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Nitrogen and Nitrogen Toxicty and Related Elements.

Aug 15, 2022

Today we are going to be looking at a few aspects of Nitrogen. Many times we don’t give a lot of thought to the idea and maybe we should. The air we breathe is about 78% nitrogen. The same air is about 18% Oxygen, yet when our air supply is restricted we scream out the words, “I need Oxygen”. Yes we do need Oxygen, but we need about 4 times as much Nitrogen to go along with it. Nitrogen plays a vital role in about every activity in the body and in the soil that takes place. Well, we actually say  the same thing about every element that the body or soil uses, but hey, who is keeping score, right? Every single element that you can read about or know about also fits into this “vitally important” role. But right now we are focusing on Nitrogen and a little bit about it. 

In this discussion I would like to address a condition called, Nitrogen Toxicity, and the role it plays in both the soil and in animal life forms. In this I don’t want to always say, in humans and animals, as when it comes to the scientific community, humans are included in the animal category. Now when it comes to “animals” there are several categories, of which I will make mention we move along. 

Nitrogen in the Soil. 

As it relates to the soil, Nitrogen plays a major role in plant life, thus the soil it is grown in. As that is where the plants get their nutrition. However, some plant growing mediums are such mediums as water, as in aquaponics. In water or actual soil it is the same, the same ideas apply across the board as it pertains to this discussion. When it comes to the fertilizer applications, Nitrogen is the first nutrient referenced as in NPK. But currently, many people are suggesting that another symbol needs to be added to the big 3 and that is Sulfur, so the new acronym will soon be NPKS. Sulfur is vitally important in making Nitrogen work. Since we are quickly becoming Sulfur deficient in our soils, there is not enough Sulfur, as a general rule, to meet the needs of the soil and for what it is required to carry for all needs, the Sulfur gets slighted and Nitrogen pays the price. 

As it comes to the soil one of the hardest things on Nitrogen and as well as Sulfur is a lack of water. When crops get, well, dehydrated, Nitrogen and Sulfur will concentrate in the plant as both elements and are dependent on water to dilute the concentration levels. The plants will still uptake both nutrients at the same basic rate, regardless if the water available to the plant in high or low amounts. When this happens the condition that is sometimes created is called Nitrogen Toxicity. In plants this usually shows up as really dark green leaves or even yellowing of the leaves. Long, spindly stems, clawed leaves and generally stressed plants. Usually the plants won’t fruit, such as Tomatoes. The vines will be tall and fantastic but no tomatoes will set on the plants. Usually this condition will take care of itself by the next season. But the other conditions need remedial care if the plant is to survive. Usually the simple way to do this is by raising the soil pH a little bit. Keep in mind here that Sulfur and Nitrogen are both non-metal elements. I know I harp about Cobalt being needed to make non-metal and metal elements work together, but with this Nitrogen and Sulfur thing, Cobalt is not necessary to make this aspect work in the sense of marrying non-metal and metal elements.This is a condition found often in nature, where no single element is a lone wolf, so to speak. When it comes to these two elements, both really have to be there in order for either to work efficiently and effectively. An interesting side note is that when onions or radishes or turnips and we can go on and on, but you know when these types of plants are allowed to become “dehydrated” the product from them will tend to be “Hot”. Normally this is blamed on the Sulfur. But Nitrogen has an equal effect and contributes to the “Hotness” equally. 


Nitrogen in Animal Health. 

Nitrogen Toxicity in animals, (remember humans are animals for sake of this discussion), is usually found under drought conditions. As earlier mentioned, a lack of water allows for a higher concentration level of Nitrogen and in reality Sulfur as well. As it applies to the human form of animals, this type of a condition is brought on by dehydration. But with all animals, a lack of water or better yet, dehydration will produce results that can be better understood if you compare it to a computer or cell phone’s ability to operate as it is designed to do. When these electrical instruments get hot, they become very unstable. The same thing happens with animals, they become erratic and it can really mess them up, both physically and especially mentally. If you name a part of the body that could be affected, then you will likely have properly named a part that is affected. Then of course, the animal dies within a short period of time. 

Personal Application of Nitrogen.

This year I made a portable greenhouse. It is on wheels. I was late in getting things done, and so I “sped” up the process of getting the soil ready and the plants on their way. I pushed the Nitrogen a little too far. I was afraid of that happening, but I rolled the dice. I didn’t roll a good set of dice. In some containers I am OK and after some work, things are doing well. But some of them.. well .. not so good. But by next year, I will have some really good growing conditions. However, another part of this situation is one that I have to mention. Since I was working heavily with straw, I needed a lot of Nitrogen to break it down. This idea is taught in Straw Bale Gardening. Since this was at the beginning of the year, this past spring, as everywhere they were having shortages of almost anything you needed. I needed some Nitrogen. The only real nitrogen source that could get was Ammonium Sulfate. This product is 20% Nitrogen and 24% Sulfur. If I didn’t have the Sulfur in with the Nitrogen, then things would have worked out OK. But as this high level of Sulfur, along with the Nitrogen was present, then it allowed both to work extremely well, almost too well. How did I “dilute it down”? I went up to a farmed field and got a bunch of “nutritionally deficient” soil and mulched that in and then things began to improve really well. Well, I didn’t do it on all of the plants, as I wasn’t sure if it would work or not. I now wish that I would have gone gung ho on the idea. Ah, well, there is always next year. BTW, I plan to do a video on the portable greenhouse. I actually did a video for the AAI Level 3 School from that portable greenhouse. But time, so little of it. LOL>  


People that eat a lot of immature green, leafy veggies many times get awfully close ot a Nitrogen Toxicity point. Normally the Sulfur aspect self regulates, due to the “Hotness” of the plants being consumed. Under normal situations one can eat a balanced ratio of “yellow” plants to lessen the chance of being overloaded with Nitrogen. But the most important thing that people can do and really should do anyway, and that is to keep well hydrated with high quality drinking water. I have talked about this aspect with some essential oils. The main one is Basil. If you want a hot Basil, as in Mentha Carvacrol hot, then make sure you have a lot of water to the plants and very high levels of Nitrogen and Sulfur in the soil. If you want a sweet, cool, Basil plant, then make sure you starve it on the Nitrogen and Sulfur aspect and make sure you have Potassium levels that are elevated.. In my greenhouse I have a high Sulfur, high Nitrogen growing medium and man, the Basil leaves are hot and the plants are growing and developing like wildfire.

So, in a paragraph before the summary, I mentioned about going and getting some soil from a farmed field that was allowed to go fallow this year. That soil naturally has a high pH level, around 8.2. But the secret is that the higher pH was enough to slap down the effects of high levels of Sulfur and Nitrogen. This brought up the soil pH environment to a more neutral pH level, which slowed down the progressive and aggressive growth taking place. Which is generally followed by a consumption of immature plants, which in turn can cause an imbalance of the Nitrogen/Sulfur balance that will lead to a host of other imbalances down the line. One of which is a Calcium imbalance, well, what appears as a Calcium imbalance. To cushion the effects in both a short term and a long term situation, one would use Fennel EO to help activate the Calcium to overcome this effect of Nitrogen Toxicity on the Calcium expression. Many times these off balanced ratios and what appears to be a “deficiency” is actually just a deactivation of the element(s) that are already there. However, as it moves along the line, one must keep in mind that to make Nitrogen work a lot of Calcium is used. So along this pathway, one first encounters a Calcium not working deal then if the fixing of that issue doesn't work then one must make sure there is enough Calcium present to allow the Nitrogen work.

 This Nitrogen/Sulfur Toxicity thing appears to be more harsh on Ruminants and Simple gut system animals such as Humans and Horses. However, with Pigs it is questionable as most Pigs are fed a diet that is not within this category of short term growth/lush green plants. Some pasture raised Pigs sometimes will show signs, but most of the time they are grain fed or mature plants, so with all things being normal there, not a concern. Now when it comes to other simple gut animals such as Dogs and Cats, they will use these high Nitrogen/High Sulfur plants as a “Medicine” by self medicating and with all things being normal, there isn’t a concern really. Humans eating processed foods usually don’t have a problem here either. But they do have a Potassium overload many times and it comes with its own set of problems. 

One of the groups of animals that are usually, always in danger of developing a Nitrogen Toxicity situation is Humans. The one group that has a tendency to approach the issue or actually develop it is people that go from “not eating healthy” to “eating healthy” within a short period of time. Generally, these people have had a Nitrogen deficiency situation going on when their body gets flooded with Nitrogen, which is usually found at high levels in their new diets.However, the solution here is found in a balanced ratio with other front line elements, such as Boron, Silicone and Aluminum. As previously stated, I have talked about the necessity and the importance of Nutritional Aluminum. This is different from Industrial Aluminum. These elements need to be in balance and when they are, the Nitrogen Toxicity is almost non existent. Lastly, to balance out this Nitrogen and Aluminum deal so as to avoid a Nitrogen Toxicity situation, one is usually best served by eating cucumber. Many people with knowledge in this area have the belief that a cucumber a day will do the trick. I am with them in their thinking , all the way, without question. Also, to add to this confusing mess is the whole Vitamin B situation. These B Vitamins are all about Nitrogen. So if the Nitrogen ratio balances are not where they need to be, all of these B Vitamins won't be working very well. So when a person complains about anything related to B Vitamins not working, consider the Nitrogen aspect to this deal.

When it comes to Poultry, those things are a whole different animal, figuratively and literally. Most of the stuff that I mentioned in this discussion as to general rules etc.,  are just thrown out the window when it comes to Poultry as it pertains to this issue. I have some ideas that I think provide answers, but I can’t cite studies, etc., to back it up.  The main thing here is that they don’t spend enough time eating high Nitrogen foods that would push them into Nitrogen Toxicity because of their gut system. However, I think of the following situation and maybe there is where a lot of answers can be found for other types of animals as well. I learned this 3 hand, but from a very reliable source. The whole Poultry industry is being hit with Avian Flu. What has been observed by a large group of poultry producers is this, those that are Organic growers and this applies to the egg producers as well, is that the Organic crowd isn’t being hit with Avian Flu. The conventional crowd is or has been hit hard. The main factors are that the Organic crowd has the Organic feed and are allowed to have sunlight for a long period at will, each day. The conventional crowd does not have access to sunlight each day and their feed, well, it is conventional. I will leave it at that. But to help you understand what this Avian Flu is it might be best to compare it to Covid in Humans. It is not Covid, but if you were to compare it to humans and it is happening in poultry,then you might at least have a concept of how it is affecting the bird. Gives you something to ponder at the very least. 

I hope this gives you some ideas as it relates to this issue and especially if the solutions presented might be of some help to you or to ones that you know. 




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