To find out more about our gemmotherapy remedies, please choose the
relevant link from the most commonly asked question below:
Gemmotherapy is a new form of herbal medicine, using remedies
specially made from the buds and young shoots of trees and shrubs
(other parts are used as well – typically the rootlets, bark, catkins,
seeds and sap). They are gathered in spring, at the highest point of
the natural cycle of growth and renewal. As a result, gemmotherapy
remedies contain many nutrients, vitamins and enzymes released at just
this time of year. From a holistic perspective, they capture the
abundant vital energy concentrated in the germinative parts of the
trees and shrubs.
Gemmotherapy was developed in France in the 1950s and 60s by a
group of medical homeopaths who had a wider interest in natural
medicine. They identified buds and young shoots as potentially being
of great use in cleansing or detoxifying treatments, because of their
naturally vigorous, outward-moving tendency. Later, with substantial
clinical experience, the remedies’ effectiveness in other areas became
apparent. Gemmotherapy received official recognition in 1965 when it
entered the French Pharmacopoeia – the register of state-sanctioned
medicines and therapies in France.
Gemmotherapy soon spread to Italy, where it could be said to have
found its true home in the last twenty years. The Mediterranean
tradition of natural health, plus a long and distinguished history of
medical herbalism, may explain why gemmotherapy is more widely
employed in Italy than in any other country in the world. The remedies
are readily available and are regarded by many health care
practitioners as well as by the general public as an obvious
first-choice or adjunctive measure in a wide range of situations.
With its rugged terrain, ideal climate and dedicated producers,
Italy is also the source of the best gemmotherapy remedies available
In order to ensure that remedies are made to consistent standards
and with identical quantities of active ingredients, our producers
follow the protocol described in the French Pharmacopoeia of 1965 and
As soon as possible after being picked (and with a delay of not
more than a few hours), the buds, young shoots or other parts to be
used are cleaned and weighed. A sample is set aside so that the dry
weight of the plant material can be determined. This is done by
heating it at 105°C in an oven until its weight does not reduce any
The rest of the fresh plant material is blended in an equal mixture
of alcohol and glycerin. The quantities are calculated so that the
weight of this mixture would be twenty times that of an equivalent
amount of the dried sample. The proportion of fresh buds to solution
is about 1:9, and of young shoots, about 1:4.
The mixture is left to stand for one month in a cool, shaded
environment, and shaken from time to time to help the maceration
process. It is then decanted and filtered under constant pressure.
After standing for a further forty-eight hours, it is filtered one
more time. The resulting liquid is known as the souche, or stock. It
consists of equal parts of glycerin and alcohol, and 10-25% plant
material, depending on the water content of the plant used.
To prepare the remedies in their final bottled form, one part of
the souche is diluted with nine parts of a mixture of 50% glycerin,
30% alcohol and 20% water, and the whole of this is shaken thirty
times to bring it to the 1X homeopathic potency.
Once bottled, the remedies should be stored below 25°C and out of
direct sunlight. They should be used within five years of the date on
which the plant material was picked.
At Gemmotherapy Ltd, we have founded our business on our intention
to obtain the best quality remedies made by the most skilled producers
on a continuing basis, and to supply these to our customers. Several
times a year we travel to meet producers, visit their growing fields,
inspect their production facilities and monitor their quality
procedures. These field trips are an essential (and enjoyable) part of
We have built a relationship with certain producers whose remedies
have proved themselves to be consistently reliable and efficacious.
Our experience with gemmotherapy has taught us which factors to
look for in the manufacture of the highest quality remedies. These are
some of the most important questions we ask:
1) Growing conditions: How suitable is the terrain? How remote is
it from possible sources of pollution and human disturbance? What is
the native vegetation? What is the prevailing climate in each
season? What extremes of heat and cold are found? How pure is the
air, the rainfall and groundwater? How healthy and vigorous are the
trees and shrubs from which the buds and shoots are picked? Do they
grow in the wild or have they been cultivated? Have they been looked
after and treated organically at all times?
2) Gathering: Is this done at exactly the right time of the year
for each species, each individual tree and shrub? The correct moment
to pick the buds, shoots and other germinative parts varies according
to the species and the prevailing climate, but usually falls between
mid-February and mid-May. Buds should be gathered when they start to
swell but before they open; young shoots just after the buds have
opened; catkins when they start to flower; the bark of young trees and
roots when the sap is rising. The sap itself should be tapped before
the leaves appear. The rootlets of annual plants should be taken from
young specimens, and those of perennial plants before they start to
harden. By contrast, seeds must be collected in the autumn when they
are fully mature.
3) Production facilities: Are these State-licensed and do they
meet all current regulatory requirements? Are they purpose built, of
appropriate materials, in a suitable location? Are the processing,
storage and office areas properly laid out and separated from each
other? Are they properly equipped? Are the remedies made in exacting
environmental conditions? Are the staff knowledgeable and properly
4) Processing: Is the procedure described in the French
Pharmacopoeia followed in every detail? Are the additional
ingredients of the highest quality (grape alcohol, vegetable glycerin,
triple-filtered water)? Are the remedies certified organic by the
recognised Italian organic certification authorities? Are the
remedies bottled in high quality glass bottles with a teat-ended
dropper and secure collar seal?
5) Producers: We find that this is often the key to everything
else. As well as obvious characteristics such as integrity, attention
to detail and professionalism, we look for less tangible but equally
essential qualities: The close personal relationship these people have
with their trees and plants and the landscape in which they grow;
their often intuitive knowledge of the natural world and the respect
and pride they bring to their work. The best remedies are invariably
made by small-scale, family-run or co-operative units rather than
large agri-businesses. It is impossible to produce high-quality
gemmotherapy remedies by industrial farming methods, or where there is
no real connection with the land and the trees themselves.
The manufacture of gemmotherapy remedies in Italy, as of other
herbal remedies, is overseen by the Italian Ministry of Health.
Producers are licensed subject to stringent ongoing inspections and
reviews of manufacturing premises and procedures. Organic
certification of the remedies we supply is under the control of the
Associazione Italiana d’Agricoltura Biologica (AIAB) and the Instituto
Mediterraneo di Certificazione (IMC).
In the United Kingdom, the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) regulates
the sale of all medicines. With respect to herbal medicines, it is
assisted in this by the British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA).
The relevant legislation is contained in the Medicines Act, 1968 and
the Medicines (Retail Sale or Supply of Herbal) Order, 1977. Retailers
also have to comply with current Food Standards Agency labelling
New legislation regarding the production and sale of herbal and
traditional-use medicines in European Union countries is currently in
preparation. Manufacturers will have to demonstrate that they meet
pharmaceutical standards and provide quality assurance for
ingredients. There are likely to be additional checks when the
products are sold in the United Kingdom. By 2009 there will be
Other, non-statutory, groups exist to promote awareness about
consumer and environmental issues relating to herbal medicine.
Gemmotherapy Ltd supports all legislative measures aimed at
establishing the highest standards in the manufacture and sale of
herbal remedies. We are dedicated to working with our customers and
producers and with the natural resources from which our gemmotherapy
remedies are made in an ethical and sustainable way.
As yet, only one of the numerous books on gemmotherapy in Italian
and French have been translated into English: Gemmotherapy: A
Clinical Guide, by Max Tetau MD, available from
Minimum Price Books. Dr Tetau was one of the original group of
French doctors who discovered gemmotherapy.
Another book with descriptions of many useful Gemmotherapy substances is called Gemmo Therapy and Oligo Therapy by Dr. Marcus Greaves. It is available through Amazon and is an inexpensive, clear guide to their use.
There is a growing body of information about gemmotherapy on the
internet, although it is of rather uneven quality. It's always a good
idea to check as many different sources as you can if you have doubts
If you wish to receive an occasional newsletter about new
developments in gemmotherapy and complementary medicine, including new
books as they appear, please
email us. You can unsubscribe yourself from the list at any time,
and we will not pass on your email address to anyone else.
Gemmotherapy Ltd is a British company founded in 2002 by Nick
Churchill RSHom, a registered homeopath who was introduced to
gemmotherapy while working with leading homeopaths in Italy.
contact us if you would like further information about our company
or products, or if you have any comments or suggestions to make.