Potassium is a vital mineral that plays a central role in numerous bodily processes, from nerve function to muscle contraction. This article provides an overview of the discovery, its various forms of administration and dosages, the diseases it can be used to treat and how it works in the body. It also covers advice on supplementation, contraindications, food sources and possible side effects.

Discovery of potassium

It was first isolated in 1807 by Sir Humphry Davy through the electrolysis of potassium hydroxide (KOH). It was one of the first metals to be obtained by electrolysis, representing a significant advance in chemical research.

Dosage forms and dosage

Potassium can be taken in various forms, e.g. as a tablet, capsule, powder or liquid. The recommended daily dose for adults is generally between 3,500 and 4,700 mg, depending on individual health and lifestyle.

Healing effect of potassium

It is important for heart health, regulating blood pressure and supporting normal kidney function. It can help prevent diseases such as high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke. It also supports bone health and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Potassium: effects in the body

It regulates the body’s water balance and is important for the transmission of electrical signals in nerve and muscle cells. The electrolyte is also essential for muscle contraction and heart function.

Supplementation and recommended intake

Potassium should primarily be taken in through food, especially potassium-rich foods such as bananas, oranges, potatoes and spinach. Food supplements are generally only necessary if certain health conditions or life circumstances require it, such as chronic kidney disease or long-term use of diuretics.

Potassium: Contraindications

People with kidney disease or who are taking certain antihypertensive drugs such as ACE inhibitors are generally advised against taking potassium supplements, as this can lead to dangerously high levels in the blood.

Food supplements and medicinal plants

Magnesium and vitamin B6 can be helpful to support the effect, as these also play an important role in the electrolyte balance. Medicinal plants such as stinging nettle and dandelion support kidney function and can help to optimize the balance.

Potassium-rich foods

A potassium-rich diet can be achieved by eating avocados, sweet potatoes, spinach, lentils and yogurt. These foods help to cover the daily requirement in a natural way.

Possible adverse effects and overdose

Possible side effects of an overdose can include tiredness, stomach problems, cardiac arrhythmia and, in the worst case, life-threatening hyperkalemia. It is important to take potassium supplements only under medical supervision.

Naturopathy and potassium

In naturopathy, it is often used to treat high blood pressure and for dehydration, particularly in the form of potassium-rich herbal teas and foods.

Potassium is a vital mineral that is essential for good health. A balanced diet rich in potassium-rich foods can help to ensure the necessary amount of this important nutrient. In the case of existing health problems or special dietary requirements, it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking it in the form of food supplements.

Adequate intake is essential for everyone, but intake in the form of supplements should be taken with caution and ideally under medical supervision. This is especially important to avoid the risk of hyperkalemia, a serious condition characterized by high blood potassium levels that can lead to serious heart problems.

Potassium: preventive and therapeutic use

Maintaining a balanced potassium level in the body can not only alleviate existing health problems, but also prevent various diseases. For example, adequate intake supports heart health and can reduce the risk of strokes and heart disease. It also helps to regulate blood pressure by mitigating the negative effects of sodium and reducing vascular tension.

For people who suffer from muscle cramps and spasms, it can help alleviate these symptoms as it plays an important role in muscle contraction and helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function. It is also important for bone health, as it contributes to the mineralization of bones and can therefore prevent osteoporosis.

Correct dosage and overdose

It is important to emphasize that potassium is safe in the correct dosage, but an overdose can have dangerous consequences. Symptoms of too much intake can include lethargy, confusion, cardiac arrhythmia and, in extreme cases, even cardiac arrest. However, these serious side effects are generally only to be expected if the recommended daily dose is significantly exceeded or if kidney disease is present.

Potassium: food supplements and dietary foods

In addition to taking food supplements, potassium requirements can also be met through a balanced diet. It is found in abundance in many foods, especially fruit and vegetables. Bananas, apricots, grapefruits, melons and papayas are excellent sources of this mineral. Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, beans and peas are also rich in potassium.

It is also advisable to minimize the consumption of processed and high-salt foods, as these can negatively affect potassium levels in the body. Instead of using salt to enhance flavor, using herbs and spices can be a healthy alternative that also increases the content of meals.


Potassium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in a variety of bodily functions, including maintaining electrolyte balance, supporting heart and muscle health, and regulating blood pressure. A balanced intake of this nutrient is important, and although supplements may be necessary for some people, the best source is a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you have existing health problems or are taking medication that affects levels, supplementation should be done under medical supervision to avoid the risk of overdose and its possible serious consequences.

Published on: 19. April 2024


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