Lime is one of man’s oldest and most vital chemicals. The ancient Romans used lime for building and road construction, uses that continue to the present day. From earliest times, lime has been made by heating limestone (calcium carbonate) to high temperatures. This process, known as calcining, results in quicklime, or calcium oxide. Hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) is produced by reacting quicklime with sufficient water to form a dry, white powder.
Although limestone is applied primarily to neutralize soil acidity, it also serves as a source of essential calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). When a soil test indicates the need for magnesium, limestone is the most economical way to meet the need.
Calcium is required for the growth and maintenance of strong, normal bones and teeth. It promotes normal heart function, sustains skeletal muscles, and aids in sending nerve impulses. Calcium is also important to blood clotting and the release of some hormones.
Magnesium is critical to the normal functioning of the heart muscle, skeletal muscle and the nervous system. It is also a component of more than 300 enzyme systems throughout the body, helping generate energy.
National Lime Association, http://www.lime.org
Penn State Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, http://www.agronomy.psu.edu/
Equine Supplements & Nutraceuticals, Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD