FAQ on Using Herbs, Vitamins and Minerals

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Why Take Supplements?
 
Susan Smith Jones says, "As I travel around the country giving lectures and workshops on health and fitness to thousands of people each year, the most asked question I hear is: "Is it important to take nutritional supplements?" She tells them, "Even if you eat a healthy, plant-based diet, emphasizing fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, you can't be sure they are as nourishing as expected due to the depletion of soil minerals. Further, additional stress may be placed on our bodies by chemical and pesticide exposure. With all the changes and stresses in our lives, we need all the help we can get - nutritional support is an important ally. (Let's Live, May 1994)

Steven Horne speaks on the topic of Empty Harvest, "When we think of health, we usually don't think of dirt. But dirt, or soil, is the primary factor in maintaining our nutritional health because all our food comes from the earth (or so it should). Since our bodies are literally composed of the "dust of the earth," meaning minerals, healthy bodies are connected to healthy soil. If any element is missing from the soil, then it will be missing from the foods we eat as a result, we will not be properly nourished.

"Unfortunately, our commercial methods of agriculture are not only depleting the soil of precious trace minerals, they are also destroying the ability of plants to be able to utilize those elements. Hence, our food is nutritionally deficient right from the start. To make matters worse, our food gets refined and more of its nutritional content is removed in the process.

"Prior to the 1800s, farmers all over the world fertilized their crops with organic material. In the previous century, a well-meaning chemist burned plant material and analyzed the ashes which remained. He discovered that the ashes were primarily composed of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and erroneously concluded that these were the minerals plants required to grow. Unfortunately, he lacked the equipment to detect the minute amounts of other minerals present in the plant ashes which are also needed for plant growth. Irregardless, the modern N, P, K fertilizers were born. When farmers started applying these three elements to their soil, they did get bigger yields at first. However, with repeated use, problems began to arise.

"This was because the soil was gradually being depleted of its trace minerals. As the soil became depleted the plants were not as healthy. Insect damage and disease increased. But instead of adding organic matter to the soil to correct the mineral imbalances, chemistry was there to "correct" these problems with herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. Unfortunately, these chemicals compound the problem. The use of toxic chemicals gradually sterilizes the soil, killing microorganisms that live there. It is much like the problem of antibiotics, which kill the friendly flora in the intestinal tract as well as the harmful bacteria." (Sunshine Sharing, Vol.6, No.9)

It is no longer a matter of eating the right foods because even eating a nutritional diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables does not mean that you are getting the nutrients you need. When nutrients are not present in the soil, they cannot be present in the foods. Nutritional supplementation is necessary.

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