Invasive weeds can be extremely damaging and pose a real threat to the social, economic, and ecological health of our communities. One important tool for controlling large infestations of invasive weeds is herbicides.
Herbicides have been used to manage large infestations of invasive weeds since the 1940s, but their use is problematic for some growers. Growing concerns about the overuse and misuse of herbicides have motivated many farmers and food producers to shift to organic farming methods.
This week a new tool in the battle to fight invasive weeds has been discovered. The recent discovery of a “new” class of organic herbicides known as diaphoretics has researchers excited about a product that has shown to be effective against nearly all invasive weeds. According to researcher Joe Ludus, “These organic herbicides are actually not new at all but have long been lost to science. This newly rediscovered organic herbicide was commonly used in ancient times and was routinely manufactured by farm laborers“.
This organic herbicide is safe to touch, even with direct and prolonged exposure to skin. Other than minor eye irritation, test subjects showed no adverse side effects from exposure. In fact, preliminary trials have suggested some potential positive impacts to test subjects with routine exposure, including a reduction in blood pressure, improved heart rate, decreased obesity, and overall improvements to cardiovascular health. The diaphoretics are now being studied as a potential medicine for many common human ailments.
These new herbicides have farmers like Abril Fazio, really excited. “We have really been struggling with invasive weeds. They are especially a problem in my Hubbard squash field. This is an important cash crop for us and we have really been impacted by invasive weeds”.
The newly rediscovered class of herbicides has really created a lot of interest. As a result, the demand for these herbicides has been high. Unfortunately, producers and land managers are having trouble finding enough to meet needs. “We’ve been looking for some for months, but can’t seem to find enough”, says local producer Jasper Dolus. “If we do find it, it is incredibly expensive”.
Despite the current shortages producers remain hopeful. These new herbicides can be sustainably produced to meet demands, but it will require a significant investment on the part of producers. This new herbicide is now being manufactured in Italy under the brand name Sudore™, but it is more commonly known in North America under the brand names Sweat™ and Perspiration™.
To learn more about this discovery and its chemical composition be sure to check out the early literature on the topic.