The Discovery of the Earth in Humans – Minerals in Us

What does it mean when I write “the Earth in Humans”?

The earth can be seen as a metaphor for the inorganic and organic matter. And minerals as inorganic substances, build a connection between these two matters. Because it is also the inorganic matter that cares about the function of the organic matter, what we are.


It is like the law of potential, which describes that everything in the animated and inanimated world has a counterpart. But unlike the inorganic matter, the organic matter can only survive in combination with the inorganic matter.


So in this post, I want to tell you something about the discovery of the earth in humans. We can call the inorganic matter of the earth in us minerals.


How do Minerals develop?

Minerals have been on earth much longer than life exists. Their history begins as the earth began to exist.

The formation of minerals does take place when rocks emerge. This can happen through the process of cooling magma. The raw rocks will then be further processed by environmental influences. Additionally, new minerals originate by the interaction of rocks, which causes pressure and heat.



So now we know that minerals are present on earth much longer than vitamins. So they are in fact representatives of the history of the foundation of the earth that we carry.

Bring that into your mind, when you compare the existence and the discovery of minerals, as well as the importance of them for us. The history of the discovery of minerals through us as humanity is much younger.


Who was the Discoverer of Minerals?

In the last post in this category, we got to know something about the classification of minerals.

Talking about the discovery of minerals we also need to differentiate the two groups of minerals.


There are 7 essential macro elements in us, which are mandatory: (magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, chlorine, phosphorus and sulfur)

Within the exploration of the macro- or bulk elements, there has to be named especially one person. There is the talk of Sir Humphry Davy. He was an English chemist, born in the late 18th century. In the beginning of the 19th century around the year 1808, he discovered nearly all macro elements. This is true for calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and chlorine. Only sulfur and phosphorus were not his discoveries. For sulfur, he actually did the prior experiments and phosphorus was discovered much earlier in Germany in the late 17th century.


There are 16 essential micro- or trace elements in us, which are mandatory: (iron, iodine, copper, manganese, zinc, cobalt, molybdenum, selenium, chromium, vanadium, fluorine, silicon, nickel, arsenic, boron, lithium)

Most of the trace elements were discovered in the late 18th and early 19th century, excluding the metals iron, copper, and cobalt, which were known much longer. The discoverer were mostly of German, French or Swedish origin.


What do we have to consider comparing chemistry and nutrition?

To be precise, we must insist that the explorations above belong to the discovery of the pure chemical element. And I am sure that probably no one of the discoverer, which were mostly chemists or physics, have known the importance of the elements as minerals for our health and vitality.

The assumption of the importance of minerals in a wider range for our health began in the late 19th century and initially in the early 20th century expressions like vital substances for minerals came up. It happened mostly together with the detection of the importance of vitamins.

That goes hand in hand with the foundation of nutrition science, which first rose in the 20th century.


Now to you. What is most remarkable for you, considering the history of the discovery of minerals? What will you probably see differently after reading this article? Let us know in the comments. And come back again for further information on the topic of health and nutrition.

6 thoughts on “The Discovery of the Earth in Humans – Minerals in Us”

  • After reading your article, I have a new appreciation for them because they are so beautiful when found on earth in rocks. They are also so important to our health and we need to make sure we have enough of each kind in us.

    Really enjoyed your take on this and learned a lot, thanks!

    • Grace, yes you are right. Minerals in nature really can be quite beautiful. And the amount of them in us is so tiny compared to their quantity in nature. So it is possible to get enough of them for our health. I´m always happy if I can make reading my articles enjoyable.

  • This is a very interesting article Tobias. I think minerals are totally misunderstood and underused. But yet, they are so important to our wellbeing. The introduction was a bit deep. Somewhat metaphysical. But I totally get it. We are very much connected to the Earth and it to us.

    I totally was unaware of the last three minerals being part of the human body – chlorine, phosphorus and sulfur. What foods do we need to consume to get these three elements? Or do we need to take supplements?

    • Hi Kevon,
      yes I can agree with you. The introduction is deep, as it came up very spontaneously. And I left it there because it seems so important to know that the earth and we are deeply connected.

      It is astonishing that there are so many minerals, which help our body processes to work well. You don´t have to take supplements in order to get enough chlorine, phosphorus and sulfur. Chlorine as a chemical element is poisonous, but as an ion it is used to process nerve signals. It comes in great quantities together with sodium as salt (sodium chloride). Sulfur can be found in garlic and onions. It is also responsible for the tears. Most food contains phosphorus. Great sources are nuts, vegetables and fruits.
      Hope that helps.

  • Very interesting article. I was surprised to know how rocks arose before minerals and the part they play in their originating. I also leaned here that the essential, macro and macro trace minerals, of humans are really the core of our bodies. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Maurice,
      good to know that you could learn something new. It´s super that you point out the importance of minerals for our body. That encourages me to provide my readers with additional information on how to live healthy with the right amount of minerals.

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