After oxygen, silica is the most abundant element in sand and soil, and is found mostly as silicon dioxide.
In the soil, it helps seeds to germinate by breaking through their hard outer shell and, if soil lacks silica, very few seeds would sprout naturally. In biodynamics it is recognised as an essential mineral and is added to composts. Adding clay in will do the job.
In the body, silica assists with the proper elimination of wastes helping to clear debris and waste products around areas of injury and tissue damage, during the healing and repair process. It helps break up hardened and crystallised wastes, such as uric acid crystals which settle in the joints of gout sufferers. It protects calcium metabolism, preventing distortion and loss, and when biochemically active it clears calcium deposits laid down as nodes and spurs on bones, which can cause pain and interfere with joint movement. It also aids the removal of kidney and gall stones, as well as lumps of unexcreted bowel waste putrefying in diverticular pockets within the intestines.
Silica breaks down all these waste products, and aids their movement back into the circulation and out through the proper elimination channels. In fact, silica stimulates all the organs of elimination, including the skin, lungs, kidneys and bowels. Silica aids elimination through the skin by literally piercing little holes in blocked up areas so that unexcreted garbage, lying in cells and tissues just beneath the skin’s surface, can be released. This may result in a few extra white-head pimples.
Silica gives resilience to the nervous system, providing us with the ability to ‘bounce back’ more quickly after setbacks – physical, mental or emotional. So, if you feel emotionally or circumstantially overloaded, if you’re wearing a little thin in your resilience to life, or if you feel that life has sent you one hit too many, you may need a bit of extra silica. If you lack that ‘twinkle in the eye’, feel lots of aches and pains in your bones, experience sneezing fits, suffer foot odour, generally sweat too much or too little, or sweat excessively during tests and challenges like exams or job interviews, you should definitely get some silica into you.
Along with calcium, magnesium and several trace minerals, silica hardens and gives resilience to bones and teeth, strengthening them and ensuring a proper, balanced ‘laying down’ of minerals onto the bone matrix. If you have poor hair tone or weak fingernails, bite your nails, fiddle with your cuticles or chew your hair, try some extra silica. Thanks to its great binding capacity, silica inhibits inflammation and contributes to wound healing.
Perhaps the most important role of silica, often called ‘the communication mineral’, is as an integral component of the myelin nerve sheath. This is the insulating material which surrounds each individual nerve fibre in the body, a lot like the coloured plastic coatings we see around electrical wires. This sheath insulates the signals travelling along the nerves, preventing outside interference, static, ‘crossed-wires’ and short circuits. It ensures that each nerve delivers its information from the brain to the body, or from the body back to the brain, with perfect clarity (no Chinese whispers!)
Silica supports the cardiovascular system as well, by helping to maintain strength and resilience of the inner lining of arterial walls, and preventing the arterial narrowing which occurs in the development of diseases such as arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. It is also suspected to play a role in protecting the brain from aluminium toxicity, which has been associated by some with Alzheimer’s disease.