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A Powerful Tiny Yellow Flower In Israel Sticky Elecampane also called False Yellowhead

Israel is a very tiny dry desert country with no oil and little energy resources, yet many beautiful plants and health resources may be found there among its natural habitat.

The people have been innovative and involved with making the desert bloom for decades.

They have devised methods to turn salty sea water into fresh water, to use the salt briny water to safely irrigate their lands, to plant vineyards for their ritual Sabbath wines, to plant citrus that the world adores, and also to cultivate the finest roses that gets shipped to Europe and beyond.

Yellow Inula Flower Photo credit: Ido Kron, Ph.D student in the department of Plant and Environmental sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This photo was taken on October 22, 2009 in Nave Sha'anan, Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, IL, using a Canon PowerShot A720 IS. **

The Companion Plant

In addition to their intense medical research at agricultural stations and use of herbs in hospitals to save lives, the people of Israel have found this natural common flower provides medicinal uses. The inula plants can be used to treat injury and disease in both animals and crop plants. Like our most familiar daisy from the compositae or Asteraceae family, the inula may also heal a variety of wounds and be used as a companion plant that supports and protects neighboring plants.

Potential Preventative to Spread Downy Mildew Spore Inoculum

Inula viscosa | A native perennial plant of Israel, grows in the form of a wild shrub and contains a sticky resin with the odor of camphor. We know that camphor repels moths and in homeopathy has the potential to cure many illnesses, and especially skin sensitive to the slightest touch, erysipelatous inflammations, dryness and lung diseases. While bellis perennis, of the compositae family, has been used for sore muscles and especially when arnica has not completed the cure. Perhaps this plant would come in handy?

Photo credit: Arrika on Flickr

Compositae Plant Sensitivity

Clarke tells us bellis perennis works for boils and bruised pain, and compares this plant to arnica, calendula, hypericum, conium, arsenicum, hamamellis, and vanadium. And Boericke says when we find swelling, venous congestion due to mechanical causes, varicose veins and exudations to use bellis. You can imagine the fruits of the grape vines having these symptoms if covered with this mildew. What could we learn by doing a proving and field testing of inula viscosa?

Inula viscosa An Ancient Medicinal Plant

The medicinal plant Inula viscosa (Ait.) L. has a natural range in Israel's Mediterranean basin where the smell of camphor permeates the air. In the winter months, a sticky resin coats the leaves and stems. Small yellow flowers bloom providing nourishment to the bees. Perhaps there exists a relationship between apis mellifica and inula for swelling, redness, oozing, dryness and many more symptoms?

Research Analysis of Bioactivity

Investigation of Israel's inula plants show higher resin bio-activity from plants in this region of the world, as compared to European varieties. They may attribute the increased activity and production of resin to Israel's warmer climate with lack of water or rainfall and longer hot sunny days. Thus, rain does not wash away the sticky resin from the leaves and stems, and the plants produce more defensive protections against attacks of fungi, bacteria and insects.

Theory Regarding Weakened Plants

Publication 4 December 2005 ~ Study Credits at end of document*

Summary of A Clinical Field Trial

The oily paste extracts of Inula viscosa leaves made with organic solvents were effective in controlling downy mildew caused by Plasmopara viticola in detached grape leaf tissues in growth chambers.

The major inhibitory compounds, each comprising 10.6% of the total paste weight, were tomentosin and costic acid and an emulsified concentrate formulation of the oily paste extracts inhibited field plots from the disease.

The effective dose crude drug concentration required for 90% control of the disease in treated shoots in the field was below 0.125% (paste in water). No seasonal fluctuations were observed in the control efficacy of six extracts made from I. viscosa leaves harvested during the period of May to July.

In whole vines, treated and artificially inoculated, the paste concentration required for 90% control of the disease ranged between 0.30 to 0.37%, whereas in naturally infected vines it was 0.58%.

As homeopaths, I'm sure we wonder whether the leaves of lovely plant will protect the grape vines without making extracts, formulations, concoctions, pastes or concentrates? Therefore, if you have affected plants and can obtain some inula specimens or find this remedy from a pharmacy, please let us know.

The only inula I found was inula helenium (scabwort for respiratory illness), which I assume is a different plant. This means we need to come together as a community and ask a pharmacy to produce this new remedy; or do it ourselves.

Effects of downy and powdery mildew on juice grapes in Michigan
L. L. AVILA (1), A. M. C. Schilder (1), P. Sabbatini (1)
(1) Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, U.S.A.
Phytopathology 101:S11

In the Northern area of the US, we find powdery mildew and downy mildew may be subdued in cooler and less humid climates as compared to Israel, but during the months other than winter the high humidity enables the mildew to thrive, especially after fruits begin to set.

Therefore, during the growing season grape vines (Vitis labrusca) used to produce juice require considerable amounts of fungicidal spray. The traditional fungicide applications had mixed results in a variety of grape vine strains, but the heavier fruit clusters were more prone to mildew. The mildew varieties may also have some resistance to cold weather.

Publication 16 January 2000
Due to the cost and potential losses incurred by growers investment into technological advances have produced electronic warning systems for occurrence of grape downy mildew, first tested in Ohio.

Grapevines were sprayed with metalaxyl plus mancozeb (Ridomil MZ58) when the warning system indicated that environmental conditions were favorable for sporulation and subsequent infection. Results over 7 years reduced the spray times over the season.


Photo Credit | Spidra Webster Flickr | Bad Case of Downy Mildew on Snow Peas. She explains that the mildew blocks the leaves from the process of photosynthesis and she had tried a number of experimental organic home remedies like applying milk without success. Photo August 12, 2011, an epidemic season for the disease. 

The standard organic applications to slow the growth of mildew and other fungi include sulphur and potassium bicarbonate.

Oomycetes | More than 500 species in the Oomycota have been identified as water molds and downy mildews. These 'blights' can appear on more than grape vines.


  • Pythiaceae in phytophera family
    • Late blight of tomato, which we all find in our summer gardens, can be easily seen on leaves and fruits as lesions in the early morning when high humidity and low temperatures promote growth.

    • Phytophthora blight of pepper and cucurbits appear typically on the fruit and stem as circular gray-brown water-soaked lesions on leaves, black stem lesions, and lesions on fruit with mycelium and often sporangia.

    • Damping-off or loss of newly planted seed and growing seedlings occur especially in pea plants. Keep cool and wet after emergence to promote damping-off.

    • Grass leaves can be affected with Pythium Blight, or Pythium Aphanidermatum, in both warm and cool seasons. The disease is worst during humid conditions and under conditions of limited air circulation or poor soil drainage. This can bring fear into turf grass growers, as mildew can spread throughout commercial operations in a matter of two to four days resulting in crippling economic losses. You will note small spots or patches of blighted grass that grow larger into dead grass patches.



  • Peronosporaceae
    • Downy mildew will ruin new onions and peas in the spring, and destroy mature plants in the fall if the weather conditions are right. Infection of broccoli, cucurbits, and grapes results in foliar chlorotic lesions on the upper leaf surfaces and whitish color on the underside. Professionals examine the bottom of leaves using a dissecting microscope to detect sporangia and sporangiophores.



  • Albuginaceae
    • White rust fungi produce white sori (the reproductive structure in certain fungi and lichens) that resemble blisters on flowering plants like pigweed (Amaranthus), morning glory (Ipomoea), or shepherds purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) during the autumn. Diseased plants can be found along roadsides or along the borders of recently plowed fields. Many homeopaths are familiar with these plants as homeopathic remedies. Perhaps we can find some relationship between the fungus, the attacked plants and the inula viscosa as a healing remedy?

Photo credit: Spidra Webster's photo shows more that the powdery and downy mildew was the bane the 2011 season. It attacked the snow peas first. Then the sweet peas. Then the cantaloupe. She tried to apply milk and baking soda as a natural solution. Here we learn that sprinkling baking soda may have too harsh an effect and burn leaves. A gentler water dilution might have better results. We can also see that some health green leaves still survive on this plant and and a good sanitation practice involves removal of dead and affected leaves. This photo was taken on August 12, 2011 using a Canon PowerShot A620.


  • Another relationship may exist between the inula and the varieties of mildew fungus used to produce sporangia in culture together with the plants used to culture the mildew? Although I don't think anyone has looked at this as potential research, I propose this work for agricultural homeopaths.
    • Phytophthora cactorum, P. capsici, P. nicotianae, and P. palmivora.
    • Mycologists and plant pathologists culture isolates through baiting of a variety of Phytophthora and Pythium species from soil and water to produce isolates of the sexual and asexual spores.
    • Typical bait plants include apple fruits or cotyledons for P. cactorum, P. cinnamomi, and P. citricola; lupine seedlings for P. megasperma, P. nicotianae, P. cinnamomi, P. parasitica, and P. syringae; eucalyptus cotyledons for P. cinnamomi; strawberry leaves or roots for P. fragariae; alfalfa seedlings for P. megasperma; sunflower seedlings for P. cactorum; and Port Orford-cedar foliage for P. lateralis. Bartlett pears, green apples such as Granny Smith, and other fruits can be used as baits.
    • Another method of baiting includes growing fungus on popped popcorn kernels in the water that's allowed to stand for several days or on corn meal agar or surprisingly V-8 juice cholesterol agar.
    • Moisture is a necessary condition to grow the mildew, but some varieties need light, as well.


Homeopathy for Plants | A practical guide for indoor, balcony and garden plants with tips on dosage, use and choice of potency by Christiane Maute

A handy guide to the most common plant diseases, pests and damage with information on how to treat them homeopathically. Christiane Maute is a pioneer in this field, who started treating the useful and ornamental plants in her garden with homeopathy ten years ago.

The way in which plants react to homeopathic treatment is in many cases astonishing. Ms. Maute gives the main homeopathic remedies for all the most common diseases, such as leaf spot on roses, tomato blight, fire blight on fruit trees, aphics, leaf curl, cancer, mildew, fruit rot and sooty mould, along with problems like slug infestation and weak growth.

Treatments for the consequences of frost and hail damage, exposure to excess damp, heat and sunlight and ‘wounds’ incurred when pruning or repotting clearly explained.

Useful illustrations and brief notes are supplied for most of the diseases discussed, enabling even the novice to recognise the ailment at a glance and easily find the right remedy. The dosage and treatment method are described in detail. The book is rounded off by a short, clear materia medica giving information on each remedy.

A guide particularly suitable for amateur gardeners which is easy to follow and will quickly turn even ‘non-homeopaths’ into enthusiastic users.

This book has in fact turned out to be the most efficient ways to spread homeopathy in general. Some people would not dare to treat their dog or their husband themselves (:-) but they are curious to try homeopathy on aphids. As this often works miraculously many fall in love with homeopathy and dive deeper into the subject.

Sets of Remedy Preparations Mentioned in the Book by Christiane Maute

"Treating plants with homeopathy requires time and patience, but it is well worth it, as indicated by its effects: aphids literally fall from the leaves. After just a few hours there were only a few aphids remaining." ~  Demeter Rundbrief, April, 2011

"It is often said that one must believe in Homeopathy for it to work. As plants cannot do that, there must be something real at work here." ~ the article 'Globuli für den Garten', Country, April 2011




With much gratitude to all those who graciously allowed me to publish their photographs

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Replies to This Discussion

Very interesting- a natural product fungicide!!


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