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Sunday, November 26, 2023

The Crucial Nutrient Forgotten- Silica

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Silica is most often taken forgotten and ignored, when in fact it is one of the most important foundations of life as we know it. With this in mind, it is imperative to consume silica-containing food items so you can enjoy healthier skin, bones, and hair to name a few.

It is relatively difficult to imagine the world without silica. Living creatures such as plants, animals, insects, and humans need to consume silica in order to ensure balance, posture, bone strength, smooth skin, and shiny beautiful locks.

One of the most common sources of silica is the horsetail. This miniature tree is packed with silica. The horsetail tree looks like a small Christmas tree, and commonly blooms during spring. Smaller horsetail tree, the spring horsetail, is typically found in sandy, clay-rich soul. Dried horsetail is one of the most popular plant sources of silica. Horsetail is an herb that boasts healing properties due to its silica content.

If silica is one of the most abundant elements in the world next to oxygen, then why do majority of us suffer from dietary silica deficiency? Inorganic silica is plentiful and can be found primarily as sand on the beach. However this is true, bear in mind that silica does not have benefits when it is in its inorganic form. Just like any other mineral in their inorganic form (calcium, iron, and magnesium) the mineral silica is poorly absorbed by the human body. In order to be fully absorbable, silica needs to be processed or predigested through chelation. Chelation is a process by which plants convert minerals into organic flavonoids. Horsetail pre-digests inorganic silica crystals from sand and convert them into organic vegetal silica. The processed silica through chelation then turns into an organic nutrient that can then be absorbed by the human body.

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Silica in organic vegetal form delivers a wide variety of benefits to the human body. Silica works in tandem with calcium in stimulating bone renewal and cartilage production. Without silica, we are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Injuries and bone-related fractures heal at a faster rate when the food we consume is high in silica or we adhere to vegetal silica supplementation.

It is true that horsetail is the best herbal source of silica, the best food source of silica is oats. Muesli, a meal that is traditionally eaten for breakfast is packed with silica. This is one of the reasons why champion horses with shiny coats and stronger bones are being fed with oats. Low levels of silica manifest in the form of rough skin, brittle nails, and hair dullness among many others. The immune system suffers tremendously when the body does not get its ideal dose of silica. Pregnant women should remember including silica in their diets, as this mineral helps in the prevention if stretch marks. For stronger bones among newborns, mothers are advised to add strained oatmeal into their diets.

Silica supplement is also available in mineral gel form. Silica mineral gel supplement is a colloidal dispersion of tiny parts of silica. Indications include normalizing an over acidic stomach, colitis management, as part of Crohn’s disease treatment, and diarrhea management. Silica in mineral form is ideal in treating bladder infections too. Silica functions as a filter that effectively binds to disease-causing microorganisms. In addition, silica stimulates the production of phagocytes that primarily works by eating up all the toxic elements that invade the body, such as bacteria and viruses. When applied externally, silica can be used as treatment for damaged skin such as in the case of scars, pimples, scratches, stretch marks, and sunburn to name a few.

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It was only in 1990 that the mineral silica was recognized as an essential nutrient by health and wellness organizations around the globe. Many health experts are now prescribing silica as part of a holistic wellness regime.

Ongoing research provides us with more information about the health benefits of silica supplementation. In the German city of Daun, it has been found that locals have very low incidence and prevalence rate for cancer. The cause of this phenomenon can be stemmed from the fact that the local water well in that area contains high levels of silica.

Dr. Paul Gerhard Seeger, a renowned oncologist and researcher at Charite Research Hospital in Berlin said that integrating silica as part of cancer management is crucial for effective treatment. Furthermore, he highly recommends the intake of silica from a wide variety of natural products such as horsetail plant juice, aqueous extracts of spring horsetail in capsule and powder form, tincture, herbal teas, and silica gel to name a few. Your local pharmacist can help you in purchasing the right silica supplement for your health needs. A word of caution is to never take raw ground horsetail as this can cause unwanted side effects. If you choose to get silica from horsetail, make sure it is in powder or tablet form. Ingesting horsetail is dangerous to human health. Its raw form is used as a scouring agent to polish tin and may cause abrasion along the stomach lining. Fresh, raw horsetail can be added to baths as it provides a soothing effect to painful kidneys, and is perfect relief among those suffering from rheumatic pains.

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Cooking and Preparing Horsetail

Majority of food items on grocery shelves are so refined, that their nutrients are washed away altogether. For instance, the white bread that we eat are so refined that they do not contain silica as one of its health minerals. This is true in the case of vegetables with their silica-rich skins removed.

The table below shows food items that contain high levels of silica:

  • 100g oats contains up to 595.0 mg of silica 100g of millet contains 500.0 mg of silica
  • 100g potatoes contains 200mg of silica
  • 100g barley contains 233.0mg of silica
  • 100g whole wheat grain contains 158.00mg of silica
  • 100g of Jerusalem artichokes contains up to 36.0mg of silica
  • 100g of red beets contains 21mg of silica
  • 100g of corn contains 19mg of silica
  • 100g of asparagus contains 18.0mg of silica
  • 100g of rye contains 17.0mg of silica

100% Guaranteed Herbal Medicine

It was in the 1800s that Father Sebastian Kneipp of Germany popularized the use of horsetail as an herbal medicine. In Austria, it was herbalist, Maria Treben who revived the use of horsetail as form of natural herbal medicine. Although orthodox medicine does not recognize the benefits of horsetail as form of medicine, it has always been known to be a powerful diuretic and astringent. Furthermore, horsetail was used by our ancestors in the management of lung problems such as TB. It also promotes regeneration of tissues, skin, bones, muscles, connective tissues, and cartilage among many others. Lastly, horsetail juice is perfect for treating anemia as a result of ulcers.

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