Gemmotherapy : all the benefits of bud macerates

Gemmotherapy, from the Latin "gemmae" meaning "bud", is a branch of phytotherapy that uses the buds and young shoots of plants. Contrary to phytotherapy, which uses the adult elements of the plant (leaves, flowers, bark, roots, whole plant), gemmotherapy differs by using the embryonic part of a plant. The bud macerates are then obtained by macerating these embryonic tissues in a water-alcohol-glycerine mixture for 20 days. They are used orally as a food supplement based on plants. They will allow to drain, rebalance and regenerate certain physiological processes of the body. They act thus in depth, on the ground, reason for which it is generally advised to use them in cure of 3 weeks.

What are the benefits of gemmotherapy?

At the root of bud macerates are the buds. To fully understand how gemmotherapy works, it is necessary to know that buds contain all the embryonic tissue of the plant, and all of its genetic heritage. They contain the properties of the flowers, fruits and leaves at the same time: it is in a way a "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 (the soft, white outer part).

The bud macerates then have a soft and deep action, they will act in order to re-establish certain deregulated physiological processes. They will initially exert a drainage, a detoxification of certain organs, thanks to their active plant ingredients rich in growth substances that will stimulate the purifying organs such as the liver, kidney, gallbladder or intestine. They then allow the body to start again on a healthy basis. By cleaning the body of its waste, the bud macerates will allow to regulate and regenerate the organs on which they will act. These are the 3 specificities of a building plant tissue: the regulation (to grow at the right time), the drainage, and the regeneration (or stimulation). Through its various actions, bud macerates therefore prove to be particularly effective in the case of chronic conditions. Each bud macerate will then target different organs, different systems of the body. To name just a few examples:

  • Blackcurrant bud macerate is the great specialist in inflammation, adrenal stimulation and allergies. It is useful in many cases: allergies of all types, rheumatism, fatigue, low immunity, eczema, etc.
  • The Linden bud macerate is specialized in the nervous system for its calming benefits. It is therefore useful in case of stress, neurosis, for sleep problems such as insomnia, etc.
  • The Hawthorn buds is the specialist of cardiac regulation: it is useful in cases of hypertension as well as hypotension, arrhythmia, palpitations, etc.
  • The Raspberry Buds Macerate is specialized in regulating 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, many bud macerates can be considered. They may indeed have similar properties, but each will actually have a very specific mechanism of action, and act on very specific organs. It is first necessary to properly identify the problem.

Then, to help in the choice of the bud macerate to use, The company of the senses has set up a tool to quickly find the bud macerate most suitable for the situation. Simply select the problem you're facing, potentially the property of the desired bud macerate, and you'll get a list of all the bud macerates that can be used, sorted by effectiveness.

Which bud macerate for which use?

The 3 essential bud macerates

There are several tens of bud macerates, which will have a rather systematic function: they will regulate, drain and regenerate the organs. Some bud macerates target specific organs and have particular activities. We thus find various and varied indications for each bud macerate, which can be grouped by system of action. We present here the 40 most commonly used bud macerates. Among the most well-known bud macerates are Blackcurrant, Lime or even Fig tree.

Blackcurrant bud macerate

The blackcurrant bud macerate is the Swiss Army knife of bud macerates: it is stimulating, adrenal, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant, anti-allergic and draining. It acts on all systems or almost, and is therefore useful in many cases:

  • Skin System ++++: Acne, Skin allergy, Skin itch, 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, Lapeyron's disease, Ledderhose's disease, Rheumatism, Sciatica, Chronic progressive polyarthritis, Tendonitis
  • Urogenital system +++: Glomerulonephritis, Excess uric acid, Renal failure, Kidney stones, Kidney lithiasis, Prostatitis, Excess urea
  • Metabolic system +++ : Cholesterol, Detox
  • Digestive system ++: Hepatitis, Pancreatitis, Dyspepsia, Gastritis, Crohn's disease, Colitis

Fig tree bud macerate

It is a great regulator of neurotransmitters. The Fig Tree Bud Merchant acts on 2 levels: nervous and digestive. It has a calming and rebalancing nervous effect, as well as a beneficial action on digestive disorders. It acts rather on the present moment. It is thus to be useful in the following situations:

  • Digestive system ++++: Gastric acidity, Aerophagia, Bloating, Colitis, Irritable bowel syndrome, Dyspepsia, Gastritis, Crohn's disease, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Digestive ulcer
  • Nervous System ++++: Addictions, Anxiety, Anxiety, Asthenia, Depression, Fatigue, Insomnia, Motion Sickness, Migraine, Nervousness, Neuralgia, Neurosis, Fear, Spasmophilia, Stress, Overwork, OCD, Concentration Disorders, Memory Disorders
  • Cardiac System +++: Palpitations
  • Blood and lymphatic system +++: Anemia, Atherosclerosis, Vertigo
  • Skin System ++: Abscess, Acne, Wart.
  • Osteoarticular system ++: Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid arthritis

Lime bud macerate

The Lime Tree Buds Macerate is the perfect example that demonstrates that the bud contains all the potential of the future plant. Thus, we find the well-known calming and sedative effect of its bracts, but also the diuretic effect of its sapwood. It is the bud of sleep, which works on the nervous schemes having suffered. It is used in the following situations:

  • Nervous System ++++: Anxiety, Anxiety, Insomnia, Motion sickness, Migraine, Nervousness, Neuralgia, Neurosis, Fear, Spasmophilia, Stress, OCD, Concentration disorders
  • Cardiac system +++: Hypertension, Palpitations, Tachycardia
  • Digestive system +++: Colitis, Irritable bowel syndrome, Gastritis, Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • Metabolic system +++: Cholesterol
  • Urogenital system +++: Excess uric acid
  • Osteoarticular system +++: Gout attack.

How to use the bud macerates ?

Bud macerates are taken orally, pure or diluted, outside of meals for optimal results. Generally speaking, gemmotherapy is used chronically, in 3-week cures. The cures can be renewed after a minimum of 1 week of stop. The ingestion of bud macerates can be done in a support such as a glass of water or a spoon of honey to facilitate the intake. This will be optimal if it is done outside of meals in order to reach the body more easily and directly.

What dosage?

Adults and teenagers

5 to 15 drops per day in a glass of water (or pure), 15 minutes before the meal, during 3 weeks. Start with 5 drops and increase as you go along:

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

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

Breastfeeding women

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

The different types of treatment

Punctual or curative cure

The one-time cure generally has a curative purpose, to act on a particular symptom, help the body resolve certain ailments, prevent certain disorders or perform a seasonal drainage. It can be continued by a long cure if necessary, for long-term maintenance.

Duration: 3 weeks

Long or preventive cure

Long-term, or preventive, cures are useful for chronic disorders, or those that are bound to last for a while. These can be hormonal disorders (menopause, for example), cardiac, intestinal, metabolic (cholesterol) etc. A single course of treatment is generally not enough for these types of problems, so bud macerates need time to act in a sustainable way. However, the dosage or treatments used may change over time. Longer courses of treatment are generally preferred in gemmotherapy.

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

Maintenance cure

When disorders persist despite a one-time cure and then a long cure, and provided that the macerate(s) used are indeed acting on the origin of the disorder and not just on the symptoms, it may be necessary to proceed with a maintenance cure, which is long-term. Among other things, maintenance cures are of interest after the age of 40, to maintain healthy physiological functions.

Many rates of use can be considered:

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

Precautions for the use of gemmotherapy

Although they are relatively mild natural extracts, bud macerates have some precautions for use: some related to the presence of alcohol, and others related to the plant itself, and its properties. Finally, bud macerates are food supplements based on plants. They are in no way a substitute for a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Medical advice and contraindications

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

Also, people allergic to salicylates should not use pubescent Birch, Warty Birch or Poplar bud macerates.

Finally, the advice given by The company of the senses must not in any case replace a diagnosis, a consultation or a medical follow-up. In case of doubt, before any use, ask for a medical advice.

Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children

Due to the presence of alcohol, although the amount ingested is very small, bud macerates are discouraged 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, however, a medical opinion is necessary. Some bud macerates are still to be avoided absolutely, for example:

  • those with hormonal action (Cranberry, Raspberry, Apple, Oak, Sequoia, Blackcurrant, Vine, etc.)
  • those with a detoxifying action, where the baby is likely to recover the waste evacuated by the emunctories

Hormone-dependent pathology

In case of hormone-dependent pathology, or a history of hormone-dependent pathology, buds with hormonal action are to be avoided. These include (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Macerates with adrenal action: Blackcurrant, Hornbeam, Oak, Rosemary, Holly, Myrtle, Sequoia.
  • Macerates with indirect hormonal action: Apple, Bilberry, Walnut.
  • Macerates with estrogenic plant hormones: Lingonberry, Bramble, Virginia Creeper, Raspberry.

Alcohol withdrawal

Concentrated bud macerates are made with alcohol, they contain more than 30% alcohol. People on alcoholic withdrawal should not consume bud macerates.

How to take several bud macerates?

For single bud macerates, it is possible to use up to 3 different bud macerates at the same time. It is advisable to take them at a distance from each other, i.e. 1 macerate before each meal, or with a minimum of 2 hours between each intake ideally. For example, when taking Blackcurrant, Scots Pine and Vine bud macerates for the joints, it is possible to take the Blackcurrant in the morning, the Scots Pine at noon and the Vine in the evening. Otherwise, another alternative is to divide the intake of each macerate at different times of the day (take 8 drops of each in the morning and 7 drops of each in the evening).

Moreover, just as there are synergies of essential oils, buds can also combine their actions within the same product to potentiate their effects: they are called complexes. These complexes gather buds of different plants having a targeted action on the same system of the body. They are in fact prepared by macerating in the same can a mixture of these different buds, and we obtain a finished product that can be used as is.

How to use gemmotherapy for pets?

Gemmotherapy, by its softness and practicality of use, is particularly appreciated by animals. Dogs, cats, horses, goats or guinea pigs can enjoy the regenerating and draining benefits of bud macerates. Whether curative or preventive, these products have a remarkable effectiveness on our pets, they have few contraindications or side effects and are very well tolerated. However, be sure to consult your veterinarian for more information.

Recommended dosages are generally :

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

Dilute these few drops in warm water to incorporate into the animal's food or drink.

How are bud macerates made?

Here are the different manufacturing steps to obtain a concentrated mother macerate:

  • First, the whole fresh buds are macerated at 1/20th in a solvent composed of 33% water, 33% 90° alcohol, and 33% vegetable glycerin, this for 20 days and under constant stirring. These different solvents allow the extraction of all the active ingredients from the embryonic tissues, the latter having different solubilities according to their chemical composition.
  • The mother macerate is then filtered by gravity, then the residue undergoes gentle pressure extraction 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 gather all the extracted active principles, and to obtain the most complete product possible.

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

  • the quantity of alcohol ingested is lower, because the dosage is 5 to 15 drops per day, against 50 to 150 drops for the 1D glycerine macerate.
  • The solvent used for the concentrated macerate is composed of alcohol, water and glycerin, whereas the solvent used for the 1D macerate contains only 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 the plant's energetic information.

Gemmotherapy and aromatherapy: what is the difference?

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

  • How they are made: 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.
  • The quantity of plant resource needed: as an example, it takes 1 ton of Thyme to obtain 10 kg of essential oil on average, while the amount of buds needed to make one bottle fits in the palm of one hand.
  • The concentration: glycerol macerates remain far less concentrated than essential oils, and have a high specificity of composition.
  • The properties: an essential oil and a bud macerate will both be able to 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 it comes from, while the bud macerate will have the properties of the whole plant. Indeed, 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 ailments and should be used over 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. The bud macerates must be used over a longer period of time, in cures.

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

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