By Kristina White; Educator, Certified Classical Homeopath, CCH
Agrohomeopathy for Garden and Agricultural Resources
The American Institute of Homeopathy defines Homeopathy, “as the practice of medicine that embraces a holistic, natural approach to the treatment of the sick. Homeopathy is holistic because it treats the person as a whole, rather than focusing on a diseased part or a labeled sickness. Homeopathy is natural because its remedies are produced according to the U.S. FDA-recognized Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States from natural sources, whether vegetable, mineral, or animal in nature.” “The word Homeopathy, which comes from the Greek, through Latin into English, literally means “like disease”. This means that the medicine given is like the disease that the person is expressing, in its totality, not like a specific disease category or medical diagnosis.”
Agrohomeopathy is the specialized area of homeopathy used to treat plants and agricultural resources. Agrohomeopathy is an inexpensive, chemical free, non-toxic method of healing and protecting plants and agricultural resources from pests and disease. In nature, it is the weakest of organisms that are attacked and destroyed. Agrohomeopathy strengthens the plant’s basic structure allowing it to reach its optimum health, thus reducing and sometimes eliminating the ailment, or it’s susceptibility to pests and diseases. Agrohomeopathy can also be used to reduce weeds and enrich the soil. With the use of homeopathic remedies, we can reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides by dispensing environmentally friendly solutions to our plants, and other resources including soils and compost material to improve the overall health of the gardens and farms in our communities.
Benefits of Agrohomeopathy
The incorporation of Agrohomeopathy into our homes, yards and farms will bring amazing short- and long-term benefits.
As mentioned, Agrohomeopathy in place of pesticides and herbicides will build up the plant’s resistance to pests and diseases. Currently, in the application of conventional herbicides and pesticides we are typically spraying to kill the plant or pest. In Agrohomeopathy, the goal is to build the plant’s resistance and vitality so that the diseases and pests they are prone to will be deterred if not eliminated.
Homeopathic remedies are applied in very low doses much smaller than conventional and even biodynamic methods. No harmful residual levels are introduced into the environment which allows for our plants, soils and surrounding waters to remain safe for human consumption and safe for our wildlife. As we take a serious look at Agrohomeopathy we can see that its approach allows farmers, and gardeners to plan and prepare for the inevitable threats instead of reacting or eliminating desirable crops due to the propensity for certain diseases and pests in their local areas. As our agricultural resources are increasingly compromised by weather changes, and seasonal spraying of chemicals, Agrohomeopathy offers the potential to offset and mitigate the detrimental effects from excessive rain, droughts, and chemical exposures that our crops are subject to.
In addition, Homeopathy is being used to strengthen livestock against worms, parasites and other health ailments. The reduction of chemicals, antibiotics and de-worming products in livestock will ensure healthier food for human consumption and farm compost and soil, run off, all of which are interconnected.
Treatment of Soil and Weed Control
One of the greatest challenges in farms that follow organic practices, second to pests and disease is the control of weeds. These three challenges are what brought me to investigate Agrohomeopathy.
The original source that began my own research and testing of homeopathic remedies is Vaikunthanath Das Kaviras, Homeopath and author of Homeopathy for Farm and Garden. Through Agrohomeopathy we can use remedies such as Ruta to kill and deter weeds. According to Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj, the homeopathic remedy Ruta contains a substance which is not liked by other plants. Flies also have a dislike of Ruta making the remedy ideal as a week killer and to deter flies. Das Kaviraj cautions Ruta must be allowed to breakdown completely before sowing crops and recommends forty-eight hours if very sunny and up to four days if weather is predominantly cloudy. Like conventional weed killer, Das Kaviraj recommends applying Ruta in double doses in short succession with the first application in the evening and then a second application the following morning. The recommended potency is Ruta 6X and the volume will vary depending upon acreage and water dispenser size.
Silica, a Staple Homeopathic Remedy
The homeopathic remedy Silica has endless possibilities in both personal gardens and the agricultural field. Silica derived from pure precipitated Silicea can make plants thrive. When humans use the homeopathic remedy Silica, they will typically see an improvement in skin, teeth, hair and nails. It is typically recommended for when “something” fails to thrive. In Agrohomeopathy it can be added to soils where plants are not thriving. It can be added into water at times of sowing crops to increase the strength of their epidermis. It can be used against mildew, mold and during transplanting. It can also be applied at time of germination to expedite growth and avoid straggly plants.
A test was performed to identify how two different houseplant species would respond to the homeopathic remedy Silica in 12C potency (approximately 5 grains in 16 oz sterilized glass jar with well water) The plants involved in the test included an orchid and a peace lily. Both plants were failing to Page 3 of 5 thrive in their locations because of fluctuating temperatures, drafts and limited sun. Moving the plants was not a possibility due to limited locations. The peace lily responded over a course of the first week with substantial new growth along with a greener and glossier appearance of existing leaves. The orchid was in a glass container, so the root system was visible for assessment. Prior to application of the Silica remedy the root system was brown and the plant consisted of two yellowing leaves each at approximately one inch in length. Within three days the root system began to turn green at the base of the plant. Within seven days of the remedy application a third leaf appeared. The two original yellowing leaves after one month grew to twice their initial size and returned to a bright green. The entire root system also returned to green. During the test, the plants received a weekly dose of Silica 12C for four weeks. We then discontinued the treatment.
The results were positive, and the plants continue to maintain their health remaining in the locations they were originally situated in without any modification to temperatures or sunlight exposure.
Bombyx, Tomato Hornworm
A test was performed to identify if homeopathy can eliminate or deter the tomato hornworm from a crop of tomato plants. The tomato hornworms are one of the most aggressive and troublesome pests to a farmer’s tomato crop and removed manually in many cases where only organic practices are followed. We applied the homeopathic remedy Bombyx. Bombyx is derived from a silk moth. To provide a control group, we only sprayed one of the four rows of the tomato crop. There were approximately seventy-five plants in the row treated with the homeopathic remedy.
It is important to note, the plants were full grown, without any prior homeopathic or pesticide or herbicide treatment and the tomato hornworms had already started foraging on the plants. The bombyx remedy was prepared in a 1 Liter handheld sprayer. The sprayer was new and sterilized with hot water. Approximately 50 grains of Bombyx 8C was mixed with well water. The stems and base of the plant were sprayed with the focus being at the base for best root absorption. The spraying was performed in early evening to avoid any leaf burn from sunlight and to allow for the remedy to be fully absorbed.
We found within 24 hours the plants sprayed had without question a reduced number of hornworms while the remaining unsprayed rows were still heavily impacted by the hornworms. For two weeks the first row remained at approximately 75% free of the hornworm while the untreated rows showed a significant greater volume. At the two-week mark we began to see a return of the hornworms on the first row. We applied the Bombyx remedy a second time. We found the number of hornworms decrease on the treated plants. The results remained consistent for the first row at approximately 75 % free of the hornworms for the remainder of the tomato season.
Conclusion & Insights
Our conclusion is that the Bombyx homeopathic remedy was successful in deterring the hornworm which ultimately reduced crop loss and employee resource time. In addition, the homeopathic remedy was extremely cost and time effective as two applications lasted the duration of the season. We did not find dead hornworms on or near the first row of treated plants. We concluded that the remedy deterred the hornworms, however it did not kill them. This agreed with other’s findings that agrohomeopathy in many cases deters and builds a plant’s resistance against the pests it is prone to. It is our goal to deter over elimination whenever possible since the elimination of one species very often creates an opportunity for another. We will monitor the behavior of the hornworm in our future tests in the fields Page 4 of 5 as the entire tomato crop will be included in the treatment. Since this test was performed on adult plants late in the season and the tomato hornworm was well established in the crop. Further testing will involve providing the seedlings with the Bombyx remedy to assess their resistance at the beginning of the growing season to the hornworm.
We understand this testing is subjective in areas and was performed to meet an imminent need at the farm to reduce crop loss and resource time. However, it has provided our team enough insight into the potential of Agrohomeopathy to lead us to implement further homeopathic practices for the 2020 season in soil and compost improvement, plantings, and livestock.
Future Tests for 2020 (collaboration between Emerging In Health, Rochester and The Silverbrook Farm of Acushnet, MA Seedlings to the Field
We are preparing for several tests at the farm beginning with the greenhouse germination process. We have created a list of plants for the season and are identifying the pests and diseases that each plant may be susceptible to. We are utilizing resources by Homeopath Christiane Maute, Homeopath Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj, and Dr Balaji Deekshitulu P V, to determine the remedies that will build the plants resistance against the pests and diseases identified. We will research the identified remedies to determine the best selections for each of the plants and the surrounding soils with optimal growth and resilience being the priority. We are considering compatibility, crop rotation, soil integrity while making these decisions. We must ensure the selected remedies are compatible between the plants and complementary to each other. We are also creating a timeline and detailed log for remedy disbursement. We are limiting our remedy selections in order to properly assess the effectiveness of each of them for future and expanded uses at the farm.
The crop fields will be prepared for planting by first disbursing the appropriate remedies for weed and pest control. Following these remedies, the fields will be sprayed with Silica during the sowing to assist the plants with the transition from the greenhouse to field.
An extensive test for the tomato plant will include: the remedy Silica for initial germination and growth and a second remedy called Bombyx, to build a resilience and deter the tomato horn worm. Further consideration will be given to disbursing a properly selected remedy such as Natrium Sulphuricum at 30C potency if we recognize any signs of blight as the season progresses. Should we decide to do this it will be disbursed by a hand sprayer at the base of the plant to avoid any further moisture on the leaves. Research of the appropriate remedies and best applications based on observation of the plant at time of potential blight is well documented in the publication of Homeopathy for Plants by author Christiane Maute.
Potency and Distribution Methods
According to Sushobhan Sen of the University of Burdwan | B.U. – Department of Bio-technology, ultrahigh dilution of homeopathic medicines can be used safely but precautionary measures (proper selection of homeopathic drugs and its potency, proper dilution of drug with water) must be taken before use of these drugs. An improper remedy selection can show detrimental effects on crops and it is believed that higher dilution of drugs (1:500 or 1:1000) with water is more effective for plants. For our future projects we are working with 8C, 12C and 30C potencies and water container sizes of 50 to 100 gallons. We intend to base our calculations on the dilution of 1:500 for field treatments.
There are basics in growing crops; adequate sunlight, rich soil, and water. These basics perhaps might be grouped as foundations, yet these are not always consistent and available. As we expand our thinking about life, we may realize that as important as it is to have the ingredients, it is equally important to have the blueprint or recipe that sustains true health also remembering the importance of all forms of life being at the core vision for a healthy planet.
American Institute of Homeopathy. https://homeopathyusa.org/homeopathic-medicine.html
Vaikunthanath Das Kaviras, Homeopath and author of, “Homeopathy for Farm and Garden.” https://www.narayana-verlag.com/index.php
Christiane Maute, Homeopath and author of, “Homeopathy for Plants.” https://www.narayanaverlag.com/index.php https://www.hri-research.org/hri_publication/prof-dinelliand-agro-homeopathy-research/ Balaji Deekshitulu P V.
Impact of Homeopathy in Agriculture. Global Journal of Energy and Environment, 2019,1:2. https://escipub.com/Articles/GJEE/GJEE-2019-02-0508.
Trebbi, Grazia & Dinelli, Giovanni & Marotti, Ilaria & Bregola, Valeria & Benni, Alessandro & Betti, Lucietta. (2014). Effects of homeopathic treatments on strawberry plants in field. Homeopathy. 103. 9293. 10.1016/j.homp.2013.10.064.
Sen, Sushobhan & Chandra, Indrani & Khatun, Arjina & Chaterjee, Sabyasachi & Das, Sumanta. (2018). AGROHOMEOPATHY: AN EMERGING FIELD OF AGRICULTURE FOR HIGHER CROP PRODUCTIVITY AND PROTECTION OF PLANTS AGAINST VARIOUS STRESS CONDITIONS. 10.1729/Journal.18583.
‘A Veterinary Materia Medica and Clinical Repertory: with a Materia Medica of the Nosodes’ by George Macleod, MRCVS, DVSM, Vet. FF Hom.