Agrohomeopathy :: Concept
Homeopathic Journal :: Volume: 3, Issue: 12, Oct, 2010 (General Theme) - from Homeorizon.com
|Article Updated: Oct 25, 2010|
Concepts - quintessences
All concepts stand or fall with their ease of understanding and consequent adherence to laws and principles, because otherwise it becomes speculative hypothesis. Natural events follow cyclical patterns. Many cycles consist of four or six units, such as seasons in the four climate bands that circle the earth or the seasons that may prevail in some of them.
We know from the fact these cycles of four exist that a fifth - the originating intelligence - needs to be added to the equation. However, this is not the type of quintessence we speak about here.
Here we speak about quintessences that can be expressed easiest in five short, terse aphorisms, which alone depicts truths about the scientific idea it conveys and which together explain the entire concept in broad lines. We will meet many of them here regarding diseases, elementary substances, elemental concepts and in the application of the Law of Similars.
We must also discuss the methods of preparing remedies, because some are made very different than we make them for humans. We have in human homoeopathy no remedy called Juglone and to obtain it, we do not extract Juglone in the manner as described in the pharmacopoeia, but obtain it how it is obtained in nature. Hence we put the leaves of the walnut in water and leave it standing till almost all the leave tissue has dissolved. We shake it every now and then and add alcohol for preservation. Juglone is generally extracted differently if we want the pure essence, but for agriculture things proceed from a different point of view.
What we see happen in nature is what we imitate in the treatment with and the development of the remedies. If in nature there was a fast extraction method we would use it, but nature goes slowly and so we follow slowly. A plant is washed in water several times a day to extract allelopathic substances from it. In this way we obtain the remedies just like nature does it with a little rain. We make remedies from substances that are still unknown in homoeopathy, but which may prove to be excellent in their actions on human ailments too.
It is perfectly imaginable that remedies made from plants or their exudations, fungi and bacteria that grow in the vicinity of the crop we make remedies for people that have particular cravings for such food or where little else is available. The subsequent malnourishment can be alleviated by remedies that normally grow near that crop. Just as we do with a crop can we do with a human or a large group of them. Similarly, we can use remedies that we now employ only for crops also to treat humans with similar diseases as plants have, just like I used the image of human disease when I saw the rust on those fruit trees in Switzerland and that brought me to the remedy. An allelochemical may prove to be very useful in the treatment of infertility, since it inhibits germination of weeds. Whether on the level of the plant, an animal or man, such a remedy must work on all in a similar manner or otherwise the Law of Similars is a piece of bunk - which we have known for over 200 years to be impossible to refute as the opposite - an eternal truth.
The remedies so developed must be obtained as they are found in their natural setting - at least for plants - to have the maximum effect and from their potentisation leave the least possible residue, which is nothing. If we try to use the remedies for humans we will have some success, but if we obtain them for plants, we must rewrite the pharmacopoeia or better still, write a different one for plants. In some ways the remedies are identical, such as in the chemical compounds in which nutrients come to plants, while those of companion plants are also obtained as they are for humans. However, with fungi or allelochamicals and specifically the latter, we have to observe and imitate the process as it is for plants in their circumstances, which differ greatly from our own, while also sharing similarities.
Plants have different requirements from humans or animals and therefore the remedies made for them must reflect these necessities. Steiner recommended that the pure tincture was put into 200 litres of water and used, and did not like the idea of going higher than 3X or maximum 6X. My first success story with the Belladonna on the rust was in the 200C and worked almost instantly. I have also used 30X extensively and can say that some potencies work better when given low, while others work better in high potencies, often dependent on the plant and the situation. However, unless otherwise stated, the 6X is a good potency to begin with and will have sufficient 'matter' in them to satisfy orthodox rigours, which want substance in that bottle. When it does not work and you are sure this is the remedy, try a 30X and see what happens. If that also does not work, retake the case.
The Role of Experience
Practical examples of the application of true health concepts will be given here. While we do not agree with the orthodox manner in which the health of ourselves or our crops is tried to be maintained, we gain little by completely condemning it. Rather we offer an alternative that does not seek to suppress disease, but instead helps the plants to throw off that, which is detrimental to their well-being. It pays to study these descriptions carefully and watch for similarities in the field one takes care of, to enable the grower or farmer to implement these recommendations to the advantage of both himself and his crops.
Over the years various aspects of the health concept referred to here have been developed and used in practice. The veterinary side of things has been developed from the moment Hahnemann published his first edition of the Organon and the names of Lux and Jenichen are well-known in veterinary homoeopathic circles. In our own time, Day and McLeod have been the pioneers and published books on the subject. In Germany the tradition has been especially vigorous.
For example, the veterinary practitioner Spranger served German and Danish organic farms so well that in due course his role as a veterinary practitioner became 'surplus to requirements'. In his guidance to farms he emphasised stimulating self-regulation by the animals and the farm system, among other things by paying more attention to nutrition, housing, chain control and the closed nature of the system and ways of dealing with animals and breeding.
Similarly, we look at self-regulation in the plant world too, but must make do with a substitute - the homoeopathic remedies derived from the direct environment of the crop, were it grown in completely natural circumstances. The various aspects of this concept of health are being explained here. Also here experience pays off - the famer knows the diseases well enough to immediately recognise the descriptions as being identical with the diseases, which he knows as old acquaintances.
If in like manner as with his animals he pays more attention to nutrition - in the organic direction - spacing and other aspects as well as the equally closed nature of the system and the ways of dealing with plants and growing or cross-breeding crops - he has achieved something that is beneficial to his wallet, his health, his customers and his immediate environment. He has entered a win-win situation.
By serving the farmers I learned a great deal too, besides the experiments in the back garden and later on a larger scale. By using the remedies and making my mistakes much was learned, but not until I started looking at traditional farming methods from the less-developed world did I consider much in terms of total environment. Rather I focused on the direct problems and finding a remedy for that. By looking farther afield at how companion plants work and by studying nature as a whole I came to see the interconnected web of life more as a symbiotic organism and less as an attempt at growing food. I began to see that everything I do to a crop is having effects on all aspects of its environment too, because after applying remedies, certain effects took place - sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but always as a result of a remedy. For instance a dose of fertiliser also affects the other plants and living entities in the plant community. It may attract aphids or spider mites and repel the predator. Even IPM can be powerless to control aphid explosions as long as nutrient imbalances are in place and therefore we must resort to Elemental remedies or their compounds to redress that imbalance.
At the same time there is increasing demand for 'old knowledge and experience'. Medicines, which are compatible with organic farming, have several advantages. If we moreover pay attention to what the animals attract themselves when feeling out of sorts, we can gain incredibly much in regards to their treatment in disease or in difficulties they experience at different phases of their lives. Under European legislation organically farmed animals must where possible be treated with homeopathic or phytotherapeutic remedies.
We can imagine that the authorities cannot bring much against the use of these same remedies on plants. But how do we apply these principles in the field? The difficulty for the beginner is that experience with plant diseases seems difficult to gain. Many of the diseases look similar; equally many are caused by fungi as by nutrients and the differences are small and considering pests, identifying insects poses more difficulties, because when several species of insects are present in the field it may be difficult to decide which is the one causing the problem. Thrips may look like rather drab flies or little moths, many pests hide underneath the leaves and some look rather similar to predators. Many insects are also vectors for disease and to decide whether the disease was there before the pest or vice versa may also pose problems.
At a fundamental level remedies are chosen for specific clusters of symptoms. At a slightly higher level remedies are chosen which correspond to specific plant typologies. Finally there is another level at which the choice of medication depends on the one hand on the unique individual situation and on the other hand on the stage and nature of the stage in the therapeutic process.
The homeopathic doctor or veterinary physician or alternatively the agrohomoeopath is thus looking for the most significant characteristics of this case with these plants or this animal or person. Similarly, the homoeopathic agriculturist observes also from the different levels of experience - both with growing crops and with the use of the remedies.
Particular traits, which only a few plants share, become significant because these are the most characteristic. Some pieces of information are thus more important than others. The homeopathic doctor ranks sometimes dozens of pieces of information, which a single case can provide. When all the information is collected and placed in order of precedence the doctor seeks out exactly that remedy which best suits this case from more than 500 homeopathic remedies in the case of plants. With animals or humans the doctor has approximately 3500 remedies to choose from.
Many practitioners of complementary forms of medicine thus also indicate that they distinguish between knowledge obtained experimentally and that based on experience. Experience manifests itself in three different ways:
- historical knowledge/insights and ideas/methods passed down by earlier practitioners (often to be found in specialist literature),
- reflection during the practitioner's career on the knowledge accrued and his/her own experience with health, sickness, treatment, etc., and
- information, which comes to light during the process of treating the individual patient.
Then there are those flashes of insight from intuition, where that insight is gained through grace, but which is very seldom and not for everyone. The question is however whether this form of therapy selection has any scientific legitimacy. The short and clear answer is yes! There are sufficient points of departure in the scientific literature to legitimise the use of experiential knowledge in addition to the protocol-based approach.
Experienced workers, experts, have learned more or less consciously to deal with the prevailing laws and situations in their field (expertise, tacit knowledge, clinical eye, craftsmanship or professional skill, green fingers, etc). In many cases this experience produces valid knowledge.
This knowledge enables them to recognise 'prototypical situations' based on pattern recognition, to see the present problems in this light and by having an overview of the situation and laws, to perform adequately and in accordance with the situation. Adequate knowledge of the prevailing laws, their sphere of work and how to apply them in different situations provides the opportunity for self-regulation, the 'adaptive use of skill across changing personal and environmental conditions'.
All these aspects of homoeopathic practise come to bear on treating plants as much as humans or animals. It requires that one has an interest in what grows in the garden and what difficulties a plant must meet in its life and the relations with other plants, insects and mammals in its direct environment. By looking at the whole, the different relations are at once visible but the untrained eye must first learn to see the relevant features.
Now, we shall turn to those quintessences we bragged about at the beginning.
What Is Related Seeks Each Other
In nature we see that closely related phenomena always seek each other. This begins with the biome or the habitat. Homoeopathy is a way to understand the relationships between all the components in the biome. I call it the Dock and Nettle concept, although these two plants form but a very limited expression of the totality of those relationships.
Within the biome or habitat the first component - which forms its own totality as well - is the soil, within which a plethora of other components have to be considered. We have the nutrients, the microorganisms and allelochemicals as subheadings, which in turn are determined by the pH. An acidic soil has for instance different components from an alkaline or neutral soil, which also differ among themselves. Above-ground, we have weeds, companion plants, bushes and trees, insects and birds, reptiles and mammals and finally man.
All these components are in close relationships, either harmonious or disharmonious. Man seeks what he needs and what he needs seeks him, both in health and disease. Within the biome where he lives and on which he feeds, man finds all he needs, including his medicine. We notice this when we visit the sick and first stroll through his garden, where we often find the remedy he needs growing in abundance.
When we consider all the components in the biome or habitat we will discover they are all in relationship to man, who uses them for life and living. The diseases of people living on an acid soil differ from those experienced by those who live on alkaline soils both in nature and expression. Within each habitat the elemental substances, the microorganisms, the allelohemicals and the plants themselves, the insects, reptiles and birds ad the milk of the mammals form as remedies the totality of the variety of diseases. Just as Aconite and Belladonna, although from different plant Families, are cures for scarlet fever in some of its varieties, so will all other components contain the remedies for each manifestation of disease in that habitat. These components will cover other varieties of disease, but all will be related. These relations are based on similarity - follow-ups, complements and antidotes.
When remedy relations are based on natural relations within a habitat, we have a true living system of homoeopathy. The flaw in approach of remedy relations by Family is found in the fact that Solanum mammosum does not grow in the same habitat as Solanum tuberosum, which is growing elsewhere again from Atropa Belladonna. The first grows in the jungle and the second in artificially planted rows in monocultures while the last likes to grow in places not frequented much by humans - wastelands and abandoned land. While they may have similar themes and issues, those relations are more or less artificial, without being able to explain the natural relation other than by its common family and thus not exactly a living one. The remedy someone needs is often but not always ditectly connected to the soil and the climate in which and on which one lives. Swamps in tropical countries are always related to malaria and the remedy one needs is found in those same swamps as Malaria officinalis. The dock grows next to the nettle just because it is the antidote to the sting. From such simple examples one can deduct the entire range of relations between the remediue within a certain habitat, which in turn will attract certain types of disease. In swamps one finds - due to bad hygiene - many diseases of the digestive tract and the remedies to cure them are equally found in abundance.
From these relations we can also discover which are the real relations in a local habitat, where everything is interconnected not in a gigantic "struggle for life" but in a harmonious whole, where the cyclic nature of events precludes any deviation from the renewable nature of nature. So the relations between living beings and elementary substances is determined by the entire habitat and climate zone.
The obvious relations of Solanum tuberosum are with Phaseolus and Zea mays or Cucurbita, as well as with the elements it needs, for those belong in the same habitat and have greater similarity and are therefore truly living relations. The Three Sisters of the Amerindians belong together as their name implies. A living system is also a totality, which in the Elemental and Kingdom or Family relations as envisioned by others is completely missing. These are artificial constructs that do not answer to the reality of life but to the fancy of the system builder. While they have their own usefulness, they are limited in approach and show but a one-sided view of the reality of disease states in man.
Hahnemann taught that the environment in which man lives and works has a great deal of influence and importance on the types of disease he may suffer from.
In every case of disease the particulars of the exiting cause of an acute disease are of importance. In chronic cases, the most significant points in the history enable the physician to discover its fundamental cause. Fundamental causes are generally due to a chronic miasma. In these investigations the following points need due consideration:
- Physical constitution.
- The character, both moral and intellectual.
- Occupation - the work he does.
- Environment - the place and situation .
- The way of life and habits.
- Social and domestic relation.
- Age and sex.
Since the totality of symptoms is always stressed, the totality of the habitat gives us all remedies available to treat the totality of diseases that affect man, animals and plants within that habitat or biome.
Materia Medica & Habitat
Materia Medica must therefore be adapted to and adopted by the habitat to cover all totalities of symptoms in the totality of disease states within it. They are a mathematical certainty, because the one cannot exceed the other. They are each other's limit and limiters. Once we know how to adapt and adopt this picture of totality, Materia Medica becomes the guide to the totality of living, instead of the half-dead classifications of the present alphabetical arrangement or those adopted by the modern system builders.
As an example we may take island dwellers, where different Natrum and Magnesium salts exist in excess in the soil and the air and thus in the plants that grow there. People living in this habitat are likely to need remedies from the sea and the plants and animals that are not part of his daily diet.
Another example is found in desert dwellers, whose food contains much Silicon and its salts and acids and whose remedies include Silicea and the medicinal plants peculiar to this habitat. Those that live near bogs and swamps need different remedies and food, consistent with and peculiar to this habitat. Sandy and clay soils are alkaline and so are the food and the medicines that grow on them. Peat is acidic and produces different food and medicine according to and with its nature. All these different habitats produce on each level the elements, insects, microorganisms, food and medicinal plants - exactly in accordance with their nature in a living system.
Materia medica organised this way will help us to see the correlations between disease and health within each habitat and see them better than in any other system presented so far. This is also the most neglected aspect of our healing art to date. It is a living system in which all components - living beings and so-called dead matter - contribute to the picture of health and disease. Complete and detailed, it enables us to treat disease in man, animals and plants in the most comprehensive manner. It leaves nothing to the imagination and shows the logic of Nature, rather than an artificial construct that is called a system.
If we are to understand the book of Nature we will have to walk her pages. Since we are but the servant and secretary of nature, we must record what she teaches us. Each environment has its own lessons to teach, which come to us in the form of diseases, some of which fall outside the direct environment in a sense, since they are iatrogenic.
The partial cannot approach the totality, notwithstanding its other supposed advantages, which doubtless exist. We must not throw out the child with the bathwater, but present a more integrated view. The other systems have their usefulness otherwise they would not have been adopted so widely.
Kent, although a great homoeopath and philosopher, made a mistake when he asserted that all the remedies we would ever need could be found in a single kingdom. The exposure of the remedies from the Periodic Table shows that such is simply not the case. Most acute diseases will not yield to a remedy from that system. Provings of those remedies may show otherwise, but since they have not been conducted, we shall have to accept the fact that such diseases yield mainly to remedies made from plants. The present body of knowledge concerning elemental remedies does not provide the expectation they will, although provings could turn up surprises. While theoretically possible, 200 years of practical experience has taught us that remedies from all kingdoms have been used and necessarily so.
Kent's notion may have provided the incentive for the modern system builders. While useful, as explained above, their one-sidedness makes them not living, but dead systems and at least limited in scope. On the other hand, the integrated system as presented here as a representation of the complete habitat with all components present, promises a true totality of remedies covering all possible disease states.
The web of life is completely intertwined on all possible levels, because nothing exists in isolation. All Solanaceae may possess a common theme, but the habitat of each excludes the others having any bearing on the theme when not belonging in the same habitat. Someone who lives near Solanum mammosum may be in need of that remedy, but someone living in a different habitat is not likely to have much need for it. He will be better served by another member of that family. Thus the usefulness of a system is in its ability to distinguish between different states as determined by the biome or habitat in which that disease state manifests.
Similarly, we may classify the elements according to the prominent component, but some will be better suitable in one habitat and others in a different habitat. Thus the classification, while useful, is isolated from its relations within the habitat of the patient. Therefore we must expand on these systems and integrate them in the grand view of habitat and componential overview. Otherwise the scope and understanding they provide will remain limited. Only within the complete interactive web of life can such systems develop their full meaning and potential. We must therefore turn our investigations to the discovery of the totality in each habitat. This will give us the required and necessary overview of their complete usefulness in both health and disease. Any other approach will carry the flaws of fragmentation, isolation and incompleteness.
The Law of Similars
The first quintessence that concerns us here is the Law of Similars, on which this entire work is based. It follows the adage that what happens in nature must be imitated by man according to the following five Rules.
Like produces like. Monkeys don't give birth to humans.
Like is attracted by like. Monkeys have sex with monkeys.
Like is imitated by like. Monkeys have as much sex as some humans and humans often try to have more.
Like is neutralised by like. Try making love to a monkey.
Like is cured by like. Better stick to your own kind.
Societies of plants seek each other, but they also seek man, because like attracts like - what is in the same vibration of consciousness will invariably seek each other and find them too.
Doctrine of Signatures; Law of Correspondences
Naturally, it is evident that the Law of Similars is applicable everywhere, since it is a principle that has proven to stand, regardless where we apply it. Formerly this law was known as the Doctrine of Signature, where physical properties of a substance correspond to similar properties in our bodies as also the Celestial Sphere. Discarded as a superstition, it contains more than apparently meets the eye. Modern science has confirmed that poor blood can be strengthened by taking iron. In the parlance of the Doctrine of Signature, or for that matter the Law of Similars, blood belongs to Mars, as does iron. Hence poor blood is treated with iron. The Doctrine of Signatures could be called the Law of Correspondences, which even science knows exist in nature and physics. It seems therefore somewhat illogical to discard these old insights on the nature of things as medieval superstition.
Evidently, the language used was necessarily different from our own, since for many of the discovered events they had to invent the language. As an example, we may mention that Paracelsus mixed sometimes two volatile substances and called the fumes emanating from the mixture 'chaos', indicating what he considered the spirit of the substance so formed. This word chaos was later changed by Van Helmont into our modern gas. We might as well say that modern science is medieval superstition, since it applies a Paracelsian term of the stuff that comes off when two volatile substances meet.
Quantum mechanics uses an equal abracadabra, when it speaks about quarks, photons and other particle names. Like the medieval magician, they have their own secret language, which only the initiated are able to read and understand. The effects they observe are truly magical - simultaneous change of particles at opposite ends of the cyclotron, without apparent transfer of information. Again this is an example of the Law of Correspondences, called synchronicity by Carl Jung.
Practical application of these principles also teaches that they are not superstitions, but valuable and viable ways of observation and conclusion on the basis of these observations. It was discovered that sometimes the principles resembled those in humans, but that true understanding comes from watching the natural setting in which something takes place. While the development of rust for instance resembles the manner in which scarlet fever develops in humans and therefore responds to the same remedies, such similarity does not exist when the plants are beset by pests or fungal diseases.
On the other hand, when plants have problems with reproduction, the remedies that are effective in humans for the same problems also work for plants, wherewith the anthropomorphism creeps back in. We see that remedies with strong female symptoms elicit the strongest response in plants. The suggestion that the processes are important rather than the actual mechanism may explain this fact of action on plants. We are sure there are more instances to be found where the anthropomorphic approach has been applied, albeit unconsciously and that many more instances could be found, if one began to dig.
Such is however unimportant, in the sense that plants differ from humans and animals sufficiently to make it a somewhat redundant exercise. Of course Sulphur shows symptoms on plants as if from burning, because it burns also on the skin. Of course rust resembles scarlet fever and thus is Aconite or Belladonna the remedy. Of course Lady's Mantle will cure reproductive problems in plants. Of course Citric acid is useful for respiratory problems and therefore the same in man as in vegetation.
Anthropomorphism has some value, but should not be the leading thought. The leading thought is the plant in its setting as is, and how we can make nature believe it is not growing in a monoculture - the plant ghetto. We have to understand the natural setting and apply remedies from that setting to redress the situation. Hence the remedies have been listed as they are, because they are members of the same plant community, whether they are organic or inorganic substances, alive or not alive, active or passive, inhibiting or stimulating, or otherwise active within the whole.
Then we have to study what happens in nature, including what measurements the plant itself develops in removing or diminishing the damage done. In the case of pests, we have to see which predators appear to attack them and imitate what happens when we use the same as a remedy. After all, the Law of Similars states that like is attracted by like, like is cured by like, like produces like, like antidotes like and like imitates like, so already including the 5 quintessential levels on which it is selectively, collectively and supremely active.
This is not medieval or even frivolous in any manner - not any less frivolous than the fact that the Elements of the Periodic Table have similarities in properties every 8 th place and therefore is working like an octave, in which the harmonious intervals provide easy reactions and simple compounds and the inharmonious intervals produce impossible or difficult to make compounds. Remedy relations are following similar lines.