Every gardener and vegetable grower is probably aware of nature’s greatest miracle and the divine gift of providing plant pesticides to protect all living things from harmful microorganisms. In addition to the animals, insects, and other creatures that we can see with our eyes, there is the invisible microscopic world of various bacteria and other organisms that we cannot see. As many as 1.5 million microorganisms and bacteria can live in a harmless object like a pile of dirt.
Some of them are harmful to the people around them, another part is neutral to them, and a third part is quite beneficial to their lives (and our planet’s life in general).
The so-called “positive” microorganisms tirelessly and constantly clean the Earth of all kinds of decaying, unwanted, or diseased tissues.
For example, if we take even a fallen leaf, it quickly decomposes and becomes part of the same land – all this happens with the help of bacteria – this is the process of their repeated acceleration of its disposal, which frees space from the mountain of unnecessary leaves.
But “negative” microorganisms can cause all kinds of diseases, and you need to protect yourself from them. Animals have their own immunity to such microorganisms, protecting them from diseases. As for plants, they also have their own protective system against harmful microorganisms and possess antibacterial properties.
This is demonstrated by the distribution of certain volatile substances in the atmosphere by plants, which can act at a distance, or by the properties of plant tissues themselves, which undergo antimicrobial action when they come into direct contact with pests. In this case, plants help not only themselves but also the world around them.
Insecticide – a biologically active substance formed by plants that kill or inhibit the growth and development of bacteria, microfungi, protozoa. The word insecticide comes from the Greek φυτóν “plant” and the Latin caedo “to kill.”
It has long been observed that scents can treat a variety of diseases. Experience with oak leaves showed that after a few sessions, patients with hypertension at all stages of the disease had a significant reduction in pressure. At the same time, phytofungicides from cloves, poplar, and bison narrow blood vessels and raise blood pressure.
The phytohormones of peppermint, which relax the smooth muscles of the blood vessels, contribute to the effect of vasodilation and reduce the heart pain of coronary heart disease. Lavender, oregano, and lemon balm (their phytohormones) cause a calming effect. The phytochemicals of birch, thyme, and linden expand the bronchial tubes.
Humans have observed the “useful” properties of plants and used them for their own purposes for a long time. All “green” disinfecting properties are expressed in different ways, and people of many professions use them for their own purposes.
For example, plants such as hops, oregano, and wormwood resist the development of putrefactive microorganisms, which are used by brewers and chefs. Thyme, nettle, and tarragon have some degree of antiseptic properties, which are used successfully by hunters who use them to lay down the trophies of their catch.
The release of insecticides is different for different plants: above-ground plants – in the air, below-ground plants – on the ground, and aquatic plants, respectively, in bodies of water. Yes, even in the same plant, the concentration of secreted phytohormones varies – it depends on the environment, the quality of the soil, the condition of the crop itself.
For example, the phytocide of clematis is much higher in fertile soil than in poor soil. Scientists believe that phytocide is a universal pattern that characterizes all plant life due to the immune nature of plants.
Phytocides can be released by plants in the form of volatile substances or by damaged plant tissue. Incidentally, it is not always the injured leaves that can secrete medicinal phytohormones; healthy leaves can do so as well.
For example, if an oak leaf suddenly falls on a leaf, it will actively and successfully destroy the “infusoria.” But the strongest enemy of Staphylococcus aureus is the bird cherry and linden tree. Trees such as poplar and birch are recognized as the most effective way to eliminate germs.
It is, therefore, no coincidence that forests are called the “lungs” of the globe: they not only produce oxygen but also clean the ambient air in a direct sense, killing all harmful and dangerous microorganisms. A person also cleans his lungs by breathing this air. After all, there are about 500 million tons of volatile disinfectants in the atmosphere every year, thanks to green plants!
It is now clear that the presence of phytohormones in the world is a lifesaver, so we need to monitor the number of plants on the planet and increase their number – it is especially important to plant new forests, plan plantings, participate in urban greening.
It is also very important to have the simplest and most basic flowers in the apartment. For example, geraniums and begonias reduce the number of harmful microorganisms in the apartment by almost half, and chrysanthemums by a lot. But some “foreign” plants can also be very useful (myrtle, eucalyptus).
One of the most famous “phytocide” plants – the pine tree, people have been using for a long time. Breathing the air of pine trees, a person’s lungs, as well as his entire body, are cleansed to varying degrees of various microorganisms. The risk of catching a cold with this method almost disappears.
Juniper is also a fairly strong disinfectant plant, probably taking first place in the number of phytotoxins assigned to them. Juniper forests emit about six times more volatile substances than all other conifers.
Oak also acts as a powerful disinfectant to the world around it, keeping bacteria and microbes away. But maple trees not only kill bacteria, but they also absorb harmful formations, such as benzene.
Now we know that natural plant fungicides, which enter the body through the lungs as well as the skin, have a negative effect on bacteria there, inhibit disease processes, kill germs, inhibit the aging process, and show anti-infective properties.
They have a beneficial effect on the digestive system, normalize blood pressure. But not only that. Also worth noting is the positive effect of inhaled phytohormones on the human psyche.
Plants have another important quality. The ability to emit electrons from the surface of their leaves when exposed to sunlight, i.e., to ionize the surrounding air. The ionization of air improves its quality and thus has a beneficial effect on the overall human condition.
Here, the degree of ionization plays an important role. For example, it turns out that the most healing air – is the mountain air, which contains hundreds of times more ions than our usual city air. Isn’t this the secret of the longevity of the inhabitants of the Caucasus?
Therefore, it is important to pay attention to a lot of horticultural work on their plots of dacha and in the cities: planting flower beds, improving lawns, building squares and parks, planting shrubs and trees.
And, of course, we should not forget about our own apartments, which should also have green friends, not only to disinfect the indoor air but also to bring joy to their appearance. What is important for us in plants is their natural phytohormones and their aesthetic appearance.
So, my friends, let’s take better care of our green spaces and let’s get out into nature more often meadows, fields, and forests in full bloom and let’s get out in the woods more often.
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