Most civilized societies today have become focused on insulating themselves and other organisms from the “unsanitary” Earth in order to have “clean” controlled living environments.
Humans wear insulated shoes, live in elevated homes, drive in cars, and live completely disconnected from the Earth.
After the horticultural explosion of the Victorian period, greenhouses and indoor growing became very popular. Eventually new techniques utilizing heating and artificial lighting to grow “controlled” plants indoors were developed.
Today, billions of plants have become insulated from the Earth with the wide spread use of plastic pots.
Disconnected Pepper Plants
Dr. Christy Westen presents our sunflower and daffodil bulb experiments at the 2011 Longevity Now Conference. The experiments on grounding sunflowers and other plants have amazing parallels to grounding humans.
Plants, being sessile organisms, are exposed to external factors that can be stressful in such a way that growth, development, and reproduction or the yield of crops become compromised. Expanding extensive physiological studies, the last decade has seen a focus on genes and biochemical pathways that determine whether plants are sensitive or tolerant to the many different stress factors: heat, cold and freezing, drought, salinity, flooding or oxidizing agents. Recently, most emphasis is being directed towards an understanding of the mechanisms through which plants recognize external conditions, and on the signaling pathways that initiate protective reactions." (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470015902.a0020087/abstract)
External conditions affect growth, development and productivity of all plants. Under environmental stresses, plant development is adaptively modulated. Stresses can trigger a wide range of plant responses from altered gene expression and altered cellular metabolism to changes in growth rates and crop yields. "This modulation is also influenced by the steady-state balance (homeostasis) between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and phytohormones. Frequently observed symptoms in plant stress adaptation responses include growth retardation, reduced metabolism and photosynthesis, reallocation of metabolic resources and increased antioxidant activities to maximize plant survival under adverse environmental conditions. As a result of environment stress reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels can rise disproportionately, ultimately leading to oxidative damage and cell death" (Van Breusegem & Dat 2006)(http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-3040.2011.02324.x/full)
Our research on Earth & Grow's effects on plants has concluded that grounded plants appear more healthy and vibrant, increase growth rate and crop yields, increase metabolism and photosynthesis, and "de-stress" plants exposed to adverse environmental conditions.
When we disconnect plants from the Earth and place them into pots, we are instantly putting them into a stressful environment. When we reconnect plants to Earth, their cells return to a homeostasis "balance" which increases efficiency.