Horn Silica, BD #501

Virtually from the beginning of biodynamic agriculture, the horn silica preparation, BD #501, has been associated with the forces of sunlight, Or the light ether forces. It has even, perhaps, been seen as a substitute for too little sunlight.


Conversely, when strong sun conditions exist, it has been suggested that one can forego the use of BD #501. (During a visit by Alex Podolinsky in the 1980’s to the American West and Midwest farmlands, several farmers were strongly influenced by this assessment that one was already dealing with too strong sun forces.) In addition, BD #501 is called for during the crop season when the grower is so busy that it is much easier to justify skipping the task of spraying it if one has an authority to fall back on, such as Alex Podolinsky or others.

Rudolf Steiner, in Anthroposophical Spiritual Science and Medical Therapy, refers to the Light ether having derived its name from the fact that most human beings have the ability to see. He further states: “If the majority of humanity were blind, this ether (light) would naturally be given a different name, because other aspects of it would manifest more strongly to the blind.”

Given the geographic forces picture referred to in previous issues (see figure #1) of Applied Biodynamics newsletter, I would like to suggest that we first of all consider the possibility that BD #501 in this western hemisphere may be working more strongly with those “other aspects” of the light ether and secondly, that we be much more dedicated to understanding just how BD #501 should “work” under our North American geographic conditions.

In research, still in progress, Walter Goldstein, at the
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, in East Troy, Wisconsin, has
seen that BD #501 has not had the harmful effect on crops that has been suggested.

By Hugh Courtney
Date Published: 1993
Applied Biodynamics #4

#502, Yarrow Preparation

Achillea millefolium, commonly known as yarrow /ˈjæroʊ/ or common yarrow, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and North America.[1] It has been introduced as a feed for live stock in places like New Zealand[2] and Australia. However, it is a weed in those places[2] and sometimes also in its native regions.[3]

#507, Valerian Preparation

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Caprifoliaceae) is a perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer. Valerian flower extracts were used as a perfume in the 16th century.

Native to Europe and parts of Asia, valerian has been introduced into North America. The flowers are frequently visited by many fly species, especially hoverflies of the genus Eristalis.[1] It is consumed as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species including the grey pug.

Other names used for this plant include garden valerian (to distinguish it from other Valeriana species), garden heliotrope (although not related to Heliotropium), and all-heal (which is also used for plants in the genus Stachys). Red valerian, often grown in gardens, is also sometimes referred to as “valerian”, but is a different species (Centranthus ruber) from the same family and not very closely related.

Crude extract of valerian root is sold as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules. Valerian root may have sedative and anxiolytic effects.

The amino acid valine is named after this plant.