Radko Tichavsky is a Czech born Mexican Agrohomeopath. He is a co-founder and director of Instituto Comenius in Mexico and author of Handbook of Agrohomeopathy, 2007 (Spanish) and Homeopathy for Plants, 2009 (Spanish), Organon de la Holohomeopatía and creator and teacher of Holohomeopathy.
He is now offering a one-semester virtual course in Holohomeopathy (in English). You can learn how to define and analyze holons and how to repertorize the specific homeopathic treatment beyond just disease or pest names. You can find out more here: www.icomenius.edu.mx
NEW BOOK: Organon de la Holohomeopatía
Six years in the making, it is the latest book by Radko Tichavsky, researcher on the application of homeopathy in agriculture. This Spanish language book covers homeopathic interventions in agriculture from the holistic view, allowing greater certainty in repertorizations. It addresses a novel concept of metabolic similarity, not only among plants, but also among different species of the animal and plant kingdom. It studies the formation and dynamics of attractors, areas of greater vitality within the holons and coexistence units of different living organisms Holohomeopathy is a fascinating contribution to the application of homeopathy to plants. It allows one to discover a universe of surprising relations in vital dynamism. It puts into the hands of the agricultural producer, a valuable tool for the successful handling of pests and diseases in crops of any size. For ordering or information: [email protected]
Editor’s Note: This column featured the collaboration Radko Tichavsky’s student of holohomeopathy, M.D. Tatyana Nikolaeva-Drossos.
Dear Mr. Tichavsky,
Can homoeopathy help trees that have suffered from droughts – like here in Germany (now the 3rd summer in a row) Birch, Beech, Spruce, Acorn, Ash, Poplar, Oak but also fruit trees. The weather pattern of the last three years was long periods with no or insufficient rain starting early summer, lasting till October and then a lot of rain (although not enough to fill up the water table) from October/early November till March/April.
Working through older posts of Dr. Tichavsky I came across the term “solution serum” as a means to prepare a bionosode. I haven’t heard this term and couldn’t find any more explanation on what that is and how to prepare a bionosode using this method. I was wondering what is the base of the solution serum (water, alcohol etc.)
Sabine Martini-Hansske, Germany
Dear Sabine, climate change is posing new challenges to agriculture, forestry production and the preservation of many species. Warming patterns will push forests further north and higher into the mountains, but when they reach their limits (to the sea or mountain tops) there will be no place for them to move to.
It has been observed that mountain forests are rising by approximately one metre each year and this gives us an idea of the time when this possibility of adaptation will be exhausted. In holo-homopathy we use additional methods using as a base of the homeopathic preparations, plants that have a resilience to heat and droughts either by their anatomical or functional characteristics or through collaboration with microorganisms that help them develop this resilience.
We can mention the Crassulaceas, and cactus plants that belong to the physiological group CAM (crassualacea acid metabolism), but also many lichens and vascular arbuscular mycorhiza (VAM) have important characteristics that increase the resistance of the trees to thermal or hydric stress.
Many other human factors can intervene in the forest and make it particularly susceptible: for example, the elimination of shrubs and plants (so that the forest is supposed to be more passable and “beautiful”), monocultures of trees of only one species, fragmentation of the habitat by means of roads that pass over the forest areas and subdivide them, invasions of tourists and rustic developers who establish their weekend homes in places that seem romantic to them.
In order to establish an intervention strategy, we carry out satellite studies to accurately map the areas most susceptible to dissection and vital deterioration, called vital decubitus, distinguishing them from the so-called attractors, with high fractality, i.e. vitalised and resistant places.
Then a small amount of useful microorganisms are extracted from the attractors and replicated and inoculated in the form of inoculum-bionosode preparations in the devitalised areas, extending the influence of the attractors and renewing the fractality of the forest.
Rather than dictate a list of remedies I want to explain the importance of forming a network of resilience by interweaving different living organisms in a kind of biodiverse and highly connected clusters by means of holo-homeopathic interventions.
Obviously, the remedies will be specific to each holon and will be selected according to the species of microorganisms and resistant organisms native to and capable of collaborating with the endangered species.
As for the preparation of bionosodes, different solvents can be used, such as rainwater, well water, physiological serum (the one sold in pharmacies to rehydrate people intravenously) and also cooked and mixed potatoes in the blender, or cooked and liquefied rice, mentioning the most common ones. It depends on the purposes of and characteristics of the microorganisms to be replicated.
In this case it is a homeopathic technique that prepares a kind of dynamized inoculum, since once the microorganism is replicated it is dynamized in a conventional way with a series of dilutions and succussions and applied to the soil or plants.
One of the difficulties is knowing how to select the communities of the microorganisms based on the metabolic similarity of the plants. That is to say, in two plants of different taxonomic families, but with great metabolic similarity, similar communities of endophytes (bacteria and fungi that live in the sap of the plants) will be found or there will be a high possibility of establishing them.
This is the general principle. As a general rule, endophyte communities are not exchanged between plants of the same taxonomic family because of the danger of spreading disease. Explaining the technique in detail is beyond the scope of this column. If you want to learn how to do it, I suggest you participate in one of our courses at www.icomenius.edu.mx offered in the English language.
Dear Dr. Tichavsky,
I have been using homeopathic remedies to treat problems on neglected very old fruit trees with great success. I live in Central Victoria in Australia and the climate here is considered cool. My problem at the moment is the extensive growth of Capeweed in Spring and also Couch Grass and Buffalo Grass and Paspalum, all of which grow throughout my vegetable patch as well as patches of them over the rest of the one-acre property. Are there any homeopathic remedies that would address this problem?
The growth of the grass is part of an ecological chain of succession that begins with mosses and lichens, passes through grasses and herbaceous plants, then continues to develop shrubs, trees, some climbing plants on them and finally reaches a mature forest.
Each of the phases is opposite to the next, that is, the metabolites of the bushes contain substances that decrease the vigor of herbaceous plants (such as grasses for example) and the metabolites of the trees inhibit the growth of the bushes.
If you prepare for example and bionosode from the roots of some native bush in your area, this homeopathic preparation will significantly reduce the development of invasive grasses.
At the same time, each of the phases of the ecological succession has its own microbial characteristics, while grasses require 80% bacteria and only 20% fungi, shrubs require 50% bacteria and 50% fungi, and in the mature forest 80% fungi and only 20% bacteria predominate.
Modifying the proportion of microorganisms is the most advisable way to control the proportion between herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees. On the other hand, the invasive grasses that you mention are great nitrogen extractors. Increasing the biodiversity of the green cover, for example, mixing grasses with Trifolium sp. and Medicago sativa but also with native species will help you control the voracity of the grasses in your crop.
Dear Doctor Radko,
How we can manage a potassium deficiency on the vine plants? Do you have any suggestions to solve these problems? We are located in Italy, Emilia Romagna, on the hills in the south of Reggio Emilia.
We are an organic farm and the vine plants are typical from our region for making wine (mostly lambrusco and “spergola” and then trebbiano, muscat and others). White berry: It is characteristic yellowing of leaves due to potassium deficiency. Red berry: characteristic redness of leaves due to potassium deficiency. The soil is a clay loam soil, not too loose. We are in a temperature climate, zone E (2101<HDD<3000)
Nutritional deficiencies are resolved within the established agricultural paradigm by adding nutrients to the soil. However, in the soil there are multiple groups of bacteria with the ability to solubilize potassium (called KSB). They make potassium available from the minerals in the soil.
I can mention some, for example Acidothiobacillus ferrooxidans, Paenibacillus pasadenensis, Bacillus mucilaginosus, B. edaphicus , and B. circulans, Spingomonas spp. have capacity to solubilize K minerals. They are naturally present in many soils and also have an important role in plant growth promotion.
When additional amounts of potassium are added to the soil, these bacteria logically perish or significantly reduce their presence, leaving room for bacteria that feed on potassium, aggravating the problem of deficiency and establishing a dependency on inputs that in the long run the producer declares bankrupt or at least in financial difficulties.
You can find Spingomonas spp. in the grass which is easy to find in the parks of Emilia Romagna and is called Pennisetum setaceum. Prepare bionosode in water from the roots of the plant. First you have to wash the roots very well in water, then with alcohol and again in water and then grinding and adding the grind to a mixture made of cooked rice and water.
After waiting two or three days, dynamize it at low potency for example 6 JT and apply it on the soil. Once established, the bacteria in the soil will naturally produce a large amount of potassium and growth hormones available to the vine.
Hello Mr. Tichavsky,
I have one half acre for cucumber farming in a polyhouse on soil. Temperature is 34 to 25. The cucumber fruit is small, yellow. See photo below. I am in Northern India.
Cucumbers are a crop sensitive to high temperatures. When the temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius, imbalances are observed in the plants that directly affect the processes of photosynthesis and respiration, as can be seen in the photograph.
For the optimal development of the crop, the soil temperature must also be adequate, between 18-20ºC. The minimum temperature must be between 12-14ºC. You can control the temperature in hot times using fans for example. Once the temperature problem is solved, you can apply Kalium carbonicum 6 CH.
Dear Mr. Tichavsky,
We may be about to lose our two apricot trees in our home orchard. One tree has fruited twice, the other has yet to fruit (2 year old tree). In addition to the gummy exudation there are also areas of darkened bark on the trunk of the older tree (5 year old) (Photos below).
We think the trees may be dying because there are hardly any leaves on them compared to the others in our orchard (we are well into spring now) and the ones that have emerged are shriveled looking. Also because of the irregular bark and the exudations on the trunk; it seems very hard to treat this disease conventionally so that is also why we think we may lose the trees. The trees are possibly not as vigorous as they could be as our property is relatively open and we get strong wind at times; combined with the heavier soil type. Lately it has been windy and last week we had a frost (although today it is now 28 degrees!)
We are in a temperate climate (East Coast, North Island, New Zealand) with good rainfall, hot summers. The soil is heavier (clay loam) in our particular locality.
I have attached photos of our trees (I couldn’t get a very good pic of the gum oozing) and here is a link to an article about bacterial blast which does have a good photo
Many thanks for your help
Gomosis in apricots are most often caused by Phytophthora sp. pathogenic fungus that produces the formation of resin in different areas of the trunk and causes dissection and later detachment of the bark. The treatment must include several parallel actions, observing the soil of your garden is formed basically of grasses, which are great nitrogen extractors.
That is to say, they cause malnutrition of their trees and a greater risk of succumbing under the attack of Phytophthora sp. You must transform the grass monoculture into a polyculture formed by Salvia sp. Thyme sp. Origanum sp., Trifolium sp, even oats planted among the grass to balance the nutrients in the soil and strengthen your trees.
Regarding the applications, you can prepare an Aloe vera bionosode (from the gel of the leaves) and on the other hand cook two potatoes, then mix them in a blender and add the blended Aloe vera gel dissolving both liquids in 20 liters of water .
After the mixture stops maturing for two or three days, it is applied to the foot of the trees, establishing a community of beneficial bacteria from the Firmicutes group (Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus amyloliquefasciens and Bacillus megaterium among others). Spray on Silicea terra 6 CH over the trees to complete the regeneration process, once a month during the vegetative period.
Dear Dr. Tichavsky,
I have two questions:
1. At times when soil testing reveals low amounts of micronutrients like Boron or macronutrients like potash, gardeners are forced to use appropriate fertilizers to augment the soil fertility. Since macronutrient and micronutrient distribution is heavily dependent on geography and many other factor, what would you recommend to do if the soil genuinely lacks a micronutrient due to geographical reasons etc.
2. I have a plant of Tinospora Cordifolia which has developed spots on leaves along with yellowing of leaves (Picture attached). Could you give me some advice.
I live in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India and the temperature here currently is : Max 33 C , Min 19 C. Mailing code: 247667
V. Guru Charan
Dear Guru Charan,
Thank you for your important methodological question! All essential macro or micronutrients always work in concert, and it is vital to understand the incredible complexity of these functions. Plants do not just absorb nutrients from the place of their deposition in soil. The holon constantly rearranges and redistributes them based on the best strategy for the whole community of living organisms in a specific place.
For instance, Ca, Fe and N distribution patterns (on left) hardly correspond to one another, or to the physical structures of an abandoned lot they were sampled from.
A sample of soil for analysis is only a snapshot of the dynamic flux the elements are in. The best strategy to improve vitality of the holon (not just soil fertility) is to observe the processes naturally happening within it and to support that natural process enabling the holon to sustain itself, rather than force it to depend on the farmer’s input of amendments – even if they are “organic”.
For instance, boron fulfills many important roles in plants: maintains cell wall synthesis/integrity, regulates enzyme reactions, transport of ions and sugars, activity of metabolites and hormones (flower production, fruit setting, Ca, P, Mg, Zn metabolism) to name just few. It might seem a good idea to add boron to your soil, however the decision should depend on what exactly it currently does in your holon.
Boron toxicity is much harder to remedy than its deficiency, and there is a very narrow range between the two (0.19ppm is considered deficient in Nepal; 0.42ppm in India; 0.68 is deemed toxic in Pakistan).
Both deficiency and toxicity may occur at the same locality, during the same growing season and within the same crop – depending on soil pH, irrigation, humidity, temperature, and last but not least – “target” plant species!
There are dramatic interspecies differences in boron tolerance and sensitivity; the intraspecies differences are also recorded between plants as close as 10 meters apart. How do we navigate such a maze?
The most simple and reliable strategy is to observe the adventitious plants: holons with scarcity of an element tend to produce plants hyperaccumulating that element (when it decomposes within the holon, the deficit is then replenished). Among those can be Origanum vulgare, Thymus vulgaris, Origanum majorana, Salvia officinalis, Anethum graveolens, Satureja hortensis and S.montana, Ocimum basilicum, Cuminum cyminum, Medicago sativa.
Encourage their spread in your holon, or plant a few (they are good pollinator attractors), and see if they find your holon hospitable. Taraxacum officinale also accumulates boron in its leaves (do not eradicate it), as does Papaver somniferum in its seeds. The falling fruits of healthy Prunus domestica, P. persica, Cydonia oblonga, Annona squamosa should probably not be zealously removed from the soil as they return boron back to it as they decompose.
Some water-dwelling plants hyperaccumulate boron: Lemna minor and species of Azolla; creation of several dams in your area, especially Tehri Dam with its huge reservoir upstream from your location might also be affecting the cycling of boron between the terrestrial and water habitats.
Each nutrient is regulated by microbial activity in soil. There are numerous boron-tolerant bacteria, few boron-accumulating species (Variovorax boronicumulansm, Bacillus boroniphilus, Lysinibacillus fusiformis) that could be encouraged to propagate in boron-deficient soil, and first bacterium isolated from naturally boron-rich soils, that is able to exclude boron from its interior-so remedy its toxicity – Lysinibacillus parviboronicapiens.
Without thorough investigation however, we cannot base our “bacterial strategy” on the totality of symptoms. Recent findings about boron’s role in symbiotic N2-fixing, mycorrhizal colonization and oxidative stress uncovers its function as a messenger in a delicate and complex net of processes – yet another reason not to “amend” the soil with either ponderal or homeopathic doses – unless we are certain what message we are amplifying!
Judging by the termite colonization on your property (last month’s question), it might be that your holon is developing a temporary fungal domination strategy for some reason, so bacterial applications might interfere, which brings us to the part of your question about Tinospora cordifolia, a very important medicinal plant that is currently destructively harvested and over-cultivated.
It would have helped if you sent pictures of the whole plant (where it grows – hedge or companion plant; was it planted or grew on its own), which leaves are affected (upper, lower, young, old, underside), the location of spots (random/pattern).
T. cordifolia is a relatively disease-resistant robust climbing shrub producing antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant compounds. However, it harbors a vast number of fungal endophytes (29 species identified and cultured, including Penicillum spp., Colletotrichum spp., Cladosporum spp., Alternaria spp., Aspergillus spp., Fusarium spp.), especially in its leaves, which contribute to the plant’s medicinal properties, and vary their activity depending on season and locality; therefore occasionally T. cordifolia develops leaf spot caused by either of the following: Colletotrichum gloesporioides, Phoma putaminum, Cercosporella tinosporae; Xanthomonas campestris.
T.cordifolia grows the best with companion plants (and climbs it): Azadirachta indica and Mangifera indica being the most beneficial not only for T.cordifolia health, but also for the richness of its medicinal potential (concentration and diversity of secondary metabolites), so the best long term strategy would be to plant either one next to your T. cordifolia plant.
In the meantime you can make TM from the leaves of Mangifera indica or Magnolia officinalis and apply it in 6CH potency over your plant – both have good metabolic similarity and produce 7 fungicidal and 1 fungistatic secondary metabolites missing in T.cordifolia.
A.indica is less desirable for systemic applications (adverse effect on beneficial insects), but you can try applying mulch from its kernel or leaves around the base of your T.cordifolia plant. Another option would be to find a robust healthy T.cordifolia plant, take a little rhizosphere soil from it, and make a living bionosode of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria for your own plant (procedure described in every issue of Plant doctor, with boiled rice and JT potencies).