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Peppermint; Organic, Cobalt Related.

Oct 11, 2023

I would like to have a discussion here that is centered around Peppermint. This discussion
really is important as Peppermint is a plant that has many uses. The Essential Oil of
Peppermint is a very useful EO and can be used in a wide range of uses and many of those
uses are unrelated, with remarkable success.
In some studies, overseas of course. When Assessing Cobalt applications to Peppermint. In
countries that use the metric system, the acreage is measured by Hectare. A Hectare is
determined by 1 Hectare = 2.47 acres in the US. This would be 7.7 L. per acre using the
production figures in the next paragraph for the control. But to go US even further it means
16 pounds of oil produced per acre at the control measurement of 19 L. per hectare. To further give some perspective, the PPM conversion is as follows; 1 PPM =0.001 mg/g.  or you can see it as 1mg/g = 1000 PPM. So as you can see when we say 15 PPM, In either case, it is a very small amount. Also, this last growing season, my daughter, Katherine,  has a greenhouse growing business. Last spring she talked with me about some ideas for fertilization. I suggested that she try using one of the products that I suggest all the time in my container gardening discussions.  Just today I had a chance to review what she ended up doing and the results. She used the one conditioning mineral that we can get locally, which is an inland sea product. She had those tomato plants grow to 7 feet tall. They were loaded with tomatoes. Can I hear a drum roll here... please... one of the key ingredients in that mineral package is Cobalt. Of course there are a number of other minerals are there as well, in the correct portions and ratios, in the range of that 15 PPM level.  The Selenium salt has a 50 PPM analysis. This conditioning stuff is simply volcanic ash. This ash layer is setting on top of the salt seam. Of course general type soil lays on top of the volcanic ash.  This ash that was used as a fertilizer was the only amendment used and she used it at the rate of 1 tablespoon per plant. She just deposited it at the base of the plant and watered it in.  Do I have your interest yet? Anyway, let’s keep it metric going forward for simplicity and get back to the task at hand.
A field that was used as a control produced 19 L. per HA. In the one test plot as a part of the
experiment, by adding Cobalt at 15 PPM, they produced 39 L. per HA. Then in another field
at 30 PPM, they produced 26 L. per HA. The assessment was best at 15 PPM. Also, at this
rate they found that the Cobalt application gave the best results for Magnesium, Zinc and
Copper content.  Also, in various studies they have shown that a good Peppermint oil does not lose it's Calcium, Sodium, Manganese, Niacin, Folate and Vitamin A and C levels as do the "in your face aroma" Peppermint oils. The better the Peppermint oil, the one element that suffers in this zero sum game is Menthol. The better the oil, the lower the Menthol level, thus allowing for some, yet limited use among the single digit age rug rats. In many Organic settings, the Organic certificates will not allow for
commercial application of fertilizers, such as Cobalt, unless it is listed in their certificates.  It has to come through other approved sources,
like Compost, etc.. By using a natural source, yet inorganic, of Cobalt, the plant will attach a Carbon
Molecule, thus making it organic by all traditional standards.By using this one mineral and at
the optimal PPM level, it produced the most and best Peppermint oil, overall and it optimized
the the Magnesium, Zinc and Copper content. So you can see that just this one type of oil,
as being the driver of the whole, influenced several other minerals as well.
Other factors with Cobalt in Peppermint plants is that it allows for better water utilization by
the roots, thus leading to a better hydrated plant. Of course we know that a Peppermint plant
requires a huge amount of water to make for a good healthy peppermint plant. In other gee
whizz stuff they found out in these studies that new/freshly reclaimed soils did best with
Peppermint added at 7.50 PPM levels. Overall, these so-called higher order
plants show a much better beneficial outcome by the proper use of Cobalt.
Other higher order plants like Rosemary, Basil, Coriander, Dill and Lemongrass all have
shown this beneficial effect by the application of Cobalt as part of the overall plant growing
process. However, with Basil, the Linalool was best at 15 PPM and the Methyl Chavicol
was best at 30 PPM applications. So some interesting variations here with various PPM
One of the issues that affect the nutritive/therapeutic values with the organic aspect is this; a
plant cannot utilize ORGANIC Nitrogen. They can only utilize INORGANIC Nitrogen. Let that
sink in. So the plant can only use 1 of 2 forms of Nitrogen. The NO3- form of Nitrogen. In
simple terms, this is a Nitrogen molecule with 3 oxygen molecules and carrying a negative
charge. The NH4+ form is the other. In simple terms this is Ammonium with another
Hydrogen molecule added, but in even more simple terms it is a form of Nitrogen that is
Inorganic. Since we are talking about Cobalt, we see Cobalt forming a relationship,
beneficial, with Carbon, Phosphorus, and with Sulfur as it applies to plant nutrition and I
might add animal nutrition. In walking this back, we soon see that by removing some of
these Nitrogen molecules, we move to the formation of water. So basically these plants
when grown in high water environments we see the NH4+ taking the lead role of Nitrogen
contribution potential action. In the dryer environments we see the NO3- taking on the lead
role of Nitrogen contribution potential action. Both of which are inorganic and then become
organic when processed by the plant. The NO3- is simply called Nitrate. It is moved and
many times large amounts are lost to ground water run off. The Ammonium form, the NH4+
is quickly taken up by the proteins of the plant and not as much loss occurs.
However, I have made mention of a good source of Nitrogen. That is Urine. Yes, go out and
pee on your plants. Lol. But isn’t that Organic? Well, no not really. That form of Nitrogen is in
the form of Ammonium which is NH4+. This is a very good form of Nitrogen. Perhaps
because it is quickly taken up and used by the plant. Urea is another form of Nitrogen. Urea
is formed from Anhydrous Ammonia, which is NH3. As a side note, one figure that I seen is
that in the US, we produce about 90 million gallons of pee per day, which translates to 7
million pounds of Nitrogen per day, along with a huge amount of Phosphorus and
Potassium.So why have I gone on this tangent with Nitrogen? Well, because of the whole
Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium triad that has to be balanced or nothing else works
and the key to bring all of this together to work is..drum roll please… Cobalt.
So with the Organic stuff, well, just because it is Organic, does not always make it better.
Now being Organic from an absence of chemical/synthetic application is good, actually
vitally good, but not from nutritional values from good natural sources. But most Organic
demands from the public are just from virtue signalling anyway, So what do you do? So
when it comes to providing "Organic" vs "not certified Organic", yet responsibly grown,
well... people don't bother to see beyond the virtue signalling process as to what isn't in the
organic and why and what is in the responsibly grown. Anyway, that is a long discussion to
get into the technical points. The big problem with these strict Organic Certifying agencies is
that they don’t define the difference of synthetic vs. Natural source, such as ground up rock
fertilizers such as Phosphates or Potash, is that these perfectly good additives, but in a
sense Inorganic by the chemistry definition, well, they aren’t used. Then that sick plant gets
used in the compost pile. Problem is that if the plant was sick, deficient in something, it can’t
contribute to the overall health of the compost. Then in most soil applications, people will use
huge amounts of Compost, maybe 50% amount or more. Normally you only need about 5 to
10% of the growing medium to be compost. According to a soil building book that I have, the
soil should contain about 25% air, 25% water and 25% Minerals with about 5% compost.
The other 20% is just misc. Material that is just filler.
So with Peppermint, if it is responsibly grown/not organic certified.. Many times it is much
better than any Organic Peppermint oil. Why? Well look at Cobalt and the role it plays. I
have pointed out Cobalt as an example. There are several other ones that will carry a huge
influence as well. But Cobalt ties the metal type minerals and the non metal types of
minerals together so they can all work. But all many people really care about is the labeling.
They just make assumptions as to why it is Organic or even not Organic. With this, as a
provider or better yet an Aromachologist, I have to play a game with the single oils,I have to
make sure it is in your face aroma and play the Organic game. But in blends, then I can go in
and use what is best to accomplish the goal. However, this does not mean I condone just
any oil. I look at many indicators. I don't do the ..cide game. But natural sourced/not
synthetic nutrition application, is where I go. As a side note, to quote from the book that I
previously mentioned, “Building Soil” by Elizabeth Murphy (2015). She claims this;”There is
no doubt that a living soil, amended regularly with organic material, can meet soil nutrient
needs. Nonetheless, as you start the process of building healthy soils, organic matter alone
may fall short of plants’ nutrient needs. When this happens, you can use concentrated
fertilizers as a temporary fix to fill in the gaps”. Then she goes on to say that filling in the
blanks, IE: what the plant needs and what the soil has, is filling in the blanks. She calls this
approach “Whole soil fertility”. So many times the best approach is to fill in the blanks.
Overdoing it by excesses is not a very good approach for plants, the soil or even animals, IE;
people. Anyway, the whole soil fertility approach is what makes for a quality Peppermint oil
and for that matter any oil. We can even use this concept to our individual health needs. I
like this approach and I use it and have experienced remarkable progress in the
improvement of my own health.
So when it comes to growing Peppermint and producing a high quality oil for therapeutic
purposes, all of these factors must play into the whole. A really solid therapeutic Peppermint
oil will not have an “In your face, knock your hat off, aroma”. It will have a mild and almost
lower aroma level than say Spearmint. There are some extremely good Organic Certified
Peppermint essential oils. These oils are grown by some really good farmers and it really
doesn’t have anything to do with being Organically certified or not Organically certified. Most
growers of the donor plants used for essential oil production know full well that if they use
these various “...cides” it will be detected and they will be railroaded out of the production
business. But still a few of them will try to beat the system, so we have to watch out for those
shysters. However, overall, a good Peppermint oil will go a long way in correcting many
issues that people have. The key to it is the NKP triad with Cobalt running the show.
Thank you for your time and interest. OH BTW, what oil works best for me and I use it all the
time to help me to drift off to sleep??? A high quality, subdued aroma, Peppermint EO. KK


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