Dr.Teruo Higa’s
Living A Dream

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#80: The Microbiome Again

Japan continues to be hit by unexpected severe winter weather, and new strains of influenza have appeared. Schools and kindergartens that have been using EM in humidifying and disinfection of hands have had remarkable success in combating influenza and have not had to close.

In the 77th edition of the online journal DND I introduced selections from the presentations given at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Virology (held from November 10-12, 2013) about the anti-viral effects of EM. The virus used was herpes simplex virus, but it was clear that the usual spraying method for Activated EM (a 100-500 dilution) was able to suppress infection by the virus in under one minute. It is possible to apply this method to any and all viruses.

In other words, spraying a 100-500 dilution of Activated EM obviates the need for hand washing, and spraying it in the mouth makes gargling unnecessary. It is up to the person involved whether to put this into practice or not, but if you hope to live an EM lifestyle, then I sincerely hope you will make this a part of your daily life.

It is believed that viral infection mainly occurs when reduced body temperature lowers immunity, but we should always keep in mind that the microbiome also plays a key role. In the past it was standard practice to administer antibiotics when one caught a cold, which seemed to cure the cold more quickly, but since antibiotics do not directly suppress viruses this method of treating colds is now antiquated.

Tradition also had it that antibiotics were effective against a variety of intractable diseases, and doctors at one time would administer antibiotics even when the cause of the illness was unclear, and this brought about a certain level of results.
However, as hospital infections by drug-resistant bacteria have grown, the overuse of antibiotics has been halted, but faith in antibiotics and the microbiome are not unrelated.  Opportunistic infection, which is closely related to a lowering of immunity—microorganism contamination, in other words—is connected to the cause of many diseases. Antibiotics can greatly suppress infection by opportunistic bacteria, and if there are no drug-resistant bacteria they do have a certain power, but since new drug-resistant strains of bacteria are appearing too quickly now, this use of antibiotics is out of date.

If you apply this principle in reverse, and live an EM lifestyle that increases the level of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, you are taking the best possible measures to prevent diseases, starting with colds. I have been repeating this idea about the power of EM from a long time ago, but now is the time to put this into practice.

Microbiome Measures in Crop Cultivation                                  
To give the conclusion first, use EM for everything. Specifically, start by, whenever you water plants, using a 50-100 dilution of EM, and you will experience good results.

When you fully apply EM, spray sufficient amounts of Activated EM on food waste and weeds, cow, pig, and animal manure, and when the bad odor disappears (possibly as soon as the next day), spread this over the surface of the soil and spray 1-2 liters of Activated EM per square meter (non-tilled cropping).

Seedlings can be planted next, but you should wait a week to plant seeds. If you spread organic material on the surface and spray EM, seeds for weeds underneath will almost all ferment and wither. Make sure to fully cover the surface of the soil with a good amount of organic matter.

Because the microorganisms in EM—phototrophic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria and yeast—are strongly anaerobic, as they decompose organic material they move to lower soil layers to avoid the surface layer of the soil, which is oxygen rich. Generally if the soil is not tilled, the lower layer gets hard and in the end it is necessary to till it. Therefore if aerobic bacteria are used to decompose the organic matter to make compost you have to till the soil. Without tilling it crops will grow poorly.

Because EM has the opposite characteristics, when you spread organic matter (raw material is fine) on the surface of the soil, and introduce EM to coexist with naturally occurring aerobic bacteria that decompose organic matter, this will promote decomposition of the organic matter on the surface, and the decomposed matter will, along with the EM, shift to lower layers of the soil. This will result in the lower layers becoming softer, and since water permeability will improve, aerobic bacteria too will settle in the lower layers of soil and this will lead to an upsurge in the number of earthworms.

In other words, if you cut up small pieces of organic matter (raw matter is fine) and cover the top layer of soil with it, and continue to apply EM, the soil will become pliant, the number of earthworms and useful nematodes will increase and very soon you will have created an ideal soil ecology.

This kind of soil will, accordingly, increase the amount of the various enzymes that are connected with the anti-oxidation, anti-ionization, and energy rectification that EM produces. The power of EM is from these enzymes, which support health. All the effort that goes into the old method of carefully decomposing organic matter over time to create good quality fermented compost (bokashi) is no longer necessary.

In hydroponic cultivation and plant factories, which do not use ordinary soil and do not make use of the abilities of microorganisms, it is impossible to utilize the above-mentioned power of enzymes. In cultivation systems in which it is not possible to make good use of microorganisms, crop residue will, inevitably, be nothing but large amounts of waste.

If one maintains an abundant microbiome in the soil through the use of EM, it is possible, without tilling, for organic material to again be part of the soil’s power, and have continual crops throughout the year just as is done in plant factories.

When this level is reached there will be hardly any weeds whatsoever, and no harmful insects at all. In unfortunate cases where harmful insects do appear, spray high quality Activated EM (below pH 3.5) onto leaves to cover them, to literally bathe them in EM. If this is in summer, you can lightly rinse them with water in an hour or two. (In the winter  wait half a day.)
If you continue this process once every 3-4 days, and do it 3-4 times, all harmful insects will vanish, and soil quality will rapidly improve.

The period is over when EM is used simply to substitute for agrochemicals and soil amendments in traditional agriculture. We must remember that technology has evolved to the point where we are now in an age when we can utilize the power of EM to create microbiomes. 
 
Examples of continual cropping, non-tilled cultivation as described in this magazine.










Courtesy of Ecopure

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