amounts of potassium for the body to function optimally.
You can ensure your body receives the proper potassium levels by including foods or herbs high in potassium into your daily regimen.
But what herbs are high in potassium, and what’s the best way to receive their mineral support? In this article, we’ll go over a list of potassium herbs as well as the health benefits of potassium.
Table of Contents
Potassium is a natural mineral that’s found in the soil. Plants use potassium to help with nutrient absorption, metabolism, and growth.
Humans need large amounts of potassium to carry out and maintain crucial processes involved with muscle function, fluid levels, nerve activation, and carbohydrate metabolism. Along with these critical functions, potassium also helps with blood pressure regulation, which is necessary for a healthy heart.
The small intestines absorb potassium and deposit it into the bloodstream, where it’s primarily used by cells to maintain fluid homeostasis. Since the body absorbs around 90% of ingested potassium, it is either used immediately or kept in muscle and bone cells for later use.
Potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) can cause numerous detrimental health issues, including muscle paralysis, abnormal heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and decreased brain functioning.
Although potassium can be found in various natural foods and plants, due to our highly processed Western Diet, approximately 12% of the US population is dangerously potassium deficient, and 98% of the population isn’t getting adequate potassium amounts.
Types of potassium found in food, water, and plants include potassium citrate, potassium phosphate, potassium aspartate, potassium carbonate, and potassium gluconate.
Although the body absorbs almost all potassium consumed, it’s important to ingest whole foods or herbs high in potassium to receive its health benefits.
Herbs High in Potassium:
Below is a list of the best herbs for increasing potassium.
1. Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Nettle, more commonly referred to as “stinging nettle,” is an herb popular for its high nutritional content. Apart from its impressive potassium levels, nettles also include B vitamins, iron, magnesium, calcium, and more.
The leaves are one of the best sources of potassium found in nature. While harvesting nettle can be uncomfortable for the skin, nettle is often gathered with gloves and used in soups, pesto, and other culinary dishes. Nettles can also be consumed in capsule or tea form.
The best way to receive adequate nettle intake is to blanch them before including them in any dish. This removes the “sting” and helps to clean them.
Due to nettle’s high nutrient levels, it can be used for joint and muscle pain, skin issues (like eczema), anemia, and blood conditions. When cooked or consumed as a tea, nettles taste nourishing and fresh.
1 cup of cooked nettle is estimated to contain 297mg of potassium. Since you would need to ingest 9+ cups of nettle to receive your recommended daily intake, it’s best to consume various potassium-rich herbs and foods to get sufficient levels from a well-rounded diet.
Summary:Stinging nettle leaves are one of the best ways to naturally increase your potassium intake.
2. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion is abundantly found throughout the Northern Hemisphere in fields, roadsides, and yards. The entire plant contains health benefits; however, the bitter leaves have high levels of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D, iron, and zinc.
Dandelion leaves can be consumed fresh in various dishes, like salads and sandwiches, or cooked with garlic. The flavor is bitter; however, cooking them in oil or butter helps to minimize the intense taste.
Research shows that dandelion has immune-boosting, antioxidant, digestive, and heart-supporting properties.
It’s estimated that 1 cup of fresh, chopped dandelion leaves contains 218mg of potassium, according to the FDA.
Dandelion leaves are commonly used in cuisine but can be taken as tea or tincture.
Summary:Dandelion has many health benefits, but this herb’s leaves contain high levels of nutrients, making it a good source of potassium.
3. Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage, also called “common sage” or “ground sage,” is on the list of herbs high in potassium.
This herb is fairly easy to grow and is known for its characteristic soft leaves and earthy, savory flavor. It is commonly used as a culinary spice and is often seen in meat or fat-forward dishes.
Sage is highly-revered for its ability to support brain function, improve cognition, boost digestion, reduce inflammation, and decrease oxidative stress.
It is estimated that 2 Tbsps of sage contains 21mg of potassium.
Sage is best consumed as a tea, extract, or capsule. It’s also great when used to add flavor to a dish.
Summary:Beyond having benefits for overall wellness, sage also has a high potassium content.
4. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Another herb in the Lamiaceae family, peppermint is a refreshing and invigorating herb well-renowned for its ability to soothe the gastrointestinal tract and encourage digestion.
Along with its therapeutic use, peppermint is often used in oral care (toothpaste and mouthwash), chewing gum, and room sprays. Both modern and traditional accounts highlight peppermint and peppermint oil’s antimicrobial activity and use for pain and stomach issues.
It is estimated that 2 Tbsps of fresh peppermint leaves contain 18.2mg of potassium.
Peppermint can be applied topically as an oil or salve, enjoyed as an infusion or tincture, or included in various dishes, like smoothies, salads, soups, or desserts.
Summary:Peppermint’s high nutrient level make this herb an excellent source of potassium.
5. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
A third powerhouse in the mint family, basil, or sweet basil, is famous in Italian cuisine and contains diverse therapeutic properties. Basil doesn’t require much attention to grow and is a delicious addition to salads, pizza, and pasta dishes.
Apart from being a culinary star, basil is known for its ability to support digestion, increase optimal brain functioning, reduce inflammation, and decrease oxidative stress with its antioxidant properties.
While basil doesn’t contain rich amounts of potassium, it contains a significant natural source at 16mg of potassium per 2 Tbsp of herb.
Basil leaves are safe to consume raw or dried and can also be included in dishes as a garnish. It’s also great when made into pesto.
Summary:Basil provides a natural source of potassium as well as many other health benefits.
Health Benefits of Potassium:
Potassium is the seventh most abundant natural element on Earth, and it’s required for the vital functions of almost all living things.
Since potassium in its free form is highly reactive, humans receive various types of potassium, like potassium citrate (avocados), potassium carbonate (bananas), and potassium gluconate, through water, food, and plants. Natural supplements can also supply the body with adequate potassium levels.
When the body absorbs potassium through the small intestines, cells collect it to help maintain optimal fluid levels. Potassium is also commonly used to release muscle tension and support one of the body’s most important muscles, the heart.
This mineral is essential for nerves to send signals and support motor functions (i.e. muscle contractions). It works inversely with sodium to maintain balanced nerve functioning – when cells pump in potassium, they pump sodium outside the cell.
Adequate sodium and potassium levels are necessary for nerves to fire signals to the rest of the body.
How Much Potassium Per Day?
Your daily potassium requirements differ based on your gender and age. Intake is dependent on age for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Below is a helpful chart.
|Age Group||RDA (mg/day)|
|Teen Boys (14 – 18 years)||3,000 mg|
|Teens Girls (14 – 18 years)||2,300 mg|
|Boys (9 – 13 years)||2,500 mg|
|Girls (9 – 13 years)||2,300 mg|
|Children (4 – 8 years)||2,300 mg|
|Children (1 – 3 years)||2,000 mg|
|Infants (7 – 12 months)||860 mg|
|Infants (0 – 6 months)||400 mg|
|Pregnant Women||2,600 – 2,900 mg (age dependent)|
|Breastfeeding Women||2,500 – 2,800 mg (age dependent)|
It is important to note that these are the recommended daily allowances, which are the minimum amount of a nutrient a person needs to avoid a deficiency. Some individuals may need more or less depending on their individual needs and health conditions.
Using herbs high in potassium will help the body carry out vital processes and could potentially prevent serious health conditions like brain fog, arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat), muscle weakness, pain, numbness, and low blood pressure.
Since potassium is abundant in plants, fruits, vegetables, and other foods, it’s important to ensure you receive your required daily intake.
When consuming potassium, it’s best to receive it from natural sources, like whole foods and herbs; however, including a daily potassium supplement in your routine will provide the body with comparable support.
Do you have a favorite potassium herb? Let us know!
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