Gemmotherapy, from the Latin “gemmae” meaning “bud”, is a branch of herbal medicine which uses the buds and young shoots of plants. Unlike herbal medicine, which uses the adult elements of the plant (leaves, flowers, bark, roots, whole plant), gemmotherapy stands out by using the embryonic part of a plant. The bud macerates are then obtained by macerating these embryonic tissues in a water-alcohol-glycerin mixture for 20 days. They are used orally as a herbal food supplement. They will help drain, rebalance and regenerate certain physiological processes in the body. They act in depth, on the ground, which is why it is generally recommended to use them as a 3-week treatment.

This article was updated on 03/01/2024

What are the benefits of gemmotherapy?

At the base of bud macerates, there are the buds. To understand well how gemmotherapy works, it is necessary to know that the buds contain all the embryonic tissues of the plant, and all its genetic patrimony. They contain the properties of flowers, fruits and leaves at the same time: they are a sort of “totum” of the plant. For example, the Linden bud has the calming properties attributed to the flower (or bract), but also the depurative and diuretic virtues of the sapwood, which is the most recently formed part of the tree trunk (tender and white part the outermost).

The bud macerates then have a gentle and deep action, they will act with a view to restore certain disrupted physiological processes. They will initially exert drainage, detoxification of certain organs, thanks to their active plant ingredients rich in growth substances which will stimulate purifying organs such as the liver, kidney, gallbladder or intestine. They then allow the body to get back on a healthy foundation. By cleaning the body of its waste, the bud macerates will help regulate and regenerate the organs on which they will act. These are the 3 specificities of a building plant tissue: the regulation (to develop at the right time), the drainage, and the regeneration (or stimulation). Through its different actions, bud macerates are therefore particularly effective in chronic conditions. Each bud macerate will then target different organs, different systems of the body. To cite just a few examples:

  • Blackcurrant bud macerate is the great specialist for inflammation, adrenal stimulation and allergies. It is useful in many cases: allergies of all types, rheumatism, fatigue, reduced immunity, eczema, etc.
  • Linden bud macerate is specialized in the nervous system for its calming benefits. It is therefore useful in cases of stress, neurosis, for sleep problems such as insomnia, etc.
  • THE hawthorn bud macerate is the specialist in cardiac regulation: it is useful in cases of hypertension as well as hypotension, arrhythmia, palpitations, etc.
  • THE raspberry bud macerate specializes in the regulation of the female hormonal system, so it is useful in cases of painful periods, menopause, hot flashes, amenorrhea, etc.

Which bud macerate to use?

For a given indication, a problem, numerous  Which bud macerate for which use?

The 3 essential bud macerates

There are several dozen bud macerates, which will have a fairly systematic operation: they will regulate, drain and regenerate the organs. Certain bud macerates then target very specific organs, and carry out particular activities. We thus find diverse and varied indications for each bud macerate, which can be grouped by system of action. Here we present to you the 40 most used bud macerates. Among the best-known bud macerates, we find Blackcurrant, Linden and Fig.

Blackcurrant bud macerate

THE blackcurrant bud macerate is the Swiss army knife of bud macerates: it is stimulating, adrenal, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulating, antiallergic and draining. It works on almost all systems, and is therefore useful in many cases:

  • Cutaneous system ++++ : Acne, Skin allergy, Itchy skin, Dermatitis, Dermatosis, Eczema, Dry eczema, Insect bite, Psoriasis, Urticaria
  • Immune and respiratory system ++++ : Respiratory allergy, Allergy, Asthma, Bronchitis, Pulmonary emphysema, Flu, Immunity, Nasopharyngitis, Hay fever, Sinusitis, Tracheitis, Pollen allergy
  • Nervous system ++++ : asthenia, fatigue, stress
  • Osteoarticular system ++++ : Gout attack, Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Sprain, Fibromyalgia, Fracture, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoporosis, Lumbago, Dupuytren's disease, Lapeyronie's disease, Ledderhose's disease, Rheumatism, Sciatica, Chronic progressive polyarthritis, Tendinitis
  • Urogenital system +++ : Glomerulonephritis, Excess uric acid, Renal failure, Kidney stones, Nephrolithiasis, Prostatitis, Excess urea
  • Metabolic system +++ : Cholesterol, Detox
  • Digestive system ++ : Hepatitis, Pancreatitis, Dyspepsia, Gastritis, Crohn's disease, Colitis

Fig bud macerate

It is a major regulator of neurotransmitters. THE fig bud macerate acts on 2 levels: nervous and digestive. It has a calming and nervous rebalancing effect, as well as a beneficial action on digestive disorders. Rather, it acts in the present moment. It is therefore useful in the following situations:

  • Digestive system ++++ : Gastric acidity, Aerophagia, Bloating, Colitis, Irritable bowel, Dyspepsia, Gastritis, Crohn's disease, Gastroesophageal reflux, Digestive ulcer
  • Nervous system ++++ : Addictions, Anxiety, Anxiety, Asthenia, Depression, Fatigue, Insomnia, Motion sickness, Migraine, Nervousness, Neuralgia, Neurosis, Fear, Spasmophilia, Stress, Overwork, OCD, Concentration problems, Memory problems
  • Cardiac system +++ : Palpitations
  • Blood and lymphatic system +++ : anemia, atherosclerosis, vertigo
  • Cutaneous system ++ : abscess, acne, wart
  • Osteoarticular system ++ : Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid arthritis

Linden bud macerate

THE linden bud macerate is the perfect example which demonstrates that the bud contains all the potential of the future plant. We thus find the well-known calming and sedative effect of its bracts, but also the diuretic effect of its sapwood. It is the sleep bud, which works on damaged nervous patterns. It is used in the following situations:

  • Nervous system ++++ : Anxiety, Anxiety, Insomnia, Motion sickness, Migraine, Nervousness, Neuralgia, Neurosis, Fear, Spasmophilia, Stress, OCD, Concentration problems
  • Cardiac system +++ : hypertension, palpitations, tachycardia
  • Digestive system +++ : Colitis, Irritable bowel, Gastritis, Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Metabolic system +++ : Cholesterol
  • Urogenital system +++ : Excess uric acid
  • Osteoarticular system +++ : Gout attack

How to use bud macerates?

Bud macerates are taken orally, pure or diluted, outside of meals for optimal results. Generally speaking, gemmotherapy is used chronically, in a 3-week course. The treatments can be renewed after a minimum of 1 week off. Ingestion of bud macerates can be done in a support like a glass of water or a spoonful of honey to make it easier to take. This will be optimal if it is carried out without food in order to reach the body more easily and directly.

What dosage?

Adults and adolescents

5 to 15 drops per day in a glass of water (or pure), divided into 1 to 3 doses during the day depending on the case, 15 minutes before a meal for 3 weeks. Start with 5 drops and increase gradually:

  • or one drop per day up to 15
  • i.e. 5 drops the first week, 10 the second and 15 the last
Children over 3 years old

1 drop per day per 10 kilos, starting with one drop and gradually increasing the dose. Example: a 9 year old child weighing 40 kilos can ingest up to 4 drops.

Breastfeeding women

Limit yourself to 5 drops maximum per day, on medical advice only.

The different types of treatment

Punctual or curative treatment

The occasional cure generally has a curative aim, to act on a particular symptom, help the body resolve certain conditions, prevent certain disorders or carry out seasonal drainage. It can be continued with a long course of treatment if necessary, for long-term maintenance.

Duration: 3 weeks

Long or preventive treatment

Long, or preventive, cures are useful for chronic disorders, or which are likely to last a certain time. These may include hormonal disorders (e.g. menopause), cardiac, intestinal, metabolic (cholesterol) etc. A single treatment is generally not sufficient for this type of problem, bud macerates then have need time to act sustainably. However, the dosage or treatments used may change over time. Long cures are generally favored in gemmotherapy.

Duration: several months, with a rhythm of 3 weeks of intake per month and 1 week of break.

Maintenance treatment

When the disorders persist despite a one-off cure then a long cure, and provided that the macerates used act at the origin of the disorder and not just on the symptoms, it may be necessary to carry out a maintenance cure. , Who takes place over time. Maintenance cures are among other things interesting after 40 years, to maintain healthy physiological functions.

Several rates of use can be considered:

  • 10 days per month
  • 3 weeks per quarter
  • 3 days a week

Precautions for using gemmotherapy

Although they are relatively mild natural extracts, bud macerates present some usual precautions: some linked to the presence of alcohol, And the others related to the plant in itself, and its properties. Bud macerates are finally food supplements herbal. They are in no way a substitute for a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Medical advice and contraindications

In case of taking drug treatments and or specific pathology, it is necessary to seek advice from health professionals, such as doctors or pharmacists. Taking certain bud macerates is contraindicated alongside medicinal treatments. This is the case for people under anti coagulants who cannot use macerates of Ginkgo Biloba, Hawthorn, Almond, Lemon or Dogwood for example. In short, these people should not use thinning macerates in addition to their already thinning treatment so as not to double the effect and risk bleeding.

In addition, people allergic to salicylates should not use macerates of downy birch, silver birch or poplar buds.

Finally, the advice given by Compagnie des Sens should in no case replace a diagnosis, consultation or medical follow-up. If in doubt, seek medical advice before use.

Pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children

Due to the presence of alcohol, although the quantity ingested is very small, bud macerates are not recommended before the age of 3 and in pregnant women.
For breastfeeding women, the use of bud macerates can be done, but as a precautionary principle, a medical advice is however necessary. Certain bud macerates should still be absolutely avoided, for example:

  • those with hormonal action (Lingonberry, Raspberry, Apple, Oak, Redwood, Blackcurrant, Vine, etc.)
  • those with detoxifying action, where the baby risks recovering the waste evacuated by the emunctories

Hormone-dependent pathology

In the case of hormone-dependent pathology, or a history of hormone-dependent pathology, the buds with hormonal action are to avoid. Among them, we find (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Macerates adrenal action : blackcurrant, hornbeam, oak, rosemary, holly, blueberry, redwood.
  • Macerates indirect hormonal action : apple tree, blueberry tree, walnut tree.
  • Macerates having estrogenic plant hormones : Cranberry, Bramble, Virginia creeper, Raspberry.

Alcoholic withdrawal

Concentrated bud macerates are made with alcohol, they contain more than 30%. The people in alcoholic withdrawal must not to consume bud macerates.

How to take several bud macerates?

In association

It is possible to use up to 3 bud macerates within the same treatment to benefit from their benefits. If bud macerates are used to act on a same problem (arthritis for example), it is possible to :

  • Take them at the same time of the day: then divide the number of drops to take by the number of bud macerates used.

Example: for a course of 3 bud macerates, taken in the morning, at a rate of 15 drops during the last week, in this case take 5 drops of each bud macerate.

  • Take them at different times of the day: then use the bud macerates with their usual dosage, i.e. 5 to 15 drops of each per day maximum.

Example: for a course of 3 bud macerates taken in the morning, noon and evening: take 5 to 15 drops of one bud macerate in the morning, the second at midday, and the third in the evening, i.e. up to 45 maximum drops of bud macerates per day in this case.

Finally, if bud macerates act on different problems, it is preferable to use them at different times of the day, respecting the instructions for use of each of the macerates.

In complex

Just as there are synergies of essential oils, buds can also combine their properties within the same product to potentiate their effects: they are called complex. These complexes bring together buds from different plants having a targeted action on the same body system. They are in fact prepared by macerating a mixture of these different buds in the same container. We obtain a finished product that can be used as is.

How to use gemmotherapy for pets?

Gemmotherapy, through its candy and practicality of use, is particularly appreciated by animals. Dog, cat, horse, goat or guinea pig can benefit from the regenerating and draining benefits of bud macerates. Whether curative or preventive, these products have a remarkable efficiency on our pets, they present few contraindications or side effects and are very well tolerated. However, be careful to consult your veterinarian for more information.

The recommended dosages are generally:

  • 1 to 5 drops per day for cats and dogs, depending on the weight of the animal.
  • 25 to 30 drops per day (i.e. approximately 1 mL) for horses (always adapt according to the weight of the animal).

Dilute these few drops in lukewarm water to add to the animal's food or drink.

How are bud macerates made?

Here are the different stages of manufacturing making it possible to obtain a concentrated mother macerate:

  • First of all, the whole fresh buds are macerated at 1/20th in a solvent composed of 33% water, 33% alcohol at 90°, and 33% of glycerin vegetable, this for 20 days and with constant stirring. These different solvents make it possible to extract all the active ingredients from embryonic tissues, the latter having different solubilities depending on their chemical composition.
  • The mother macerate is then filtered by gravity, then the residues undergo extraction by gentle pressure so as not to alter the plant extracts, and to recover all the active compounds.
  • Finally, the filtered and pressed extracts are mixed in order to bring together all the active ingredients extracted, and to obtain the most complete product possible.

There are 2 main methods of manufacturing bud macerates: the method of Dr Pol Henry and Max Tétau, the precursors of gemmotherapy, called “1D glycerinated macerate”, and the method of “concentrated macerate”, more recent and described above. Concentrated macerate (also called mother macerate) is today preferred over 1D glycerin macerate for two main reasons:

  • the quantity of alcohol ingested is lower, because the dosage is 5 to 15 drops per day, compared to 50 to 150 drops for 1D glycerin macerate.
  • the solvent used for the concentrated macerate is composed of alcohol, water and glycerin while that of the 1D glycerinated macerate only contains alcohol and glycerin. The presence of water in the first maceration is of major interest for the extraction of certain compounds and the transmission of energy information from the plant.

Gemmotherapy and aromatherapy: what’s the difference?

There gemmotherapy and aromatherapy are two very distinct branches of herbal medicine. They can be distinguished by:

  • Their method of manufacture : essential oils come from the distillation of a specific part of an aromatic plant, while bud macerates come from the maceration of plant buds (or young shoots or rootlets) in a water-alcohol-glycerin mixture.
  • There quantity of plant resource required : for example, it takes 1 ton of Thyme to obtain 10 kg of essential oil on average, while the quantity of buds needed to make a bottle fits in the palm of a hand.
  • There concentration : glycerinated macerates remain by far much less concentrated than essential oils, and have a great specificity of composition.
  • THE properties : an essential oil and a bud macerate can both come from the same plant, but the properties will not necessarily be the same. The essential oil will have the properties of the part of the plant from which it comes, while the bud macerate will have the properties of the whole plant. In fact, the bud contains all the embryonic tissues of the plant, all its genetic heritage.
  • Their speed of action and interest : aromatherapy is effective quickly, it will mainly be used to treat acute conditions and must be used for short periods of time, while gemmotherapy will rather be used to treat chronic problems, with the aim of regenerating the body in order to treat the background, at the origin of the symptoms. Bud macerates should be used over a longer period of time, in cures.

Thus, gemmotherapy is an excellent complement aromatherapy, and vice versa.

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