Ted on Fulvic Acid: Very few people know about humic acid. In India it is called shaljit, which is an ancient Ayurvedic medicine, but more people however know about the people of Hunzas who live to be over 100 years old. The source of humic acid comes from the leornardite layers of the brown coal. Leonardite is the plant juices that dried up through oxidation. What is so interesting is that it was formed when dinosaurs were roaming the earth. To make a long story short, this humic acid contains an active ingredient called fulvic acid which has over 70+ minerals chelated.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
Fulvic Acid Fertilizer
[QUESTION] 03/22/2010: Erin from Auburn, Ca Usa: "I bought some fulvic acid to use as fertilizer. It is concentrated at 75%. I was assured it was the highest quality, it is a golden yellow color.
My problem is that I do not know how to mix it. My seller in china speaks broken english and his mixing instructions seem waaaaay too strong."
03/23/2010: Rena from Mineral Bluff, Georgia, Usa replies: "Hi Erin From Auburn,
Can you pull up a website from the company you bought it from, or a phone number you can call and ask? Different companies may have different dilution ratios, it best to contact them if you can. Peace, Rena."
06/23/2010: Kate Tang from Nanning, Guangxi,china replies: "Hi, Erin From Auburn, generally speaking dilution ratio of fulvic acid powder to water is 1:400-1:800.We are fulvic acid manufacturer in China. If you need any information of fulvic acid, please do not hesitate to contact me. my company: Tian Yuan Shun Feng Tech. Co., Ltd.
my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org"
03/28/2011: Carol from Tianjin replies: "HI, we are a manufacturer of fulvic acid. Our fulvic acid can be supplied with 80%, so sorry the highest not 75%. And if you have any qyestions about this products, welcome to connect with us by carol(at)x-humate(doc)com"
05/16/2012: Sasa from Portland, Or replies: "I was looking for fulvic acid and I was so fortunate I found a place in Oregon that sold it I ordered it and it was swiftly delivered to my door This fulvic acid that I ordered is for human consumption and the cost was about one hundred dollars and it was worth it the container was like a gallon or something and last forever."
04/29/2013: Bennie from Dublin, Ireland replies: "Question: Does anyone know of specific research that describes the effect of Humic and Fulvic acids on the skin please?"
03/20/2013: Ann from Brevard, N.c.: "I would like to know how important it is for the fulvic acid to be a glass container. I purchased from a U.S. Company, but it came in a heavy plastic bottle. Also, what is the usual amount to take in 8 oz. of non-chlorinated water? (I always start with a small doses to avoid any allergic reaction). Please email me with this info asap: rustic23 (at) hotmail [dot] com. Thanks sooo much!"
03/13/2013: Lauren from Queens, Ny: "Hey EC... I so badly want to try fulvic acid after reading so much good reviews however, I am kinda worried cause why would we want to put stuff that contains bromine, fllouride, cadimum etc in our body when we hear how harmful substances are to humans? Just a thought..someone/anyone any explanation. Like I said I would really love to try this. Thank you guys..."Replies
03/14/2013: Bill from San Fernando, Philippines replies: "Hi Lauren... I use humic/fulvic acid on a weekly basis. I also just buy it from the garden center as granules or powder because its way cheaper than buying the organic or edible "standardized" forms.
To make the drink I just add a small amount of Humic Acid to water so that the water has a light brown see-through appearance(not black). I also always add a small amount of sodium bicarbonate to make the water alkaline. Then I just add a few drops of lugols iodine or a few drops of 10% sodium thiosulphate to remove any heavy metals and bad halogens and then just drink it like that.
Humic acid is just 75 million year old plant humus that has been broken down by enzymes and has also had high thermodynamic pressure applied to it because it is found compacted in rock strata.
Humic Acid makes body metabolism much more efficient, it is a wonderful detoxer of poisons and also has strong anti-viral action."
03/14/2013: Loren from Queens replies: "Hi Bill... Thank you for all that information. One question though.. Is humic acid and fulvic acid the same? Thanks a million."
03/14/2013: Bill from San Fernando, Philippines replies: "Hi Loren... Humic acid is acid soluble whereas fulvic acid is not. It is really the fulvic acid that is most useful for the body. Humic acid is also useful for plants because the HA component can absorb many times its own weight in water -- and this is useful for plants needing water. Not so essential in humans because we have our own water regulation mechanisms. Fulvic acid is the one that has all the beneficial properties.
So, to just get only the fulvic acid component, Ted also recommends adding a tspn or two of ACV or ordinary vinegar to the HA/FA mixture, thus acidifying the mixture, which will therefore act to precipitate out and remove the Humic acid component, leaving just the more useful and beneficial Fulvic acid in solution."
03/15/2013: Loren from Queens replies: "Thanks, Bill!!!"
03/11/2013: Ann from Brevard, North Carolina, U.S.: "I would like more info on Fulvic Acid. I purchased some from the U.S. (source is China). I have Lyme Disease and Celiac/lots of food allergies/digestive issues. Is Fulvic acid something that will aid those issues? I also need help with dosage, etc. from someone with a good history using it. And can it be toxic at all? thanks so much!"
12/27/2012: Irina from Jamaica, Ny/usa: "Dear Earth clinic, I would like to reach Ted with couple of question about Humic acid and diet as well as other supplementation while taking it. thanks, Irina"
12/22/2012: Dannelle from Mckinney, Tx Usa: "Hello my name is Dannelle and I am looking to do additional research on fulvic acid. In searching via Internet I have found multiple times an allusion to further benefits of fulvic acid beyond physical regeneration. I have been using from a reputable source, and currently experiencing herx symptoms, and I am also having vivid/lucid dreams. I am looking for guidance to find resources to learn more about the propertities of fulvic acid in this regard, perhaps emotional and spiritual, that cannot be shared in a public forum. I thank you in advance. Sincerely, Dannelle"
08/19/2012: Emre from Istanbul, Turkey: "Hi, I'm new to this forum. I live in Istanbul - Turkey and it's very difficult to find fulvic acid or pure Humic acid here. However, we have plenty of Leonardite, which is supposed to contain Humic acid. Has anyone tried this?
In addition, if I use the raw solid form of this substance, how should prepare the liquid form (weight per volume )?
Many thanks in advance for your answer. Emre"
07/11/2012: John from Chillicothe, Ohio: "I tried fulvic from optimally organic, felt very dizzy and shaky like I was gonna faint, is this common or is this product junk?"Replies
07/11/2012: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi John, Your reaction is interesting because fulvic acid is known to be a powerful detoxifier of herbicides, pesticides and other poisons including radioactive elements. Your reaction could actually have been one of rapid detoxification if any of these were in your system. Not sure how much you took but, maybe back off and slowly introduce it. I personally, take shilajit daily from an excellent source. Hope this information helps you. Lisa"
09/09/2012: Dustin from Midvale, Ut replies: "I had the same reaction to it when I took the dose they say to take, I quit it for a while then started back up with only 1 drop a day for a few days then started upping it and it works amazingly."
06/11/2012: Linda from San Francisco, Ca, Usa: "OK, I have acquired the dry powdered Fulvic Acid and Granulated Humic Acid. I want to make an ingestable liquid formula out of them.
I am not worried about how "clean" or disinfected these dry things are (I am pretty sure I can figure that stuff out), I only need to know how much distilled water to blend them with.
I know Ted prefers the proportion of 30% Humic acid and 70% Fulvic Acid from his previous EC posts for those 2 ingredients (Forever Thank You, Ted :-)).
Does anyone know how much of this dry Humic/Fulvic blend should be added to say, 8 ounces of water?
Or conversely, if I have a dry measured teaspoon of 70% Fulvic Acid and 30% Humic powder/granules combined, how much water should be added to this to make the liquid solution?
And then- How much of the resultant liquid would typically be ingested?
Does anyone know the answer to this, or can anyone point me to an explanatory EC link which I might have missed somehow (been searching for this info for weeks:-/)?
Ted, do you have time to answer this, I hope? Or anybody else?
Thanks a million, and Thank You Earthclinic :-),
11/08/2012: Nvrt from Toronto, Ontario, Canada replies: "Were you able to find an answer to this - please let me know - I am also curious about how much water needs to be added to say a teaspoon of the humic/fulvic mix."
[YEA] 04/18/2012: Ginny from Provo, Utah: "For those people who want to know more about Humic Acids. It is a chain of humic, fulvic and ulmic molecules and comes from ancient deposts that are called humates or they are made at the roots of plants. The worldwide research on its benefits for plants, animals and humans is incredible! I have been using it on my plants and myselfs for 4 years now and will continue. Ginny "
11/26/2011: Al from San Francisco, California: "I found out about humic and fulvic acid around 2006. They helped me so much, I read quite a bit, and met some of the scientists in the field. Humic acid CAN BE an antiviral, if properly processed. Some companies sell junk. Be careful. You can get bad humic acid. Fulvic acid CANNOT be antiviral (the molecule is reportedly too small). But it provides unquestionable benefits. People used to get a lot of humic and fulvic acids from food, water, and contact with soil, but now soil our food grows in is often dead (chemically fertilized to force food out of it) and has to be removed from chlorinated water.
VERY IMPORTANT: DO NOT MIX HUMIC OR FULVIC ACID WITH TAP WATER OR ANYTHING THAT IS OR HAS BEEN CHLORINATED. Humic and fulvic acids are naturally present in soild, water, and air. But they are REMOVED from municipal water. I think this is to prevent the formation of hexane."Replies
02/17/2012: Linda from San Francisco, Ca replies: "Hi Al, Some additional data on why not to mix Chlorine with Humic or Fulvic Acids:
Here is an article which explains why in detail:
http://www.info-archive.com/fulv cancer fighting.htm
"Fulvic Acid Minerals Information
Cancer fighting nutrients become deadly when combined with chlorinated tap water
Some of nature's most valuable and essential anti-cancer and anti-disease phytochemical nutrients which are commonly found in food have been discovered to form deadly cancer causing substances when consumed or combined with chlorinated tap water. This discovery includes familiar foods including soy, fruits, vegetables, tea, many health products, and even some vitamins. Research has proven that these essential nutrients are the exact same families of compounds, that even in infinitesimal amounts have been tormenting the water treatment and chlorine industries for years.
Recently, a joint study was undertaken in Japan by research scientists at the National Institute of Health Sciences and Shizuoka Prefectural University. They determined that natural organic substances originating from foods, including fruits, soy, and green or black tea, react when tap water is chlorinated, forming dangerous cancer causing compounds. These deadly compounds have been named MX, which stands for "unknown mutagen", and are similar to the already well-known and more easily detected cancer causing THMs (trihalomethanes).
The Japanese scientists specifically mentioned that their studies showed that MX is created by the reaction of chlorine with natural organic plant phytochemicals such as catechins, which are contained in tea, and flavonoids which are found in fruit. Since Japan has an extremely high consumption of tea, fruits, and soy products, it is easy to see how high amounts of residues from these foods would end up in their wastewater treatment and water recycling systems.
Earlier studies by scientists in Finland in 1997 determined that MX is 170 times more deadly than other known toxic byproducts of chlorination, and was shown in laboratory studies to damage the thyroid gland as well as cause cancerous tumors.
THMs are known to be created by the reaction of chlorine with humic and fulvic acids, which are the final breakdown products of vegetation, including decayed leaves and organic matter. Humic substances are the same as soil humus, of which the fulvic fraction is water soluble and readily transported into streams and waterways, as well as utilized nutritionally by plants.
Very recent scientific discoveries have identified and clarified the composition of fulvic and humic acids as containing a significant amount of nutritional phytochemical groups including hormones, sterols, fatty acids, polyphenols, and ketones, which subgroups include but are not limited to: flavins, flavonoids, flavones, tannins, catechins, quinones, isoflavones, tocopherols, etc.
These compounds are some of the most valuable and promising anti-cancer nutrients found in our foods and health supplements. Coenzyme Q10 is a quinone, vitamin B-2 is a flavin, vitamin E is a tocopherol, citrus bioflavonoids including hesperidin, quercetin, and rutin are all flavonoids, green tea contains catechins, phenols, tannins, and isoflavones. Potentially all of these substances, and many more, are implicated by chlorination.
Amazingly, is has been discovered that these phytochemicals remain intact, concentrated, and intricately combined within humic substances; which are valuable remnants of nature's protective substances contained within fruits, flowers, pollen, nuts and seeds, as well as vegetative parts including roots, stems, bark, and leaves. Even the plant nucleic acids, RNA and DNA remain intact.
To comply with EPA rulings, water treatment plants have had to develop special techniques to scrub the seemingly dubious organic residues from water prior to treatment with chlorine. There is nothing wrong with the organic substances themselves, it is chlorine that is at fault for turning them into the deadly THM and MX cancer cocktail. Reality is that the organic substances have been shown to be highly beneficial combined with pure drinking water in trace amounts.
The bottom line is this: when water treatment facilities remove these substances, they are throwing the precious baby out with the bath water, and the remnants that remain are turned into cancer causing agents by chlorination. To make things worse, it is certain that the fresh plant foods we eat similarly react with the chlorinated tap water we drink with our meals, creating toxins. This means that fresh fruits and vegetables, green salads, green tea, black tea, herb teas, soy products, vitamin pills and various health supplements, and even some pharmaceutical drugs, all can be implicated in combination with chlorinated water.
The deadly cancer causing agents which are produced are extremely toxic in infinitesimal amounts, so small and obscure that they are extremely difficult to detect. Very little chlorine is required. When the concentrations of phytochemicals are high, such as in concentrated health supplements, or even fruits and vegetables coming from more fertile soils, the deadly combination with chlorination intensifies.
It has been known by the water treatment and chemical industries for many years that chlorine reacts negatively with natural organic compounds. These industries call these compounds DBPs (disinfection by-products) which are known to cause cancer in populations whose drinking water contains them. THM, the most commonly known DBP, is known to cause a high incidence of bladder cancer and also to cause spontaneous abortion of fetuses.
The Environmental Protection Agency has continually tightened their restrictions on THMs in drinking water, and even tighter restrictions are just around the bend. Yet it is interesting to note that the many government agencies and chlorine industries have conveniently neglected to take a serious look at food, health supplement, and pharmaceutical drug consumption, preparation, and production relating to use of chlorinated tap water.
There is good reason for the public to seriously examine and question this entire issue. Many years ago laws were passed making chlorination of water mandatory. Now, the chlorine industry and government agencies must continue their existing policies, because if sudden or drastic changes are made, the legal liabilities would be staggering. Certainly some government or industry personnel have known or theorized about these problems and have been covering them up for many years. However, if anyone were to admit to it, the consequences could be disastrous. This predicament could make the tobacco industry scandal seem insignificant in comparison.
Another area needing thorough scrutiny relates to pharmaceutical drug safety studies normally performed on animals in the laboratory. It would be reasonable to surmise that good laboratory practices and procedures would require that such studies be performed using highly purified drinking water for animals. It would be reasonable to believe that drug companies would not take the chance of jeopardizing clinical studies using chlorinated tap water. Of course chlorinated tap water is a common denominator within the human environment. Educating people to the dangers of chlorine would be admitting to knowledge of the problem, which could invalidate past studies and certainly raise serious legal problems.
This whole chlorine issue should come as no real surprise to any biochemist. During the last century, chlorine has been combined with many other normally safe organic substances to form some of the most powerful deadly toxins known, such as dioxin, DDT, PCBs, etc. The bottom line is that the real culprit is chlorine, not the substances with which it reacts.
Although chlorine has essentially eliminated the risks of waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera and dysentery, there are many pathogens that are not controlled by chlorine. Other and better methods of water treatment exist. Many alternatives are already used throughout the world. Ever tightening EPA regulations have forced the water supply industry in the USA to look into alternative methods for disinfecting water.
For years, environmentalists have battled the water treatment industry and large chemical companies in an effort to ban the use of chlorine in drinking water. This ongoing battle has been a big source of revenue for both sides. As word of the problem spreads to the general public, something might actually be done about it.
As this message spreads, it will no doubt shake the very foundations of the chlorine and water treatment industries, let alone the government agencies that are implicated along with them. There certainly should be cause for serious alarm within the nutritional supplement and food industries, as well as those segments of the medical industry that might awaken to the dilemma.
This message is of utmost importance to the general public, because chlorine will one day, in the near future, be exposed as a major cause and contributor to cancer and degenerative disease. Chlorine will also be found to be responsible for damaging the body's immune and hormonal systems by mutating the food-based plant estrogens and phytochemicals that support those systems. A healthy immune system should be your first and best line of defense against waterborne disease.
Recer, P; Water chlorine byproduct may be cancer risk; June 18, 1997; Associated Press
Christman, RF; Kronberg, K; Singh, R; Ball, LM; Johnson, DJ; Report 259: Identification of Mutagenic By-products from Aquatic Humic Chlorination; North Carolina State University
Rhomberg, L Ph. D. ; Risk In Perspective: Are Chemicals In the Environment Disrupting Hormonal Control Of Growth and Development? April 1, 1996; Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
Japanese data related to MX and the Shizuoka Prefectural University has been extracted from various abstracts published by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Plant phytochemicals and nutrient groups can be determined from information within the Organic Chemical Tables; Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society."
11/02/2011: Anthony from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: "Hello Ted,
You have helped me alot with my colitis and mercury issues. Currently, I have been in a little flare so many thing are upseting my stomach or making my symptoms act up. Anyways, I finally got some 100% pure humic acid powder. Now, my question is, when I mix this it is completely black but it does have a taste to it. This is not suppose to have a taste, correct? It's kind of a chalky earthy taste.. I'm getting worried that this may not be pure even though the company has said it's 100% pure... I'm really not sure what to do? Any ideas? Thanks!"Replies
02/10/2012: Dave from Friend, Ne replies: "Remember, carbon will hold 4x its weight in liquid, so this is why farmers should use this to build up the organic matter in soil to help it "hold" the fertilizers they use too much of. I use a sugar-backed fertilizer with great results, and also a soil bacteria (aerobic for oxygen) and this drives down the anerobic bacteria into the soil. The oxygen then feeds off the non-oxygen and you have just started a self-perpetuating eco-system in the soil that will grow very healthy foods."
[YEA] 08/04/2011: Jeff from Cebu City, Philippines : "Recently, my mom bought some oranges and when I offered to make some fresh juice for her, she declined, saying that it makes her asthma act up almost immediately. I'm not sure why that is. So out of curiosity, I added a few drops of fulvic acid into the juice and it started fizzing. She drank it after that and we waited for a while to see if her asthma would act up. It never did! I don't know what the fulvic acid neutralized in the juice but it sure worked!"Replies
08/24/2011: Joseph from Davao, Philippines replies: "orange juice has a capacity to expel mucus but when the body system is weak enough to expel so the patient may suffer the healing crisis which the patient believes a negative but in reality it is a positive healing. So Fulvic role is to help the juice get more effective and the body to handle the healing crisis. so the patient in general will get ease."
02/23/2010: M from Mukilteo, Wa: "Humic acid and fulvic acid are substances that Ted values highly.
My question is of what ingredients are they composed and how sanitary is the production? I have never heard of them before and like to know these things. Thank you"
04/23/2010: Robert from Martinez, Ca replies: "Regarding fulvic/humic acids: the general subject of mineral deficiencies are discussed by Dr. Joel Wallach in his book Rare Earths, Forbidden Cures.This was printed many years ago prior to the 'invasion' of colloidal mineral products in the marketplace.Basically the author states that the world has become very depleted of minerals due to many reasons from erosion to poor farming practice.The U.S. for example is approx 85% deficient! Austrailia is approx 57%, etc. I don't know how these studies were tested. The point being that we are severely lacking in bio-available minerals. I have known some that drink clay, or granite dust water,(Hunzas & others),etc. Rudolf Steiner in the early century used granite dust as a soil amendment with amazing results.Another great book titled 'Secrets of the Soil' avail used on Amazon is a good read & I think the author is Christopher Bird. Someone mentioned salt as a cheap alternative & it is important to mention that real salt is air/sun dried & without chemical additives or heavy processing. Grinding of the salt causes nickel to be present in the end product if the mfgr uses such composite metals for grinding.Most 'popular' sea salts are not necessarily quality. Search the net for info & sources. Dr. David Brownstein has written a great book on salt & it is avail used on Amazon.He has researched the topic for many years & recommends in his practice. I am not connected with any of the sources mentioned. The only one mentioned who has a mineral product is Dr. Joel Wallach & this is many years after the book was written due to people asking for sources.The person on EC who recommended wu jin san is most likely selling or associated with it as it has a sales tone & the person is from the same source area in Ore. My chinese sister-in-law is a OMD and never heard of it,not that she has heard of everything. The label states "fulvic acid in PURE rainwater from the sea".Rainwater "from the sea" sounds odd to me as I cannot imagine how the rain & sea waters are differentiated.Suffice to say there are many claims in the mineral marketplace, so buyer beware.Most of the colloidal sources in the U.S. are in Utah & share the same mining area with private labeling. I used to sell colloidals many years ago & the markup is great.One quart costs about $5-$6.00, wholesales for $12.00 & retails for up to $40.00! Grossly speaking your are getting mined decomposed vegetation that is placed in an acid bath & sold. Of course there are other steps in the process, but this is simplified.We can't eat dirt because we are not plants, so we eat the plants.Make sense? I don't know how we can absorb minerals from clay unless it is taken with an acid, but clay is primarily taken for detox because like charcoal it is highly absorbant of toxins & non-toxins such as minerals, flora, etc. which need to be replenished. If one wants a good cheap magnesium supplement, soak the feet or body in epsom salts. Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin.A Dr. Sircus has plenty of free info on the subject of transdermal magnesium application. Thank you EC for this forum. Hugs!"
[QUESTION] 02/22/2010: Jen from New York, Usa: "Hello!
Can someone please advise me on how safe is it to use shilajit everyday? It is one of the ingredients in a green food powder I am considering to take and I do not know much about shilajit. Is it an herb that is suggested to be used for a period of time only? I think I read somewhere that in texts it has been suggested for use for one year at the most.
02/22/2010: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Jen, Shilajit is completely safe and is highly revered in Aryuvedic medicine. It helps to re-mineralize the body and a host of many other benefits. It is to some, the ideal fulvic acid. It is safe to use it everyday and is very good for you. You can find lots of detailed information about it online. It is really coming to the forefront in the alternative medicine world.
Still, as with all things, I like to give my body a rest after a week or two of anything. So, for instance, if I am taking herbs, I'll go for a full week or maybe even two and then stop for a day or two before I return. That is a protocol embraced by many. That way the body does not become completely dependent upon something to stay healthy. Hope this helps you. Lisa"
02/19/2011: Wee Kiong from Kg Cham, Cambodia replies: "It has been many years ago when I got to know about shilajit from an ayurvedic practitioner friend. Very good indeed but it was a purified form and coloured like milk. Two years ago, he gave me the unpurified type which is dark reddish brown in colour and smelled urine which turned me off. Can someone who might be familiar with fulvic acid tell me if the urine smell is normal? Thank you."
02/20/2011: Ernesto from Paramus, Nj replies: "Fulvic Acid is yellow in color, however it shouldn't have any taste whatsover. If it does, then most likely it is not pure and chemicals have been added. Pure Humic is Black in Color and should also be tasteless if its pure. There's a company Regeneration USA that sells Humic & Fulvic Minerals which are I believe the purest available and aid in dealing with a host of issues from acid reflux, digestion problems, it also re-mineralizes the body and assits in removing toxins from the body. Hope this helps"
08/07/2011: Sarah from London, Uk replies: "Re: silajit, though it may be harmless in its pure form, at least one Indian manufacturer on the UK market has been done because their product was full of added heavy metals. Six months later: product still being quietly sold on the UK market via various websites. It's one of those things I'd love to try if I could find a guaranteed pure source for it, but as things stand, I'm very wary - it may just make things worse.
I've found fulvic acid products a bit too strong in the past, though I seem to tolerate them better now. One alternative is moor mud, dug out of an Austrian bog and pasteurised. Absolutely delicious, but criminally expensive, at least in the quantities that I am drinking it. The moor mud sold for baths is a quarter of the price, but I have to figure out how to replicate the effects of pasteurisation without just boiling it to death (part of the goodness of the moor mud is in the bacteria, so I'm reluctant to kill the lot) - any bright ideas on this front?"