a member of the smectite family is a 2:1 clay, meaning that it has 2 tetrahedral sheets sandwiching a central octahedral sheet.  The particles are plate-shaped and extremely small with an average diameter of approximately 1 micrometer.  Montmorillonite’s colloidal nature lends it well to the transport of nutrients and enhanced bioavailability of nutrients. 

1st pie chart


Book Review of and Excerpts from:
Secrets Of The Soil
New Age Solutions for Restoring Our Planet
© 1989 by Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird
Authors of the Secret Life of Plants
Harper & Row Publishers, NY
Isbn 0-06-015817-4
Lib. Congr. S591.T64


Montmorillonite tetrahedral molecular geometry 

   Wool contains from .02% to .08% of Silicon, but this variation apparently has no relation to wool quality.  Silicon constitutes up to 77% of the ash of feathers.  Mature roughages, are especially rich in Silicon, since their cellulose is infiltrated with the element.”


    “Silicon resembles Aluminum in its high concentration in soils and atmospheric dust.  It differs markedly from Aluminum, however, in being present in most plants, particularly the gramineous species, in comparatively large amounts, and in animal tissues and fluids in very much higher concentration than Aluminum, or indeed, than the majority of trace elements.  A great deal of Silicon is present in the cell walls.  The Silicon of plants is apparently partly present as insoluble silica, partly as soluble silicates, and partly in organic combination.”


    “Silicon is essential in the nutrition of the higher plants.  Improved growth from additions of silicates has been demonstrated with rice, millet, sunflower, barley and beets.  Silicon is of importance in nutrition of higher animals and man.  Even fetal tissue has been shown to contain appreciable quantities 40 to 400 parts per million, expressed as silicon dioxide.  Fifty–one thousand parts per million for normal adult tissue.  The highest levels in the adult are found in the lungs and the lowest in the muscles.  In the fetus, the lungs are the lowest in silica, and muscle the highest, of the tissues examined.”


    “Human blood contains an average of .5 milligrams of Silicon per 100 cc.  The possibility that Silicon may play some part in the acid base equilibrium of the animal body has been suggested, but there is no proof of this yet.  Silicon dioxide is commonly excreted daily in the urine from farm animals as a true solution (as silicates or in colloidal dispersion).  Silicon is most abundant in oats, unpolished rice, whole wheat, apricots, figs, barley, strawberries, spinach, celery, beets, cucumbers, asparagus, tomatoes, peaches, cabbages, Swiss chard, cauliflower, parsnips, lettuce, okra, and endive.”


    “Silicon is found in abundance in the vegetable kingdom as I have mentioned.  In the human organism, it is found in the connective tissue – the hair, nails, teeth, bones, nerves, mucous membranes, epithelial cells and the skin.  The heart muscle contains not only the most iron but also the largest quantity of Silicon.  Undernourished patients with poor assimilation respond well to Silicon.  It increases the white blood cells and is the main remedy in ailments with pus formation, fetid secretions, inflamed glands swollen hard with pus.  If Silicon is given in time it will prevent pus formation, but if a pus condition has developed it will ripen the abscess and promote suppuration.  Regarding the condition of inflammation and pus in bones and bone marrow, chronic rheumatism, as well as, arthritis, Silicon will dissolve the crystallization of uric acid.  Silicon is found mostly in the skins of fruit and in the seed coats of cereals.  Therefore, these parts should not be discarded.”

“Aluminum is the second most common mineral element in the biosphere.  Aluminum has been found in the ash of all plants.  The amount varies greatly in the different plants, and different plants possess considerable specific selective powers to accumulate it.  Amounts have been found up to 6.2% in the ash of certain pteridophytes (which are ferns, horsetails, club mosses)--4500 living species of these plants!  They are the most highly developed seedless plants and arise from spores.”


    “Some plants are Aluminum accumulators.  In such plants Aluminum seems to be of a nutritional value.  When Aluminum is present in excess in soluble form, it is a limiting factor to the growth of certain plants.  As the acidity of the soil solutions decrease to the neutral point, the solubility of the Aluminum decreases to almost nothing.  When the acidity becomes greater than pH 5, the Aluminum acidity increases rather rapidly, until pH 4.5 is reached, at which point it increases very rapidly.  Phosphate treatment, liming, and large applications of decomposing organic matter reduce the Aluminum toxicity of the soil.  Most of the Aluminum taken up by herbivores is excreted in the feces and the net result is an organism considerably poorer in Aluminum that the food it has consumed.”

    “Mammalian muscle is low in Aluminum.  The viscera may contain as much as 1 milligram per kilogram of body weight.  The best general value from mammalian tissue is probably .5 milligrams per kilogram.  This represents about 1/40 of the quantity of Aluminum in the food.  Aluminum is not considered vitally essential because it appears that certain other tetravalent elements, can substitute for it.   Massive doses of Aluminum in excess of Phosphate intake may cause rachitic conditions.  Not under any known naturally-occurring conditions, does Aluminum constitute a toxic hazard to man, or to his domestic animals.  The amount of Aluminum in human diets, may be increased by contamination from domestic aluminum cooking utensils, and vessels used in food processing plants by the use of aluminum sulphate baking powder, and by use of body deodorants, containing aluminum chlorohydrate.  Excessive intake of Aluminum is known to produce gastro-intestinal irritation and colic, and to produce rickets by interference with the absorption of phosphates.”




    The most valuable packages are often the smallest.

This is very true in regard to trace elements.



    The mineral substances are present in infinitesimal amounts in the soil, water, food, and air--the most important source of origin being the soil.  If our soil is deficient in trace elements, our food and water will be deficient also.