Sodium bicarbonate, obtained from a lake that is both dry and hydrated, is known as potash, which is also known as kaun (Yoruba), akwanwa (Igbo), kanwa (Igbo), and kanwa (Yoruba) (Hausa).  Potash is a group of potassium-containing minerals and chemicals, When taken in large quantities it can also result in decreased sperm production. Potash contains a higher concentration of sodium than potassium.

Potassium is a prevalent ingredient in Nigerian cuisine, particularly in traditional dishes. Potash is used as an additive in traditional Nigerian dishes such as nkwobi, ewedu, oghwo, masa, and other similar dishes.

Potash is often used in Nigerian cuisine as a preservation and tenderizing ingredient because of its antifungal properties. It is also used as a pain reliever for toothaches because of its antifungal properties. In this article you will learn more about Potash, Can a pregnant woman consume potash? The benefits and side effects of Potash.

Is it safe to consume potash when pregnant?


Photo credit: FEECO International

When women take significant doses of potash, their uterine contractions are hastened, which may result in an early birth or an abortion. It also has the additional effect of decreasing the nutritious value of the protein in the diet.

Potash should be avoided by pregnant women at all costs, as it is exceedingly detrimental to the health of both the mother and the child (akanwu). Potash's tendency to cause abortion, which can result in miscarriage and the loss of a pregnancy, makes it a dangerous substance to use during pregnancy.

Benefits of Potash

Potash has a wide range of advantages which includes;

  1. Potassium sulfate can be used to preserve foods in a variety of ways.
  2. When Potash is added to some traditional soups, it can also help to emulsify the oil and water.  
  3. Potash is used in a variety of applications other than cooking. Because of its antifungal properties, it can be used to prevent mildew from forming. It can also be used to clean sinks and tiles in bathrooms and kitchens, among other things.
  4. Some dry fire extinguishers contain potassium bicarbonate, often known as kaun, as a fire suppression agent, which can be used in conjunction with other chemicals. Ancient Egyptians were well-versed in the processes of embalming and mummification.
  5. Potash is a desirable fertilizer element for agriculture because of its soluble potassium content. It improves the general health, root strength, disease resistance, and yield rates of a plant, allowing it to mature at the optimum time. Potassium sulfate also has the additional benefit of improving the appearance, texture, and flavor of food.
  6. For a number of ailments, people use potash in combination with other herbs to cure coughs, constipation, and a wide range of aches and pains, among other things.
  7. In northern Nigeria, it is used to make a porridge of guinea corn and millet known as 'kunun otash,' which is given to new mothers shortly after giving birth as a means of improving the quality and quantity of their breast milk. "
  8. Cowpeas, okro, and ewedu, among other things, have been claimed to be softened with Potash.

Effects of Potash 

  1. Potash can promote high blood pressure in persons who do not already have it, and people who have high blood pressure should avoid foods that contain potash altogether because of its high sodium level.
  2. It has also been shown that a potassium deficit is associated with decreased appetite, weakness, inactivity, and a reduction in overall body weight.
  3. According to some reports, males who consume a high amount of potash will have reduced sperm counts.
  4. An excessive amount of potash in our food and water may be harmful to our health in some cases.
  5. As the amount of potash in the body increases, the kidneys become more vulnerable to the effects of the substance.
  6. In addition to liver illness, high levels of potash consumption can cause it.
  7. Potash-Kaun, an earthy mineral, can build in the kidneys and disrupt normal biological functioning, which might result in death if ingested in large quantities. Potash-Kaun is toxic when consumed in large quantities.
  8. According to the National Kidney Foundation, people with severe kidney disease are at risk of developing hyperkalemia if they consume a high intake of potassium-rich foods. When potassium levels in the blood get very high, this condition is known as hyperkalemia, and doctors warn that it can damage the heart and cause a heart attack if left untreated.

Is it possible that potash could cause a miscarriage in pregnant women?

An expert has advised pregnant women about the dangers of consuming edible potash, which is a type of fertilizer.

If you don't use caution when ingesting kaun, you could end up endangering your health." Because the human body is unable to digest kaun, eating it might have negative consequences for one's overall health.

When taken at a high enough concentration in the early stages of pregnancy, Potash has been shown to be effective in increasing uterine contractility, which has been connected to the ability to induce abortions at a young pregnancy.

Does your Diet contain Potash?

Almost all of the world's potash is used in agriculture to improve the quality of the food supply. Crop yields benefit from its inclusion, as does the plant's ability to resist disease and retain more water. Additionally, it has a good effect on the color of food, the taste, and the texture.

In livestock feed supplements, potash is used to grow animals and increase milk output. For example, it is still used in glass, soap, and ceramic production, all of which date back to colonial times.

Is it safe to eat food that contains potassium, or should one avoid it?

Because of its role in cellular metabolism and other bodily functions, potassium is an essential nutrient for humans. To grow and maintain tissues, muscles, and organs as well as the heart's electrical activity, is required.

Although 2.6 to 3.4 grams of potassium per day is the recommended consumption for an adult, the amount you need may vary based on your medical condition and your age and gender. Bananas, almonds, and yogurt are all excellent sources of potassium as are citrus fruits and juice, milk and poultry, and meat products of many kinds.

Farm soil is richer in potassium than in nitrogen and phosphorus, which are both essential for the growth of healthy plants. The usage of soil enhanced with potash-based fertilizers aids in the absorption of potassium.

In conclusion

It is not advisable for a pregnant woman to consume potash or eat any potash-consuming food.


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