Effective Microorganisms

What is EM?

The key to the discovery of EM is a certain harmonious grouping of three basic components: photosynthetic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, and yeasts.  Quantitatively, photosynthetic bacteria form a minor component of EM, but functionally, they form the key to the way EM works in the environment.  The lactic acid bacteria and yeasts form partnerships with the photosynthetic bacteria.  This alliance of these three groups enables other groups of beneficial microorganisms to be functional under conditions which they would otherwise not thrive, or even survive.  Actinomycetes, beneficial fungi, and free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria are the chief allies to the basic triumvirate of photosynthetic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts.

When added to the environment, these “Effective Microorganisms” act to enhance the activities of other beneficial microorganisms, either those already present in the environment, or those incidentally present in the EM cultures. These include cellulose-digesting bacteria, many kinds of aerobic bacteria, pseudomonades, Rhizobium sp., and beneficial fungi such as mycorrhizae and Tricoderma sp.,  and many others. EM as a microbial inoculant helps to increase the overall vigor and species diversity of the beneficial micro flora in the soil or whatever environment where EM is applied.

At the same time, the activities of the EM produce substances and by-products that are very beneficial to the soil food web and the environment.  These beneficial substances include many enzymes, organic acids, vitamins, amino acids, chelated micro-nutrients and other growth factors that benefit soil-plant relationships.  The positive influence of these substances secreted by the beneficial microorganisms activated by the use of EM is at least as important as the activities of the microorganisms in EM itself in creating conditions for healthy crops.

Since the initial discovery of EM,  an evolution is taking place in understanding the nature and properties of EM as a new tool for creating a sustainable agriculture and environment.  First, EM was used simply as a general-purpose microbial inoculate for application to crops.  Soon, it was discovered that EM could also benefit livestock applications.

As EM began to be widely used, observations suggested that EM has additional properties besides just the type and number of beneficial microorganisms in the EM cultures.  Observations of the effects of EM use on tools,  equipment and facilities demonstrate a strong antioxidant character for EM.  This antioxidant ability of EM led to new applications of EM and development of new forms of EM products.  Investigation of these new forms and applications of EM led to the study of the physics of EM.  The role of “nuclear magnetic resonance” or nmr as an important property of EM cultures and EM products, especially EM extracts and EM ceramics, is a current topic of EM research.

Scientific investigation into EM continues and is ever-expanding.  In some countries, the government agencies have become involved in teaching farmers and other groups about the benefits of using EM.  Use of EM has spread to millions of households and thousands of farms around the world.

For more information about EM, visit these web sites:
EM Research Organization, EMRO – Okinawa, Japan  for links to international network on EM 


​For links to EM Research Papers, see the Proceedings of seven international conferences:


For additional links on EM Research, see:


To order EM products (US customers only) follow this link:


To order EM products outside the US, follow this link to find a local or regional distributor worldwide, to the EMRO website and click on the heading for “Your Local” which will help you locate a local source of EM and EM products.


Thank you for your interest in EM and for participating in the EM Earth Saving Revolution!