Translated by Katja Schütt and Alan Schmukler
“It is more important to know what sort of plant has a disease than to know what sort of disease a plant has.”
Paraphrase on Hippocrate(460-377 B.C.)
Agro-homeopathy is an important tool for the validation of homeopathy and provides evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy in the most objective way, disproving the claim that it is merely a placebo effect.
The usual method of validation in agro-homeopathy is by means of models. These are used as a simplification of complex systems, to quantify, control and predict the process of treatment.
In defense of objectivity, we have to say that most models used for agro-homeopathic experimentation, despite significant progress, still contain a high degree of allopathic heritage and chronic inherent irreproducibility problems.
Homeopathy involves an integral, holistic concept and considers the interconnection of different parts of the organism. In this regard, Hahnemann wrote explicitly about the futility and danger of local applications, because they can cause suppression of symptoms, drive the disease to more important organs and worsen the disease state in the long run.
The not properly indicated and locally applied remedy may cause the local malady to disappear. This will pretend cure of the disease but may generate more severe health problems later. Even to apply the indicated remedy on affected parts is inadmissible as the disappearance of the local symptom will render it difficult to determine if the general disease is destroyed.
For example, the application of Calendula officinalis may be indicated in case of attacks of aphids and skin affections in the plant. But its local application is suppressive and contraindicated in psoric diseases, as it will cause the aggravation of symptoms in the long term and finally the death of the plant.
Psoric disease in Agave sp. where the local application of Calendula off. is contraindicated.
Considering this, it is neither necessary nor desirable to apply agro-homeopathic remedies directly on plants or pests in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of homeopathy. The problem is systemic and also includes the soil and entire bio-constellation, and should be treated as such in order to avoid suppressions.
Hahnemann also pointed out the importance of individualization and that there are no specific remedies for specific diseases. There is no fixed relation between pest or disease and a single drug, a fact which is ignored by the vast majority of researchers who apply homeopathy on plants, because they do not recognize that plants also develop an individual profile and symptomatology.
From the Hahnemannian point of view it does not make sense to treat the subject without considering their individual symptoms. Plants also come in different constitutional types and temperaments as humans and animals. Their constitution and temperament determines their individual response to internal and external stimuli, as well as their symptomatology. The age of the plant is one of the factors which influences the rapidity and type of response.
The holographic or fractal structure of nature displays the same bio-typology and individual profile during various growth phases and developmental stages of plants, and is identical in all their parts: embryo, endosperm and perisperm, cotyledons, plumule, aerial or radicular parts of the adult plant, flowers and fruits. Plants also display a differentiated behavior which depends on environmental conditions and individual decisions of the plant.
Plants demonstrate the mechanism of apoptosis, which is the process of programmed cell death. Apoptosis occurs when a cell is damaged beyond repair, infected with a virus or bacteria for example, or undergoing stressful conditions such as prolonged lack of nutrients. They also display social behavior and join and share information and substances with a variety of other organisms like mycorrhizal fungi. They also send and receive allelopathic signals (volatile organic compounds known as VOC´s) from other organisms.
Some fungi can modify their behavior depending on their survival strategies and environmental conditions such as Cladosporium spp., which are commonly found on living and dead plant material, and present in virtually any crop. Cladosporium spp. is not considered to be pathogenic to the living plants, but under some special conditions, like environmental stress and climatic changes, or in combination with other organisms, they can become highly pathogenic.
Large areas of Prosopis sp. trees in Mexico died because of the symbiotic relationship between the root system of the epiphytic plant Tilandsia recurvata and the normally not pathogenous fungus Cladosporium sp. In this specific condition Cladosporium sp. invades the circulatory system of the tree and kills it.
Infestation of Prosopis sp. with the epiphythic plant Tilandsia recurvata
Cladosporium´s hyphas invading the Prosopis sp. tree
It is understandable that neither manual stripping of Tilandsia recurvata nor the application of fungicides solves the problem, as this approach doesn’t consider the underlying conditions, including miasms. With allopathic treatment the disease will re-emerge again and again until the fatal outcome.
The application of homeopathic pest nosodes or isodes demonstrates one of the major limitations of agro-homeopathy’s experimentation and validation models used in the laboratory. Their application under isolated conditions of a laboratory often shows only a slight reduction in the reproduction mechanisms of the pest.
By contrast, their application in natural conditions can lead to a different and often broader and stronger response, because this involves the whole bio-constellation of the homeostatic mechanisms.
Experiments comprising the application of homeopathic remedies to plants in natural conditions don’t seem to be “scientific”, because all involved variables cannot be considered. However, they are much more consistent with the holistic Hahnemannian approach. It is clear that in natural conditions the beneficial organisms are much more involved in the homeostasis of plants and diseases in comparison to laboratory pest-plant models. Pests are controlled in natural conditions through their pathogens.
The primary aim of agro-homeopathy is not to kill the pest directly, but to strengthen the natural defensive system of the plant so that the pest does not find favorable conditions to thrive and can be combated effectively.
Many pests which don’t have an obvious or comprehensible value from the human or economic point of view, do have their irreplaceable importance within the bio-constellation.
The insect-pest encased within a container or chamber of an experimental laboratory has no chance to “escape” and cannot retreat to an alternative crop. It is not part of any bio-constellation which could deliver pathogens required for the regulation of the pest population.
It is a proven fact that fragmented habitats or bio-constellations not only modify the density of microorganisms, but also their diversity with important effects on the regulatory function of the pest and disease.
“Fragmentation… not only causes loss of the amount of habitat. By creating small, isolated patches it also changes the properties of the remaining habitat” (1)
Loss of population and fragmentation of bio-constellation show two similar space patterns, but a different grade of diversity of “inhabitants”.
a) fragmented bio-constellation
b) loss of the population of the bio-constellation
c) fragmentation of the bio-constellation per se
“The definition of habitat fragmentation above implies four effects of the process of fragmentation on habitat pattern: (a) reduction in habitat amount, (b) increase in the number of habitat patches, (c) decrease in the size of habitat patches, and (d) increase of isolation of patches.” (2)
This is a typical effect of laboratory conditions in applied agro-homeopathic models. Habitat loss has large, consistently negative effects on the genetic biodiversity and microorganisms. (3,4)
Because of these limits of agro-homeopathic models, results are only valid as a simple observation. They are not sufficient to understand the effects of homeopathic remedies on the relationship of pest to plant or disease to plant.
Not only allopaths have difficulty understanding homeopathy. Homeopaths also may have difficulty comprehending incomplete, reductionist studies of pest-plants models which are carried out with homeopathic remedies but under allopathic conditions.
Scientific studies which propose to validate the efficacy of homeopathy in plants are very important. But it is to stress, that especially the insect-plant model applied in laboratory conditions, has serious limitations and is not capable of explaining the effect of homeopathy on plants scientifically. These models show inconsistencies because they don’t consider the above mentioned uncontrolled and relevant parameters.
To apply statistical methods to these results would only disguise these inconsistencies, and their result would have inappropriate outcome measures and display chronic system-inherent irreproducibility problems, giving the false impression of unreliability of agro-homeopathy.
Agro-homeopathic experimentation with plants in laboratory conditions have to be complemented by experimentation in their natural environment, that is to say, in the open air and inside and outside of monoculture crop conditions. They also have to consider the different bio-typologies of plants to gain valid results.
1. van den Berg LJL, Bullock JM, Clarke RT,Langston RHW, Rose RJ. 2001. Territory selection by the Dartford warbler (Sylvia undata) in Dorset, England: the role of vegetation type, habitat fragmentation and population size. Biol. Conserv. 101:217-28
2. Lenore Fahring, Effects of habitatfragmentation of biodiversity Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 2003. 34:487-515
3. Gibbs JP. 2001. Demography versus habitat fragmentation as determinants of genetic
variation in wild populations Biol. Conserv.100:15-20
4. Gibbs JP, Stanton EJ. 2001. Habitat fragmentation and arthropod community change: carrion beetles, phoretic mites, and flies. Ecol. Appl. 11:79-85
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