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Disclaimer: The information on curenaturally.org is intended to improve your knowledge about herbs and their benefits. Articles on this website are not intended to replace medical treatment from your doctor. Always consult your doctor before starting a new treatment regimen.

Updated 09.19.2018

How to get rid of weeds without using toxic chemicals

By Dr. Ashraf Girgis N.D.

When I give a talk about how to prevent and deal with autoimmune diseases, I try to cover the topic holistically, exploring it in all aspects and looking at it from every angle. Make sure to look for my upcoming book, “Holistic Approach to Autoimmune Diseases,” coming sometime early next year. One of the areas overlooked by almost all allopathic doctors is the impact of chemicals in our environment and at home. By contrast, naturopathic doctors understand how the negative impact these chemicals have on our health and wellbeing.


When I give a talk about how to prevent and deal with autoimmune diseases, I try to cover the topic holistically, exploring it in all aspects and looking at it from every angle. Make sure to look for my upcoming book, “Holistic Approach to Autoimmune Diseases,” coming sometime early next year. One of the areas overlooked by almost all allopathic doctors is the impact of chemicals in our environment and at home. By contrast, naturopathic doctors understand how the negative impact these chemicals have on our health and wellbeing.


Spraying Chemicals

Unfortunately, one of the most common weed killers used in United States households is Roundup.

Naturopathic doctors have been alerting people about Roundup’s effects and harmful chemicals for a long time. Just recently, Monsanto – the company which distributes Roundup – agreed to pay $289 million to a former school groundskeeper dying of cancer. The lawsuit brought by Dewayne Johnson claimed that Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Johnson’s attorneys won $39 million in compensatory damages, in addition to $250 million of the $373 million they sought in punitive damages. In France, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization or WHO) classified Roundup as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. Additionally, in California, Roundup’s active chemical glyphosate has been added to the list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Scientists have found that the glyphosate in Roundup has been a contributing factor in the increases in ADHD, autism, birth defects, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diabetes, according to a paper published in 2009 in the Journal of Toxicology. Roundup also causes disruption of liver function. These are only a handful among many other diseases caused by roundup.

Johnson’s lawsuit brought media attention back to the hazardous effects of the chemical glyphosate. Therefore, the next question is what we can safely use as a weed killer. Those of you reading my articles know that I am a proponent of leaving nature alone for the most part, as nature is who we are, an extended part of our universe. There is no reason for getting rid of it; just let it be. I like to advocate for allowing weeds to grow wherever they appear, as long as they does not suffocate our favorite herbs and flowers or the fruits and vegetables which sustain our being.

Almost all of what we call weeds have many medicinal benefits. Many look beautiful and attract butterflies, birds, and honeybees, so killing the weeds is not something I normally would suggest at all. However, if you have to, these are few approaches which will kill your weeds naturally without poisoning yourself and the environment.


Boiling Water
Using Boiling hot water is one of the easiest and simplest ways to kill weeds, for obvious reasons. In order for this to be effective, make sure you pour the water over the roots – not just the leaves.

White Vinegar
Vinegar is an acetic acid; almost all household white vinegar are 5% acidic. If you are trying to use 5% white vinegar, add a squirt or two of liquid soap. Mixed with a small amount of soap, the vinegar will adhere to the plants root longer. Soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, which causes it to stick to the weeds and be absorbed by their roots. Vinegar will burn the plant by dehydration. It is better if you spray it under the sun and spray directly to the root. Do not soak the ground – spray just enough to see that it is wet. If after couple of days your weed is still not dead, use a higher concentration of vinegar. Some people use 10-20% vinegar as weed killer. You can find this vinegar in gardening supply stores looking for horticultural vinegar. Horticultural vinegar contains a concentration of 20% vinegar.

It is important to remember that such a high concentration of vinegar – anything above 10% - can be very dangerous for your skin and eyes. Make sure to wear protective gloves and a form of eye cover to avoid being burned. At such a concentration, it can also be damaging to salamanders and toads in your garden.

White Vinegar


Salt
Both Rock salt and regular table salt are made of sodium chloride. Both can be used as weed killer. Rock salt is often used during the winter to prevent freezing and icing on the roads. It is very cheap and easily accessible.

It is better to place rock salt on the pavement, steps, or other places you do not want anything to grow, because once the salt is placed it can prevent anything from growing there for several years. While it changes the pH of the soil, it also dehydrates it, therefore killing the weeds. Salt latches to the ground and prevents vegetation growth for at least a few years. That is why it is good for driveways or places you want to get rid of weeds, but use it with caution in your garden.

If you prefer to use regular table salt, mix it with water. The suggested solution is 3:1, or one cup rock salt to one gallon of hot water. Make sure salt is dissolved before use. Use caution: this can be very damaging to the soil, since salt kills everything, including other vegetation. It may be harmful to the soil’s composition, so be very careful where you use it.


Eliminate conditions favorable to weeds growth
Last but not the least is condition of soil. Pesticides damages the microorganisms that are essential for maintaining health of the soil. Having healthy soil is not only important in preventing weeds, but it is also very significant in growing nutrient-rich vegetable and fruits.

For example, in acidic soil, some nutrients – such as potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus – may be less available. On the other hand, in an alkaline soil, minerals such as phosphorus, manganese, and iron may be less available.

Weeds often grow in conditions where land is compacted. If this is the case, get an aerator. It helps to establish and loosen up the land, making it less likely for weeds to grow. Weeds normally grow in compacted soils with pH levels that are imbalanced and poorly fertilized. You may wonder how to measure your soil’s pH. There are tools that measure you garden’s ph. They are usually fairly easy to use, and I suggest you visit your local gardening stores to find them. I also highly recommend that you visit www.milkwood.net. There are a host of very useful articles and suggestions about gardening and how to find out your soils pH. A healthy soil has to be balanced; a balanced soil normally has a pH of 6-7.5. However, depending on what you grow, you may need slightly acidic or alkaline soil. A soil has natural pH when its pH is 7.0; above that is considered alkaline, and below that is considered acidic.

Enjoy your healthy garden and stay away from chemicals such as Roundup.
Thanks for visiting www.curenaturally.com

Sheep Grazing in an Open Field


References:


"Arugula (salad Rocket) Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits." Nutrition And You.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
Barbara Bowman. "Arugula." : Article. http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/ , n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
"Composition and Physical Properties of Arugula, Shepherd's Purse, and Upland Cress Oils." N.p., July 2010. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
"Composition and Physical Properties of Arugula, Shepherd's Purse, and Upland Cress Oils." N.p., July 2010. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
N.p., n.d. Web.
N.p., n.d. Web.
"Nutrition Facts." And Analysis for Arugula, Raw. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
"Rocket." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
"10 Health Benefits of Arugula." Http://www.healthdiaries.com/. N.p., 26 July 2012. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
"What Is Arugula?" WiseGEEK. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.
Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.


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