I am always on the lookout for new and exciting products that help enhance health and wellness. So, I am thrilled to let you in on a little-known but very exciting substance called fulvic acid. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of fulvic acid. I have only been researching it for a year or so, and most people in the complementary medicine field don’t even know what it is. What makes this substance all the more intriguing is that it has been around for centuries, but only in the last few years have research studies supported what traditional use had already shown—fulvic acid is a miracle healer.
The history of fulvic acid is quite interesting. Originally discovered in New Mexico, fulvic acid was comprised of ancient organic, compacted vegetation rich in trace minerals. Hundreds of millions of years ago, New Mexico was more like a tropical rain forest than the desert it is today. Like a rain forest, this area was vibrant with tree and plant matter as well as swampland. As the trees and plants died, they often fell into the water, amassing at the bottom of the swamp floor.
Because the swamps were most often stagnant, they were not well oxygenated, which meant that decay was less likely to take place. As a result, the trees and plants didn’t decompose as they would under normal conditions. Instead, the leaves and softer shoots broke down into a jelly-like substance, while the harder, woody parts, like branches and trunks, turned into peat. This combination created the initial components of fulvic acid.
Over the course of many, many centuries, the waters of these swamps receded, and this mineral-rich jelly and peat became visible. By the early 1600s, the Native Americans living in the New Mexico area as well as the Spaniards that also resided in the Southwest discovered this biomass mineral material, wrongly assuming that it was coal. However, they quickly learned their mistake when the “coal” wouldn’t burn.
One Spaniard in particular, a Catholic priest by the name of Fray Benavides, was not content simply to overlook the possible benefits of this thick, lush material. He studied it, pulverized it, and even sprinkled some of it on his food. Surprised by the lack of taste, he almost determined that it was nothing more than dirt. Almost.
During a walk, Father Benavides bumped up against a cactus, impaling several of the spikes into his foot. While he was able to remove most of the thorns, several were too deep and began to fester. He decided to sprinkle some of the pulverized material onto his injured foot. He continued to use it for several days, and much to his amazement, the infection cleared up, and his foot healed completely.
Modern research has begun to examine both fulvic acid’s nutrient content and its physiological benefits in cells and tissues. While clinical research has yet to be done, some practitioners are beginning to recommend fulvic acid–based nutritional products and are amassing anecdotal information about its benefits. For instance, fulvic acid shows promise in promoting healing in patients with a variety of serious health conditions for which mineral deficiency plays a much underreported role. People using fulvic acid report healing benefits for chronic fatigue, acute muscle aches and pains, fibromyalgia, arthritis, wound healing, and Bell’s palsy. There also have been some amazing testimonials from people who have used fulvic acid to help recover from other, more serious conditions such as cancer, autism, and chronic pain. Fulvic acid also appears to promote healthier, more efficient detoxification within the body—a crucial function that’s needed if we want to enjoy optimal health. In this article, I’d like to talk more about fulvic acid and tell you how it can promote, protect, and restore vigorous health for us all.
The Magic of Fulvic Acid
Fulvic acid, a natural component of rich, organic humus, can be found in any nutrient-rich, organic soil. It is created by micro-organisms that live in decaying organic matter, such as centuries-old deposits of composted vegetation and manure. Fulvic acid is not actually an acid—nor is it a mineral. It is, rather, a complex compound that can attract and hold both negatively and positively charged ions. As such, it can bond and hold ionized minerals—such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc—incorporating them into its own molecular structure. This creates a new fulvic acid–multimineral compound that plants, animals, and humans can easily digest, absorb, and utilize to support vibrant health.
This is the real magic of fulvic acid—its ability to dissolve elemental minerals present in the soil and convert them into a form that is highly absorbable by the roots of plants. Once absorbed, those minerals are in the perfect form for feeding, strengthening, and growing the botanical, whether it’s an herb, cherry tree, or tomato plant. When ingested, these nutrient-rich minerals that are now present in the fruits, vegetables, and herbs pack a powerful nutritional punch. Obviously, this is how our bodies are designed to meet our daily mineral needs—by eating well-nourished foods. But there’s a problem.
For soil to contain significant levels of fulvic acid, it must provide a friendly, nutrient-rich environment for the micro-organisms that produce it. However, those who practice conventional farming methods have neither the inclination nor the patience to maintain their fields organically, therefore creating an environment unsuitable for the formation of fulvic acid.
Unfortunately, conventional farmers don’t even look at soil as the living, bustling community of important micro-organisms that it is. To them, soil is simply a medium in which to plant seeds, add chemical fertilizers, and grow mass-marketable, nutrient-deficient produce. On top of that, the harsh chemical environment that grows most mass-produced fruits and vegetables not only fails to nurture the micro-organisms that produce fulvic acid, but it actually kills them.
As I’ve discussed many times in the past, the makeup of fruits and vegetables depends on the soil they are grown in. A plant growing in a garden that is enriched by organically produced compost, rather than chemical fertilizer, and cultivated organically, rather than with chemical herbicides and pesticides, has its roots in luxurious soil teeming with fulvic acid–producing microbes. These beneficial soil “bugs” thrive in this nutrient-rich environment, and in turn, they lavish the soil around the plant’s roots with fulvic acid.
Why Minerals Matter
As you know, there are many key minerals that are essential for good health. Unfortunately, the typical foods and supplements in most supermarkets simply can’t provide the quantity and quality of minerals our bodies need to be strong and healthy. The epidemic of osteoporosis and osteopenia in America—even among women who religiously take bone-building supplements—is a perfect example.
However, this issue goes way beyond bone health. Minerals are vital for literally every biochemical function in every organ system in the human body—from transmitting a nerve impulse to making a muscle fiber twitch, neutralizing a toxic free radical, regulating thyroid hormones, and recharging a red blood cell with oxygen. And there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that deficiencies of minerals are at the root of many major health problems, including thyroid disease, cancers, neuropathies, immune deficiencies, and fatigue disorders. For example, according to a report from the A-D Research Foundation published in the November 2003 issue of the Journal of Carcinogenesis, there is a significant link between cancer and mineral deficiencies. The report suggests that providing cancer patients with specific, critical nutrients could lead to a reversal of the disease.
Enrich Your Body with the Minerals It Needs
Fulvic acid is one of the many reasons I recommend eating and feeding your family organic food. In addition to the well-recognized perks—freedom from herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers—organically grown food is richer in chelated fulvic acid and mineral compounds that provide the nourishing, alkalinizing minerals your body needs to thrive.
Fortunately, there are a growing number of small-scale organic farms that provide produce rich in fulvic acid and countless other nutrients. Visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets and click on “Find a Farmers Market in Your State” to find such farms near you. There are also a growing number of online outfits, such as http://www.diamondorganics.com, where you can buy organic food. It may cost more than supermarket produce, but the health benefits of eating organically are immeasurable.
However, because it took eons for many of this country’s soils to become mineral-rich, and only a few generations to deplete them, you can’t rely strictly on good-quality food to provide the minerals you need. I recommend enhancing your mineral intake with top-quality fulvic acid supplements. What do I mean by top quality? Let’s revisit calcium as an example. Typical supplements are chock full of calcium, but much of it goes right out of the body because it’s so difficult to absorb (the same goes for other minerals). Even when some of the calcium does manage to gain access to your bloodstream, it must then pass into and through complicated, maze-like membranes and cell walls to get into your cells and actually work.
Minerals chelated to fulvic acid are very good at getting all the way into cells. But it’s important that the quality of the fulvic acid compound be beyond reproach. While fulvic acid increases the availability of essential minerals, it also can increase the intake of some minerals that may be toxic. Therefore it’s crucial to find fulvic acid mineral complexes that are extracted from pure, unpolluted sources and tested for toxic heavy metals. I’ve carefully researched the fulvic acid products currently available and recommend the following:
* Fulvic Mineral Complex from Vital-Earth Minerals, LLC (866-291-4400 or http://www.vitalearth.org) is a potent liquid complex containing a multitude of plant-derived minerals in a fulvic-chelated formulation. Another plus is this product’s alkaline pH of 7.0–7.8.
* Energy Boost 70 from Morningstar Minerals contains organic mineral complexes and amino acids in an organic fulvic acid base. Also available are Fruitland Agriculture Products, designed to replenish the soil of your organic garden with essential humic and fulvic acids. To order, call (866) 898-4467 or visit http://www.msminerals.com.
** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health”, visit http://selfgrowth.com/healthbook3.html
Susan Lark, MD, is one of the foremost authorities in the fields of clinical nutrition and preventive medicine. A graduate of Northwestern University Medical School, she served on the clinical faculty of Stanford University Medical School from 1981 to 1983 and taught in Stanford’s Primary Care Associate Program in the Division of Family and Community Medicine from 1991 to 2002. Dr. Lark is a distinguished clinician, author, lecturer, and innovative product developer. Throughout her thirty-two years of clinical experience, she has pioneered the use of self-care treatments, such as diet, nutrition, exercise, and stress management techniques, in the field of women’s health and has lectured extensively throughout the United States on topics in preventive medicine. She has also authored and published several books, her most recent being Eat Papayas Naked: The pH-Balanced Diet for Super Health and Glowing Beauty. For more information, visit http://www.DrLark.com.