Guest Post Written by Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj (The Author)
Plants and trees do get sick like we humans do. Then what to do? Take the help of Homeopathy to revive and energise them. Agrohomeopathy is a branch of homeopathy where homeopathic medicines including nosodes and auto-nosodes are used by farmers and gardeners on sick plants and trees and on soil. It is an alternative to use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture. The benefits of agrohomeopathy include improvement in soil quality, reduction in fossil fuels consumption and pollution, economic savings and preservation of natural ecology, thereby directly saving the environment. The environment goes green with homeopathy. The use of homeopathic remedies for plants was first mentioned and practiced by Baron von Boenninghausen. He noted that the excess or leftover remedies he threw into his plant pots were having an effect on the plants . Charles Darwin also experimented with use of homeopathic remedies on plants [3,4,5]. The four new remedies used in agrohomeopathy are
Solanum dulcamara. Woody Nightshade. Bitter-sweet.
N. O. Solanaceæ. (Not to be confounded with “Deadly Nightshade,” Belladonna, nor with “Climbing Bitter-sweet,” Celastrus) Tincture prepared from fresh green stems and leaves, gathered just before flowering.
Water logging, damping off, collar rot. Effects of prolonged wet weather. Fungal diseases, such as rust. General problems with photosynthesis, such as discolourations and fungal leaf diseases. Halo spot, rust, blight, mildews. Injuries. Checked eruptions.
The leading indication for the homœopathic use of Dulcamara is found in its modality, “< from cold and damp.” Any condition which has this feature may find its remedy in Dulcamara. Dulcamara is a remedy which produces ill effects as from getting drenched. Thus, we see it has symptoms from “wet feet,” such as damping off, collar rot, and water logging.
 “Sensitiveness to cold and damp runs through the Solanaceæ, and is marked in Bell. And Caps., but it is supreme in Dulc. Dulcamara is a scrofulous remedy and has many eruptions: moist or dry, red, tettery eruptions, especially on leaves; furfuraceous,” as in downy mildew. “It corresponds to results of repercussed eruptions.”
Worse from cold weather, especially in weak plants. It is indicated when the fields remain wet and water remains on the soil after much rain, such as we often see in spring and fall in the northern hemisphere and in monsoon climates, when the rain sometimes does not stop for days on end. At the same time, we see that the plants have a great desire for water, and this may account also for the condition of waterlogging, since in humans dropsical affections are prominent.
It is, like its close similar Rhus tox, also indicated after hot days, followed by cold nights. Such conditions often occur both in spring and fall, when the sun has enough power to make the days warm and pleasant, but which may be followed by night frosts, or at least a significant drop in temperature. Dulcamara will do much to alleviate such symptoms and we can draw this conclusion from the effects it has on humans and animals under similar circumstances.
Since such conditions and circumstances are also promoting fungal diseases, Dulcamara is equally indicated for those effects. It is useful in some forms of rust, most fungal diseases caused by dampness and waterlogging will be covered by this remedy. Damping off is one of those diseases which affect many seedlings of the Graminae and Leguminosae. It may also be seen in the Brassicaceae and Cucurbitaceae. Of the Solanaceae we may mention the potato and tomato as most prone to diseases from dampness and excess water, of which blight is perhaps the most prominent example.
There are some problems with flowering, especially from the effects of cold weather, which delays the flowering or causes difficulties with the pollination of the plants. In grains and pulses pollination occurs by wind and often in rainy weather wind is absent, which may account for crop losses. In Solanaceae, Brassicaceae and Cucurbitaceae, pollination occurs by either bees and butterflies or is forced by humans, such as in tomatoes and pumpkins. During rainy weather, pollination may be problematic.
Spots with red edges, such as halo spot, rust, blight, small, round, yellowish-brown rust spots. Red spots as in rust.
MODALITIES and CONCOMITANTS:
Worse in the evenings and nights, during rainy weather, from standing in water, after significant drop in temperature. Better from warm weather, warm wind, covering the soil with straw (especially in tomatoes).
Similar: Rhus tox.
Antidoted by: Bryonia, Belladonna, Camphor.
Antidote to: Cupr.
Follows well: Bryonia, Calcarea Carb., Lycopodium, Rhus tox, Sepia, Veratrum Album.
Complementary: Baryta carb.
Compare: Aconite, Arsenic album, Chamomila, Nitric acid, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox, Staph., Sulphur.
Rhus toxicodendron and Rhus radicans
Poison ivy (grows as a bush) and Poison Oak (grows as a shrub)
N. O. Anacardiaceæ. Tincture of fresh leaves gathered at sunset just before flowering time.
Fruit drop, premature. Problems with flowering. Pollination absent. Growths on the stamen resembling cankers. Blisters as from the blister beetle. Rust and other fungal diseases. Diverse eruptions; pustular and oozing a sticky fluid (Graphites). Ill effects of sudden drop in temperature as in night frost. Hot days, cold nights. Sudden changes of weather from warm to cold.
 “Botanists agree in recognising no distinction other than that of habit between the two. Millspaugh (American Medicinal Plants) tells in his masterly account of the plant that he has seen the two varieties springing from the same root-stock. He advises that the tincture should be made from specimens of both. Rhus tox is a shrub with erect stem from two to four feet high. The stem is devoid of rootlets. Rhus r. has more or less tortuous stems, four to thirty feet high, profusely studded with dark-coloured rootlets, by which it clings to its support. Our own Ivy (Hedera helix) in the same way may run along the ground, rooting at intervals if it cannot find a support, and growing to a great height if it can; and it may be an erect shrub with no rootlets and no tendency to climb. The two forms have been proved independently, and when necessary to distinguish them I shall name them Rhus r. and Rhus tox. When reference is made to both or either in this work I use the term Rhus without distinction. All other varieties of Rhus will be distinguished.”
 “The milky juice, which turns black on exposure, is used as a marking ink (like Anacardium) and as an ingredient of varnishes for finishing boots. The tincture contains Rhoitannic acid (C18H28O13) and Toxicodendric acid, a poisonous, volatile principle. A peculiarity of the plant is that it is more poisonous during the night, and when bursting into leaf, or at any time in June or July when the sun is not shining upon it. Absence of sunlight, together with dampness, seems to favour the exhalation of Toxicodendric acid. “An acrimonious vapour, combined with carburetted hydrogen, exhales from a growing plant of the Poison Oak during the night. It can be collected in a jar, and is capable of inflaming and blistering the skin of persons of excitable constitution who plunge their arms into it” (Porcher, quoted by Millspaugh, from whose work I take the above facts). Those who care for Signatures will not fail to connect the cardinal aggravations of Rhus at night and from damp with the increased virulence of the plant at night and in damp atmosphere.”
Rhus tox is similar to Dulcamara in the effects from sudden changes of weather, especially from hot to cold. It produces similar forms of rust and fungal diseases, but where these are of a wet appearance and characteristic in Dulcamara, they are merely damp in Rhus. With the exception of the rust, which is a uniform plant disease produced by spores and propagated rapidly by the same means, the conditions under which they form and spread are practically speaking similar. Where the Dulcamara spread is mainly due to rain splash and running water, in Rhus the disease is spread by wind. Just as the temperature difference is caused by rainfall in Dulcamara, it is simply under damp conditions, more than rain, in Rhus tox. Also, Rhus has greater nightly aggravations, and when cloudy. Both are better in warm sunny weather.
First there is redness and swelling of the affected part, the surface of the leaves becomes after a time studded with confluent bullæ where the cellular tissue is loose. This resembles some forms of rust, where the tissue bursts to let out the spores. H. C. Allen (quoted Critique, vi. 409) notes in Rhus rad. a periodicity with yearly returning symptoms on the exact same date. Others have noted monthly periodicity at the same moon phase.
MODALITIES and CONCOMITANTS:
Worse at night, in cloudy damp weather. Great thirst for water in repeated large quantities. Sensitive to cold open air; raw north-east winds. Change of weather; damp, stormy weather; before a storm; snowstorm; in autumn; in winter.
Better by warmth of the sun.
Antidoted by: Bryonia, Belladonna, Camphor.
Antidote to: Bryonia.
Inimical: Apis mel. before or after, especially in affections of the leaves and bark.
Compatible: Arnica, Arsenicum Album, Bryonia, Calcarea, Calcarea phos, Chamomilla, Phosphoric acid, Pulsatilla, Sulphur.
Followed well by: Arsenicum Album, Bryonia, Calcarea, Belladonna, Graphite, Phosphorous, Pulsatilla, Sepia, Sulphur.
Cimicifuga racemosa. Actæa monogynia. C. serpentaria. Macrotys racemosa. Botroflus serpentaria. Black snake root. Black Cohosh. (Canada, Georgia, Western States of America.)
N. O. Ranunculaceæ. Tincture of the root. Trituration of the resinoid, Macrotyn.
Aphids. Problems during flowering and fruitsetting. Premature fruitdrop. Fruit fails to ripen.
Although this is not commonly known, Actea is called “louse herb” in one of its common names and this accounts for its excellent effect on plants infested with aphids and scale. While this is the use commonly made of it (see C Maute), it is by no means the sole feature of this remedy, which in humans and animal husbandry has a reputation in troubles of the female sexual organs. Thus we have seen fit to use it in problems in flowering and fruiting in plants, especially in fruit and nut trees, which depend heavily on proper pollination.
With the present-day problems which neonicotinoid pesticides pose for the bee populations – being the main cause for Colony Collapse Disorder and devastating up to 50% of the entire bee populations in the US and EU – such problems will be seen more and more and even this remedy will not suffice to solve them. As for bees, the remedy Pulsatilla will greatly enhance their immunity, but as with bumblebees and butterflies, unless this pesticide is banned immediately, even homeopathy will have the greatest difficulty in counteracting this Big Ag menace. The best course of action is to convince farmers that it is in their best interest to abandon all pesticides and switch to homoeopathy as the cheaper, cleaner and healthier option, thus saving their own businesses from inevitable disaster.
That said; let us return to Actea as a remedy in premature fruit drop. Generally, fruits take a few months to ripen and fall, but sometimes, they already drop while still small and green, while in no way becoming ripe enough before they already drop from the tree. This generally occurs in the 2nd to 3rd week of fruitsetting and it involves the entire crop in the case of a single tree or the crop of an entire orchard. In some cases, no flowers are produced at all, and consequently no fruits will be forthcoming.
In the past, we have tried to overcome these problems with either doses of Phosphorus or Silicea, but those remedies are not always capable of dealing with this problem. While Sepia or Pulsatilla may also be alternatives, no other remedy has this problem in such extreme form as Actea and none has it this early in the season. Sepia and Pulsatilla will have premature fruitdrop, but the fruit can generally be ripened off the tree. In the cases where Actea is indicated, no such ripening is possible, because of the immaturity of the fruit.
Similar: Actea spicata, Caulophyllum, Sepia, Pulsatilla, Natrum mur.
Antidoted by: Aconite.
Sepia officinalis. Cuttle Fish.
N. O. Cephalopoda. Trituration of dried liquid contained in the ink-bag. Clarke says that the remedy made from the fresh ink is by far superior.
Problems related to flowering and fruitsetting. Premature fruit drop.
 “The present use of Sepia in medicine is due to Hahnemann. Some among the ancient physicians (Dioscorides, Plinius, and Marcellus, says Teste) used the flesh, the eggs, or even the only bone which constitutes the skeleton of this animal.”
Due to its action on the sexual system of both males and females, it is an important remedy for flowering and fruitsetting. It will cure problems like premature fruit drop. Before they are ripe.
It is important to note that the terms “ripe” and “mature” are usually used synonymously, but they actually mean different things. A mature fruit is one that has completed its growth phase. This will also ensure that it completes its ripening phase (reaches optimal quality for consumption), because a fruit cannot ripen until it reaches maturity. Ripening is the term used to describe the changes that occur within the fruit from the time it reaches maturity to the beginning of decay. These changes usually involve starches converting to sugars, a decrease in acids and a softening and change in the fruit’s color.
Technically speaking, citrus fruits for instance, do not go through a ripening process in the sense that they get “tree ripe.” Some fruits (like cherries) physically mature and then continue to ripen on the tree. Other fruits (like pears) are picked when mature, but before they ripen. They then continue to ripen off the tree. Citrus fruits like oranges pass from immaturity, to maturity to over-maturity while still on the tree. Once they are separated from the tree, that’s it. They will not increase in sweetness or continue to “ripen.” The only way change that may happen after being picked is that they will eventually start to decay.
Whatever stage of maturity the oranges were in when you picked them is where they will remain until they start to decline. With oranges, colour cannot be used as an indicator of ripeness because sometimes the rinds turn orange long before the oranges are ready to eat. Tasting them is the only way to know whether or not they are ready to eat.
Apples may change colour as they ripen and mature. Depending on the variety, this is generally from green to yellow or red, but many apples stay green. Pears also have many varieties that change colour as well as varieties that stay green.
Antidoted by: Vegetable acids, Aconite, Rhus tox.
Antidote to: Calcarea carb, Natrum mur, Natrum phos, Phosphorous, Sarsapilla, Sulphur.
Complementary: Natrum mur (the cuttle-fish is a salt-water animal), Natrum carb, and other Natrum salts; Sulphur.
Followed well by: Nitric acid.
I conclude with an open ended question for the readers: Do plants have miasms?
To know whether plants have miasms check this video at youtube.
 Clarke’s Dictionary of Materia Medica
 Agrohomeopathy: An Introduction to Healing Plants and Planet with Homeopathy
 Charles Darwin and Homeopathy
 Charles Darwin proved homeopathic dilutions
 Darwin and Homeopathy
The copyright is reserved with the author Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj. All opinions are that of the author.
About the author: Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj
Most of the content in the above article is an excerpt of his third edition of his book “Homeopathy for Farm and Garden: The Homeopathic Treatment of Plants” originally published in 2006 and is available in 12 languages including 5 indian languages. It is republished here with his explicit permission. He has also published a repertory for plants known as agro-repertory.
Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj (31st Oct. 1946 Netherlands – 2nd March 2013 France), was born as Ben Rozendal. In 1964, he came to India and stayed for more than three years and learned about indigenous plants. In 1970’s he ran two organic farms for three years, one in France and the other in Belgium. He came back to India in 1979, joined ‘Hare Krishna Movement’ and stayed in Vrindavan (Mathura). He got sick. He tried everything but to no avail, finally cured by a homeopath Dr. Chatterjee in three days. He became his disciple and learned homeopathy for 1.5 years and after his passing away ran his clinic for another 8.5 years. In 1986, he started experimenting with homeopathic medicines for sick plants while visiting a friend’s house in Switzerland where he made the chance discovered that Belladonna can heal a scarlet-like disease in apple trees. In 1990, he moved to Australia, then to Holland in 2000 and was living in London since 2004. He has travelled to Vietnam, USA and Africa.
He was the President at ‘Institute for Research in Homeopathy’, Madagascar, and the Vice President at ‘World Homoeopathic Association’, UK Chapter. He was a Member, Advisory Board at ‘Applied Research in Homeopathy Foundation of Canada‘. He has been bestowed with a Gold Medal Lifetime Achievement Award. He wrote a monthly column “Ask the Plant Doctor“. He also wrote a column “Ask Kaviraj “. He also contributed regularly at Homeopathy World Community. He urged all CAM discipines to unite under the banner “CAM UNITED! ONE VOICE! . You can read his interview at Hpathy. More about him here
The above Guest Post is the sixth in the GUEST BLOG SERIES. For reading previous Guest Posts check out http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/guest-blog-series
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