Introduction: The first place to address your question is the online materia medica – www.considera.org/matmed – and the less-complete repertory – www.considera.org/rep. The repertory and materia medica are designed so that anyone can consult them and add to them. Everyone can add their experiences on-line or by post. If you find a remedy, here are some suggestions for how to apply these to the plants:
Kaviraj suggested this: “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.”
The Plant Doctors
Mark Moodie, Dr. Iftikhar Waris, Pawan Singhania
Hi Mark, Dr.Waris and Pawan,
I have a blue spruce which is slowly dying from needle cast and a magnificent Swedish mountain ash which seems to have borers (dying branches and small piles of red frass at the foot of the tree}. I have sprayed the spruce with 200CH sulphur, 30CH Salicilicum and 6x CalcariaCarbonica and 6x NaCl the later because it is near the road. I have a spring muscle testing device and used what would allow me to depress the spring best but I would like to know what, if anything, has actually been found to be successful.
For the Swedish mountain ash I have been using Thuja 200CH and Ledum 30CH but I have no Idea what will kill borers in this tree, only that Kaviraj said that these two drugs are good for borers. I did not try the road salt on this tree, although it is next to the road, because it has a deep tap root.
I am having some success at playing with homeopathics in my garden. For example: on two successive years I have sprayed a honeysuckle hedge, normally infested with small green caterpillar, with 200CH Sulphur. Small cabbage whites visit it in profusion but I haven’t seen any caterpillars this year or last. The past two years my delphiniums were bent before flowering and straightened overnight when I tried Kali Phos and Acid Phosphorus Cimic 30CH got rid of ants and aphids in a golden mock orange last year and they didn’t come back this year. Therefore I believe that these things can work if I can get the right homeopathic before it is too late.
Hoping that you can help,
Mark Moodie: Dear Rosalind
Exactly: it seems that the right remedy can do wonderful things, even for plants, and other remedies don’t. This is the challenge: to find the right remedy.
Given that this is our challenge let’s consider your blue spruce (and later the mountain ash). We have several possible approaches. One, based on ‘precedent’, is to see who has faced this problem successfully before and we are then guided by the materia medica of our choice. This is your first question and I assume you have looked at the materia medicas in Kaviraj’s book, or Christiane Maute’s or at considera.org/matmed. (If you know of others please let me know.)
Second, one might attempt to extrapolate from the human materia medica. One could call this prescription by ‘analogy’, and I believe it is the main first attempt of many agrohomeopaths including Kaviraj. In this case we have to make some decisions, ie are needles/leaves to be compared with the lungs of a mammal or as peripheral parts of the plant and thus more akin to skin? Ie. do we look for a pulmonary remedy or one that has proved its worth with skin ailments for example? No doubt there are other comparisons which could be fruitful. Dr.Waris often works with the direction of the remedy’s symptoms and so might suggest something that works initially on the periphery inwards such as kalmia latifolia or cactus grandiflorus, and perhaps also borax. (Were symptoms to appear from bottom to top over time Dr. Waris might suggest lathyrus, calc carb or conium.)
Third, let’s not forget to look for maintaining causes so we can try and get rid of them, or indeed causes of any kind. What is different between the trees that aren’t suffering and those that are? What has changed from the times when these trees were healthy? Granted, even if we identify these influences, some of these we can’t change but some we can.
Fourth (or three part b) what makes up the totality of the symptoms? Ie. what is the role of soil, aspect, weather, other stressors and factors? One of the great remedies for plant ills is good mature compost and other more ‘physical’ balanced feeds. Man does not live by remedy alone and nor do plants. It is also here that the biodynamic remedies (preparations) have proved their worth over decades, ie. by taking into account the fuller picture rather than the manifest pathology alone.
Fifth is to consider ‘energy’ (an inadequate but widely used and understood word for non-material influences) and your muscle testing device suggests that you have worked this way. For myself I distinguish between the paths that use devices such as pendula to get a reading and those paths which are more akin to the sciences in that there is an attempt to be conscious in the energetic diagnosis as opposed to leaving the diagnosis to a device. Whilst the conscious path is more demanding and open to very different errors, I am a huge fan of it, if only for its potential to bridge the divide between homeopaths and the scientific community. Regular readers will know that for me this path is at home in biodynamics and at its foundation is Goethe’s work on plants further elucidated by Steiner who called Goethe the Copernicus and Kepler of the science of organisms.
For your mountain ash borers, I know that Dr. Waris has suggested 4 remedies in the past for insects. These are Cheloneglabra, Sabadilla, Cina and Carbo veg. He has also made a combination remedy which he calls ‘Sheild’ which uses some or all of these.
(It is wonderful to hear your success stories and, unless I hear that you are unwilling, I will (or you can) add these to the materia medica at www.considera.org/matmed so that those who follow can do better than start from scratch via trial and error.)
I have a rubber plantation of nearly 1000 trees. 95 trees have patch canker disease. Some trees have both symptoms of pink disease and patch canker. The infection is on the stem and collar region and also may be on the fork region. A little bulging of bark and oozing of latex is observed. The bark rots and a small coagulated rubber pad is seen in between wood and bark. Sometimes a white or pink colour is seen above the bark and the bark rots, dries and no coagulated rubber pad is found. The trees are 4 years old, planted June 2010 -type RRI-430. The disease occurred from 2012. Please advise.
Mark Moodie: Dear Raghavendra
I have no familiarity with this issue. My only suggestion comes from a conversation with Dr. Waris some years ago in which he suggested that issues confined to the lower part of trees might be treated with Lycopodium. Please let us know if this has some success.
Dear Plant Doctors,
I have a tomato plant at home that is infected with this type of insect leaving a white color zig zag on the leaves. Could you kindly suggest the homeopathic remedy for this?
Dr. Hunna Zainab
Mark Moodie: Dear Hunna
Is this a problem actually? Does it have an impact for the plant apart from the trail that it leaves on the leaves? This looks like leaf borer or a slug trail – it’s not easy to tell from here. So insect remedies are worth considering – see the first answer – or, if you search for ‘leaf borer’ in the materia medica at considera.org/matmed up comes:
Let us know if these assist.
Dear Plant Doctors,
I live in Florida USA. I am looking for remedies that will work against Asian Citrus Psyllad, to prevent infestation and to heal the damage that has been caused. When the insect feeds on the tree it infects the tree with bacterium Xanthomonasaxonopodis which destroys the roots and causes the tree to starve to death.
Mark Moodie: Dear Mary
See the first answer and see if any of those ‘insect remedies’ are effective: Cheloneglabra, Sabadilla, Cina or Carbo veg
Dear Plant Doctor
My mango tree (12 yrs old) has been sick for a year now. It developed a fungal disease which attracted fire ants in the millions. It fruited 2 months ahead of the mango season and now, at the start of the monsoon (Ashada) it is shedding its young leaves.Can you suggest any remedy for it?
Mark Moodie: That sounds like the full house of maladies Yoda! Have you any thoughts of what caused this? Was there a particular stress that made your tree lose its health so fundamentally?
For fungus, which sounds like it might be the first reaction from the tree we get the following from the materia medica.
|GW – T||Transplant|
|GW – 508||Equisetum 508|
You might want to see if any of these have precedents for you. I would consider Silicea (or the Biodynamic forerunner ‘501’) or you might need to go to the ‘last rites’ remedy or ‘corpse raiser’ – ‘carbo veg’. Good luck.
I live on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia, a bit away from the seaside, in the hinterland, on a property that is quite new, on a bit of acreage that, as I have learnt later on, after getting it, was actually a sort of landfill area before getting to become good for building, which means that the fill was made with lots of different types of soil and whatever else, including gravel and possibly demolition stuff.
Soon after settling a bit, me and my wife got a few baby trees and started preparing their planting. We got an auger machine and helped ourselves with it to get our trees in place; garden soil, and other ingredients used at the beginning, some fertilizers, cows manure, mulching, etc. But, about 15 months later, no matter what I have tried, nothing helped. Our trees are dying, suffer pest infestation, fungi, viruses, bacteria and God know what else.
About four weeks back I have applied to all of them a good dose of Silica 6x watered to their roots, that did not seem to make any difference so far.
Your expert opinion and advice would be greatly appreciated.
Mark Moodie: Dear Sireneris
The editor has not forwarded those images so I’m shooting in the dark Well it sounds like you have done many of the right kind of things in trying to get the basis of plant health – ie. soil health – building in the right direction. It sounds like you have to do more of the same to build some soil. What comes to mind is a little off topic but I’ll pass it on anyway. I am doing some work in the UK with contaminated soils on the back of work done it Italy to remove heavy metals. This is using potencies of the metals themselves. Perhaps there is some mileage in this for you and if so you can contact the originators of these preparations at Eureka: http://www.dimensione-eureka.it/
The same team also have a specific remedy for disturbed land and you might want to discuss that if you get in touch with them.
Dr Waris has suggested radium bromatum for remedies of non-organic origin and perhaps that would be worth trying too.
Dear Plant Doctors,
I wrote to you about my bilva plant that had its leaves eaten up.It was published in the April issue. I am happy to report that after Piper menth the plant is doing well. However I have other plants that are not doing well. Please help.I am sending you a picture.This plant is getting brown edges on its leaves. We have many plants which have the ends of the leaves browning up.
Thank you very much
Mark Moodie: Thanks for reporting back Tadinada. It is always encouraging to have successes and we don’t always hear back. From the images it seems that the leaves are dying at the edges. If you cannot find a causative stress on the plants one would have to work on that as the only symptom. In the first answer this month you can see that Dr.Waris has suggested kalmia latifolia or cactus grandiflorus.