Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Plant Music Therapy: A Scientific Inquiry into Healing Harmonies

Summary

Plant Music Therapy™, an innovative facet of sound therapy spearheaded by Teresa Helgeson, explores the integration of plant-generated melodies into therapeutic practices, delving into the potential healing effects on human well-being. Ongoing research in this field focuses on understanding how exposure to botanical compositions may positively impact mental health, reduce stress, and enhance emotional well-being.

Utilizing the Music of the Plants’ U1 device, Helgeson’s research, published in 2015, establishes the foundation for this emerging field. Through sound therapy sessions with Pixie, a Prayer Plant, Helgeson observes positive physiological changes, indicating potential benefits for mental and physical well-being. Client testimonials affirm these positive outcomes. Helgeson’s interest in expanding the research to cancer treatments reflects the promising applications of Plant Music Therapy™ in managing medical interventions. Recognition from YouTuber Sky amplifies the dissemination of this groundbreaking work, sparking wider interest and understanding in the intersection of plant music and human health.

The Convergence of Plant Life and Therapy

The convergence of plant life and therapeutic modalities has garnered considerable attention, with Plant Music TherapyTM emerging as a novel and promising avenue for exploration. Spearheaded by Certified Medical Hypnotherapist Teresa Helgeson, this innovative approach utilizes the U1 Device by Music of the Plants. This sophisticated apparatus serves as a bridge between the botanical realm and human well-being, providing a distinctive perspective on the therapeutic potential of plant music.

Spiritual Encounters and Transformative Journeys

Guided by a series of spiritual occurrences, in 2007 Teresa embarked on a transformative journey to the Federation of Damanhur. During her time here, she encountered the enchanting realm of the Music of the Plants, where a profound experience unfolded when she witnessed a Birch Tree playing music.

Upon her return home, a significant encounter occurred during meditation as Pixie, the Prayer Plant, revealed itself to Teresa. In this moment, Pixie communicated a profound message, expressing its willingness to be the plant guiding Teresa in the exploration and practice of plant music. Ever since this meaningful encounter, Pixie has been a constant companion, steering Teresa’s journey into the captivating world of plant-generated melodies.

Connecting with Nature through Healing Harmonies

The fusion of plant music and therapeutic intention offers a unique pathway for individuals to connect with nature and foster internal balance. As research progresses in Plant Music TherapyTM, it emerges as a promising complementary approach to traditional therapeutic modalities, providing a harmonious blend of nature’s melodies and healing intentions for the enhancement of mental and emotional well-being.

Scientific Validation of Sound Therapy with Plants

Helgeson’s groundbreaking research, published on June 24, 2015, in the ISSSEEM Research Symposium, sheds light on the profound effects of plant-generated music on the human body.

It has been presented at seven conferences, showcasing the transformative impact of Plant Music TherapyTM on medical therapy. Employing a before-and-after methodology, she provides visual evidence of the physiological changes occurring during and after plant music sessions. These sessions exhibit significant alterations in blood composition, immune system strength, and stress levels within organs, underscoring the potential of plant music to reshape medical practices.

Microscopic Insights Before and After a Healing Session with the Plant

A pivotal revelation from Helgeson’s research lies in the microscopic examination of blood, particularly through a dark-field microscope. Before plant music sessions, pictures reveal a bloodstream with Rouleau. Factors influencing this process, including alterations in blood viscosity, protein concentrations, and the presence of certain diseases, warrant exploration within the context of the therapeutic interventions discussed.

Cardiovascular Health and Plant Music Therapy

Under normal physiological circumstances, red blood cells exhibit a state of dispersion and free-flowing movement due to their inherent negative charges, facilitating optimal functionality within the bloodstream. Yet, the narrative emphasizes that certain conditions, such as inflammatory diseases or shifts in plasma proteins, can disrupt this delicate equilibrium, leading to the aggregation of red blood cells. These aggregated red blood cells are observed to be clumped together, hindering the absorption of vital vitamins and nutrients essential for survival.

After undergoing a session of Plant Music TherapyTM, a discernible enhancement in the separation of red blood cells becomes evident, suggesting a favorable impact on circulatory dynamics. The observed increase in the discerned gap between red blood cells implies an amelioration in blood flow and circulation, hinting at potential cardiovascular benefits. This phenomenon aligns with the broader objective of optimizing vascular health through the therapeutic influence of plant-generated melodies.

Enhanced Immune Responsiveness: A Key Benefit of Plant Music

Furthermore, the impact of Plant Music TherapyTM extends to the realm of immune modulation, specifically affecting white blood cells. Post-therapy, there is a notable augmentation in the activity levels of white blood cells, indicating a heightened state of immune responsiveness. This heightened immune activity could contribute to a more vigilant and effective defense against pathogens and cellular anomalies, thereby fostering an overall ordered and purified physiological state.

In conclusion, the outcomes observed following a session of Plant Music TherapyTM reveal not only improved circulatory dynamics but also a nuanced impact on immune modulation. These findings underscore the potential multifaceted physiological benefits associated with the integration of plant music into therapeutic interventions, providing a promising avenue for further scientific exploration and understanding in the field of holistic well-being.

Helgeson’s research extends beyond cellular changes to address cardiovascular health. Large protein crystals found in the bloodstream, precursors to heart disease, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol, are significantly reduced – by four times – following Plant Music TherapyTM sessions. Considering the prevalence of heart disease as the third leading cause of death in America, these findings hold substantial implications for preventative and complementary therapeutic interventions.

Personal Experiences about the Healing Sessions with the Plants

Testimonials graciously shared by those who have undergone Plant Music TherapyTM sessions under the guidance of Teresa Helgeson provide a rich tapestry of firsthand accounts, painting a vivid picture of the profound therapeutic benefits that unfold post-session. Clients resonate with a spectrum of positive outcomes that extend beyond mere relaxation. They describe an elevated sense of comfort, an overwhelming calmness that permeates their being, and a deep-seated relaxation that lingers long after the session concludes.

The transformative impact of plant music is further evident in the release of tension, where stubborn muscular knots succumb to the therapeutic melodies, ushering in a tangible sense of relief. Clients also report a substantial reduction in both pain and stiffness, attesting to the nuanced and comprehensive efficacy of plant music in not only addressing the subjective realms of well-being but also manifesting tangible physiological changes. This seamless alignment between the reported subjective improvements and the observable shifts in physiological markers serves as a compelling testament to the multifaceted and holistic benefits derived from the immersive experience of Plant Music TherapyTM.

The Future of Healing with Plants

Looking ahead, Teresa Helgeson envisions expanding her research to include individuals undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment. This potential application of Plant Music TherapyTM in supporting cancer patients through the rigors of chemotherapy underscores the multifaceted nature of its therapeutic benefits.

Youtuber Skylife talks about Helgeson’s research

The recognition of Helgeson’s work extends to the public domain, with the notable YouTuber Sky Life conducting an interview and documenting the story of the Damanhur Center in Colorado. Sky’s channel, “Sky Life,” aims to inspire well-being, curiosity, and connection, providing a platform for wider dissemination of information on Plant Music TherapyTM.

You can find her report here: How This Commune Talks to Plants.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, Plant Music TherapyTM, as pioneered by Teresa Helgeson, stands at the forefront of scientific inquiry into the therapeutic potential of plant-generated music. With its demonstrated impact on physiological parameters and its potential applications in medical therapy, including cancer support, this innovative approach offers a harmonious bridge between the botanical world and advancements in human health and wellness. As research in this field continues to unfold, the transformative melodies of Plant Music TherapyTM may very well orchestrate a new paradigm in integrative and holistic healthcare.

More Informations on Teresa’s Website: Plant Music Therapy™.

(Helgerson exploring Plant Music with children, source: https://shoutoutcolorado.com/meet-teresa-helgeson-author-speaker-sound-healer/)

Plants experience from Cristina Popov: a Bamboo and the return in her heart

 

Today we want to present an article of one of our collaborators, Cristina Popov, her plants experience with Bamboo M.

 

Invisible Ties: The Robin Hood Tree, a Bamboo and the return in my heart

I’ve connected my Bamboo to my Pilea peperomiodes, the most talkative and joyful plant in my living room, as I am starting to write this text. I am going to share my experience with it, with the hope that whoever it may read this text, would find a little bit of encouragement and inspiration.

 

The first notes 

When I received my Bamboo two months ago, I invited all the plants in turns to sing.  Ana, my nine-year-old daughter, said, with eyes wide open, that was magic. I thought that, too. We moved from plant to plant with enthusiasm and listened to them. My money plant was the most vocal, and somehow, it became our favorite. We did it several times, and it took shape as our ritual: check the plants to see if they are happy or need anything, take Bamboo out of the box, turn it on, select the profile, and adjust the volume. And then sat on the couch, eyes closed, listening or just talking.

But then we forgot. Our ritual slipped out of our lives as smoothly as it entered. What happened? One might ask. Life happened.

 

Sometimes, I must forget in order to remember

After several months of peace, rhythm, and serenity, I was again caught in a series of work and personal events that drained me. The worst part is not that they took away my time and energy, but that I forgot things I thought I wouldn’t.

I forgot that the solution is not to struggle so hard. I forgot to take a pause. I forgot about my ritual(s) that brought me calm. I forgot about Bamboo. I forgot to play. I forgot to spend time with my daughter on the couch, doing nothing. And life in this amnesia seemed as natural as the one without.

And then, one day, I read a piece of news about the Tree of Robin Hood, a 300-year-old sycamore, being chopped down in an act of vandalism in the UK. “A sentinel of time and the elemental spirit of Northumberland” was down.

 

I found myself contemplating this sad image.

I saw it still standing in a different realm. I saw it growing again from its roots in this realm; sycamores can do that. I wonder what it would say to us.

 

From the Gap tree to the gap in my awareness 

And then it suddenly struck me. I had just paused in a long time. The gap tree guided and showed me the gap in my awareness. Nature, in her grandeur, has a poetic way of signaling to us, humans, about the impermanence of life. This tree, centuries old, embodied the lessons of resilience, strength, and endurance, even being down on the ground, miles away from me. Sending me a message through its image on my screen. What a great gift from this tree. Thank you.

I promised myself to pause again and used my Bamboo to remind me of that. This is why I wanted one in the first place.

So, I’ve started to plan my pauses. Not “plan” as in a stressed plan, by plan as in “surrender to a rhythm I don’t want to ignore anymore.” Plan to play. Plan to create and have fun. Plan to see my children growing. I plan to serve through my writing. Plan to listen.

 

How I use my Bamboo now: a gentle reminder of the larger symphony 

That being said, I started by planning the “gaps” and turning them into pauses and contemplation.

One in the morning. After I finish my workout and before starting work, around 8’clock. I sit for 3 minutes in silence and gratitude.

One at lunch. Before eating, I take another 3 minutes. I connect Bamboo to one of my plants (ask them before) and then listen to their singing.

One in the afternoon. After I finish my writing day – and, depending on the day, I end it in silence or music – 3 or 5 minutes. Sometimes, I’m writing and listening to the music of plants, but again, it depends on what I’m writing.

For me, plant music works well with journaling, channeling, and creating, and less for the commissioned (and serious) work.

One at night, before sleeping. I recently brought a Monstera to my bedroom, and maybe I’ll try a good night song by her. So far, I’ve only tried guided meditations, prayers, or silent gratitude – 10 minutes before falling asleep.

It takes longer to write (and read) about my pauses than taking them: 15-25 minutes/ day. I jongle with my pauses, and no day is the same. But all days have 25 minutes for me, when I allow them to.

I know that terrible things happen in the world. I know that (my) life is not all pink and flying unicorns. But I also know it is in my power not to let myself be overwhelmed and scared.

But I also know I can light a light and tune into music of nature every time and in any gap I encounter on this journey.

Cristina Popov

Harmonizing Wellness: The Synergy of Orthotherapy and Botanical Music

Revolutionizing Sounds: The Convergence of Orthotherapy and Music of the Plants

The encounter between Valérie, a 15-year experienced orthotherapist, and Jean Thoby, a passionate botanist and plant music enthusiast in Gaujacq (Lande), has sparked new understandings and experiments in the field of music therapy.

Groundbreaking Discovery of Botanical Music Therapy

Valérie, specializing in vision disorder rehabilitation, made a groundbreaking discovery in the spring of 2020: botanical music therapy. This meeting profoundly changed her perspective, leading her to consider health more holistically. She realized that humans are not just what they see but also unique vibrational fields.

A Transformational Story: Plant Music and Visual Rehabilitation

“One of my patients had debilitating vision problems that hindered reading and driving. He told me about undergoing treatment with plant music, and the effect on image definition was extraordinary. Struck by this testimony, I decided to meet Jean Thoby, the botanist who conducted this plant music session.”

A Radical Shift in Orthotherapeutic Approach

Based on the new insights and testimonies of Jean Thoby, Valérie’s approach as an orthotherapist has completely changed. She states, “Now I conceive health more holistically. I have become aware that we are not just what we see but also unique vibrational fields.” Since the beginning of the year, her patients have benefited from botanical music therapy sessions.

Insights into the Experience: Read the Full Article on Demain-Vendèe

For further details on Valérie’s experience and transformations, read the full article on Demain-Vendèe.

Au pays des Olonnes, Valérie pratique la musicothérapie par les plantes

 

The Music of Moving Water

The Mystery of Trees Trunks Murmur and how to turn it into Music

Have you ever wondered how water makes its way up from the soil into the leaves of a tree? This seemingly simple question has puzzled scientists for decades, and the answer is far more complex than you might imagine.

So far, all we know is that water moves from roots to leaves through capillary action and transpiration.
The capillary action means that the narrower the vessel, the higher the liquid can rise against gravity. And the vessels that transport water in trees are very narrow indeed: they measure barely 0.02 inches across. Conifers restrict the diameter of their vessels even more, to 0.0008 inches. But that’s only one side of the coin because not even in the narrowest of vessels, there is enough force to account for a rise of water to a 300 feet tall tree.

So here comes in scene another phenomenon: transpiration. In the warmer part of the year, leaves and needles transpire by steadily breathing out water vapor. In the case of a mature beech, the tree exhales hundreds of gallons of water a day. This exhalation causes suction, which pulls a constant water supply up through the transportation pathways in the tree. The water molecules bond and pull each other a little higher up the trunk.

Last but not least, osmosis comes into play. When the concentration of sugar in one cell is higher than in the neighboring cell, water flows through the cell walls into the more sugary solution until both cells contain the same percentage of water. And when that happens from cell to cell up into the crown, water makes its way up to the top of the tree.

The perfect time to listen to the tree murmur

In spring, before the leaves open up, water shoots up the trunk with such force that if you place a stethoscope against the tree, you can actually hear it.

But you also can hear the tree murmur at night. Scientists from three institutions (the University of Bern; the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research; and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) listened and registered a soft murmur in the trees. Above all, at night, when the water is held almost completely immobile in the inner transportation tubes, as the tree takes a break from photosynthesis and hardly transpires at all.

So, where are the noises coming from? The researchers think they are coming from tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide in the narrow water-filled tubes. Bubbles in the pipes? That means the supposedly continuous column of water is interrupted thousands of times. And if that is the case, transpiration, cohesion, and capillary action contribute very little to water transport.

So, back to the initial question. What causes the noise in the trunk?

Solve the mystery of tree sounds by turning them into music

As science is trying to catch up with explanations for life’s great mysteries, you can simply tune in and enjoy them. At the end of the day, logical answers don’t necessarily have the power to change what and how you experience this life. Your decisions and openness do.

Go into a forest at night and stick your ear to a trunk. Grab you’re your Ginko or Bamboo and turn murmur into music to take with you wherever you go. And then, in that space, you are opening for yourself and the tree, you’ll find all the answers.

Only those attuned to nature signs and have patience may experience this kind of magic. Are you one of them?

Find out how our devices turn plant sounds into music, here.

Wood Wide Web. How Trees Talk to Each Other and you, if you wish

When we look at a dense forest or a grove of trees, the interconnectedness of these natural wonders can sometimes escape us. Trees are often thought of as solitary beings, standing tall, silent and strong on their own. We couldn’t be more wrong. With eyes see and ears to hear, we can get a glimpse of their secret life and the richness of their complex interactions with each other. And, with an open mind and heart, we can join their conversations.

 

Tree language

Recent research has revealed that trees communicate with each other in a variety of ways.

One of the most fascinating ways trees communicate is through scent or, in more sciency words – the release of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

This discovery is not new. In his book, “The Hidden Lives of Trees”, Peter Wohlleben mentions an observation made by scientists four decades ago.

 

“In the African savannah, the giraffes were feeding on umbrella thorn acacias, and the trees didn’t like this one bit. It took the acacias mere minutes to start pumping toxic substances into their leaves to rid themselves of the large herbivores. The giraffes got the message and moved on to other trees in the vicinity. But did they move on to trees close by? No, for the time being, they walked right by a few trees and resumed their meal only when they had moved about 100 yards away. The reason for this behavior is astonishing. The acacia trees that were being eaten gave off a warning gas (specifically, ethylene) that signaled to neighboring trees of the same species that a crisis was at hand. Right away, all the forewarned trees also pumped toxins into their leaves to prepare themselves. The giraffes were wise to this game and therefore moved far- ther away to a part of the savannah where they could find trees that were oblivious to what was going on.

 

And, of course, not all conversations are about dangers. Many are feel-good messages and come and visit invitations for passing bees and insects as tree blossoms, for example. These we get.

Trees don’t rely only on scent, because this would mean they could have conversations only on windy days.

 

Trees smart communication: Wood Wide Web

Dr. Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver has discovered that they also warn each other using chemical signals sent through the fungal networks around their root tips, which operate regardless of the weather.

These networks can be far more extensive than the visible parts of a forest. Through symbiotic relationships with fungi, tree roots operate like fiber-optic Internet cables, creating a system called the “wood wide web.”

Fungi absorb minerals from the soil and deliver them to the trees’ roots, while in exchange, receiving the carbon that the trees produce through photosynthesis. Fungi can send signals from one tree to the next, helping the trees exchange news about insects, drought, and other dangers.

“Surprisingly, news bulletins are sent via the roots not only by means of chemical compounds but also by means of electrical impulses that travel at the speed of a third of an inch per second.” 

In the symbiotic community of the plants, not only trees but also shrubs, grasses, all plant species exchange information.

Along with colleagues from Bristol and Florence, Dr. Monica Gagliano from the University of Western Australia started capturing sounds coming from the trees’ roots. Their measuring apparatus was registering roots crackling quietly at a frequency of 220 hertz. They went into the laboratory and played the sounds from the forest to a couple of grain seedlings.

Whenever the seedlings’ roots were exposed to the 220 hertz, they oriented their tips in that direction. That means the grasses were registering this frequency, so it makes sense to say they “heard” it.

 

How you can listen and talk to a tree

 

You may already enjoy your walks through forests and listening to the branches creaking and leaves rustling. But there are ways of going even deeper and really connecting to trees.

 

Here are some ideas:

Tree contemplation

  • Find a quiet and secluded spot in nature where you can be alone with trees.
  • Choose a tree that speaks to you and feels inviting. Some trees are more talkative than others, so keep trying if the first one is unwilling to talk. J
  • Take a few deep breaths and relax your body and mind.
  • Begin your meditation practice, focusing on the sensations, thoughts, and feelings that arise.
  • Allow yourself to be present with the tree, observing its form, energy, and consciousness.
  • Take your time and listen to what the tree has to teach you; ask questions, listen again.

 

Try this guided meditation to connect with plant/ tree spirits

This meditation will help you enter a peaceful and relaxing state of mind. Let yourself be guided by the voice of Goura and the Music of the Plants in this interspecies meditation experience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YJXRHrcsv0

 

Turn the language of plants into music

Use Ginkgo or Bamboo M to convert the energy of plants into music. All you have to do is take the device with you for a walk in a forest or park.

Choose a tree or plant that feels inviting. Attach one of the probes to a leaf and insert the other by a small metal rod close to the roots of the plant. Because plants themselves are complex entities, their internal electrical pulsations are at the same time strong and subtle, and your device will capture and translate both into musical sounds. You can record the music and play it while you work or meditate.

Find out more about our devices, here.

Lush cosmetics consultant talks about the potentials in agriculture of Music of the Plants

Do not miss this article where we talk with Tarek Amin, agriculture specialist for Lush cosmetics trained in agro-ecology and rural development. He shares with us his experience using Bamboo in agriculture.

 

Terrier:

Hi Tarek and thank you very much for staying with us. What are you doing in Lush Cosmetics?

Tarek:

My main focus at Lush is phasing out the use of highly hazardous pesticides from Lush’s supply chain. It is a progressive process that requires sustained collaboration with the suppliers and the growers.

In fact, the reason I got the Bamboo was to answer this question: do sick or vulnerable plants sing differently than healthy plants? If so, in what way?

 

Terrier:

Could you tell us some experiences with Music of the Plants?

Tarek:

I have “accidentally” grown papaya plants from seeds obtained from a fruit i had bought. I tried to do some thinning by removing the weaker plants. When i used the Bamboo device on the bigger plant that I didn’t cut it produced a sound like screaming. It sounded like fear, complaint and shock and after this brief sound it remained silent.

Interestingly after our chat I was meditating in the evening and left the Bamboo connected to the same plant. In the beginning it was reluctant to produce a sound but then started to produce more consistent and mellow notes.

 

Terrier:

Are plants that are reproduced for business purpose less consistent than wild ones? In my experience I have seen that sometimes flowering plants for beauty bought from the florist often do not play and need few days to learn how to use the device.

Tarek:

Clones, or plants that are genetically identical have showed less consistency with the music they produce than spontaneous plants of the same species. I have seen that in Lavender and in Oregano.

 

Terrier:

Have you discovered differences in sound between plants in the sun and plants in the shade?

Tarek:

Lavender is famous for being a sun loving plant. Even when the soil was visibly moist, some plants sounded angry as if they were shouting ” leave me alone”.

A gentle touch slowly persuaded this plant to sing more consistently.

When the plant is under extreme heat conditions and is fully exposed to the sun, it needs to work harder, or in more scientific terms use energy in order to maintain its water content stable. So, it wouldn’t dry out and die from the heat. A plant in full sun at over 40 degrees, with the soil not protected by mulch has less water available than a plant that is partially shaded by a tree, and supported by the tree roots. I understand that water availability is a determining factor for the sounds emitted by the plant when connected to the device.

 

Terrier:

Could you share some experiences you had worldwide?

Tarek:

For farmers, or in general people who work with plants regardless of their belief systems they didn’t show much skepticism, in fact all of them were eager to hear what the plants had to say and attempted to interpret the emotion the plant was conveying through the music.

A recent situation with a sales person: I attached the device to oregano in a field that was treated with herbicides. He said “she sounds lonely”.

The field has been treated with herbicides, and there were so many dead weeds surrounding oregano. Oregano itself is a spontaneous plant, and requires diversity to thrive.

Indeed, with plants dying around it and soil microbes compromised because of the herbicide application,  the plant would experience loneliness or missing the presence of other individuals. We are only recently starting to understand the dynamics that happen between different species within their rootzones, beyond competition, but more in terms of collaboration between plant species that naturally occupy the same biome.

A lot of this depends on intuition and observations. My key takeaway from this experience so far is that there are plants that express themselves fully and consistently, and this expression can equate to speech, plants try to explain things to us about themselves and the landscapes in which they live. There are plants that do not express themselves because of water shortage, stress, trauma or other factors. Regarding the example above about clones my theory would be this: the plant shares a space with hundreds of other plants sharing the exact same genetics, the plant would then wonder “who am I, really? What sets me apart?” Then could it not be possible that the plant’s ability to express itself, and learn the more complex ways to do so depends on achieving a sense of individuality?

Terrier:

This concept sounds in countertrend. In fact, now many scientists say that the plants are not single individuals but a group of plants. They seem to live in a  global consciousness. They do not have the sense of individuality but a sense of group.

Tarek:

I think a plant that expresses individuality doesn’t mean it doesn’t perceive itself as a member of a larger group. I need to do several more experiments, but the more a plant achieves this sense of individuality as it learns how to express itself in more complex ways, the more vulnerable it becomes. It is not confirmed yet, and I hope I can prove it not to be the case.

Similarly, a plant that has been pruned or cut would be traumatized by the immediate threat to their existence, or the impediment to the plant’s natural lifecycle. This feeling of loss would affect their self-expression if they are feeling incomplete. I have witnessed this in rose bushes I found in Grasse in France. Roses with braided branches (an old practice) had more consistent and even sang beautifully, than the ones that were pruned. Curiously when I said to my colleague that the braided one was better, the pruned plant stopped singing, as if expressing what we know as “jealousy”.

New research has established links between the plants ability to absorb and utilize different nutrients and their vulnerability to pest/disease attack. An interesting theory is that insects and pathogens that attack plants are actively removing unfit individuals, thus bringing back the nutrient these “unfit” plants have absorbed to return them to the soil, this way allowing other fit individuals to grow and thrive. Nature can be very pragmatic in that sense. A plant grows to develop a flower which is fertilized by pollinators to create the fruit and the seed, the seed is the key to the continuity of life and the existence of this species. Now if a plant is unable to fulfill this lifecycle, it will be a waste of nutrients and energy, and in nature there is no waste, but renewal, recycling and rebirth. On the contrary, plants that are strong and well-nourished are capable of defending themselves against pest and disease attacks by synthesizing chemicals that react immediately to these attacks, or even be so nutrient rich that herbivorous insects would only consume a small quantity of the plant tissue, or emitting olfactory signals that repel insects for example. Instead, a weak plant would emit olfactory signals that will attract herbivorous insects.

So how do we correlate the plants’ molecular signalling with the music of the plants?

How can we understand the nuances in the plant’s speech?

How can the plant’s ability to express itself guide our management practices in a way that benefits us and the plant without them being “enslaved”?

What i have learnt so far is a tiny fraction of the knowledge that is out there to explore.

 

Terrier:

Thanks for sharing with us your knowledge. We will be happy to continue this research together.

Tarek:

You’re welcome, happy to collaborate with you!

Does talking to plants help them grow? ‘They respond to vibrations’

After a year at home with her orchid, Seetha Dodd was rewarded with a large spray of blooms. Could her words of encouragement have played a part?

Original article: Seetha Dodd Sun 10 Jan 2021 <theguardian.com>

 

There is an orchid plant that lives on my kitchen windowsill. For the first two years in my care, she produced two flowers a year. When it comes to house plants, I am more brown- than green-thumbed, so this performance exceeded my expectations. I put it down to sheer luck (mine) and some serious willpower (the orchid’s). I was grateful for this two-flower miracle that survived despite my lack of gardening knowhow.

But last year was an anomaly. Like many of us, I spent many iso hours cooking, baking, singing and talking in the kitchen.

This meant my orchid was the recipient of an exponential amount of companionship and attention. She responded by producing 13 glorious flowers between May and October. I hadn’t upskilled, I was just there more, I noticed her more, and yes, I may have directed some conversation her way. But did her blossoming really have anything to do with my presence? Had she been responding to my voice?

Seetha Dodd’s orchid in bloom
After years of producing only one or two flowers, in 2020 Seetha Dodd’s orchid managed 13 blooms. Photograph: Seetha Dodd

“Plants probably don’t hear like we do,” says Dr Dominique Hes, biophilia expert and lead researcher at Horticulture Innovation Australia’s Plant Life Balance. “But some research shows that speaking nicely to plants will support their growth, whereas yelling at them won’t. Rather than the meaning of words, however, this may have more to do with vibrations and volume. Plants react favourably to low levels of vibrations, around 115-250hz being ideal.”

Perhaps it was a combination of my dulcet tones and my taste in music? Could these good vibrations explain my orchid’s sudden vigour?

“Smithsonian and Nasa show that mild vibrations increase growth in plants while harsher, stronger vibrations have a negative effect,” Dr Hes explains. “The vibrations improve communication and photosynthesis, which improves growth and the ability to fight infection. You could say the plants are happy!”

Happy plants are also important to Rachel Okell, horticulturist and founder of the Sydney-based plant consultancy business Our Green Sanctuary. “I often talk to my plants when I’m looking at them,” she says. “I get excited when there is new growth – it means they are happy and I’m doing all the right things.”

So, if your dracaena is drooping dramatically like a sullen teenager, would gentle encouragement make any difference?

Dr Hes says: “I think relationships are key here, whether it is how you speak, or you notice they need water, or new soil, or nutrients. Tone is also important, given they respond to vibrations.”

When it comes to our relationship with plants, Tim Pickles, horticulturist and owner of Tim’s Garden Centre in Campbelltown, south-western Sydney, certainly witnessed a shift last year. “People are falling in love with gardens,” he says. “They are looking for something to nurture and to love.”

Pickles believes the slower pace of 2020 gifted us with more time to think and breathe, making us more aware and more observant of what is around us.

Pickles’ theory may explain my orchid’s enthusiasm. Is she thriving because I’m talking to her, or simply because I am more attentive to her needs? With overwatering being one of the leading causes of death for houseplants, perhaps being home more has allowed me to notice, rather than to reach for the watering can in a hasty attempt to be a responsible plant parent.

Whether or not we believe that plants benefit from conversation, we cannot deny that there’s something in it for us. The therapeutic effects of plants and gardening have been widely documented – benefits include boosting our mood, sharpening our focus and lowering our stress levels.

But what if the idea of chatting to your plant-children feels like eccentric behaviour?

“If you look at the science, the vibrations, the biophilic connection and relationship building, then for me it is clear that spending time with plants is worthwhile,” Hes says. “For some that is talking, for some it is playing music, for some it is just quietly having them with us as we work and relax.”

Okell agrees. She is reaping the benefits of her practice of caring for plants. “The routine of checking, dusting, rotating and watering my plants is meditative,” she says. “It has helped me remain calm and stay focused on the moment. There is also a sense of achievement when your plants flourish under your care. It’s so rewarding.”

As we edge into 2021, my orchid is still thriving. And because my fingers are not yet green, I can only attribute this to our daily interactions: the adoring looks, the greetings and check-ins, and the attention (both intentional and incidental). She listens in on my telephone conversations and is often my only audience for pre-dinner renditions of I Will Survive. She doesn’t join in, my orchid, but I think she’s feeling the love. I know I am.

The mysterious singing of plants. By Henk Kieft.

Here are the most fascinating parts of Jean Thoby’s recent book (www.plantarium.eco) ‘Le Chant Secret des Plantes‘ (Rustica editions, Paris. 2019). The subtitle reads ‘Refreshing oneself thanks to plant music’. Summaries by Henk Kieft.

Article of Gaia Campus by Henk Kieft . German. French.

 

Jean Thoby, a green man

Jean is a widely recognized ornamental plant grower. After many years of innovation, he now focuses with his partner Frederique and his company on growing music-sensitive plants. In his book he goes deeply into his discoveries in the musical character of plants. As far as I know, this is the first practical book on this subject. He uses his musical experiences with the Music-of-the-Plants device (see www.MusicofthePlants.com ). He actively collaborates with Genodics researchers on protein music (see www.genodics.com ), which concerns biological principles based on quantum physics. And he uses the general knowledge about the plant as an electrical phenomenon. I have explained all these techniques in my book ‘Quantum Leaps in Agriculture, exploring quantum principles in farming, gardening and nature’ (see elsewhere on my website).

But Jean has, much more than I have, experimented with the healing effect of this music. And after years of listening to all kinds of plants – often hours a day – he is much further in interpreting this music. He connects to very recent – and sometimes even more than a century old – research in phytoneurology, which he describes as ‘the analysis of the electrical signals of plants’.

Several doctors are pleasantly surprised by the special effects of plant music on people’s health. Together with these doctors he started to convert his experiences into practical music therapy. And he documents as many experiences as possible, so that researchers can later use these results to better understand these phenomena scientifically. Finally, he explores future application possibilities, also relevant for agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

And he organized the first (in Paris in 2017) and organises the second International Festival of Plant Music (11-16 August 2020, at Chateau de Gaujacq in the south-east of France). In short: something is happening there!

Few people read French easily. That’s why – with Jean’s explicit agreement – I’m going to summarise some of his most innovative insights for readers on my website.

 

Root tips respond to sound 

Italian researcher Stefano Mancuso has shown that carrot tips not only move in the direction of water, but also in the direction of the sound of water. And as soon as one root tip does it, other tips start to grow in that direction as well. Root tips apparently are essential for plants to pick up information from the world around them. So, in his nursery he has radically stopped pruning root systems. Especially annuals react very well to this measure.

Although plants cannot move to orientate themselves in their environment, it seems that – during evolution – plants have found another way, namely permanent communication with other trees and with the environment. There is little as strongly connected to the environment as vegetation is. Here may be a reason why a tree of 4 meters high can have up to 200 hectares of contact with the air. The root system has an enormous contact surface with the soil as well.

These facts serve something else as well. Researchers, among others in Japan, have been exploring for years how receiving – and emitting – electromagnetic waves through tree roots can be used in predicting earthquakes two days before the earth physically shakes. The growing tension in the earth’s crust is ‘observed’ by the tree roots and we can observe and measure the changes in that tension. Those roots can go deep. Cavers – investigating deep caverns – have even observed living roots of an oak species at a depth of 160 meters.

The musical alphabet of the living

This alphabet of life does not have 26 ‘letters’ but 22 amino acids, or more precisely the sound frequencies that match these 22 amino acids. Each protein has its own combination of amino acids and thus its own combination of frequencies … its own melody. So, everything that can produce proteins transmits melodies inside the cell, and outside the cell as well: melodies of the proteins that are in production at that moment of the growth cycle.

By now the melodies of about 5000 proteins are known. And herein lies the secret of the Genodics method. Plants appear to be sensitive to the frequencies – the melodies – that come from outside and penetrate the plant. And the same goes for insects and higher animals, all of which also contain proteins. With this technique every plant grower and every farmer and forester can promote the production of desired proteins.

These frequencies are much higher than what we humans can hear. Humans are actually a rather deaf phenomenon, we can observe frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hertz (Hz) while the formation of proteins is controlled by frequencies in the order of 20 zeros more, so a hundred times a billion times a billion times higher. Inaudible to our ears. How is it then possible that the audible music of Genodics still works on plants and animals (and people)? This is because of musical laws: take a basic tone of say 400 Hz. So, one octave higher counts 800 Hz and another octave higher counts 1600 Hz and so on. Those octaves resonate in harmony with each other and amplify each other. And this law goes on up to the highest overtones, so audible music also works in the formation of proteins.

 

Protein music examples

For example, the protein Apetala stimulates the setting of flowers. And the melody of Apetala also does this very convincingly. In Gardenia and Camellia, this music has multiplied flower formation.

Here Thoby plays with the idea that plants have developed on earth for more than 450 million years and have constantly absorbed all kinds of vibrations of the universe. So, they must have tuned in to vibrations. A nice example is the well-known melody ‘O solo mio’, which according to the composers Eduardo di Capua and Alfredo Mazzucchi is set to music in a field full of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) because this melody contains a series of notes that occur in the metabolism of the sunflower, namely in the formation of the protein ATP6.

And how do you explain that certain music by Pachelbel reduces stress? Because the 8 notes in that melody correspond to the same sequence of notes in GTPase, which is known to reduce stress. He even refers to the French national anthem, the ‘Marseillaise’, with its rather bloodcurdling text. Something like ‘the blood of the enemy will flow in the furrows of our fields’. This melody helps the blood coagulate. So, if some plant wounded your fingers, then sing or hum the Marseillaise melody.

Or ‘Le printemps’ by Vivaldi that stimulates the release of milk in cows. Via a trip to the giraffe he continues with the same principle for grass and cows. The example is known that acacia’s in Southern Africa at some point produce a poison that the giraffe hates. This happens especially during drought periods, when the pressure of the animals on the acacia becomes too great. Because of this toxin the giraffes move elsewhere and so the pressure on the acacia decreases. According to Jean, this phenomenon can also be applied to grass and cows. In evolution, the family of grasses originated late, about 80 million years ago (ferns that have been around for at least 450 million years). That is why the grasses have developed far fewer ways of dealing with their environment of fungi or insects – or with cows. Yet something similar happens in grasses that are being overgrazed. They then develop such a bitter taste that the cows hardly eat it anymore. ‘The grass decides whether it wants to be eaten’, Thoby concludes. This also provides an explanation for the bad mood of cows in overgrazed or impoverished pastures.

 

The ethical question of technology 

In the end, Thoby can no longer deny the ethical question: what do we do to nature with this technical intervention, even when it is such a sympathetic thing as music. Is that really responsible? Then he gets an article that directly resolves his doubts: the phenomenon occurs in nature in general. It has been documented, for example, by Pierre Lavange on whales (www.shelltonewhaleproject.org/le-lien-perdu ). Some whales sang in the vicinity of phytoplankton just before feeding on it. Analysis of this plankton showed that the protein content was higher than in unsung plankton. Lavange also mentions that only the mother whales with baby were ‘allowed’ to eat this plankton. Actually, the whole of nature functions by means of vibrations, he concludes.

 

Listening tips and learning points

Thoby also lists a number of advices for a good ‘plant music session’.

– be calm and attentive yourself

– be open and receptive

– provide a quiet environment, preferably without passing traffic

– be relaxed: it doesn’t work if you’re busy with yourself or if you expect too many results.

He noticed that plants sometimes just don’t make music when your mind is busy with very different things.

 

Each plant has its own ‘fingerprint’

With some experience – says Thoby – you can recognize a plant by the first notes of the music. The first series of tones of the same plant is always the same. Only after a few seconds other tones are being added. So, there is a specific vibration pattern for each plant family. Within a family it becomes much harder to recognize the difference, but Thoby and Georges Simmonds, researcher of the French national agricultural research institute INRA, trust that – with the help of computers – the pattern of each cultivar could eventually be recognized. So, each plant species, each cultivar, has its own characteristic ‘vibration pattern’ or ‘musical signature’.

If a plant species is present on earth for a longer period of time, it is also electrically more active and thus emits more tones. The ferns ( > 450 million years of evolution) are much more active than the conifers ( 200 million years) or the flowering plants (120-180 million years), or the grasses that (with at most 80 million years) hardly produce any electric waves. If we realize that we humans are only here for an even shorter time – much shorter than the grasses – then it is clear that we are not nearly as connected as the plant kingdom is. We are the pupils here.

The more hybrid plants also show fewer waves. The more natural a plant is genetically, the stronger its electrical activity. So the preservation of original plant material is even more important than we thought.

Plants in organic cultivation exhibit strong and long-lasting electrical activity. A plant forced by artificial fertilizer also produces sounds initially, but after 1 to 3 hours it gets quieter. It is therefore possible – Thoby supposes – that crops without synthetic molecules much longer maintain their ability to communicate, both internally (inside and between cells) and externally (with the environment, such as fungi or insects).

 

The plant reacts to the environment

We have already mentioned the example of the root tips that grow towards the sound of water. When a plant dries out, the tones also diminish. Or if the plant gets water with a high pH (alkaline water) or contains chlorine, the tones also quiet. As soon as you clean the plant or give it water with a lower pH, the music comes back immediately.

During a strong storm, plants first produce sharp and very unpleasant tones, and then often fall silent. Even the day before the storm, the tones are subdued or absent. During heavy rain and thunder, on the other hand, the activity is maximal. Interestingly, ancient agricultural cultures remember that thunderstorms were favorable for plant cultivation.

Plants also react to people

Plants sometimes stop playing music as soon as certain people get closer. People with stress, anger or frustration. Or if someone can’t believe what he hears and shouts ‘This is impossible!’ then the plant may stop until this person has left. That’s why Thoby keeps the audience of a plant music concert at least three meters away from the stage.

There may even be a certain ‘complicity’ between a plant grower and her plants. So much so that the plant hardly makes any music when another person replaces that grower at a demonstration of that plant’s music. Or the plant just fell silent when the caretaker retreated; in their experience that happened at a distance of about 20 meters. And the music started again as soon as the caretaker came back within 20 meters distance.

Plants, however, do not seem to fall still when people play music themselves or keep plants in the garden or on the balcony.

 

Music of plants can also help people

Thoby refers to several people who came to him, after a concert, with remarks that the music had reduced or sometimes even solved their physical or mental problem. He too has experienced this at his foot. In the meantime, his practical experience has grown so much that Thoby, together with a team of doctors, carries out exploratory experiments in a hospital.

 

Optimal functioning of the plant music

All these experiences have led to a protocol that users of direct plant music can follow in order to achieve optimal effect:

– the place should be completely calm and quiet

– the plant grower/owner should withdraw after the device is installed, in order not to influence the plant’s music for the listening person

– during the first 5 minutes, concentrate in silence on your physical or mental problem

– then a short break would be good, maybe to explain something or answer questions

– the second part of such a session often lasts 20-30 minutes. During this period, you have to be receptive and not allow yourself to wander through all kinds of thoughts and not move along with the rhythm of the music. Have faith in the plant, even if you don’t understand how it works

– the listening client can decide when to stop. Often this happens after you get an image in your mind.

Listening clients are often fascinated and sometimes just enraptured by the experience.

 

Protein music

Thoby is searching an explanation for these healing experiences of direct plant music in protein music as developed by Genodics. And there appear to be surprising similarities between the sound series produced by the Music-of-the-Plant-device and the sound series of various proteins. The hypothesis would be that plants perceive the listener’s vibration patterns, react to them and convert them into vibrations that stimulate the desired healing protein? A very exciting new field of research is emerging indeed. Thanks Thoby!

 

 

Buy the book Le Chant Secret des Plantes‘ (Rustica editions, Paris. 2019). French only.

💥 Be Researcher! Be Plants Lover! Be part of the innovation with us! 🌿

Do you have the feeling  that plants are sometimes communicating something to you?
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Bamboo Control Software is a revolutionary software that allows you to see the electrical signals of the plants in real time. That will allow you to check and potentially understand the behavior of the plants.

It is an extraordinary opening of a new era in plant research not only for scientific laboratories but for all the passionate persons ready to discover more about the Plant World.

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Bamboo control software setup page

An incredible software that is ready to use and can monitor the electrical activity of your plant in real time using our device Bamboo. From your PC you can see how the environmental and external agents can affect the life of this being.

If you’ve read the book “The Secret Life of Plants” by P. Tompkins and C. Bird, Cleve Backster’s experiments with a galvanometer will immediately come to mind. He demonstrated how a plant could be connected with his thoughts and emotions even miles away.

Our spiritual mission is the unification of the Mother Worlds of Plants and human beings. The first step is therefore the awareness that Plants are evolved living beings that possess a consciousness and a high collective intelligence.

How does it work?

Bamboo is measuring the resistance of the plant between 2 electrodes. One electrode is placed in the ground near the roots and one electrode is clipped onto the leaf.

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The Bamboo Control Software reads the instant total electromagnetic value of the plant and produces a graph that can be easily read by you!

At the moment the software is in Beta Test so still under development. Your part, as a researcher , by giving us  feedback is fundamental.

Be connected with the Plants Word and be part of the innovation with us!

Are plants conscious?

We were sent the link to this TEDx talk by Professor Stefano Macuso, one of the most important figures in the field of plant neurobiology:

We already know that plants have all our senses (they can see, hear, touch, smell and see) without the organs usually associated with them and they have some more specific exclusive senses. We also know that they have very important and intense social lifes. But, are plants intelligent? Can they solve problems, communicate, and navigate their surroundings?

In this talk, Stefano Mancuso presents a new paradigm in our understanding of the vegetal world. He argues that plants process information, sleep, remember, and signal to one another-showing that, far from passive machines, plants are intelligent and aware.

Stefano Mancuso is a lecturer in the University of Florence, director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology (LINV) in Florence, Italy, and a founder of the International Society for Plant Signaling and Behavior. He is the author of several books and more than 250 scientific papers published in international magazines and journals. “La Repubblica” newspaper has listed him among the 20 people who will change our lives.

Do you think that plants are conscious and aware of their environment? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Trees Have Social Networks, Too

One of our long-time supporters sent us an article from the New York Times about the work of Peter Wohlleben, a German Forest Ranger who published the book, “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries From a Secret World.” Presenting scientific research and his own observations in highly anthropomorphic terms, the matter-of-fact Mr. Wohlleben has delighted readers with the news — long known to biologists — that trees in the forest are social beings.

Mr. Wohlleben invites readers to imagine what a tree might feel when its bark tears (“Ouch!”). “I use a very human language,” he explained. “Scientific language removes all the emotion, and people don’t understand it anymore. When I say, ‘Trees suckle their children,’ everyone knows immediately what I mean.”

This is very different than the Music of the Plants way of speaking, which aims to create a new vocabulary to describe what plants experience, but it brings up the question, “would it be easier to understand the plant world if we use human language to describe non-human emotions?” Tell us what you think in the comments.

You can read the full article on the New York Times website.

Plant Frequencies for Healing

More independent research on plant music and healing, this time from Australia:

“I have been interested in healing frequencies for some time, and, being a Homeopath, have also tried various methods. One was, for example, using the wristbands from Quantum iNfinity to put frequencies into my body. Having read the story on comas, I purchased the Singing Plants device (thru Crystal Castle in Australia). I dowsed as to whether these plant frequencies could be used for healing, and got a positive response. So I played the music from my plants back to myself through the wristbands (30 mins 3 times a day for 2 days). The effect has been very positive. I have greater peace of mind and happiness. I feel as if something that was ‘missing’ in my energetic makeup has been found again. I am calm and, in a sense, fulfilled. I thought your community might like to know.

I am a dowser for 40 or so years. I was curious as to the healing properties of the frequencies, and dowsed it. According to my findings, all plant music is healing, and it does not relate to specific plant types. The linear intellectual model would tend to assume that, say, lemongrass would be good for the liver, parsley for iron, etc etc as per herbal lore, but apparently not. I would be interested if your researchers were to find differently, but I would be surprised if they did. The plants I have used with the singing plant device are basil, lemongrass and parsley, hence my assumptions at the start. But it seems to me, that plants can ‘scan’ a human and play what is appropriate . I believe that all plants, now, have this universal healing tendency and possible capability.”

Amazing! What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

 

Image By PlayTheTunes 

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