Quite a lot of useful metals and minerals make their way into our bodies through the food chain, yet other elements are vital for the plants' health
and growth. In this OP I will focus not so much on sources for these important elements or how to find plants which may supplement our bodies' demands
for them, whether soil to plant-- or plant to man, or the obvious third link in this chain, man to soil-- I will rather try to give a brief overlook
at the different elements involved. Most important are of course the ancient four cardinals; Ignis, Aer, Aqua and Terra, but since Antiquity we have
split these up and categorised them further into more specific bits and parts. I do however encourage more specific knowledge to be brought into this
thread, things like how cashew nuts are rich in magnesium or how drinking a mouthfull of sea water now and then yields important selenium.
Let's first take a look at soil nutrients. The primary group of Macronutrients are (in alfabetical order) nitrogen [N], phosphorus [P] and potassium
[K], these nutrients must usually be added to the soil and are vital to healthy cell growth and other functions in the plants, and these minerals make
the basis in most fertilisers organic or otherwise. The secondary group of Macronutrients are (in alfabetical order) calcium [Ca], magnesium [Mg],
sodium aka. natrium [Na] and sulfur [S]. Normally these last ones need not be added, but keep an eye up for signs of insuficiancies.
Micronutrients [trace amounts] are: boron [B], chloride [Cl], chromium [Cr] copper [Cu], iron [Fe], manganese [Mn], molybdenum [Mo], selenium [Se] and
zinc [Zn]. These are often refered to as trace elements since they are needed in only trace amounts. Through recycling grass clippings and tree leaves
etc., using it as compost and fertiliser, rejuvinate the soil and bring back important nutrients to the soil, and naturally the plants growing in
Analysing the soil and checking the plants to look for signs of deficiancies is an art and a science in itself, and making sure there is the right
balance of these nutrients in the soil can boost growth and yield significantly, as well as producing healthier, more potent herbs for us to benefit
from. Try out different mixtures of fertilisers for different patches in your garden (if you are lucky to have one) or start feeding stuff to wild
plants and see what happens if you add this or that.
Plants and other foods carry various amounts of these minerals and many of them are useful or even vital for humans. Most of us do not suffer from
deficiancies, but since meat is one of our most important sources of certain minerals, vegetarians and vegans need to always keep an eye on getting
enough of all the minerals our bodies need to function well. Me, myself for instance have a slight zink deficiancy, so I'm using a supplement of zink.
Apart from the occational metallic taste in my mouth, I am happy to have finally found an effective cure for my persistent acne, or at least, it's way
much better, with few new ones, and not the bleeding bubonic volcanoes I used to get. Also, I found boosting magnesium helped against the mild anxiety
I normally had lingering underneath throughout the day.
Major minerals Recommended Daily Intake, RDI
Calcium 1000 mg
Magnesium 350 mg
Potassium 3500 mg
Sodium 2400 mg
Chromium 120 μg
Copper 2 mg
Iron 15 mg
Manganese 5 mg
Molybdenum 75 μg
Selenium 35 μg
Zinc 15 mg
I hope people who are reading this and know more and can add to the list or give examples of good food sources for these minerals, or provide
information about health benefits and drawbacks, will share it in this thread. It's a part of my "Herbs of Utnapisjtim" series, where I try to post a
new thread daily about a featured herb, often among common weeds or trees. I found that much of the threads ended up being about certain chemical
compounds and minerals in the featured plants, thus I saw the use for a minerals thread.
Thanks for all your feedback and all the good ideas, noone mentioned, noone forgotten. Enjoy!
edit on 15-3-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: Typos
and missing sentance
edit on 15-3-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: Added "The" to the title