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  Centripetal Forces In Plant Growth

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By: Christian Osika, M.D.
pgs. 77C-79A.doc

Centripetal Forces In Plant Growth (Original title: Zentripetale Kraefte im Pflanzenwachstum. Merkurstab 1995; 48: 92-93. English by A. R. Meuss, FIL, MTA) JAM Vol. 12, Nr. 3

Friedwart Husemann's brief description of the biography and work of Edward Bach (see Friedwart Husemann's article "The Bach Flower Remedies in Relation to Anthroposophic Medicine" in this issue.) was full of life. Nevertheless I would like to add something.

Initially, Bach used the morning dew from plants. Later, he would pick the plants and put them in water. He clearly got good results with this "extract."

Reading this, I remembered similar experiments I made years ago and for quite different reasons. Following the Chernobyl disaster, vast areas in Sweden, too, were contaminated. The danger of radioactive contamination of medicinal plants was discussed among ourselves at the Vidar Clinic but also by the public at large. (As it turned out. Jarna and its surrounding area were only marginally affected).

In Leningrad, Kiev and Moscow, botanical, general biologic and pharmacologic investigations had been in progress for years on physiologically highly active secretions found on the surfaces of plants. They were referred to as phytoncides and had marked effects in clinical use.

I had the idea at the time of growing medicinal plants in greenhouses to prevent contamination from the soil and the air. They would be harvested not by picking but by spraying and washing the pot plants. The washing water would then be the mother substance for medicinal preparations. The plants would grow on. Relatively extensive raw material production would thus require only limited space. It might have been possible to study the production, quantity and quality of phytoncides for extended periods, also in relation to planetary activities. The soil was less contaminated than expected, and for the time being I let the matter rest.

During some weeks on holiday on Madeira I did, however, prepare an experiment with phytoncides. I had frequently taken delight in the yellow flowers of a member of the wood sorrel family (Bermuda butter- cup, Oxalis pes-caprae L.) which originated in the Cape Province. In the Mediterranean region, on the Canary Islands and Madeira, this weed grows in poor soils, and its lemon lemon yellow flowers open in the morning sun. They generally stay closed if it rains. In South Africa they flower in summer, north of the equator in winter, which makes them a particularly welcome sight in the Mediterranean region, where flowers are relatively few in winter.

A feature of Madeira are numerous small channels, the levadas, which conduct water from the high- rainfall northern part of the island to the gardens and vineyards in the warmer south. (Rainfall is much less in the south, not enough for growing bananas, pawpaw, cherimoya, pas- sion fruit, guavas and "Central Euro- pean" crops.) The conduits have been dug and blasted, renewed and extended and given loving care for centuries. The older levadas in particular look like works of art created in nature by human hands. They come from mountain regions, heather and laurel woodlands, often fed by waterfalls, and run at a low gradient through pasture land and groves. 50- 100 cm wide, they are accompanied by narrow paths that offer themselves for short, refreshing walks and day-long rambles. The channels often run parallel to the slopes, and the hillsides are protected from crumbling away by supportive stone walls. Bermuda buttercup grows in abundance in and on those walls.

With several bottles of spring water in my rucksack, I went to a place by a levada on a northwestern slope. A circle of strong wire had been glued to the opening of small transparent plastic bag to make it rigid. I had selected some bushy buttercup patches growing almost horizontally from gaps between the stones. Gently bending the first plant so that it went through the opening in the bag I carefully let water from the bottle run over it. When the bag was half full I poured the liquid back into the bottle, using a funnel. I washed the same plant three times using the same water.

Back in the hotel, 1/2 liter of the essence thus obtained was diluted to a full bath at body temperature - not hot - and I was able to experience the relaxing and enlivening effect on myself. The essence will keep for at least 2 weeks in a refrigerator, requiring no alcohol to conserve it.

The method also works with other medicinal plants.

I hope this will encourage young physicians, medical students, nurses and lay people to try the method, for it helps us to relate intensively to the medicinal plants. The relevant meditation in the Young Doctor's Course then becomes even more fruitful.

Fresh essences may thus be produced as required, avoiding preservation with alcohol. In winter this would, of course, require a greenhouse.

Christian Osika, MD Vidarkliniken, S-15291 Jarna

Further reading Tokin BP. Phytonzide (in German). Berlin: VEB Veriag Volk und Gesundheit 1956. Lebenswichtig, aber unerkannt. Langenburg: Albert Haller Veriag, Boden und Gesund- heit 1980.

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