Gemmotherapy is a specialised form of herbal medicine that uses remedies made from the buds and young shoots of trees and shrubs, picked just as they emerge in the Spring.
These are the embryonic plant tissues, which contain the meristems or plant stem cells by which new growth occurs. The embryonic tissues also have high concentrations of nutrients, vitamins, plant hormones and enzymes.
Gemmotherapy remedies have a multiple action:
- drainage and detoxification of the whole person or of particular body systems
- regulating physiological functions (whether they are hypo- or hyper-)
- supporting and toning the tissues and organs
Their basic draining action may be explained by the outward-moving energy of the buds and young shoots.
Gemmotherapy takes its name from 'gemma', the Latin word for bud (and also for a precious stone, though there is no connection between gemmotherapy and gem therapy).
The remedies act predominantly on a physical level. They are used in a variety of clinical situations and can solve specific problems that come up all the time in practice:
- to clear environmental toxins or metabolic waste products from the organs and tissues as part of a detoxification protocol
- to drain the emunctories (= the organs of elimination) when they are underfunctioning
- to stimulate the immune system
- to support, nourish and maintain weakened or susceptible parts of the body
- to prepare the body for the deeper action of another treatment, such as a homeopathic remedy, when there could be a risk of an aggravation
- synergistically with other therapies, for a greater combined effect
- when deeper forms of treatment are too slow in bringing relief of physical symptoms
- symptomatically for the relief of acute, sub-acute or chronic physical symptoms
- to calm aggravations without throwing off any underlying curative action that may be taking place
- as a stop-gap to buy time while you work on the case
Most often used by naturopaths and homeopaths, gemmotherapy can easily be combined with any other kind of treatment, such as chiropractic or osteopathy. As Marcus Greaves MD has pointed out, gemmotherapy can even be used to help conventional medication work better.
Because the remedies have quite a broad sphere of action, they can be prescribed with more confidence than corresponding homeopathic remedies, which have to be chosen precisely if they are to work.
Gemmotherapy remedies are easily available from several outlets on the internet and in an increasing number of retail stores. You can find out more about the subject, and start prescribing them yourself, with a few indications from some of the following websites:
The Gemmotherapy Forum
To use the remedies in a professional context, and for a more in-depth study, we recommend our courses – the new Webinar series, and the Certificate, Diploma and Licence courses – at the School of Gemmotherapy.