Germanium is a trace mineral that has recently come to the attention of the health world through some incredible work and results at a clinic in Japan. Germanium occurs naturally in very small amounts in the soil and in certain foods and herbs, such as shiitake mushrooms, ginseng root, garlic, shelf fungus, and aloe vera. It has been used for its semiconductor properties in making computer chips. Its possible medical value was discovered in the 1950s by Kazuhiko Asai when he noticed that fairly high amounts of germanium were present in coal, peat, and some of the more powerful and useful Oriental healing herbs. In 1967, Dr. Asai and his associates isolated an organo-germanium compound soluble in water and labeled it Ge-132 (bis-carboxyethyl germanium sesquioxide, the 132nd form they had synthesized). In 1968, Dr. Asai founded the Asai Germanium Research Institute to study the clinical application of Ge-132 further. Over the next 15 years, Dr. Asai and coresearchers found that germanium was essentially nontoxic and had an incredible effect on many pathological conditions, particularly in suppressing tumor activity in tumor-bearing animals. In 1980, Dr. Asai published a book very optimistically called Miracle Cure: Organic Germanium.