An official and yet discreet branch of phytotherapy, a practice based on the natural properties of plants, gemmotherapy is currently arousing growing interest. More specifically, what is it all about, and what kind of benefits does it provide?
ORIGINS AND ETYMOLOGY
From the Latin "gemmae" meaning both gemstone and buds as a reference to their rarity and apparent stability in winter, gemmotherapy dates as far back as the Middle Ages when alchemists used plant buds, particularly those of dried poplar and fresh or dried fir, to produce various remedies such as ointments and herbal teas.
Also known as the "tree bud medicine", gemmotherapy results from phytotherapy (from the Greek "phyton" meaning plant), a practice closely related to aromatherapy and widely popular today that utilizes the natural virtues of plants, prized since ancient times.
Promising, this plant bud approach was initially known as “phytoembryotherapy” and invented by the renowned Dr. Pol Henry, born in 1918 and from Belgium. As early as the 1960s, this pioneer was the first to suggest that the meristem (a plant tissue made up of rapidly dividing cells responsible for growth) would contain all of the informative energy needed for trees to grow. Following the work on natural remedies conducted by Dr. Pol Henry, Dr. Max Tétau, a French homeopath and herbalist, also made a significant contribution to the development of this practice, which he officially renamed "gemmotherapy", now in full expansion.
A GENTLE AND EFFICIENT METHOD
Complementary to aromatherapy, which is based on the use of essential oils made from the distillation of plants, the products used in gemmotherapy are obtained from the maceration of buds and young shoots in a solvent generally consisting of water, alcohol and glycerin. The purpose is to extract the multiple active ingredients from plant buds, which include vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
By tapping into the virtues of growing plants, such as buds, young shoots, roots or even rootlets, genuine sources of vital energy, gemmotherapy allows the organism to be naturally and sustainably supported through the regeneration, stimulation or even drainage of organs, ultimately promoting an improved general condition.
PRODUCTS WITH NATURAL AND LASTING BENEFITS
By harnessing the properties of the meristem, the bud extracts used in gemmotherapy thus contribute to a better and lasting vitality. Based on individual needs, different products will be especially suited according to their respective active ingredients and their specific action on the organism. For example:
- The organic Blackcurrant extract: Stimulating and regulating, ideal to boost immunity, the Blackcurrant is a flagship product in gemmotherapy;
- The organic Fig Tree extract: Calming and balancing, the soothing function of the Fig Tree plays a really beneficial part on the nervous system as well as on the digestive sphere;
- The organic Cedar of Lebanon extract: A powerful healing agent, the Cedar of Lebanon mainly drains the cutaneous system, thus promoting the body's regeneration.
Just like essential oils, some bud extracts complement each other perfectly to create synergies with equally natural and effective benefits. For instance:
- The organic Gemmowinter blend: Stimulating and improving immunity, this combination of Fir, Verrucous birch and Rosehip macerates will be a great asset to prepare for any season change as well as for the winter;
- The organic Gemmoveins blend: A mix of Chestnut, Alder and Horse-chestnut macerates with positive effects on the circulatory system, particularly useful in case of heavy legs for example.
It should be noted that there are generally few contraindications to the use of those specific products. Nevertheless, we recommend consulting a health professional specialized in gemmotherapy before any oral use of one or more of these bud extracts, and cannot be held responsible in case of ingestion without prior medical advice.
Recommended books (in French):
- ANDRIANNE Philippe, La Gemmothérapie, Médecine des bourgeons, Editions Amyris, 2002
- BOISTARD Stéphane, Gemmothérapie, les bourgeons au service de la santé, Editions de Terran, 2016