I’m in the kitchen attempting to open a jar of curry paste. The lid is stuck tight and try as I might it just won’t come off. Tapping the lid with a knife could work as could giving the jar to a stronger member of the family to open (that’s all of them). As no one else is around I pretend I am an oak tree with big roots harnessing the earth’s energy. Sounds a bit daft but it worked. Homeopathy is another thing that sounds a bit daft, but it seems to get results in eradicating pests and diseases in the garden.
Homeopathy and plants
Homeopathy works by adding tiny amounts of plant extracts into a solution to the body, (or plant in this case) to help eliminate problems that chemicals are generally used for. For example Calendula is used for damage during repotting , and Calcium phosphoricum can be used for root rot. For an idea just how watered down these solutions are, there are generally only 20 drops of the homeopathic liquid in a litre of water. It doesn’t end there. This litre is then added to 19 litres of tap water and stirred. Some scientists say that the amounts used are so minimal that it’s only the memory of the solution present in the water.
One of the leading lights in this field is experienced Dutch homeopath Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj. Kaviraj stumbled by accident upon the homeopathic treatment of plants (called Agrohomeopathy) when he was asked to treat a rust problem in apple trees. The apples had dark red rings on the skin and needed more watering than normal. The symptoms of redness with thirst fitted the remedy Belladonna, which he duly administered. To everyone’s surprise, the rust problem disappeared. What‘s more, the apples the following year tasted noticeably better. For Kaviraj, this was a turning point. In the next twelve years, he undertook intensive research in this area, employing homeopathy for all kinds of plant diseases. He has published a book on the subject that focuses on the homeopathic treatment of plants in cases of malnourishment, parasitic and fungal attack, bacterial and viral disease, damage, and weed infestation.
Here are a couple of examples how homeopathic remedies could help.
For powdery mildew use Silicea or Sulphur as a remedy. Both are good remedies to cure fungal diseases. However, they should not be used simultaneously.
Ants do not like the smell of Marigolds. Mentha piperita and Calendula are both remedies that can be used to deter ants. Also Tagetus.
Blossom End Rot
Tomatoes love Basil, in the kitchen as well as in the garden. Ocymum basilicum is the remedy to use. Silicea is also a remedy to use, but that is more useful to soak the seeds before planting them.
Suppress the weeds
As well as preventing and curing plant problems homeopathy also helps to keep weeds down. VDK has this to say about the issue. “In homoeopathy we have nothing that kills. However, we do have a remedy that will suppress weeds for a considerable time. It also inhibits the seeds from germinating. It is called Juglans Nigra. In order to use this, it must be applied thinly to existing weeds, which will then stop growing any further. Three days later, plant the crop. It will be safe to plant other plants 72 hours after application. The weeds will remain suppressed for up to 7 months.” He tells us.
There are other natural ways of treating plants. You might be familiar with Dr Bach’s Rescue Remedy for a sick house plant, then there’s Maye Bruce’s ‘the herbs are enough’ policy of healing. She developed her own ‘Quick Return’ (QR) method based on homoeopathic dilutions of herbs and honey. Maye was originally associated with the method of Biodynamic agriculture but branched out on her own to get away from using animal parts such as the horns.
Find out more
You can check out Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj’s book on the net and also track down remedies that are easy to buy online too (or from the local health store) You never know you might find some very effective treatments for long standing problems in the garden that conventional chemicals don’t work on.