Chromatography is a a diagnostic tool used in Biodynamics developed by Lili Kolisko in the 1920s. Blotting paper is dipped in for example carrot juice, some of which is soaked up. The different components in the juice separate out, providing a pictorial representation of the living qualities of plant substances. The ‘Rising Picture‘ method requires an extract from a plant to be put into a specially-shaped dish and filter paper is stood in it and the extract is allowed to soak up. This is left to dry and then silver nitrate solution is allowed to rise in the same way. The result is a ‘pattern that looks like curtains…the pictures are much more fluid than the [sensitive] crystallization pictures and a trained eye is required,’ says Richard Swann.

A variation on the Rising Picture method is ‘Round Filter Chromatography‘ or Chromas. These were developed Ehrenfried Pfeiffer to evaluate soil, compost and food quality. Round filter papers are used. The liquid organic substance is first allowed to radiate out from the centre. Once dry, this is followed by silver nitrate solution. The process and equipment needed is simple to use and obtain, and analysis can be performed in the kitchen or on the farm.

See also: Sensitive crystallization.


Richard Swann, ‘Perceiving quality through picture forming methods’, Star and Furrow, Issue 130, January 2019 p.15-17.