Within this part of the discussion about various nutrients to the plant can and will affect the outcome and quality of the plant's nutrient levels. I am going to just touch lightly on a few of the nutrients and really end up doing a sampling of sorts vs a long discussion.
With Nitrogen; Nitrogen will play a big role in the plants growth of what you see, above the ground. In previous discussions I have use Basil as an example of how a particular nutrient can alter the expression of components in a plant, in this case Basil. When Basil is exposed to a higher level than normal level of Nitrogen it then tends to produce an essential oil that is of the Menthyl Chavrol type. But at the lower levels of Nitrogen it tends t produce an essential oil that that is of the Linalool type. This is important in Aromatherapy applications as the two type of Basil essential oil will tend to produce different end results, overall. The PPM level of Nitrogen of 15 PPM will give he best type for the Linalool type. While a Nitrogen level of 30 PPM or close to that point tends to give the better amounts and quality of Menthyl Chavrol. This does not mean one oil type is better in quality over the other type, both are of equal quality in and of it's self, but it means a different component profile ratio among major and many minor components. The end use is what really makes the difference of which oil is better. With this aspect it is all about proper pairing with indicated need. Of course with this Nitrogen aspect with Basil, there tends to be a showing of the zero sum game manifesting its self. This means as he Nitrogen PPM goes up, the Potassium levels goes down, in this case with the Menthyl type and the Linalool type will have a lower nitrogen PPM with a higher Potassium PPM point. As it applies to many of the Aromatic type plants, when it comes to the NPK aspect, which are the major Macro- Nutrients, we see a trade off and struggle if you will, between the N part, which is Nitrogen and the K part which is the Potassium part. If one goes up, then it forces the other and some of it's entourage of supporting nutrients to go down. The P part is for Phosphorous and even though it plays a part here in above ground growth, it is primarily focused on the root system, not all but most aspects of it's use and contribution.
With Clary Sage; Clary Sage is in my estimation and excellent oil for many emotional indications. The only real draw back is the higher estrogen promotion/contribution aspect to it. So pregnancy requires a very close observation if in use during pregnancy and likely shouldn't be used during pregnancy as a general use oil. But in other cases, I half way feel like this oil is one that is often overlooked for general use because of the estrogen aspect. Men needs estrogen and in fact a man or a woman for that matter cannot lose weight when certain estrogen levels are low. So there is a close interaction with Iodine and Clary Sage for weight loss and emotional balancing in both genders. I wanted to use this oil in my Brain Balancing EO Blends, but because of the pregnancy/estrogen deal, I had to dismiss this oil for that purpose, even though it likely would have worked better. IE; I couldn't use it for political reasons, because the amount would be so small, that I doubt it would have affected a pregnancy case... what else can you say? But good Clary Sage blends well with Lavender and makes for an excellent base for many emotional blends. When Clary Sage has a moderate amount of Nitrogen applied to the plant during growth, it tends to produce the highest quality and quantity of the following components; Linalool, Linalyl Acetate, which you know are major parts of Lavender and the Geraniol chemical with is found in Geranium, which is also another good oil to use in blends or as a single in emotional blends. But the better question for Gernaiol is what oil isn't it found in.? Just know this that Nitrogen, at moderate levels as applied to the plants during the growth cycle tends to produce the best quality and ratios of these before mentioned chemicals in host plants such as Clary Sage, Lavender and Geranium, as examples.
With Artemisia: I use the Latin 1st. name here because of it's application to the whole range of these plants as to varieties. Many of us will know this plant by a common name of Sage Brush. Here it has been observed that the Nitrogen levels have no bearing on the out come of this plant. It is almost as if this plant cares nothing about Nitrogen, from most appearances. As i ponder on this, I would have to say that I can't recall a single situation where this plant is growing in a high Nitrogen situation. In fact if anything it is usually growing where there is no observable points as to indicate any detectable amount of Nitrogen. But it has been observed that the outcome of this plant is highly dependent on environmental influences and by genetic diversity among the varieties. So that one s a curve ball by most standards. However, in some studies they found that Artemisia done well and produced he best results when a moderate amount of Nitrogen was applied by using Bio-Mass. I will cover this more in the Fennel part. Also within this study they also applied a moderate amount of Potassium at the root level. So from all appearances, the Artemisia plants do best with little or no fertilization and better in certain forms.
With Fennel; Fennel is an oil that is really not noticeably affected directly by Nitrogen. But Fennel responds well and is directly affected by the application of Bio-Mass type of fertilization. Without using all these Bio-Mass and Bio-Fertilizing technical terms, they have found that using Bio-Mass, which is a form of Compost, basically, and by making various nutrient available via tat form, Fennel responded with the best end use results for Fennel. When you do this Bio-fertilization stuff the correct bacterium are very important to the eventual outcome. So plants like Fennel and the Artemisia family of plants do much better and produce better results by using Bio-Fertilization and or Bio-Mass type of nutrient sources. Interestingly, Fennel and various Sage Brush oils are really good for anti-parasite applications. They are also good for emotional purposes. In my opinion, there is a connection here.
Summary; This discussion is focused for the most part on the Macro-Nutrients of NPK and their influence on these few selected plants. As you can see, each family of plants require a different approach and have different requirements. As a result of this, we have different outcomes in terms of what they produce and their contribution to therapeutic uses. As it applies to the human body, we see figures of Nitrogen comprising of about 3.5% of our body weight. Phosphorus comes in at about 1% of body weight and Potassium comes in at about .75% of our body weight. As long as we keep this balance, we do pretty good. The bigger struggle that we as humans face is in getting these ratios off balance. The same applies to plants. What makes things bad is that if there is an absence of something, many times another mineral will step in and fill in the space. Sometime is works OK, but at other times not so good. But when the ratios gets off balance, then it locks up other nutrients and no real substations take place. This is likely the real problems people face in today's world, IE; an off balance situation and not fully a lack thereof situation, all though in many instances the levels of available nutrients are low, they are still there or the plant would not grow or produce, period. Just remember, 2 things, balance and ratios, those are the keys.
Thank you for your time and effort to struggle through these discussions. I hope you find something of value. The next discussion will be on salt and the application to these plants. While you are reading through this one, I am going to go find some Clary Sage and maybe mix some Lavender and Geranium with it and really have an enjoyable day,
End of Discussion. KK.