Oyster Shells – for Ear Ringing & Chickens

Grinding Oyster Shells

Grinding Oyster Shells

My husband is standing over the sink, staring at a pile of oyster shells.

“How is one suppose to eat oyster shells?” he asks me.

“Why would you want to?” I respond as I’m peering in the sink at a pile of shucked shells.

“That’s what I am suppose to eat according to the book you gave me to cure the ringing in my ears,” he replies.

He’s referring to the book Tao of Nutrition by Dr. Maoshing Ni.

My husband, Rich, has had ringing in his ears since he suffered a bad case of Lyme disease and took a mega-dose of antibiotics. I say the ringing is from too much antibiotics, but regardless where it stems from, he is trying to cure it with oyster shells.

The next time I come into the kitchen he has my mortar and pestle and he is grinding the oyster shells.

“Yummy!” I say. “I’d like to see you chew that up”, and, “how is it going to feel coming out?”

I have to say that am totally impressed with his persistence to ingest these shells.

I am curious about oyster shells. I know this is the source for calcium citrate. How does one know the correct amount to ingest? How much is too much? Also, Rich gets kidney stones, which can be caused by too much calcium. I wonder if this is a concern?

Here we have this ultimate source of calcium right in our sink – in a pure form – AND they’re local! These oysters came from our neighborhood (Tisbury Great Pond) less than five miles from our home. Wouldn’t this be the best form or calcium to take – if one can get it down and figure out the right amount?

As the day progresses and the shells stay in the sink with the crushed pile, I remember that we are supposed to give ground oyster shells to our chickens. Laying hens require four times more calcium in their diet to support laying and to create eggs with hard shells. Extra calcium is essential to help prevent thin eggshells. Eggshells consist primarily of calcium carbonate, the same material found in oyster shells. Calcium supplements are typically ground-up oyster shells or natural calcium stones. These dissolve in the hens’ digestive tract and add calcium to their diet. Who needs to purchase these additives when I have them in my sink?

So, I end up tossing all of the ground oyster shells to the chickens. They will surely benefit.  I realize the outcome of Rich ingesting them isn’t clear and now we may never know if ground oyster shells can actually cure ringing in the ears…

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens when we get the next batch of oysters offering another opportunity to experiment further.

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