Ask the Plant Doctor April 2010

Kaviraj is back from Haiti and answering your plant-related questions once again!

Each month V.D. Kaviraj will answer selected questions about plants and plant problems. Kaviraj is one of the foremost pioneers of Agro-homeopathy and author of the book, Homeopathy for Farm and Garden.

 Send your questions with sufficient detail and pictures when possible (JPG or GIF format) to [email protected] with the subject “Plant Doctor”.

Note: When I refer to treating plants with homeopathic remedies, this is the standard dosing procedure: Put 20 drops of a 6X potency in a litre of water. Succuss the bottle 50 times. Put this litre in the watering can, fill it up with 19 litres of tap water and stir. If the watering can is smaller, the amount of remedy put in must be proportionally smaller. Thus a 10 litre can needs only ½ litre and just 10 drops of the remedy. Apply the contents of the watering can to the roots of the plants to be treated.

Hi Dr. Kaviraj,
My hibiscus tree was dug up by the dog twice. I had to move it to another room.
It has been three days. I have tried a number of remedies without success.
The last thing I have done is a nosode of the soil and a leaf. I just sprayed it on the leaves. The leaves are droopy but not dry. It is really ill. I tried Arnica but I don¹t have low potencies so I might have aggravated it (30c). The last remedy before the nosode was Ph-Ac 30c. Is there anything you can suggest?
Many blessings your way

Hi Gabriela,

You can give it a dose of Silicea 6X or alternatively, Carbo.veg, 6X. Silicea seems to me the better option, because there seems to be no ‘loss of vital fluids’. However, as I write in my book and here on this site, watering the roots is always a better option, since spraying is like a local topical application, which we know from homoeopathy for people is also rather ineffective. Try to take your remedy when rubbing it into the skin!

Kind regards,

Dear Kaviraj
Here in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA we are plagued by the dreaded root vine borer.  It is a large red and black moth which lays its eggs on the stems of zucchini and other summer squashes and the grub bores through and destroys the plants.

I am in receipt of your wonderful book and am pouring through it getting ready for gardening season. I had a few questions: A remedy in the book is abbreviated as SYRPH – I cannot find reference to this at Helios. What remedy is this and where can I get it?

Thanks for any advice

Hi Roxann,

The dreaded root vine borer can be combated in several ways. One is the remedy Ricinus communis, which can be used by watering it on the roots of the vines affected or as prophylactic.  Alternatively, it can be planted between the vines.

You can also use a remedy made of the borer, as described in the Organon par 269-274. You then grind up a few borers in mortar and pestle, with sugar of milk and prepare the remedy as per the Organon. Prepare the decimal potency which is 1:9, unlike the LM potencies described in the Organon.

“Syrph”  stands for Syrphinilida, which is a predator of several pests.

Kind regards,


Dear Kaviraj,
We are growing bell pepper in a greenhouse in India. There are two major
diseases which are destroying our crop time and again:  Anthracnose & Broad
Mite ( Polyphagotarsonemus latus). Please guide us to how can we treat them
using homeopathy. At present our farm is free from nematodes, but I feel
they are waiting to come. Is there is any way to avoid them using homeopathy?

Best Regards
Vineet Pundir

Hi Vineet,

The best way to combat anthracnose is by Salicylic acid or Natrum salicylicum. It can be used both as a remedy and as a prophylactic. Nematodes can be avoided and treated with Calendula or Tagetus, which both have nematicide properties. If you plant a few marigolds in between the rows of plants, nematodes will never plague the crop.
Dear Sir,

Are there any Homeopathy remedies that can be sprayed on fruit flower /blossom before a freeze or frost to protect them?
Thank You
Bob Luzadeer

Hi Bob,

The best way to protect flowers and blossoms is to spray with Silicea, but never more than once, because spraying it twice, they will not produce any fruits. Steiner warned against spraying Silicea twice in his biodynamic system, whereas spraying it once increases the amount of flowers and thus of fruits.

I do not know of any method to protect flowers otherwise, apart from packing straw around the base of the tree/bush to protect the entire plant against frost.

Kind regards,


Dear Kaviraj,
In the last few years in Northern Italy, we had many problems with the pest Dibrotica Virgifera inside Maize fields. This pest give problems beginning in the larvae stage and it is eating the roots of maize. Do you have some suggestion that can help to fight against this pest?

Thanks a lot for your time.
Best regards.

Hi Emilio,

I would suggest using a nosode, or using Coccinella, since this remedy protects against most soft-bodied pests and it is the larva that creates the problem. Alternatively, use Sambucus Nigra.

Corn was grown by the Andes Indians in a threefold crop pattern known as the 3 sisters. They include pumpkin and beans. Therefore, you can also have good results with Phaseolus or Cucurbita pepo.

Kind regards,


Dear Plant Doctor,

I have a Papaya farm in the Philipines infested by the Papaya Ring Spot Virus (PRSV). There is still no known remedy for it.  In Hawaii they produce transgenic papaya which they successfully developed after almost a decade. The approach is similarly being done here; but it will still take some years before they will release it for public use.
I came across the work done in the U.S. to activate the phenomenom of System Acquired Resistance (SAR) triggered by spraying a very dilute solution of salicylic acid in water at 1:10,000. This was first tried in fighting the Tobacco Mosaic Virus, apparently with some success.

Has this problem of PRSV been brought to your attention and is there a remedy for it ? I would very much appreciate any suggestions. It would be great help not only here in the Philippines but also to those growing papayas in tropical and semi-tropical countries badly affected by PRSV.

Thank you very much

Vic Amante

Hi Vic,

Salicylic acid is a good solution, but works better if you use it in a homoeopathic dilution of 6X. Also, Natrum salicylicum will work as an alternative.

The problem of viral infections is caused by bare soil, without any organic matter, which the virus normally decomposes. My suggestion is therefore to increase the organic matter content of your soil, which initially may cause an increase in the presence of the virus. Therefore, it is best to apply this when the season for fruits is finished and the plants have the least stress. After some time, the virus will revert to its normal levels and do the work it is supposed to do, provided you maintain a sufficient amount of organic debris for them to decompose.

Kind regards,

Dear Kaviraj,

Here are three questions I hope you can help me out with.

Thank you

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In your interview you state: “The Law of Similars can be seen as a quintessential principle – so far I have discovered four more than like is cured by like, some of which are already familiar to everyone. Hence quintessential, and universally applicable on people, animals and plants. Like produces like, like attracts like, like imitates like and like neutralises like.” Can you please give an example or two of each so that we are clear on what they mean?

To answer your first question about the quintessence, ‘like imitates like’ is seen in the use of predators to combat pests. Like neutralises like is seen in the use of plant chemicals such as allelochemicals to inhibit the growth of weeds. Straw left after harvest will inhibit seed germination of weeds, while stimulating the seeds and seedlings of Cabbage family plants. Like produces like is shown in the fact that when you crossbreed 2 cabbage varieties like Broccoli and Cauliflower, you get Broccoflower, which has properties and characteristics of both. Like attracts like is shown in plants that grow together for mutual benefit, such as tomatoes and basil, which belong together in the garden, the kitchen and in the materia medica.

I would also like to know which remedies would apply for trees dying of “Sudden Oak Death” which a tree scientist friend ( has convincingly shown is due to leaching of cat-ion nutrients (primarily Calcium but trace minerals also) and acidification of the soil which occurs naturally over time in the absence of soil disturbances like fire. This encourages the moss to grow which likes acid conditions and generates more acidity. Eventually the acid kills the roots and the bark is girdled by the moss. He has cured the problem by rediscovering the native peoples’ techniques but the treatment is somewhat laborious and requires lots of materials. I was wondering how homeopathy could be used.

The problem with the oaks resembles that of dieback in many types of trees and is mainly due to fungi, which thrive in acidic soils. Calcarea carbonica is one remedy to make soil pH more neutral, and so is liming. The best remedy I have found is Silicea, which has a proven track record in arresting dieback in Australia and Europe. In the first case on Eucalypt and in the second on Aesculus hippocastanum.

How much volume of remedy is necessary for trees based on height/circumference of dripline or whatever. You refer to drops of 6x potency when making a remedy. Would you consider that be comparable to pills, which is the format available in most US stores?

Your question regarding volume of remedy is best answered by using the liquid in the same dilution rate, but to use a larger dose to water the roots all the way to the drip line. In the case of pills, 50 pills should suffice for a tree of any size.

Kind regards,


Dear Kaviraj,

We have a serious problem of a bacterial disease caused by Xanthomonas
on our Pomagranate crop. It causes severe loss due to fruit cracking and dropping. The disease also appears on leaves causing blight.  Antibiotic spray is not very effective, is expensive and its effect is temporary. Could you suggest homeopathic remedies to solve this problem? At present it has affected our exports and we have no remedial measures which are effective. I look forward to your guidance. With best regards
Siddaramegowda t.k.

Dear Siddharamegowda

Your Xanthomonas problem should be eradicated by Slicea 6X, as per the instructions at the head of this column. Silicea is an antifungal remedy anyway and will strengthen the plants considerably. Please keep me posted about the progress.

Kind regards,


Dear Kaviraj,

Do you have any suggestions for creating a remedy to eradicate poison
ivy in a home garden plot?
Thank you,
Gwynne Jennings

Dear Gwynne,

You can try it with any of the three acids of the Krebs Cycle – Citric acid, Acetic acid or Oxalic acid. Citric acid should be given in the evening on 2-3 consecutive days. The other ones you can try when Citric acid does not do it and they must be applied in the morning. If all of that fails, I suggest Juglans regia or nigra, which also needs to be applied on following days, any time you like or find convenient. Please keep me posted about the results.

Kind regards,


V.D. Kaviraj is a Dutch homeopath, author, researcher and pioneer in Agrohomeopathy. He has written textbooks on various aspects of homeopathy including “Homeopathy for Farm and Garden.”

About the author

V.D. Kaviraj

V.D. Kaviraj

V.D. Kaviraj is a Dutch homeopath, author, researcher and pioneer in Agrohomeopathy. He is also Vice President, World Homoeopathic Association UK Chapter. He has written textbooks on various aspects of homeopathy including "Homeopathy for Farm and Garden", which is now available in seven languages. The revised and enlarged edition with 376 pages has just been published :


    • There is not much difference between the 6X and 6C, although the dilution rate is ten times higher. In South America they use up to 1M. My first case I cured with a 200X, so you should not have any difficulty.

  • Dear Dr Kaviraj,

    I have an interest in recording for posterity the use of natural remedies by our ancestors for health care. During the course of my research I have come across a plant called “Braham Booti” mentioned by Jim Corbett; the famous hunter/ naturalist turned conservationist. In his book “Jungle Lore” (Page 153) he states that the juice squeezed out of a few leaves of this Braham Booti will heal wounds. He describes Braham Booti as a small insignificant plant that is found in our jungles. It grows to a height of twelve inches, and has a daisy like flower on a long slender stem. The leaves are fleshy and serrated like those of chrysanthemums.

    My request that follows may not fall within the ambit of what you cover in this column, but with your vast knowledge could you please give me the scientific name and possibly an illustration of the Braham Booti?


    Ranjit Talwar
    Brig (Retd)

  • My crepe myrtle has developed the curly grayish white lichens on a lot of its branches. I think it is because it got too much rain and it prefers a dryer soil although the tree is too large to dig up and move. I live in Hammond, Louisiana. Is there anyway to homeopathically treat it for the existing lichens and what can I give it to thwart the condition from continuing when it rains too much?

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