I learned a lot about herbal medicine when I went to school. I have always had a love for plant medicine and I especially love the depth and application of herbs. When I graduated and started practicing, I ordered a lot of different plant tinctures that I would combine and mix for patients depending on the particular condition I was treating. I got some good results with these tinctures (liquid prep of the herb) but my patients would always complain about their taste. I was naive when I got of school and started treating people. I thought they would take anything I recommended and get past the taste- not so! That is why my way of treating people with herbs has changed. I am using a lot more gemmotherapies as well as phytogens now because the patient compliance is better. These herbs taste good and work incredibly well- win win.
Gemmotherapy herbs are prepared from glycerine and alcohol in a homeopathic dilution hence the favorable taste. These herbs are popular in Europe. The French choose the most potent of species in various genus of plants or trees to make the medicine from. Gemmos employ glycerine macerates of fresh buds, young shoots, and rootlets in their growing phase to get the most vibrant growth factors and powerful healing agents for therapeutic application. Gemmos work to drain tissues of toxins by organ stimulation, tissue excitation or toxin elimination. They work beautifully with homeopathic medicines to bring the body into optimal homeostasis. Gemmos facilitate the drainage of toxins along the proper channels of elimination out of the body. Each gemmo has a particular affinity for an organ in the body.
One of my favorite gemmos is Ribes nigrum, common name black current, so I will start with it. Why do I love Ribes? Let me count thy ways. Ribes has many antiinflammatory phytonutrients so it has potent antioxidant activity; flavonoids including quercitin, pycnogenols, and phenols. These phytonutrients dampen inflammation substantiall. Ribes has an affinity for the adrenal glands; this plant has an effect similar to a corticosteroid without the side effects. I have relied on this herb many a time in my own life. It is a great herb to treat autoimmune disease because it can help raise cortisol (many patients that have an autoimmune disease when testing salivary cortisol, it is often found to be low or low normal). It thus supports adrenal gland function and boosts energy. Ribes nigrum can be used for many different suboptimal health conditions including autoimmune disease, arthritis, bronchitis, gastritis, allergies and urticaria.
This herb is well tolerated and easy to take in a little water. It has a pleasant taste so compliance is not an issue. Gemmos are really strong- one of my mentors refers to gemmos as herbs on steroids. I use a wide range of gemmos to treat people in my practice depending on what they come in with. I have great trust in these powerful plants and am so grateful to be able to use them with my patients. For more info on gemmotherapies check out Max Tetau, M.D.’s book Gemmotherapy: A Clinical Guide.
Reference source: Daniel P. Toule, DC. DNBHE