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Trace Minerals are Essential to Optimal Health

by Steven Horne, RH (AHG)

Many people recognize the need to supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals, but are not aware of the vital importance of trace minerals. Multivitamins usually supply some minerals, but not all of the minerals the body needs. So, you still may be deficient in various trace minerals, even with a multi.

I believe that trace mineral deficiencies are as widespread as vitamin deficiencies, if not more so. This is because fungus and bacteria in the soil are what make minerals available to plants and the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides is destroying the microflora of the soil. This has caused the trace mineral content of foods to drop dramatically over the past century.

Besides getting minerals from food, you can also get minerals from water. Since ancient times, springs with mineral-rich water have been revered as sacred healing places. When a Southern Utah rancher investigated one of these mineral springs he found that the water from the spring passed through a special kind of clay called montmorillonite that was part of an ancient sea bed. As water passed through the clay it picked up numerous trace minerals, dissolving them in a colloidal suspension.

The rancher started mining the clay and leeching the water to produce a concentrated mineral water which is typically called colloidal minerals and a whole industry has sprung up creating this mineral rich water. I've taken colloidal minerals many times in my life and have used both montmorillonite and colloidal minerals in my garden (see note below). Montmorillonite has randomly-occurring amounts of about 70 trace minerals

I strongly believe in the value of colloidal minerals for improving general health as well as specifically creating healthier bones, joints, fingernails, hair, teeth and connective tissues. I also believe colloidal minerals can enhance immunity and liver detoxification. I put an article at called Mind Your Minerals several years ago, which I just updated. It explains more about why I believe trace mineral supplements are necessary due to modern agricultural practices.

Colloidal minerals are one of the seven basic supplements I consider to be a form of nutritional health insurance. These seven basic supplements are one of the nine lessons in my Fundamentals of Natural Healing class, which starts next week. You can read more about the class here.

Nature's Sunshine has three trace mineral supplements. They are Trace Mineral Maintenance, Ionic Minerals with Acai and Chinese Mineral Chi tonic. Trace Mineral Maintenance is simply tablets of montmorillonite clay. The clay itself can absorb heavy metals and has a healing effect on the gut. The tablets can be crushed and mixed with food for pets and can be very beneficial for animals as well. You can also find articles online about both Ionic Minerals with Acai and Chinese Mineral Chi Tonic.

Lastly, I mentioned that I use colloidal minerals in my garden. I don't use NSP's formulas because I think they're too expensive to waste on a garden, so I just buy a cheap brand from the health food store. I make a spray using one ounce of colloidal mineral per gallon of water. I also add 3-4 drops of Sunshine Concentrate (because it makes water "wetter" so I believe it helps the plants absorb the minerals) and 1 teaspoon Nature's Fresh.

I also use one Tablespoon of kelp emulsion (which is also rich in minerals). Because my soil is deficient in calcium, I also leech eggshells in 50% water and 50% white vinegar to add to the spray. When I don't have eggshells I dissolve a little Nature's Sea Calcium in vinegar and add that to the spray.

I spray this mineral-rich liquid on the leaves of the plants in my vegetable garden. They produce much better yields from this and are healthier in general. Since we are composed of the dust of the earth, which plants lift into living matter, I believe that getting a higher mineral content into the foods we eat is a great way to improve health.