A Little Guide to Gemmotherapy
by Kate Scott, Medical Herbalist, Shepherdess, Pasture Consultant
With the buds beginning to break I thought I’d take the opportunity to introduce you to the world of gemmotherapy, or phytoembryology as it’s known by some.
I only discovered this little gem (pardon the pun) a few years ago when I stumbled across an article on how new buds have potent properties as medicines due to their embryonic properties and it made me eager to find out more.
This form of herbal medicine or plant stem cell therapy has the potential to help treat many issues, from anxiety to inflammation, and it can also be really beneficial in detoxifying the body ( think recovery from orthodox medicines or long term illness)
Essentially gemmotherapy is a form of herbal medicine where buds are macerated to extract their medicinal properties in a mixture of alcohol and glycerine which is then diluted before administering in the form of drops.
It takes practice to identify tree buds out in the field but some, such as blackcurrant, you may have in the garden.
How to prepare the remedies
I’ve included a short materia medica for some of the key remedies at the end of this article, here’s how to prepare and use them.
Collect your buds on a dry day and weigh them. For every 10g of buds you will need 100ml of vodka and 100ml of glycerin. Put the buds in a jar and submerse them in the liquid. Leave to macerate for 21 days, you can give the jar a jiggle to make sure the buds remain submerged every few days , but don’t shake it!
After 21 days strain through a fine muslin cloth, the mixture can then be further diluted before use. For every 10ml of macerate you will need to add 50ml of water ( pure spring water , not tap water!) 30ml of vodka and 20ml of glycerin. Any of the original concentrated macerate remaining can be stored in a dark glass bottle and labelled to be diluted when required, or can be given at a reduced doseage.
For the original maceration: 5-15 drops twice daily in water
For the dilution: 50-100 drops twice daily in water
(Dosage calculated on 55-120k animal, or human! You can reduce or increase proportionately)
Birch – detoxifier, helping with rhematic and skin conditions
Blackcurrant – anti allergenic
Bramble – respiratory complaints
Chestnut – aids lymphatic system , useful after illness
Fig – anxiety
Hawthorn – supports the cardiovascular system
Hazel – supports lungs, respiratory complaints
Heather – urinary problems
Oak – general tonic
White willow – pain relief and anti inflammatory
Learn more about Kate: As well as a medical herbalist and agricultural consultant, Kate is currently furthering her knowledge with an MSc in Sustainable and Efficient Food Production.
In her spare time, she runs a small flock of grass fed Poll Dorset ewes which provide milk and wool for the natural products sold via her website thedroversdaughter.com
Follow the Drover’s Daughter on Instagram instagram.com/thedroversdaughter
About the author: I’m Kate, a medical herbalist, and agricultural consultant – with a unique heritage, being descended from generations of herbalists and drovers.