Agro Homeopathy

The Plant Doctor – September 2020

agrohomeopathy

This month the Plant Doctor, Radko Tichavsky, answers questions about differences between agrohomeoathy and holohomeopathy, Broccoli not flowering, termites damaging a camphor tree, Japanese Beetles destroying a garden and much, much more! Send your questions to [email protected]

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
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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]

Dear Mr. Tichavsky,
I am really inspired by your work on Agrohomeopathy and keen to learn more. I am a farmer from India following your plant doctor column and using remedies you suggest. I did training in Biodynamic farming in 2018. After that I got interested in homeopathy and have been applying homeopathy also by referring to the book by Dr Kaviraj ‘Homeopathy for farm and Garden’.  I understand that your work is the most advanced. Please let me know if your books are available in English and is it possible to send it to India and how to make payment for the same.

Thank you.
Best Regards,
Vijaya Bargaje  – Organic farmer – Pune (India)

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Vijaya,
Holohomeopathy is conceptually very different from the concepts of the pioneers of agro-homeopathy who innumerable times transferred human repertories mechanically to plants, generating great levels of uncertainty in the application in the field.

The same is true for laboratory approaches, which are based on isolating plants or other organisms in Petri dishes and measuring results from the application of homeopathy in them.

Certainly the laboratory results are useful in arguing to the enemies of homeopathy that homeopathy is not a placebo and whether it has measurable influence on living organisms. But due to the great complexity of living systems called holons, although laboratory tests are sometimes useful for theoretical argument, in practical application they do not lead to greater certainty of results in the field.

The big problem in both approaches is the repertorization and the selection of the remedies, because the anthropocentric method of selection of remedies mechanically transports human symptoms to plants, and the coincidence of DNA between plants and humans is about 50%. So, the margin of error remains in the same range, i.e. equivalent to the success of an average casino gambler.

Holohomeopathy proposes and applies the principle of metabolic similarity as the main criterion for the selection of remedies. For the first time in the history of agricultural homeopathy, it applies systemic intervention, recognizing the influence of homeopathy on cluster systems of different living organisms (bacteria, fungi, mezo- and macro-organisms, and plants).

When the repertorization is based on the consideration of the whole system and whole cluster of symptoms, only then can a systemic response be expected from a whole set of organisms in the holon conspiring in a chain to generate a massive, lasting and significant response with a very small margin of error in the results in the field.

My books are available in Spanish, and the last one, Organon of Holohomeopathy is available  in Italian and soon there will be published a new edition of the same work in Portuguese (Editora Organon).

However, the English version of my book is now in process. You can participate in the virtual course of agrohomeopathy with me. It lasts one semester and is taught in English. It requires a good internet connection and computer with video and microphone. You can request reports at www.icomenius.edu.mx


Dear Dr. Tichavsky,
Termites have attacked a young healthy Camphor plant in my garden. It is not clear to me why termites have attacked a healthy plant and moreover that of camphor, since potentized camphor is considered a remedy for termite attacks.

Also, there are a lot of mosquitoes in my region which act as vectors to many tropical diseases like Dengue. I was wondering if there were plants that repel mosquitoes. I live in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India and the temperature here currently is: Max 35 C , Min 26 C.  Mailing code: 247667

Thank you
V. Guru Charan

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Guru Charan,
Unfortunately, you did not supply any photo of the termite damage to your Camphor tree. Termites are a large and diverse group of decomposers (over 2600 species); out of 337 species reported so far from India, the most diversity is found in your north-eastern region. That being said, the following five species have been reported as attacking Cinnamomum camphora trees:

Odontotermes formosanus, (Fungus-growing, underground nests with mound above ground), Macrotermes barneyi, (Fungus-growing, mounds), Coptotermes formosanus (colonies above or below ground), Reticulitermes flavipes, and Reticulitermes chinensis.

Since you said that your Camphor tree looks healthy, there is possibly no damage to the roots. In healthy trees termite attraction can happen after pruning or incidental damage of bark by other insects. Then termites move in to build earthen sheets and runways on the bark, under which they continue their activity. Make sure there is no root damage (tilling, digging) or any biotic or abiotic stress to the tree.

It is true that C. camphora has termite-repelling compounds, one termitifuge (Caryophyllene) and three termiticides (Alpha-terpineol, Eugenol and Neral). However their concentration varies depending on biotic/abiotic factors. There are more than 150 other known secondary metabolites of C. camphora, and probably more unknown ones.

They all have multiple functions for interconnection between  the various organisms in the holon. Termites also continuously adapt to feeding on various types of wood through using their bacterial/archaeal or protist gut symbionts and fungus “cultivations” for pre-digested wood consumption.

When elaborating the control strategies, keep in mind that termites are extremely important in improving soil structure and nutrient richness. Its organic matter, nitrogen fixation (gut bacteria), granulometric and hydraulic properties, microbial diversity, prevent soil erosion to name a few. In Uttarakhand about 48.3% of the area is above the tolerance limit of 11.2 tons per hectare per year of soil loss, with some areas losing up to 80 tons (2019).

Increasing the diversity of your holon, therefore, is the main focus long-term. It will improve stress tolerance of your C.camphora tree and bring balance by inviting natural enemies of termites. Natural predators like birds, reptiles and arthropods all feed opportunistically (and mostly on swarming) termites.

However, several ant species from your area were reported feeding on foraging worker termites: 5 Leptogenys, 17 Camponotus, 10 Crematogaster and 1 Odontomachus species); and several Aranae, Salticidae (jumping spiders) from different areas are even specialist termite eaters. Do not get rid of ants and spiders indiscriminately.

Holohomeopathic strategies would include:
1. Living bionosode of enthomopathogenic fungus Bauveria bassiana or Metarhizium anisopliae. Look for any insect in your holon (preferably termite, of course) affected by the fungus.

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Take the insect and blend it together with some shrimp shells or cicada shells. Add a boiled and cooled potato to the blend. Add some water, cover with fabric to ferment for 1-2 days. Take 20 ml of the ferment, add 180 ml of water, place in a bottle and make 500 vigorous succussions (to get 1JT).

Then proceed with the same sequence making it to 3JT. Finally, add 200ml of solution to 1.8L of water, place in a bucket, and stir 500 times clockwise, then 500 times counter-clockwise. That solution should be applied both on the termites (peel the earthen sheet from the tree or break some of their mud tunnels to expose the workers). You can also apply the bionosode over the area of the nest if you can locate it.

2. Application of plants that possess antifeedant and repellent properties in addition to termiticidal. Citrus sinensis peel oil or MT of peel (31 common metabolites); Myristica fragrans essential oil or MT (36 common metabolites, strong termiticide/termitifuge, has endophytic Pseudomonas aeruginosa potentially damaging the termites, and is also mosquito repellant); Vetiveria zizanioides oil (only 7 common metabolites, but native to your area and strong antifeedant/repellant); Tagetes erecta leaf essential oil or MT of leaves; Calocedrus formosana leaf essential oil; Cryptomeria japonica sapwood essential oil; Melauleuca cajupati oil; Syzygium aromaticum bud oil (18 common metabolites),

Allium sativum oil (6 common metabolites) –  can be used to prepare a repellant/antifeedant in 6CH potency and applied to the C. camphora tree.
V.zizanioides.

Vetiver grass, is native to your region and can be planted for termite repellance, or you can use mulch made from the dried and cut up roots of the plant around your tree or in other areas potentially susceptible to termite invasion (it can be used as mulch mixed with sand, but not less that 25% by volume).

Regarding the mosquito question: You should make sure there are no breeding grounds (standing water in puddles, containers, basements, etc). If you manage to find Metarhizium anizopliae  (above), it would also work as an adult mosquitocide.  MT made of the leaves of your C. camphorae tree and potentized up to 5-6 JT can be used as repellant.

Some other mosquito repellant plants in descending order by concentration of mosquitofuge substances: Bursera delpechiana wood oil (20400 PPM of mosquitofuge substances in wood); Myristica fragrans (19200 PPM) seed essential oil or MT of seeds; Elettaria cardamomum fruit or seed essential oil (19200 PPM); Thymus vulgaris  essential oil or MT of plant (13000PPM); Monarda fistulosa whole plant MT (6628 PPM); Cistus ladaniferus  essential oil; Cistus ladaniferus  essential oil or MT of leaves; Rosmarinus officinalis  MT of shoots, leaves or essential oil.

Rosmarinus officinalis, Elettaria cardamomum, Myristica fragrans, Thymus vulgaris also have termitifuge properties, albeit not as strong as the sources mentioned above. However, you can plant these in your garden, and they will also complement the environment by attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects.


Dear Prof Tichavsky,
My Forsythia bush grows beautifully, reaching 12 feet in height.  Recently some portions have been attacked by what seems to be a fungus.  I tried spraying with potassium bicarbonate which helped temporarily, but it keeps coming back. Is there something else I can do? I live in Lancaster, PA, (Eastern U.S.) with normally moderate rainfall and temperatures, although we’ve be getting hot days of 90F.  Zip: 17602.

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Thank you
Theresa

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Theresa,
Forsythia sp. is frequently attacked by different types of fungi such as Sclerotinia sp., Phomopsis sp. for example. The change of the pH with the applications of Potasium bicarbonate is only a palliative that helps temporarily, but does not solve the root fungus problem.

First you must cut the branches affected by the fungus. Clean the tool correctly after each cut with alcohol, avoid excess water especially in the spring, and in the cuts you can apply Arnica montana 6 CH mixed with Pine resin mother tincture as an adjuvant and with a little oil of Helianthus anuus.

Quercus rubra 6 CH is a remedy used to stimulate the production of quercetin in the plant which is one or its main resources to defend itself against fungi. Also Ganoderma lucidum 6 CH or Ganoderma applanatum 6 CH (must be extracted from a Quercus sp.) increase the flow of sap in the plant and establish the metabolic competition with the pathogenic fungi of Forsythia sp.


Hello Dr. Tichavsky,
Thank you for your advice last month about using Bacillus thuringuensis. With that advice I’ve managed to save these broccoli plants.  The leaves are healthy now, but it is not flowering. Is there a way to encourage that?  

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Thank you
Patricia


Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Patricia,
I’m glad that your plants look free of insects. Now we have to wait a little bit for the temperature to drop. Broccoli is a plant that likes lower temperatures and in fact the higher temperatures are inhibiting the creation of flowers.

When summer temperatures reach 30 degrees Celsius, depending on the duration of the hot season, this can affect the ability of the broccoli to develop flowers. Climatic changes make it difficult to determine the date of sowing.

In this case sowing could have taken place three weeks after the date applied. You can apply spray Phosphorus 12 CH on the plant. As far as flower formation in broccoli is concerned, they require high levels of the GAs Gibberellins family of tetracyclic diterpenoid plant growth substances. These substances can be found for example in Citrus sinensis juice dynamized to 6 JT, and applied as a spray after sunset to induce the formation of flowers in the broccoli exposed to the hot temperature stress.


Hello Mr. Tichavsky,
I have a pear tree with rust. There are red spots the size of a thumbnail which have a raised, rough aspect on the underside of the leaf. I am not able to track down and remove Junipers. I have used Rhus tox and Thuja but it comes back.  Is there anything else I could try? This summer the temperature is often up to 90F with moderate rainfall. I live in New Castle, Delaware 19720.

Thank you
Barbara Bason

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Barbara
The Gymnosporangium sabinae causes the condition known as rust in pear. This fungus replicates itself obligatorily in the presentation and nearness of pear trees and trees of Juniperus sp. to finish successfully its cycle of reproduction.

If you cannot remove the Juniperos sp. trees, the control of the rust will be more complicated. It is important to enrich the green cover under your pear trees by species of plants of the family Lamiaceae, for example, oregano, Melissa sp., Salvia sp. Mentha sp. Ocymum basilicum, Rosmarinus sp. as well as native plants or grass. For the control of rust, apply live bionosode of Aloe vera at 3 JT with olive oil as an adjuvant.  


Greetings Mr. Tichavsky,
This Hydrangea bush has flowered for the last few years, but this summer, just leaves appeared. It’s been hot and dry for many days, although I do water them. I live in Pennsauken, NJ ( U.S.) 08105.

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Thank you
Elizabeth Cohen

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Elizabeth,
The lack of flowers in your Hydrangea is due to climatic changes. The high temperatures inhibit the formation of flowers on this plant. You can apply Calendula officinalis 6 CH or Opuntia ficus indica 6 CH as sun filters. It can also be useful to apply Silicea terra 6 CH with sap of Opuntia ficus indica as an adjuvant since it helps to refract the excesses of solar light and diminishes the temperature in the plant. Just hydrating the plant would not be enough to produce flowers during periods of high temperature.


Dear Mr. Tichavsky,
Japanese Beetles are destroying my garden. Can you recommend anything? I live in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. (L4BOA6).  The summers are warm; the winters are freezing, dry and windy and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 13°F to 80°F and is rarely below -4°F or above 89°F.

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Thank you
Rachel Van Halteren
BN (hon), RN, Hom, DHMHS   [email protected]

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Rachel,
Popillia japonica is attracted by the reddish coloration on the leaves produced by abiotic or biotic stress. The stressed plant produces a larger amount of carotenoids to protect the chlorophyll, and this small change in color is the sensory signal that attracts Japanese beetles.  There are several control methods with different approaches:

The metabolic similarity approach:

The beetle is susceptible to the endophytic bacterium Baccillus thuringiensis, and  this can be found in Carica papaya fruits, a plant also has metabolic similarity with the Cucurbitaceae and helps in the formation of insecticide biomolecules in the plant.

You can prepare a live bionosode, using the fruit of the papaya, cleaning the surface with alcohol of 30% to eliminate bacteria on the surface and only use the liquefied fruit.

You cook apart a medium potato and let it cool down. Remove the peel and liquefy the potato with a little bit of tap water. You add the pulp of the papaya and leave it at room temperature for a day. This mixture is considered as the mother tincture.

Then you dilute it in proportion of 1:100 and you make 500 vigorous succusions obtaining in this way the potency 1 JT. In the same way, you will reach the potency 3 JT (if the volume is big then you will make 500 turns with a wooden stick to the right and 500 to the left) and then you apply the remedy in the form of spray in the crops with the presence of the beetle.

Entomopathogenic fungi:

There are entomopathogenic fungi such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae that have the ability to defend plants, penetrating directly into the cuticle of living insects.

These fungi are the common component of the soils in the fields of walnut trees (Juglans regia). Take a soil sample (from the first 5 cm approximately) from these fields, and prepare bionosode at low potency (6 JT) and apply in the crops by spraying.

Change of coloration in the plants:

Because Japanese beetles are attracted by the red coloration of the leaves, which indicates a stress in the plant, you can apply the homeopathic remedy Magnesia carbonica 6 CH to increase the production of chlorophyll in the plants and Calcarea carbonica 6 CH which helps to harden the epidermis of the plants and decreases the possibility of an effective attack by the beetle.

Modification of palatability:

Castela texana, is a very common bush in the south of USA, from whose roots are extracted bitter principles that if they are spread on the plant, change the palatability for the insect. The same palatability change effect can be achieved by applying Artemisia absinthium 6 CH by spraying this remedy on the plants and adding the Aloe vera sap as an adjuvant.

Toxic plants for the beetle:

La Thuja sp., resins, Pinus sp. (pine resin) and Boswellia sacra resin (frankiscience) are plants with a high content of polyterpens which are toxic to these beetles. Crush a little of a resin of any of the three trees (or of the three together) in a mortar. Put the mixture in alcohol to 70% and let it extract for one week in a dark place and at room temperature. Then you dynamize it to the potency 3 CH and apply it to the crops.


Hello Mr. Tichavsky,
I have questions about 2 plants. 1) My lavender plant is withering. I think we watered it more than required but not sure. I transferred it in some dry soil just now. What remedies can I give it to keep it alive, as I see a few green leaves there. I am in Franklin, Massachusetts 02038, USA. Temperatures are starting to go down at night.

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2) My Pumpkin leaves have started having spots and the growing end is turning yellow/ colorless, and looks like it’s not growing further. From all the plants I got 1-2 pumpkins and they are growing relatively better. What can I give to my pumpkin plants? Again, the weather is getting cooler now.

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Thank you
Vandana Pitke

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Vandana,
As for Lavender, it is very important to limit watering since the plant comes from the Mediterranean region and requires relatively little humidity. The excessive watering can cause, as in this case, the proliferation of pathogenic fungi and deteriorate the bacterial community of the Lavender where they are for example Rhizobium sp. and Pseudomonas sp., important fixers of nitrogen in the plant from the air, and other bacteria of the genus Bacillus that produce hormones of growth (PGPR) inside the plant and protect it against pathogenic fungi.

You can prepare live bionosode from Aloe vera sap and dynamize it to the potency 3 JT by applying this remedy to the soil. In this way you will inoculate different species of Bacillus such as Bacillus amyloliquefasciens, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus megaterium, important for the good growth of Lavender.

To control the fungus in the pumpkin you must cut the affected leaves and not compost them, but burn them to avoid the proliferation of the fungus spores. Watering should be done in such a way that the leaves do not get wet. You can use as homeopathic remedies Equisetum arvense 6 CH or Silicea tierra 6 CH with Helianthus annus oil as an adjuvant.


Dear Professor Radko Tichavsky,
I am reading your book and many questions arise. I take this opportunity to present two of my ideas. For a Camellia chigiriku disturbed by the oziorrinco, could the Beauveria bassiana be fine at a JT potency? And for the Brassavola nodosa orchid, could a constitutional remedy be the Paradise muse?

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Thank you
Roberto Migliorelli  – Roma

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Roberto,
I appreciate your interest in my book and I confirm that Otiorhinchus sp, can be controlled with Bauveria bassiana. You can replicate it in a potato mix cooked and liquefied in a blender adding liquefied shrimp shell as a replication medium along with a small amount of Bauveria bassiana spores or conidia.

After two or three days of ripening at room temperature a white foam will form on the surface. This liquid is prepared as live bionosode and is applied at the potency 3 JT. As for the use of Musa paradisiaca I am not sure, because it contains some endophytic fungi and fungi associated in the exterior of this plant with potentially dangerous fungus for the orchids. You could experiment better with homeopathic remedies prepared from root system of Pinus silvestris, or roots of Abies alba that contains Trichoderma sp. a mycorhizal fungus associated to the orchids.


Hello Mr. Tichavsky,
I am using helix tosta with much success. I am just about to give a second dose. I have not, as yet, set up a vegetable patch. I was wondering what other remedies I can arm myself with before I begin, please.

Much appreciated
Kay Stuart

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Kay,
The effect of Helix tosta, generally mentioned in the books of popular agrohomeopathy to control the snails in the cultures, has a good effect at the beginning, but when this effect, initially positive, is assiduously applied, it decreases quickly, because the snails recognize that the remedy is not associated effectively with the danger of the fire, and depending on their nutritional urgency, they learn not to react to this remedy.

In holohomeopathy there are many effective remedies, for example Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii, also known as the “Crown of Christ”, is a relatively easy to get plant, and like all Euphorbiaceae plants it produces a latex, toxic to snails. You can find the detailed mode to preparate the remedy in the August answers of this column.

About the author

Radko Tichavsky

Radko Tichavsky

Radko Tichavsky was born in the Czech republic. He has lived in Mexico for more than 25 years and is one of the most important agrohomeopaths in Latin America. He is the author of the book "Manual de agrohomeopatía", a homeopathy book on plants. Radko teaches agrohomeopathy in several countries and regularly publishes articles in special journals and internet portals. He works as a researcher and teacher at the university and has already taught agrohomeopathy to many students. He is the director of the Comenius Institute (comenius.edu.mx). More details can be found in the following interview: http://hpathy.com/homeopathic-interviews/radko-tichavsky/

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