Aric D. Cox, DC
Within most of the healing arts communities, silica most commonly draws thoughts towards homeopathic energy that supports skin, bone, and connective tissue health. Its elemental doppelganger, silicon, conjures thoughts of computer chips, processors, and an entire valley devoted to its innovation. However, it is in the human body that the substance of silicon and energy of silica converge. It is here that it outshines every technological advancement to come out of Silicon Valley and performs more profound functions than just structural support. Because of it our cell membranes act like supercomputers and each cell has its antenna-like network in which it sends and receive information. But in an age of rising autoimmunity (loss of self-recognition), hypersensitivity (stimulus overload), and increasing knowledge at our fingertips while simultaneously losing self-awareness, is there more need for this substance than ever?
One must wonder if the EMF-laden devices that are ever present in hour hands with their glass touch screens has any impact on the integrity of our body? As stated by James Oschman in Energy Medicine1:
Since organic molecules are being used in the electronics industry to manufacture microscopic molecular circuits, it is not a big leap to suggest that a molecular electronic network within the organism can communicate, storing, and processing information…(Oschman 2016).
Not enough attention is paid to the energetic interactions we have with our surroundings. The power of what we can’t see has yet to have its full significance on its influence on what we can see. Natural healthcare has the tools necessary to support vitality despite our toxic environment. Yet, its acceptance and application are not keeping up with the rate at which the modern world is tearing us down. Natural healthcare is still far behind with too much attention placed on assuring that patients get enough of the macro-minerals (magnesium, zinc, calcium) and the trace minerals tend to get lumped into one substance only to be considered as together versus appreciated individually.
From a bioregulatory medicine standpoint, we must maintain respect for the role of each nutrient and building block. Of particular importance is the role of silica. From cell physiology to homeopathy, silica is well known for its structural, energetic, and constitutional significance.
Silicon vs Silica
Clearing up the terminology can be most helpful going forward. Silicon is the elemental level of this substance. Silica can refer to the combination of silicon and oxygen. Quartz, as an example, is a silicate made from the pure combination of silicon and oxygen. Silica also is the designation given to the homeopathic potentized form of silicon dioxide (flint). Unless described otherwise, “silica” will refer to the homeopathic remedy.
Silicon is a chief element in earth's crust in the mostly in the form of quartz, flint, or sand. The human body contains 7 grams of silicon and is founds in connective tissue, hair, and nails. Because of this role in bone health and connective tissue health, it has been determined to be an essential nutrient in our diet.
But taking a deeper look into silica, thanks to the discoveries and works compiled by James Oschman, we know silica plays a more fundamental and essential role. Silicon is found in its water-soluble form, orthosilic acid, in the blood and bound to glycoproteins in tissues. Silicon stabilizes the glycosaminoglycan network, which is the water containing aspect of connective tissue. Each cell is filled with a microtrabecular lattice that forms the ground substance within the cell and all organelles are suspended and interconnected. By stabilizing this connection, silicon allows efficient conveying and storage of current, charge, and vibrational information between cell and biological terrain.2 Therefore, it is reasonable to silicon allows a proper interface between the fluid-based soil of the biological terrain and the autonomic nervous system.
For Structure and Senses
With the mind-body-spirit awareness of anthroposophic medicine, potentized silica is essential for composing our physical and energetic framework. Much like quartz comprising the windows of our homes, anthroposophy posits that silica creates the “windows” into each sphere of our body. The presence of silica allows the imponderable (immeasurable) forces of the world to permeate into the body: light, sound, thought.3 It influences what is called the nerve-sense system. This is the cold, resting, low metabolism ying aspect of our function that helps us take in information. It is primarily represented by the brain and nervous system.
From our embryonic beginnings, silica establishes our formative forces. Being that the body is covered in a fine meshwork of silica is necessary to lay down boundaries. Just like the old proverb reminds us, “good fences make good neighbors”, silica helps organs establish their boundaries between each other. This delimiting effect not only helps organs sense each other and respect each other's space, but also aides in bacterial colonization. For instance, silica is a component of the glycocalyx that lines the stomach and keeps Helicobater pylori at a proper distance.4
Silica also works within and establishes our boundaries from without via our sense organs. Therefore, silica deficiencies may arise from a lack of boundaries to outside influences. When we allow our “windows” to be too open, we allow too much of the wrong influences into our body. These may come from our choosing the wrong social influences and having fixed mindsets, thereby limiting our potential, and poisoning our mind. Or they may be forced upon us as in EMFs and creating discord in every level of our being, not just the integrity of our silica. Either way, this makes a way for hypersensitivities to occur. The stimuli around us overload the nerve-sense sytem.
Anthroposophic medicine understands that balance within the body comes because of polar opposites. In the case of silica, it is balanced out by the effects of sulphur. I’ve heard the interplay between these two forces described like that of a hot air balloon. In this picture the balloon refers to silica and sulphur is the hot air. While sulfur forces drive the metabolic fires of our cellular engines, silica gives it shape. It contains our metabolism so that no energy is lost so that we may rise.
Taking the law of similars approach of homeopathy, the rigid nature and lengthy process of producing silica in nature play out in its potentized form. Just like how silica gets into the earth’s crust through erosion of rigid materials (i.e., flint), as a remedy, silica works well with chronic conditions that develop slowly over time. More than likely, chronic conditions appear as the result of the inflexibility (mentally, physically) of the individual.
Catherine R. Coulter, in her Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines books, describes the “silica” type beautifully through the metaphors of the grain of sand, the stalk of wheat, and the cricket.5 The grain of sand explains the silica type for their hardness and the way they more readily form fibroids, keloids, cysts, tumors, and swollen glands. Though they lack grit, silica exhibits grittiness in tissues and sandpaper like hands and cheeks. As in the silica that gives endurance to holding the grain until it ripens, so does this remedy give stamina to the mind when it is easily fatigued by thought. It gives strength and form to the body when overcome by overexertion. And finally, much like the cricket, when silica is full of energy, they can be fidgety and chirp away day and night. Their main limitation to continuing their song depends on warmth just as the cricket flourishes in the summer and diminishes in the winter’s cold.
A most helpful aspect to potentized silica is that it produces inflammation around deposits (thorns, needles, splinters). It also ripens cysts, abscesses, and helps old wounds to heal. This becomes advantageous both in the acute and chronic healing of the biological terrain. Through the bioregulatory medicine lens, silica can be pivotal when assisting a patient back through the disease evolution pathways.
Dr. Thomas Rau mentions in his Biological Medicine textbook, that silica should be used early in the treatment process for most chronic conditions to help detoxify the terrain.6 Especially in low potency or Schuessler cell salt potency (6X). Silica can also assist in clearing many of the disruptive fields seen in old infections and scar tissue.
Diet and Lifestyle
The biggest threat to silicon deficiency is a diet heavy in animal products. Not only is the excess protein deleterious to the biological terrain, eating more meat than plants severely limit our access to enough silicon. While classified as a trace mineral our daily needs are approximately 20-50mg.
Plants absorb orthosilic acid from soil and convert it to polymerized silicon for its mechanical/structural function within the plant. Thus, high fiber/high plant diets assure good, readily useable silicon amounts. However, silicon does require sufficient stomach acid iso that it may be absorbed directly through stomach and intestinal lining.
When silicon levels are sufficient it is best represented in the health of not only the brain of each cell (the membrane), but the brain as well. In a world of increasing amounts of neurotoxicity in our environment, our delicate nervous system needs all the support it can get. Many studies have been done on the degenerative presence of aluminum on the brain, but a French study showed what happens when silicon is used preventatively. They found the degenerative neurological effect of aluminum in drinking water when silicon was not present. But higher concentrations of silicon showed less likely impairments in cognitive function.7
Of course, no substance works alone in a vacuum. Silicon needs other elements and nutrients to perform its function and silica is facilitated by complementary energies. Herbs, orthomolecular nutrients, light, frequency, touch are all necessary to synergize the role of silicon in the body. Each patient’s need is different and yet foundationally, without this trace nutrient given its full due, energy medicine, functional medicine, western medicine, and bioregulatory medicine can only go so far.
1. Oschman, James L. Energy Medicine: the Scientific Basis. Elsevier, 2016.
2. Monnier VM, Mustata GT, Biemel KL, Reihl O, Lederer MO, Zhenyu D, Sell DR. Cross-linking of the extracellular matrix by the maillard reaction in aging and diabetes: an update on "a puzzle nearing resolution". Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:533-44. doi: 10.1196/annals.1333.061. PMID: 16037276.
3. Husemann, Friedrich. “Silica (Quartz).” The Anthroposophic Approach to Medicine, by Friedrich Husemann and Otto Wolff, vol. 2, Mercury Press, 2014, pp. 118–119. 4. Ogata M, Araki K, Ogata T. An electron microscopic study of Helicobacter pylori in the surface mucous gel layer. Histol Histopathol. 1998 Apr;13(2):347-58. doi: 10.14670/HH 13.347. PMID: 9589892.
5. Coulter, C. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines, by C. R. Coulter, vol. 2, Churchill Livingstone, 1997, pp. 63–96.
6. Rau, Thomas, and Thomas Rau. Biological Medicine. Semmelweis-Institut, Verl. für Naturheilkunde, 2011.
7. Jacqmin-Gadda H, Commenges D, Letenneur L, Dartigues JF. Silica and aluminum in drinking water and cognitive impairment in the elderly. Epidemiology. 1996 May;7(3):281-5. doi: 10.1097/00001648-199605000-00011. PMID: 8728442.
Aric D. Cox, DC