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Materia Medica

Planting by the Stars






Helix Tosta

From the homeopathic pharmacopoeia

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About the Preparation -

  Preparation name Helix Tosta  
  Preparation category Homoeopathic remedy  
  Manufacturer's name  
  Natural Order Helicidae  
  Common Name Toasted snail  
  Latin Name  
  Chemical Formula  
  Mother tincture made Trituration  
  General description Snails have traditional virtue in curing consumption (TBC). Homoeopaths have put the remedy to the test by potentising it. As plants, when consumed by snails and slugs, present a perfect picture of excessive respiratory deficiency, the analogy is obvious. This remedy has had extensive clinical verification in the field. It was found to protect plants from snail attack when watered in or sprayed, so that the plant takes up the remedy. Helix 6X protects plants to the degree that snails will pass previously sprayed plants, to eat only untreated plants. No other preparation works four months after one single dose, even in heavy rain. Helix was tested extensively at herb farms and backyard gardens. Helix does not affect the small native (Australian) snail, but only the so called Italian snail and the slug.  

Effect on plants -

Named Issues
Snails and slugs and slimy moulds (3)
Snails (271)
Slugs (496)
Strawberries (496)
Snails (496)
Snails (496)
Lettuce (496)
Slugs (337)
Snails - more with images ... (555)
Snails (1532)
General Appearance
The homeopathic remedy did have an effect ... helix tosta seemed to help but it didn't hold that long ... the new fall plantings needed to be treated again. (334)
I initially had my doubts whether this would work. I sow my vegetables in winter on the windowsill. Later I move the seedlings to a cold frame - from then on, I always needed to spread slug pellets otherwise nothing survives. This year I tested Helix tosta as described in the book: 1st dose 10 ml in 10 liters of water; 2nd dose a week later, 5 ml in 10 liters water; 3rd dose another week later, 2.5 ml in 10 liters water. The results were amazing. After just one dose, there was not a single snail to be seen! The seedlings were untouched. Later I moved the plants to the field and even there they were undisturbed for quite some time. The snails ate a few plants but didn't return the next day. There was a problem when it rained constantly in the final few days. This seems to cause the protective effect to be lost more quickly... In the field, I have the impression - depending on plant type and weather - that the effect of the dose expires at different rates. In greenhouses, the remedy is ideal. Before, I'd already given up planting lettuce. Even in the greenhouse, everything got eaten up. This year, I started another trial out of curiosity. I treated the plants after planting as described. 19 out of 20 plants survived untouched, which I found very convincing. (496)
Plants were watered several times with the remedy (it didn't help just to spray). Rocket, which is normally very badly affected, was left alone by the snails. In parsley and marjoram, it didn't help. The effect of the remedy was noticeably reduced in strong rain, so that the treatment had to be repeated. (496)
I have watered strawberries in particular with the remedy. By the next day, there were almost no more slugs to be seen, only a very few strawberries had been eaten. After several weeks, the watering was repeated as some snails had appeared, and afterwards they disappeared again. (496)
Vegetable garden strongly plagued by slugs was watered several times and sprayed - so far, the snails have not returned. (496)
A few weeks ago, I purchased the snail remedy "Helix tosta", which I've used according to the instructions, watering with it once a week. Straight after the first watering, there were no more snails to be seen. I'd just like to say I'm very pleased with the remedy so far. (496)
Stem/trunk and bark - capillary system
We had 50 pumpkin seedlings being attacked. We sprayed with helix tosta and lost only one plant in the end. It was very impressive. (1)
When we first received our Helix tosta remedy we too wanted to see if it worked. Not a single snail or slug could be found around Fran Sheffield's garden (must be those kookaburras) so it fell to Michelle Keats, another Homoeopathy Plus practitioner, to trial it on her snail infested rhubarb. This is what happened: "When I was first asked to do this I thought, what a crazy idea! But I dropped a pill into a bottle of water and sprayed my rhubarb where the snails normally thrive, and waited to see what would happen. The next morning there was not a snail to be seen until I turned the leaves over. They had all clustered on the undersides. I sprayed the leaves again but this time, on both sides. Since then it truly has been a case of, 'not a snail to be seen'. I have checked the rhubarb day and night and it remains completely snail free. Some have parked themselves on the wall beside my garden but none have ventured onto the plants. I am seriously impressed. I've been told that this effect will last a few months, even if it rains, but I guess that is something I will have to wait and see. Next time I am going to try watering the roots instead of spraying the leaves." Update from Michelle - 12.12.09 Well, I must say, even after 7 weeks and two bouts of heavy rain, Helix tosta seems to be living up to its reputation. The rhubarb I sprayed back in October is now flourishing with lots of fresh new growth and hardly a snail to be seen even though plenty could be found around the other plants with the rain. There has been one or two small holes appear on some of the newer leaves but there is no way of telling if a snail or something else did the nibbling. Either way, these isolated holes are nothing like the damage of the past. It is just amazing. My children have been so excited about our experiment that they spent one afternoon collecting snails from other parts of the garden to put on the treated plants, trying to get them to eat the leaves - but they wouldn't! Instead, they hurried off the tops, huddled underneath, and were gone by the next day with not a hole in sight. Just take a look at this new picture I have taken of the fresh growth of the plants that were in the previous photograph. If you peer closely you will see the silvery trails left by the snails my children put on them. I'm a convert - Helix tosta really does seem to deter snails. (271)
I planted out my runner beans, plus courgette and outdoor cucumber ... and ... watered them in with Helix Tosta ... we have had perfect weather conditions for the little devils ... I have just removed nine slugs [but] not a snail in sight. (334)
... the helix seems to have gotten the slugs/snails under control. I did see a couple of soft bodied snails yesterday/today and only one small slug on the kholrabi. This is much better than what was last month. (334)
A Few Early Reports: [Following the article above] 1. Fantastic - I love it - I am about to continue to water more of my veges. What else do you have in the gardening section? I am an (domestic) organic grower. 2. All plants sprayed with your product wilted and died. (Ed: We not sure what happened with this particular person. No one else has ever reported this response from Helix tosta. Perhaps a contaminated spray bottle?). 3. As I have seen a snail and a slug on lettuces I cannot say it has been 100%, however I am stunned that there are almost no snails or slugs compared to before. Some plants like eggplants and capsicums are being munched. however I suspect caterpillars. 4. This is a fascinatingly effective treatment to repel snails and slugs and has been well worth applying. 5. I have not had to reapply despite HEAVY rain periods since I sprayed it. Well done, you appear to have solved a problem for me.... 6. Plants have NOT been eaten since treatment with Helix tosta. In one patch I had a variety of things including marigolds. After about 3 weeks something nibbled a little of the marigold leaves but didnt touch anything else. Also had a number of pots of basil. Sprayed all but one. The one that was not sprayed no longer exists. The others, you can find snails sitting on outside of the pots but basil is going strong. .... What's Happening with Michelle? Michelle reported that after more than three months of snail-free rhubarb, snails once again started to eat her plants and leave their droppings all over the leaves. This time, instead of spraying Helix tosta onto the leaves as was done the first time, she watered it into the roots so she could compare results between the different applications. Within a day or so her plants were snail free once more. (271)
A bed with lettuce and kohlrabi was watered with the remedy. Not a single snail was seen on the lettuce, but the kohlrabi was eaten down to the veins of the leaves. There was not a single snail to be seen, so it could have been mice that ate the kohlrabi, particularly as snails would almost certainly have attacked the neighboring lettuce too. Kohlrabi in other parts of the garden - for example, in the middle between two rows of tomatoes - did not show such damage. (496)
Lettuce was sowed straight out in April, covered in sheeting and sprayed twice in one week with Helix tosta. There were slugs visible under the sheeting but without any significant damage caused. The lettuce harvest was good. (496)
With Helix tosta 6D good results, hardly any problems with snails, but only until the hot period started. Thereafter I (unfortunately) always watered my beds in the evening, with the result that since then the snails were no longer put off by the Helix. Watering in the evening makes for ideal conditions to encourage the snails. Next year I'll try watering in the morning and then obviously with Helix tosta again. (496)
Organically farmed vegetable beds (no chemical sprays or artificial fertilizers) were watered once with Helix tosta. In the next few days, the slugs gradually retreated and disappeared completely from the beds after 1-2 weeks. In the neighboring grass, too, there were virtually no more of them to be seen. (496)
I planted an annual bed in a garden in an area where there were lots of slugs/snails. Marigolds, verbena, cosmos and salvia were planted - ie slug caviar! One application of helix tosta was applied and 2 months later, the plants are perfect. (213)
Helix is great on slugs--not on snails. And noticed this year in Kavi's book that the remedy does not work on standard garden snail. (768)
I have also used Helix tosta with good effect, keeping the snails away from an area of lettuces for about 6 months before the first snail appeared. (974)
I used Helix Tosta 30C on my bush bean plants last year that were in a container. After treating the plants with a couple of doses, I could see the slug slime on the outside of the container (it was a fabric grow bag), but they didn't eat anymore of my bush bean leaves. (1822)
I planted an annual bed in a garden in an area where there were lots of slugs/snails. Marigolds, verbena, cosmos and salvia were planted - ie slug caviar! One application of helix tosta was applied and 2 months later, the plants are perfect. (1840)
Generative organs
Strawberries from an organic farm were sprayed with Helix tosta 6 (approx 500 litres/hectare) on a day recommended by the planting calendar. The slugs, which normally eat all the ripe fruit, withdrew into the heart of the plant and ate only a few of the inner fruit. It was striking that there were an increasing number of garden snails (with shells) in the area, but fewer slugs. About one week later, we did a second spraying with 800 litres/hectare on a day suitable for sowing fruit plants. This time we sprayed more into the heart of the plants. The effect was to reduce the areas that were bitten and there were even fewer slugs, and those that were left seemed lifeless. (496)
The beans were also watered with Helix tosta, and here too there are no snails to be seen. Helix tosta is a complete success and I fully intend to use it again. (496)
Notes and Academic Papers
Helix tosta D6 (6X) is best for controlling slugs. (337)
Use D6 for slugs (337) ran a survey of their readers. How would you rate Helix tosta as a snail repellent remedy? Poor (16.1): Good (29.0): Excellent (54.8%): - See more at: (720)
Incredible results - in watering can - really amazing (1532)
Helix tosta works great for slugs in my area (Buffalo/Niagara falls NY) (1822)
We have LOTS of slugs in our yard from putting in new grass after a new septic system. We have found great success with helix tosta 6c. I put a few pellets (5-6) in a pint glass and fill with water then put that in a sprayer and attach to my hose. We go around our garden beds and especially hit the bottom side of hydrangeas and rhubarb plants which they love. Then the next 24 hr I will manually remove all the slugs I see. Some plants I’ll do another application on in a watering can, but other than that, helix tosta will generally do the trick for 3 months. Then I’ll reapply. (1873)

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