Throughout the years, I have spent considerable time working to help uncover natural remedies and cures in Australia. In what little spare time I had Down Under, I was often involved in trying to improve the health and performance of race horses through the use of herbs and nutrition. Although I was raised around horses in the Texas panhandle, I had never seen any place that compared with Australia when it came to a general interest in things equine. The whole country seemed to be obsessed with horses.
At one time, horse racing was Australia's third largest industry. Everyone from children to grandparents seemed to live and breathe the sport. County fairs and city celebrations revolved around race days. School and public holidays were scheduled to coincide with races. Horses and horse lovers were everywhere and from all walks of life. And as in all sports, every participant was looking for an edge over the competition. For me, this situation provided an unusual opportunity to study the beneficial effects of various herbs, minerals, and nutrients on hundreds of well-trained and willing equine athletes. Much of what I discover can be applied to improving our own health. Here is a good example from one of my trips.
One of the horses I was asked to look at was suffering from chronic drainage of an old injury that just wouldn't heal. Additionally, the horse seemed very nervous and timid. It had all the symptoms commonly associated with a deficiency in silicon, so I instructed the owner to supplement the horse's diet with this important mineral. The animal began to improve almost miraculously over the next few weeks.
Since horses are often fed a diet containing oats, which are rich in silicon, and deficiencies in this mineral are not common and can easily be overlooked. With humans, however, the problem might be far more prevalent. Newer research has suggested that this problem might exist in significant portions of the population.
Are You Deficient in Silicon?
If I had to list the number one health complaint I hear from people, I would have to say that it is a lack of energy. Obviously, there are literally dozens of reasons for the depletion of our energy levels, but a silicon deficiency isn't one that generally gets much attention. And while very little in-depth research has been carried out in this area, silicon plays a very important part in the maintenance of energy. This is true because silicon is required for the conduction of energy throughout the body.
Humans and all other living organisms emit measurable electromagnetic energy fields. To balance these fields we often need to be "grounded." You may have experienced such a grounding when walking barefooted on a sandy beach or walking in wet grass. Both of these experiences have a known grounding effect and can give you a noticeable increase in energy. For the phenomenon to occur, however, your body must contain adequate amounts of silicon.
Symptoms of Silicon Deficiency
Silicon is also essential in the formation of bone and joint cartilage and in the health of nerve tissue. But as with the body stores of many substances, silicon levels tend to decline as we get older. This decline can be responsible for many of the complaints commonly associated with aging.
The following is a list of problems that have been linked to silicon deficiencies.
- Dry hair
- Dry skin
- Weak, thin, brittle nails
- Weak bone structure
- Poor energy levels
- Sweaty odorous feet
- Diabetes (The pancreas has the highest content of silicon in the body and diabetics routinely require additional amounts of silicon.)
- Hair loss
- Sties on the eyelids
- Flabbiness of the skin (Silicon is necessary for collagen synthesis which helps form the framework for the skin, keeping it firm and unwrinkled.)
- Arthritis (Silicon is required in the formation of articular or joint cartilage.)
- Atherosclerosis (Some research has shown that silicon concentrations in the arterial walls begin to drop just before fatty deposits begin to form. Other studies have shown that adequate amounts of dietary silicon can inhibit the formation of artery-clogging plaque.)
While silicon is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet, there are very few foods that have a high enough silicon content to supply your dietary needs. Ground corn meal, oats, oat straw tea, and horsetail or shavegrass tea are some of the best sources. And while you won't find it listed anywhere, beer also happens to be a good silicon source because the grains used to make the beer are subjected to a hot mashing technique. Except for possibly the beer (and maybe the cornbread we Southerner's eat), the above foods and teas aren't very popular dietary items. It's easy to see how we might not be getting adequate amounts of silicon in our diet.
How Replenish Your Silicon Levels
One of the first recommendations I would make for most everyone, particularly if you have several of the complaints I've listed above, is to include oats or oatmeal in your diet. Oats are extremely nutritious and great for babies, children, and the elderly. They are a quick way to replenish silicon and other trace minerals. Oats, no doubt partly due to their silicon content, have been shown to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol, healing ulcers, calming down gallbladders, relaxing the nervous system, improving skin and circulation problems, and helping restore function to the thyroid, pancreas, and reproductive glands. Practically every system of healing (Greek, Ayurvedic, Eastern, etc.) praises the benefits of oats.
If oats, oatmeal, and corn meal aren't foods that you can include in your diet, then horsetail tea can help you replenish your silicon levels. This tea can be found in any health food store. Take 1 to 2 cups per day. Shavegrass tea is also an option.
There are also supplemental forms of silicon that you can use. First check to see if your multi-vitamin/mineral complex has the trace mineral. If it does, you'll usually see it listed as a powder from the horsetail herb.
Another way to replenish silicon is with the homeopathic cell salt called Silicea (with a strength of 6X). It comes as very tiny pills which quickly melt in your mouth. I would suggest taking six of the little tablets three times a day for a total of 18 a day. You can’t overdose on these cell salts and they are very inexpensive. You can find them in health food stores.
A Crucial Problem Easily Solved
Restoring silicon levels is easy, inexpensive, and can be very beneficial. Best of all, it can help prevent and heal many problems. And don't forget to kick off your shoes and take a regular stroll along the beach or through the wet grass once your silicon levels are on the rise again. You'll be pleasantly surprised to find a surge of newfound energy.a