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Carbon and Nitrogen Ratio.

Feb 10, 2022

Today we are going to look at a situation that is usually not talked about much in many circles, other than agricultural production circles. When it is discussed, then it is only touched on during specific situations and then it is largely a political discussion at best, nothing really meaningful. However, on the human nutrition side, there is really not a lot of discussion, period.  But in reality we really should talk about it. Today is your lucky day!

On average, a normally functioning human, Carbon will consist of about 18% of that person's body weight. In a normally functioning human Nitrogen will consist of about 3% of that person's body weight. Since I will make mention of Potassium in this relationship at a later point in this discussion, I will make mention of Potassium and it will consist of about 1% of the weight of a normally functioning human being. Translation; the 150 pound human will contain about 27 pounds of Carbon. That same 150 pound person will be carrying about 4.5 pounds of Nitrogen. Of course using the same 150 pound figure, that 150 pound person will be carrying about 1.5 pounds of Potassium. When it comes to ratios, then the Carbon -Nitrogen ratio would be 6 to 1. Additionally, the human body consists of 6 minerals that make up 99% of the mineral weight of the body. The other 1% is divided up by .85% which consists of 5 minerals and the other .15% contains all of the trace minerals. Some of these more widely known trace minerals, by weight, are Iodine which consists of .00020 kg. Zinc is at .0023 kg. Boron is at .000018 kg. and Cobalt is at .000003 kg. So when you look at these numbers by weight, and compare say, Cobalt at .000003 kg to the Carbon at 12.27 kg. or Nitrogen at 1.8 kg. to Cobalt's .000003 kg. a lot of weight difference between the Cobalt, which is a trace mineral and either Carbon's or Nitrogen's weight which are two of the 6 main elements in the 99% group by weight, of the major minerals.

I have struggled for a while in trying to be able to explain this relationship of Carbon and Nitrogen and their work together. So since we as humans learn mainly by comparative associations, I figure that if I compare it to electricity, maybe it will make sense. With electricity we have 2 major factors that determine pretty much how electricity functions. One of those aspects is described as Voltage. The other factor is Amperage. You might say that Voltage is how much, by volume, of electricity is being delivered. Amperage might be described as the force of that volume that is being delivered. Usually, as a general rule, the higher the voltage the lower the amperage. The lower the voltage, the higher the amperage. Generally speaking, the lower voltage and higher amperage electricity charge will be more likely to kill you if you make contact with it than a high voltage and lower amperage electricity charge will if you make contact with it. In making a comparison of Carbon to Voltage and Nitrogen to Amperage might be a good way to get your head around the ideas here. Of course this is a very simplified version of the comparison, so don't get bogged down by technicalities. Lets keep it simple and by doing so, it makes it understandable. The reason why I use the electricity comparisons is because Carbon and Nitrogen is all about energy and how that energy is delivered and used. Every single cell in the body contains Carbon and Nitrogen and in the proper ratios to each other, if optimal cell activity is taking place.  As a side note, this whole thing here in this paragraph is better explained, in my opinion anyway, by the mathematical formula that is most associated with Einstein, which is    E = mc2

Carbon is found in almost all foods in one from or another. But the one form that most everyone is most familiar with is Vitamin C. It is kind of comical because Vitamin C is simply water soluble Carbon that is hooked together with other Carbon molecules. In fact the chemical formula is really simple. The formula is as follows; C6 H8 O6, with a mass weight of 176.124. This 176.124 is really quite a light molecule. Vitamin C, IE: water soluble Carbon, is widely used throughout the body for a long list of organ operations, such as Heart function and in making Collagen. Everyone, well almost everyone, out there knows of the importance of using Vitamin C for recovery and protection from virus attacks. An interesting note is that if you have low levels of Vitamin C, aka, Carbon, then the synthesis of Collagen by the body will usually be too unstable to properly support the actions required of Collagen. Basically, even if a person takes Collagen and if they have a Vitamin C deficiency, it can actually work against the person's best interests to take Collagen. The bottom line here with Carbon is that every cell uses it, most every enzyme, amino acid and other elements uses Carbon in their function either directly or within a synthesized element such as Vitamin C.

As a deviation from the scientific side, to more of the politically driven side of the road, we would be amiss to not address the CO2 issue. As you know everyone is all up in arms about the CO2 deal. The general idea is that there is too much CO2 in the air, which is to say there is too much Carbon in the air. The general consensus is that a human being is pretty much carbon neutral when it comes to Carbon as it is related respiratory activities. This means that the average human will take in and exhale about the same amounts of Carbon going each way. But the exception to this rule is that humans that are very active and are in vigorous exercising activities will exhale, but not take in, upwards of 8 times as much CO2 as does say a couch potato. Comically here, we see the typical person squawking about CO2 overload and global warming and such are usually involved in active sports, going to the gym and so on. All the while they are preaching to the couch potato about the couch potato's need to shrink their Carbon foot print. So the moral of the story here is that if you are serious about doing your part about cutting CO2, you first need to become a couch potato and quit trying to be physically fit. This is true, but you really are suppose to laugh at this point because sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

So where do we get a good supply of Carbon? First off the Carbon that we take in is almost always through the digestive tract process. One really good source or general grouping is Legumes. Legumes are, across the board, a very good source of nutritional Carbon. Within the Legume family of plants, they will fixate Nitrogen into the soil and essentially some of that Nitrogen is taken up and stored in the plant. Here we see the Legume plants containing a good usable source of Nitrogen in addition to the Carbon. Alfalfa tea is also one of the most effective sources of Carbon. The Carbon /Nitrogen ratio with Alfalfa Tea is about 12-1 as a general rule. Although there has been a lot of research of late in using Alfalfa as a human food, with very promising results I might add, I haven't seen an analysis of the Carbon-Nitrogen ratios, but I am guessing it will be in that 12-1 or even a little better balanced based on need, because of the fiber content of the leaf and some stems being in the whole herb aspect of consuming Alfalfa in herbal form. Usually Carbon levels in meat for example, is low because there is not a lot of Carbon sequestration taking place in the meat. Overall, plants will likely end up being the best source for the Carbon to be acquired by humans. Now don't get me wrong on both the Carbon and Nitrogen being limited to Legumes, other plant family members are also good sources for both Carbon and Nitrogen. It is just that Legumes are the simplest and most widely available to the largest amount of people.

When it comes to Essential Oils we find many of them can be effective catalysts for both Carbon and Nitrogen. Here I would like to mention several different donor plants of essential oils and how they are effected and in turn serve as catalysts for nutrient utilization for Nitrogen and Potassium. This is where we talk about what I said in the beginning of this discussion that I wanted to mention Potassium later on. This is where chemo types really come into play here and the country of origin factors in to the picture.

For example, if Basil is grown in a soil that is on the high end of containing Nitrogen, you will have that Basil essential oil manifesting itself as Basil mentha chavacol type. Where as the very same Basil plant grown in a soil containing a high level of Potassium will manifest itself as Basil linalool essential oil. Then you have Thyme oil. Usually the Thyme plant grown in a higher Nitrogen soil will end up being Thyme thymol type. The same Thyme plant grown in a higher Potassium soil will be Thyme linalool type. Rosemary also ends up following the same pattern, Lavender also follows the same pattern. But when it comes to Fennel, we don't see the influence as remarkable with the contributions of either Nitrogen and Potassium. We do see a slight and I say very slight difference between Sweet Fennel and Bitter Fennel. The difference with these two oils are ever so slight, when compared to the Basil or Thyme. But again we do see the contribution of Nitrogen pushing and giving rise to the Bitter Fennel and the Potassium pushing and giving rise to the Sweet Fennel types.

Understanding this aspect is very important to administering essential oils within the clinical setting. It also makes a difference with the general use essential oil applications, but if you don't get it right, it is a little more forgiving than say not getting it right in the clinical settings.  There are two reasons here. First is that Potassium tends to push the conditions to a more neutral or even alkaline pH condition and this produces a sweet type of oil. I guess that sugar/sweetness tends to make the medicine go down easier.

The higher Nitrogen content of the soil tends to push the pH of the plant to be more acidic and thus you end up with a more bitter or hotter type of oil. Secondly, the Potassium will usually move the oil to a more positive state, IE; positively charged. The higher Nitrogen soils will tend to push the oil into a negatively state oil, IE; negative charged. Perhaps the most important reason to understand this aspect is that some pathogens are negatively charged and some are positively charged. The Clinician must understand this angle in order to select the best protocol for the patient. If these aspects not considered, then it is just a crap shoot and with the hope that you get it right. This whole idea is also important to understand and work with when doing formulations and blending.

When it comes to the Carbon aspect of this, usually one does not take into consideration Carbon until the second level of verification, if at all. This is due to the assumption that Carbon is going to be there within the desired parameters or even just a plain lack of understanding of Carbon overall. Being acutely deficient in Carbon is not a normal thing. Maybe being chronically deficient is kind of normal in some situations with people, but it usually doesn't take much to correct the situation. Many times people do not consider the Silica relationship to Carbon.

When they access for Carbon, they don't consider Silica. Remember that Carbon has everything to do with structure stability and strength, Silica also plays a role in the structure and strength stability by adding flexibility, IE; the strength-flexibility ratio.

Carbon is also known to protect against cancers of many types. Again here we see a relationship with Silica in that if a person is Silica deficient, the Carbon can't do it's job in regards to anti-cancer protection. Silica plays a direct role with Carbon in many other roles than just anti-cancer type activities. Then in the middle of this thing, we have Nitrogen providing the power, so to speak, to deal with this interaction of these two previously mentioned minerals.

When it comes to feeding livestock we need to pay close attention to Nitrogen. Many of the livestock diets are OK, if they contain a sizable volume of Legumes or well developed types of grasses that serve as a Nitrogen source. One thing many cattle people will use is corn stocks or straw. Corn stocks are a very high user of Nitrogen in the digestive process. It takes a lot of Nitrogen to break down and digest corn stocks. As the animal's ration, IE; diet, moves higher with substances such as corn stocks, the higher the need to add a nitrogen source. As the diet moves down the scale of lower amounts of carbon, the less the need to add a nitrogen source. Why is this so? Because corn stocks are almost totally Carbon. Straw also follows a similar pattern. However, straw usually contains some other elements of nutrition, so the need to add a higher percentage of Nitrogen is lessened. When it comes to the soil, many people will add wood chips or saw dust to the soil mix. This seems to be a rational idea at the onset. But it is a horrible idea. A horrible idea if the wood chips or saw dust aren't composted down. Here is why, it takes a huge amount of Nitrogen to break down these 2 items. Even though Nitrogen might be added in the beginning or there might be a lot of Nitrogen present at the beginning, as the high nutritional requirements for Nitrogen to feed the crop/plants and to break down the wood chips or saw dust, at the same time. By mid summer the Nitrogen is used up and the plants die off. IE; they simply run out of energy. Simply put, when this condition is present, the lack of energy, it is because of this Carbon-Nitrogen ratio getting so far out of balance, the "action potential" cannot work any further. The one important key here is that all of these inorganic substances, as formed by nature, has to become organic before you can attain any nutritional benefit from our food sources. IE; these inorganic substances become organic by having a Carbon molecule attached to that element. That process is done by running the inorganic element through a plant and then we eat the plant to attain our nutritional benefit.

In my discussions about gardening I have mentioned using coal dust as a fertilizer to supply Sulfur. Normally coal is a good source of Sulfur. I haven't really discussed the Carbon aspect yet, but coal is a source of Carbon and even a source of Nitrogen, depending on the type of coal. Coal is easier to work with as a fertilizer if it is finely ground (dust) or even mixed with compost material during the composting phase. The reason for using coal as a fine dust is that it takes coal a while to break down, unless the moister content is within certain parameters. Generally, the smaller the particle size, the quicker and easier the nutrient transfer can take place. Normally it is not advisable to ingest coal, but if ingestion is called for then people will or should use charcoal as it is generally considered to be safe to ingest. Charcoal is pretty much pure Carbon and it provides for both a nutritional factor and works especially effective as a toxin removal tool. Charcoal is usually called for when dealing with a wide range of toxin removal or to correct an issue or to promote a healing effect. It is also called for in many cases of liver related indications, such as Jaundice.

Lastly, I have to bring this up and I think this will be an interesting angle on this subject. In aromatherapy, one of the most commonly asked questions is this; "Do you have anything for Erectile Dis-function"? As for women, the underlying theme with them is "Clitoris Dis-function". People that thinks they understand this stuff will say to men, just do something to increase the Testosterone. For women they say, do something to increase their Estrogen. While both of these hormones are needed by both genders, and these are part of the issue, the real bottom line, core things are this, Carbon, Nitrogen and Silica. In super simple terms, Carbon for structure support, Silica for flexibility and Nitrogen for action potential. Everything else is down the line support and action potential.

Anyone with the ED or CD issue will almost always come down to either a Nitrogen issue or a Silica issue, with an occasional Carbon issue, Although all 3 of these may be present, the ratios are not balanced. Beyond those 3 issues, it then becomes the job of the Hippocampus in the brain doing the Hormone administration. As a side note if you get the Testosterone ratio too high as compared to Estrogen, by trying to skip past the Hippocampus, then all the extra Testosterone will do for you is make you gain weight and mass and then make the ED, CD issue even worse. 


Many times when we talk about some particular nutritional element, such as minerals, we seem to always come around to the point of thinking the mineral that we are talking about is the most important one of them all. But in reality, Carbon is likely the actual real most important one of them all. Carbon is the God Father of the God Fathers when it comes to nutritional elements. Our whole life form is based on Carbon, IE; we are Carbon life forms. Everything pertaining to life, at least on this planet, is based on Carbon. But Carbon can't do a whole lot of anything, IE: not a lot of action potential unless it hooks up with other elements. Hydrogen is the most typical paring. Then we have other front line hookups, such as Nitrogen, Potassium, Silica, Sulfur just to name a few of them. Many other trace minerals/elements also pair up with Carbon to form some related pairing of other elements in a process of allowing a life form to "Come to life" as in "It is alive, it is alive". Comically speaking, Carbon is a virus's worst nightmare.

In the beginning of this discussion I made the analogy of Carbon and Nitrogen to Electricity. Carbon would be like the voltage and Nitrogen would be the amperage. IE; the amount of mass and the amount of force. I hope this can help many of you get your head around the whole Carbon and Nitrogen construct. This is very important. In these discussions, one must always keep in mind that we are talking about the various nutritional forms of these elements. Normally, some people will get the elements confused when it comes to the industrial forms and the nutritional forms. A lack of knowing the difference between the two versions is not the proper way to view these various elements.  Sometimes they are similar and sometimes they are light years apart in applications and in producing results as it applies to plants, animals (people included here), the atmosphere and even the soil.

Hope you enjoyed this discussion.

End of discussion. KK


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