Is Kunun Kanwa Safe For Breastfeeding Mothers?


Proper nutrition is essential to maintain both the mother's and the developing fetus's health during and after pregnancy. Meal monitoring is essential because some foods and beverages may harm your child's development or cause complications during pregnancy or breastfeeding. 


It is, therefore, crucial to be cautious and knowledgeable about what is safe to eat. Is kunun kanwa a secure and wholesome beverage to consume while nursing or pregnant?


This is a typical question or a question with conflicting answers. Please continue reading if this question interests you because we want to provide an appropriate response.


What is Kunun Kanwa?


Another name for kunun kanwa is "Kunu drink" or "Kunun Potash." Additionally, it may go by regional names in some regions of Nigeria, like "Kunu gyada" or "Kunu tsamiya" (both of which contain groundnuts in the recipe, which also includes tamarind). 


Kunun kanwa is a traditional Nigerian beverage prepared with water, spices, and millet powder. The millet is typically ground into a fine powder, combined with water, and allowed to ferment for some time before being spiced and sweetened to taste.


Although the specific spices used in kunun kanwa vary, they frequently include ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.


Kunun kanwa is a nutritious and hydrating drink, especially during hot weather. Kunun kanwa is a well-liked beverage that can be purchased from neighbourhood markets and street vendors in Nigeria and other West African nations.


It is also occasionally prepared at home, with recipe modifications depending on individual preferences and regional differences.


Nutrient Content of Kunun 


For its preparation, you need water, spices, and millet powder. It is a healthy beverage that is high in several vital nutrients, such as:

  1. Carbohydrates: Kunun kanwa is a good carbohydrate source that provides body energy.
  3. Protein: A good source of plant-based protein, necessary for constructing and repairing body tissues, can be found in the millet used in kunun kanwa.
  5. Fibre: The fibre in kunun kanwa is crucial for preserving digestive health and encouraging regular bowel movements.
  7. Vitamins: The vitamin B and E content of kunun kanwa is high, beneficial for supporting healthy skin, hair, and nails and preserving a healthy nervous system.
  9. Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium are among the minerals found in kunun kanwa, and they are crucial for maintaining strong bones, muscles, and internal organs.

Some spices used in kunun kanwa, like ginger and cinnamon, have potential health advantages in addition to these essential nutrients.


For instance, cinnamon assists in blood sugar regulation, while ginger is well known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties.


Is Kunun Kanwa Safe for a Breastfeeding Mother?


There has been little scientific research on the safety and effects of kunun kanwa on nursing mothers. When making kunun kanwa, potash (potassium carbonate) is added to a mixture of millet, spices, and water and allowed to ferment for a while.


Although kunun beverages are wholesome and safe to consume in moderation, the potential health effects of potash on breastfeeding mothers and their infants are unknown.


Alkaline substances like potash have the potential to change the pH balance of the body, which may cause digestive upset, electrolyte imbalances, and other health problems.


Additionally, it has been reported that some babies whose mothers consumed kunun kanwa experienced side effects like diarrhoea and vomiting. It is crucial to remember that these reports are anecdotal and do not have medical backing. 



The consumption of kunun during pregnancy or breastfeeding can benefit both you and your baby, especially when consumed in moderate quantities. But the same cannot be said about kunun kanwa because of the potash found in it.


Given the lack of research on kunun potash and its effects on breastfeeding mothers, drink cautiously and speak with their doctor before consuming this beverage.


As always, it is best to consult with your doctor before making significant changes to your diet while breastfeeding.





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