Mineral - Antimony

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Antimony is a very interesting mineral. The name Antimony originates from the Greek words of; Anti means "not", the Monos means"alone", then the meaning, "Not Alone. The name is fitting as we find this mineral not as a stand-alone mineral, but with other minerals.  We would find the list of minerals that Antimony is found with to be a listing of over 100 other minerals, which is too long of a list to list them individually here.  Antimony is associated with the amino acid, Leucine, in which it also plays a strong role in the governing of Leucine.  The mineral is used 36,190,181 times in the genetic codon with the CUG sequence. It also carries a valence number of -3. The symbol is Sb. It stands for Stibinite, which is what Antimony is known as in the periodic table of elements. Perhaps the number one function of Antimony within the animal kingdom is and has everything to do with muscle function. In addition to muscle function, it also plays a large role in maintaining nitrogen levels. In its "gaseous" state it is found traveling with Xenon and in its solid form, it usually attaches to Aluminum, Iron, and Manganese.  So in any situation where these minerals are being presented for biological use, one would find a good chance of their daily dose of Antimony.  I say a good chance as it is not always guaranteed.  This is because Antimony is not always found with these other micro-minerals in remarkable amounts, but, generally, you will receive some of this mineral because of the wide range of food consumed from various parts of the world.  Antimony is also one of those minerals that a lack of it is serious, the right amount is very good and too much is worse than not enough. The molecular weight comes in at 121.76. Antimony is classified both as a metal and as a non-metal. It is believed to be at about the 0.000002%  in the earth's crust and is found in most soil at about 0.2 to 0.5 ppm. The symbol for this mineral is Sb. 

Antimony holds a special place in my heart as it is also the name of my hometown of where I grew up at. The valley where this town is located is at a high elevation, at about the 6453-foot elevation, a typical backwater town of about 150 people that takes a tank of gas to go anywhere and return.  In fact, the one big city newspaper out of Salt Lake City did a special section writeup one time about Antimony as a town. They had a picture of my cousin on the front page of the section.  He is usually about half corked, but then he has had a lot of heartache in his time. Anyway, they were talking about the lowest per capita income for the state of Utah. Antimony town won the honors according to the IRS zip code rankings. The number 2 town was up in the northeast part of the state and the 3rd town was the town just down the road from Antimony, Kingston. Also, settled by my ancestors. Some people accuse me of having money issues. I wonder why, lol. So when people carp and carp about the poor and being poor and slavery.., I say, yeah, tell me about it. I digress, I am sorry. The town was officially settled in 1878, mainly by my family several generations back and was called Coyote. However, they were farmers and cattlemen, not miners.  (BTW, I remember riding around with my grandpa and great grandpa in a pink Cadillac, car of choice for cattlemen back then). The records have the Antimony ore being discovered in a canyon to the southeast of town in 1880 and the town name was changed to Antimony in the 1920's. At one time they really had a large mining operation going there, but by the time I came along in the 60's there was very little left of those mining operations, but several prospectors did some mining of the Antimony ore for a number of years during the 60's and 70's. Anyway, they did a lot of mining and concentrating there for 45 +/-  and some mining for maybe another 10 years, later on.  Lots of Antimony ore was moved from there and it is from playing in the tailing piles from those mines that I learned a lot about this mineral and then really learned a lot many decades later. Because of what I learned about this mineral, I am excited to share some of that material with you. 

Antimony also has a long list of industrial uses. It is used in matches, as a metal alloy, and quite a long list of "things" electrical. What is interesting is that it is involved in the conducting and storage of electricity. The main reason why this is interesting is that it fits in with many of these micro-nutrients and one of their main uses in the industrial setting is with conducting and storage of all things electrical. This is important because electricity is essential to life with combined with photosynthesis. Plus we know that the brain is a very delicate balance of a saline type solution in which electrical impulses are carried out. So when we add this up and paint a picture that describes the whole life, brain thing, we will find that all of these little micro-minerals have to be there for the brain to function and to pretty much the same degree in the functioning of the human body as a whole. We also need to not limit this to the function in biological entities, it also plays a similar role in the plant kingdom with plants. Antimony is just one of those that are absolutely necessary for life. 

China is the largest producer of Antimony in the world today. They produce in the neighborhood of 90% of the world's supply. The known reserves are dwindling and there is a concern for this micro-mineral to be available in the long-term time frame. I searched for some mining-related material and did find a number of companies that are actively developing new reserves and bring new lines of production on line. So it appears that there will be a supply but it might just be a lot more expensive. In looking at the present price of refined Antimony, one will find that the movement of the price is all over the board, not unlike most commodities. In 2000, the price jumped from .50 cents a pound to $8.00 per pound in a very short period of time. Some historical prices were shown to be upwards of $15.00 per pound at times.  Mexico and Canada are in the process of proving out reserves and bringing into production new sources of this mineral. Also, several countries in South American are bringing new production material into the mineral markets. So in all likelihood, we will see sources of this mineral in the open markets for the foreseeable future.   

As before mentioned we find that the soil contains on average of about 1 part per million. However, that is an average of the whole. But the main deposits are found in much larger concentrations and is found with other metals.  These companies that focus on mining for Antimony make a large part of their revenues from the other metals that they extract with refining the ore to extract Antimony. When it comes to food, the testing has shown that most sources of dietary Antimony, range from the very low of 0.2 ppm to close to the range of 1.5 ppm. It is found in all sources, ie; meat, seafood, vegetables, but the largest dietary source is in seeds and nuts. So it does accumulate in the dietary sources. I will discuss this more specifically later on in this lecture. In looking at pictures of where Antimony is mined, the places where the refining facilities are and the general terrain, all look like the same place, showing very similar physical and geological characteristics among them all. Just sort of a Gee Whizz type of thing. I am sure if the full truth is known, there is a set of criteria in the formation of the earth that placed Antimony in this type of environment.

Essential OIl Related;
When it comes to the essential oils containing Antimony, one would have to say that, yes, they do contain some, but the amount is set around the same criteria as the food sources, ie; depends on the uptake by the plant and that depends on the concentration levels in the soil where the plant was grown.  This mineral is light enough to be brought over in the steam distillation process, so yes, the oils would contain some. However, one must clarify this statement as there are many forms of Antimony and a few of those forms are too heavy to come over, but as a general rule, most of the forms are light enough and the base/core of this mineral is quite light in weight. Since Antimony is readily taken up, and its ability toward miscibility, with relative ease, yes, it would be there, but hard to detect unless you had some very sensitive equipment and a good operator of that equipment. 

There is also another connection to the essential oils. Here it is; This mineral is used as the base to treat some very serious parasite issues. What we have found out by working with some people with this parasite issue is that Fennel essential oil works very effective on this issue We also developed a blend that even works more effectively than Fennel alone. I base this observation on clinical related treatments. In the last part of this lecture, I will outline the mechanism of how this works, at least based on best evidence available to the researchers on this subject. It stands to reason that Fennel EO triggers the same target points as this mineral does. Also, from appearances, this oil and the blend shows promise as a solution to Lymes disease. Before you ask, no, I really doubt that we would ever get this blend in any of the oils circles that we operate in. The reason being is that it is a clinical based treatment protocol situation and because of new legal guidelines, it becomes a very delicate proposition.  Thank the shysters of the essential oil business and really the whole natural solutions world for these regulations. After all, they got their money by being shysters, so, what else matters, right? 

With the essential oil connection, we will introduce you to some new terms that I am sure most of you are not familiar with. The first one is the Ouzo Effect or also known as the Louche Effect. OK, to explain. Ouzo is an alcoholic drink that is usually mixed with other liquors and flavors. It turns the liquid to a milky white color.  It is consumed mainly in countries like Greece, Lebanon, Turkey and that general area. But as this applies to essential oils, this is one of the adulterants used to adulterate the essential oils. Now wait a minute, there is more to it. Now I mentioned this as it relates to a drink. But as it applies to essential oils, when you do a water-to-oil emulsion using ethanol as the base, you end up with a solution derived through the Louche effect, which allows you to use water to adulterate essential oils and because of the dilution with the water, you lose the milky white color and it goes to pretty much a clear substance, then when mixed with the essential oil, it will just blend in and no color trace is observed. Why is this mentioned with the mineral Antimony? A form of Antimony is used in the base element to produce the effect because of, if you will, co-dependence on the other substances which Antimony has with the other, mainly micro-minerals, which in effect helps to keep the other components in the EO's in suspension in the mix. What is good about this is this effect, keeps the essential oil properties in suspension. Of course, if you add in a little bit of surfactant, it really juices it up. But then it technically disqualifies the EO from being organic. Because up until the point of adding the surfactant, we are still pretty much organic, in the sense that organic is traditionally known as. There really isn't any real good workable organic surfactants out there, so synthetic surfactants is the order of the day. But hey, at this point who is really caring about the organic thing anyway, right? So who knew, water as an adulterant? Interesting, right? 

In the previous paragraph, I mention about the Ouzo Effect or AKA, the Louche Effect.  I cover a lot of ground is a very short time frame and I really don't do justice to it, but that is a very simplistic, overall explanation of the whole deal. So don't take me to the woodshed when you take me to court and catch me on a technicality. Just keep in mind, general overview.  A good thing that shows promise in the future as some aspects of this is refined, the belief is that it will or at least could eliminate the need for a surfactant in many of these emulsions and even in food preparations. Anyway, as a side note, when you get people carping to you about how pure their essential oils are, ask them if they test for water in their oils. Of course, they will tell you something like, Duh, that is simple to do. All you have to do is let your EO set for a little bit and then look at it because the oil and the water will separate. Pretty simple test to do. Right?  You can then just smile because you know that they haven't the faintest idea of what you are talking about. If the people doing the adulterating have done a good job, it is pretty hard to detect, even with good testing. Unless of course you test specifically for it. But you can also use other indicators that are old school stuff, like the cold and hot water bath tests. Some tests are very delicate and complicated and other tests are so simple that it makes you scratch your head in wonderment. Several years ago, a company that I do consult work for, received a shipment of oil. When they were going through the receiving checklist, they noticed something not quite right. The color was off just a touch, an ever so faintest of a faint color that they were not accustomed to. So they stopped the process, called me, we reviewed the reports, such as the GC/MS, etc., all said that it was perfectly good oil. I had them send a sample to me, I ran some old school tests and that was where I first discovered the water dilution adulterant. In the past, I had heard some rumblings of this process, but the general consensus on this end of the aromatherapy world was, yeah right, tough to do without being detected.  Took me a while to run down all the details, but I did and now I know, lol. They argued with the supplier over it for a while, but then the supplier took it back, eventually. I have no doubt that the supplier had any idea of this type of adulteration.  It likely was done at the distillery. I am sure they sold it to some other person or company and they went about their business as having an EO that is more than pure. OK> meanwhile, on to the next part. 

Discussion and Perspectives; (The good stuff). 

Perhaps one of my most favorite aspects of this mineral is the medical aspect of it. First off, the medical aspect of this mineral. Most of the material out there on this mineral as used in medicine leads a person to believe that anything related to it was unknown prior to the pre-industrial age. Pretty much the same course with everything. Must be a conspiracy, I guess, likey really is. Anyway, enough commentary. Years ago 2when doing serious aromatherapy work, we ran into an issue, I was really struggling with it and at some point, I must have received some inspiration and from that point on I got connected to the right research material and the world opened up to me on the parasite issue. What the issue was that at the time, we were working with a number of military people coming home from the sandbox (Iraq), with these serious health issues. I got bird-dogging the material and in the end, we developed an essential oil blend that from all appearances and observations were helping these people. From my perspective, and I really am a skeptic when it comes to things like miracles, (I just want it to be for real), we started seeing miracles take place. From further research and observations, I became convinced that this problem is not a 3rd. world problem as most would have you believe, but a problem right in our neighborhood. 

Let us move on to talk about this some more. The parasite that I am referencing is Leishmania, a Trypansomiasa related issue. Leishmaniasis is a very serious issue all over the world. It is also known as Kala-azar, DumDum Fever and it is believed that many cases of Leprosy in the past was really misdiagnosed cases of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.  The vector for this is a tiny sandfly.  It feeds off from biting a person and feeds on the blood, as it transfers blood back and forth, the parasite then infects the new host. This parasite is extremely small and usually, a person would need something like a Grey Field microscope to see them in a slide sample. Anyway, Antimony is one of the minerals used to treat cases of this parasite. The main Antimony medicine they use is Hydrated Potassium Antimonyl Tartrate.  There are several other Antimony derived ones, but that is the main one and all of them do have some potentially serious side effects. The actual name for the main Antimony based medicines is Pentavalent antimonials. These are injectables, as no orals ones are on the market. There are some medicines used that are mineral based, like the Calcium based ones. How these works, in real simple terms is that they mess with the DNA-binding motifs and that causes the Zinc fingers in the RNA-DNA protein bindings to no longer function in the parasites and they die off. The name of Zinc fingers comes from the appearance of the finger looking stuff, Transcription factor IIIA in the DNA binding loops called Ligands. However, this binding requires Zinc. Zinc is used to cause polypeptide stabilization of the amino acids in this process. So now that your head is spinning, let's look at simple speak.  This parasite is either in the blood or on the skin. Various medicines are used to treat this condition. In order to treat this condition they use various treatments and the 2 main ones are Antimony mineral based and Calcium based. The method of whacking the parasite is to mess with its DNA-RNA binding sequence. It also affects the Zinc by blocking it so that the polypeptides become unstable, thus causing the DNA-RNA structures to go bonkers. The parasite dies. 

As we look at this whole deal in the previous paragraph we learn a whole bunch of stuff. We learn that Antimony and Calcium are used in a specific combination with other factors and ingredients to mess with the DNA and RNA of a parasite. We also learn from the obtuse that Zinc is absolutely necessary to stabilize polypeptides within the DNA and RNA. Essentially we learn the importance of 3 different minerals and their relationship to DNA and RNA. We also know that many of the essential oils will have some sort of influence on many of these minerals. While I do not believe that they always go directly to the target, they will affect some action that will precipitate mineral activation on a foreign invader within the whole DNA structure as well as other body structures and that in turn activates a long list of actions to bring the body back into the programmed function of that body.  What we do know is that it appears that there is a relationship between Antimony and Fennel. It affects change in the same way. We know that plants like Clary Sage appear to have a relationship with Calcium. The advantage of using an essential oil in a topical application, we get to benefit from the action before it hits the liver. Many times, not all of the time the Liver will affect a synthesis of one element into another. Sometimes this can be used to our advantage and it really is what happens to many of the essential oils. So the one real issue that we end up with in aromatherapy is people want to do something, thinking it is a simple stimulus-response episode and it isn't. So they ask for a simple one-line solution to an extremely complex problem and it just is not that simple. But the fascinating thing about this is the mineral connection.  The importance of the mineral in the function and the solution. 

Anyway, back to the parts about the research phase of the parasite issue. When I was researching this, I found that about 1000, yes, one thousand years ago, they were using Antimony in the solutions to this parasite issue. In an Islamic Medical text, I was reading in talked about how they prepared the solution. It wasn't clear on how they administered it, but it did discuss it. I also found references to it in the Bible. The only real problem with these solutions of Antimony was a heavy metal, for purposes of this application, and as a result, heavy metal toxicity took place and they lost a lot of people from poisoning. I guess it was one of those treatments that would either kill you or cure you.  In simple words, they have worked with this problem from the time the first people showed up in the middle east and up to the present time. The Army has had this issue plaguing them from the first day they showed up there. They are fully aware of the disease and they do take measures to prevent it. But once the troops start showing signs of having it, they kick them to the curb. They just do superficial treatments. However, for a while, they do treat the troops with these Antimonial drugs. I sometimes wonder if the suicide problems with Veterans from having served in the sandbox could be traced back to this parasite. The behavior of this parasite, once it gets into the brain, many times will affect these types of behaviors in the host. Just makes me wonder.  

Now on to other things regarding this mineral. Back before the "modern" era of life, up until the last century anyway, they used Antimony as a solution to stomach issues. They touted this mineral as a cure-all for "all digestive issues", other places have it listed to "purge and revitalize" the bowels.   Have you heard of the Antimony Pill?  Well what it was is a little piece of Antimony and it was taken orally, hopefully, some of it dissolved and affected a treatment of the mineral. Here is a cut and paste from Wikipedia.
According to the Medico-Pharmaceutical Critic and Guide (1907), edited by William J. Robinson:
We have referred in the past to the economy which used to be practiced by our forefathers. Thus, for instance, it was customary to use leeches over and over again and there are instances of infection with syphilis by leeches that had been previously used on luetic patients. But we believe that the everlasting cathartic pill beats everything in the line of the economy. This pill was a little bullet composed of metallic antimony which had or was believed to have the property of purging as often as it was swallowed. It is not inconceivable that it might have had such property, for it is possible that a minute amount was dissolved by the gastro-intestinal juices and this amount, plus the suggestion, was sufficient to produce cathartic action. Then again the everlasting pill probably aided peristalsis by its mechanical weight and motion. The bullet was passed out, recovered from the feces and used over and over again. This, as Dr. J. A. Paris says, was economy in right earnest, for a single pill would serve a whole family during their lives and might be transmitted as an heirloom to posterity.

OK, well interesting deal I would say. I might just try an Antimony treatment on myself, as I have some Antimony ore. But I will scrape a little bit off and normally, I am a strong believer in recycling, but in this situation, I think I won't recycle. I don't have to economize as I can go up into that canyon next summer and get all I need to serve any purpose I might have for this mineral. Also, there was another situation where they used Antimony for this purpose. It is called an Antimonial cup. What they would do in medieval times is fill it up with wine and let it sit for 24 hours and then drink it. The idea was that the acid would leach off some Antimony and a bowel treatment would take place.A drawback to that was if the wine was too acidic, too much Antimony would dissolve off and a toxicity issue would present its self.  Another interesting aspect to this ore/mineral is that it comes in 2 different forms based on appearance. The one version looks like a long slivery, shiny, blue grain to it. The alchemists of old-time referred to this type as the female version of it. The other version of it is a dark, drab blue/grey that resembles hard clay. It is a little bit softer than the harder female version of it. I have samples of both. Up until I learned of this aspect, I guess it is true, I was unsure of why the male type was showing up. The alchemists claim that in order to affect a healing action or affect a cure, you have to use the female version. The male version is not effective for medicinal purposes. This aspect, if true, would explain the differential in tests and trials of why one test/trial would work and another might not. Could be something to that aspect.  

Along these lines, it should be noted that Antimony displays many aspects as does Arsenic. Sometimes it can be confused with Arsenic-related issues. However, someone that is aware of this aspect can usually distinguish between the two situations with relative ease.  I also searched and searched the propaganda on Antimony and cancer. I could not find anything that would indicate any real connection, such as toxicity causing cancer as it relates to Antimony. The only valid reference to cancer in the Antimony material is that it claims that Antimony is non-carcinogenic. 

As I wrap this long lecture up I need to come back to the food aspect. What is interesting is that this mineral does accumulate in the plant or animal, which makes for a good solid source for a dietary source pool. While it does accumulate in most foods, it has a tendency to accumulate more heavily in seeds and nuts. The ppm is a lot more in the seeds and nuts than in the other food sources.  With this aspect in mind, you can perhaps explain why vegetarians and vegans tend to gravitate towards eating seeds and nuts at a higher rate than the non-types of these. I know they say that it is for protein sources, but Antimony is vital for muscle function, so, what else can be said? 

I would love to discuss more on this subject but I think this should cover this mineral for our purposes here. Thank you for your time and I do hope you find this lecture material to be of use to you.

Kent King