Gemmotherapy is a type of homeopathic medicine that utilizes the young shoots and buds of plants. The treatment is said to extract toxins that are believed to accumulate in the body and lead to a variety of sicknesses. Often, gemmotherapy is used to prepare a person for treatment with another type of medication or homeopathic remedy because practitioners believe that other treatments are more effective when the body has been cleared of toxins. The practice of gemmotherapy was developed in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s.
The herbal medicines that are used in gemmotherapy are harvested from many kinds of plants, including roses, elm trees, and citrus trees. Plant parts, usually the new buds and shoots, are collected in the spring when the plant is undergoing dynamic growth. Other parts of the plant, including sap and seeds, may also be used in these remedies. The young, growing parts of plants are the most often used part because they contain more nutrients and plant hormones than older, established plant parts.
Once the components of the treatment are collected, they are diluted to a very weak concentration. Patients undergoing gemmotherapy receive this herbal treatment orally. Various gemmotherapy treatments can be given at the same time, and because they are so diluted, it is believed that they have no capacity to interfere with other medications the patient is taking.
The process initiated by gemmotherapy is often referred to as drainage. The treatment is said to drain toxins from the various organs in the body and from the body as a whole. Proponents of traditional herbal remedies believe that certain plants have an effect on certain organs and systems. Gemmotherapy utilizes the knowledge that has been amassed over centuries of treatment with homeopathic and herbal medicine.
Belgian and French doctors were the first to discover the therapeutic value of the growing tissue of plants. Studies conducted by these doctors in the 1950s and 1960s led to clinical trials to test the effectiveness of gemmotherapy. It has been used in Europe and the United States since that time, primarily in France, Italy, and the United States. Practitioners of gemmotherapy are not usually doctors, though many have received training and education in this type of herbal medicine through classes and text books.