In this first letter of 2018, I would like to turn my attention to an important and often overlooked component of our diet: silica. Silica, known as quartz in its crystalline form, is one of the most ubiquitous elements found in the earth’s crust and in the human body. It exists mostly in the inorganic forms of sand and silicic acid.
Silicic acid is common in both the plant and animal worlds and is generally used by living beings to support the structural elements of the organism. Silica is therefore an important part of the “backbone” of the plant, providing it with strength and flexibility. In the animal world, silica has a similar function, as it is a primary component of skin, hair, nails and joint tissue. In addition, silica is a necessary component of calcium metabolism, and by increasing calcium absorption, it has a major role in building and maintaining healthy bones.
In the past decade, another major role for silica has been demonstrated, one that is crucial in today’s often toxic world. Silica, especially in the plant form of silicic acid, is one of the primary chelators of aluminum in our bodies. (A chelator is a substance that helps bind and remove an often toxic element.) In particular, perhaps because of the affinity of silica with our nervous system, silicic acid is able to remove aluminum before it can damage our nervous tissue.
The importance of this aluminum chelation from the nervous system can’t be over-stated. One of the predominant theories of the pathogenesis of both neurodevelopmental disorders in children (tics, ADHD, autism, learning disorders) and neurological deterioration in adults (Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s, ALS) is that as aluminum accumulates in the nervous system, it stimulates an overactive immune response that can eventually result in scarring and dysfunction of the nerves.
One of the primary ways we can protect ourselves and our children from the often devastating consequences of deterioration of our nervous system is to consume a diet rich in organic silicic acid. Foods containing silicic acid include millet, tomatoes, horsetail tea, rosemary and burdock root. Burdock root, as I’ve highlighted in previous blogs, is the yeoman of detoxification in the plant world. As it is one of the richest plant sources of silicic acid, it facilitates the chelation and removal of aluminum through the kidneys.
The other plant that has been shown to be an effective chelator of not only aluminum but also many other toxins is turmeric. Turmeric, as in our Hawaiian-grown organic Turmeric Powder, also stimulates bile flow, which is another detoxification pathway in our body.
Burdock root and turmeric are primary plant detoxifiers, and we are happy to be able to provide you with organic and convenient forms of these two plant friends for the human being.
It’s easy to get stuck in a food rut. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. I remember a time when I existed solely on loaded potatoes, cheddar cheese and coleslaw. This was my go-to dish almost every day for about a year. I loved it. I could probably still eat it today. But there comes a time when we move on from childhood comfort foods and discover other culinary delights. I have a ‘gut’ feeling stuffed cabbage rolls could become one of my favorite go-to meals, and maybe yours too.
What would you think if I told you I use it as pizza sauce, smothered on grilled ham and cheese, as an omelette filling, in cocktails and with Hors D’oeuvres? Whether it’s strawberry, blueberry, fig, apricot or other fruits, this scrumptious spread compliments many delicious dishes. And the best thing about it is, when preserved using the water bath (WB) canning method, you can enjoy this tasty treat all year round.
Since the writings of Democritus in ancient Greece about 2,500 years ago, humanity has grown more and more accustomed to thinking in purely material terms. Increasingly, in normal conversation, we refer to actions, thoughts, and feelings that we have as being caused by certain chemicals found in our bodies. We often hear people say that oxytocin causes them to feel close to another person, or that “my hormones” are off or raging or low, as explanations for certain behaviors. We claim that diseases such as “bipolar disorder” are caused by a chemical imbalance in our blood.