Potash 101

Did You Know?

Potash is an important part of photosynthesis. When a plant is potassium deficient, the rate of photosynthesis is reduced, contributing to slower plant growth and stunted development.

The term “potash” arose from the traditional practice of producing potassium carbonate, needed for making soap, by the leaching of wood ashes in large iron pots. The ash-like crystalline residue remaining in the large iron pots was called “pot ash”.

Potassium is found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables such as dark leafy greens, potatoes, avocados, squash, dried fruits, fish, bananas, beans and peas.

Potassium helps your heart beat. It helps send a signal to your heart to squeeze blood through your body. Potassium also helps your muscles move, nerves work and your kidneys filter blood. 

Potassium helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Because many fruit and vegetables are high in potassium, fruit and vegetable juices are a good source of this essential mineral. Dairy can also provide significant amounts of potassium. Yogurt and chocolate milk have been reported to be healthy options. 

Various sports drinks also contain potassium, which helps to replenish what the body has lost through sweating that water alone can’t replace.  

Potash can be used as road de-icer, where conditions permit. Although the melting power of potash is not as great as salt, potash is gaining acceptance as an environmentally-friendly alternative.