How Gemmotherapy protocols can enhance Homeopathic treatment
Let us face it, as homeopaths we have all seen our fair share of less than perfect responses to our well-researched treatment. Unintended or unexpected symptom aggravations in clients as well as non-responses to what we believed to be precisely selected remedies are both puzzling and disappointing. As followers in the footsteps of Hahnemannwe have so much faith in the medicine of Homeopathy and the specific selection method we may have studied, yet clearly at times it seems something is off. What is it that separates the almost rhythmic healing flow of one case and the start-stop-then aggravation of another? Certainly, I am not the first Homeopath over the past centuries to ponder this question but possibly, I have found a therapy that may answer this dilemma for some and better support your clients or your own personal healing.
A theory that I have worked with and now apply with great success on a daily basis in my practice is that in the treatment of chronic conditions, remedies are best applied after the organs of elimination have been optimized with a Gemmotherapy protocol. While I do not claim to be the first Homeopath to have considered this, what I have found is a practical and repeatable approach to applying Gemmotherapy extracts to encourage optimal elimination. I have since practiced this theory for over eighteen months with over one hundred clients and the results have been significant.
What led to this theory?
In my practice, I isolated a small sub group of unresolved cases for a personal study. I realized this would not carry the weight of a scientific study but it did still serve my own needs. In this study I looked for commonalities among the dozen unrelated, unresolved cases. These were cases that no matter what I tried I could not find a smooth path to cure. I began to analyze the 12 cases looking for similarities. Among the variety of physiological expressions of their body, one singular theme played out in each case. Each one had a history of infrequent bowel movements, notably one every other day. This condition however was not what brought them to my office. I then took the knowledge I had gathered over two years of studying the bio-therapeutical properties of Gemmotherapy extracts and created a short list of extracts known to address the variation of the bowels and kidneys. I also performed a very preliminary ranking of their use in individuals from low to high vitality. This was based on anecdotal notes from colleagues and researchers before me and observations from my own practice.
In follow-ups with each of the twelve I then began a protocol best suited to each case based on their vitality symptoms. In most cases it was just one Gemmotherapy extract. Throughout this process I stayed in close communication with my Gemmotherapy mentor in Romania, Dr. Sorina Soescu as she too was working with a similar concept with her unsolved cases. Together we eventually developed an intake process that took into account each client’s ability to eliminate, vitality state, and level of inflammation that I have since refined further. In a matter of weeks I began to observe improvements in each case in regards to their elimination followed then by the gradual healingof the nagging symptoms that brought them originally to seek help. Once their elimination had been regulated I then proceeded with very successful Homeopathic treatment. I’ll be sharing two of those stories further on in this article.
So what is Gemmotherapy?
The term Gemmotherapy refers to a recognized and clinically established plant based medicine that is used as a cleansing and fortifying protocol for the body. Single Gemmotherapy extracts are prepared each spring from the first buds and shoots of individual shrubs and trees long recognized for their healing capabilities. Each bud is known to initiate a healing action on specific organs or organ systems. The precise methodology for producing these extracts is outlined and regulated by the European Union.
This youngest form of botanical medicine, now nearly 45 years old, has a potency and healing capability that far exceeds all current plant based therapies. It is the only medicine that can simultaneously cleanse and provide nutrition to cellular tissue. While there are new Gemmotherapy extracts consistently being tested and developed there are about 60 established individual products which are in regular use and production. Several large scale producers of Gemmotherapy extracts exist in Europe as well as multiple boutique style operations. The European producers that currently import to the United States through a distributor include Boiron, Herbal Gem, Unda, and Plant Extrakt, producing Vital Extract for the American market.
Gemmotherapy’s clear advantage over all classic herbal therapies is due to the inclusion of meristem tissue that lies within each bud or shoot that is macerated to form the extract.These meristem tissues contain tremendous regenerative capabilities, much like human stem cells, and have infinite and indefinite self-replicating properties.
Pol Henry, the founder of Gemmotherapy medicine, determined that it is the very use of these embryionic plant tissues in the extracts that make this medicine unique. Modern laboratory studies at the University of Genoa, by internist physician and research scientist Dr. Fernando Pitera’, have proven time and again the advantage of Gemmotherapy over all other plant based medicines.
On a practical level, Gemmotherapy is an affordable treatment that is within financial reach of most households. It is straightforward and simple to apply for self treatment in acute care situations and its powerful effect on chronic symptoms is being documented and proven internationally by practicing physicians and biochemists who are helping build the body of knowledge of this medicine.
Two Case Examples
Mary, 29, – Breast Swelling and Cystic Acne
I consider Mary’s case to be a landmark for my theory as it was the first and most dramatic in response to such a simple protocol. I had seen Mary for over a year for emotional and digestive complaints. In that time period while treating her with Homeopathy, her monthly painful breast swelling and tenderness 14 days out of a 28 day cycle, and significant cystic facial acne grew more aggravated. Each 4-6 weeks we would make some gains but the cystic acne was taking its toll on her self esteem and she was at her limit. With the new lens of viewing cases through the eye of elimination I completed the Gemmotherapy intake that we were testing at the time. Mary had a bowel movement only every other day at best and never felt her bowels emptied. Because she had experienced this much of her life she did not consider it anything of concern.
Based on her responses regarding her skin, hair, nails, and teeth along with my observations, I found her vitality to be quite high. However her level of inflammation was also high due to the blocked elimination. I was now seeing Mary’s case from an entirely different perspective than I had in the past.
I began treating Mary with Walnut, (Juglans Regia) Gemmotherapy, with 2 doses daily by itself to begin the opening process. Within a week she began having a daily bowel movement, the breast swelling went from 14 days a month to only 10 and the intensity had decreased. We were helping Mary’s body heal itself of long carried symptoms simply by opening her elimination. Because of her positive response I increased the dose to 3x daily.
During her next cycle her breast swelling dropped to only 4 days pre-menses, the intensity decreasing again and her skin began to clear! Additionally Mary began having two bowel movements daily. We continued with exactly this protocol through one more cycle and then reintroduced homeopathy with the next stage of gemmotherapy extracts.
Suzanne, 40 -reoccurring UTI’s
Suzanne had been in and out of my office for a year or more with a long history of frequent urination. Her typical pattern was to urinate every hour during the day on good days but on bad days it was every 30 minutes. She also woke 3 times a night and was having pains in her lower back and abdomen that she would describe as spasms. Due to the acute manner in which Suzanne was managing her health, we never got very far, except to move her out of each acute state as needed.
I was excited to review Suzanne’s case using my new intake and invited her to return to my office. Her intake showed her bowels were blocked, with bowel movements only every other day and sometimes less. In addition and probably more significant, was that Suzanne had the Mirena IUD in place that suppressed her menstrual flow almost completely. She stated that at the most she would spot on occasion. She had medium vitality with eczema flaring on and off and a family history of serious illness and a medium state of inflammation based on the fact she had reoccurring vaginal yeast infections.
All her symptoms were exacerbated by the fact she given up 1 of 3 methods for her body to clean itself. The obvious first step was to have the IUD removed. Not an easy decision given she had grown accustomed to the ease of no period and not having to think about birth control. While waiting for an appointment to remove the IUD we began her first protocol of Blueberry each morning and Lingonberry each evening.
These two Gemmotherapy Extracts would gently support her bowels and kidneys to eliminate optimally until her menstrual cycle returned to normal. Her body responded quickly and the frequent urination reduced to once every two hours and she began only waking once a night to urinate within a matter of days. Within the first month of treatment the IUD was removed and the next protocol would continue balancing elimination between the bowels, kidneys and now functioning uterus.
A later case
Thomas, 6 years, -Cough Variant Asthma
While Thomas was not in my original group of unresolved cases, he came to my practice once I had been using my new method for a few months and was confident it was the right way to begin his case. Thomas’s mom brought him to me because she was searching for a natural answer to the nighttime emergency inhaler he had been prescribed 18 months ago. Thomas, now 6, had always had sinus discharge but what was most disturbing to his parents was the spasmodic coughing he would have at bedtime. This was worse when there were sudden changes in temperature which happened often in our area during the Fall and Spring.
Thomas’s mother confirmed my suspicion that he often skipped days between bowel movements and his elimination often took considerable effort. This was true despite the clean, plant based, gluten and dairy free diet the family followed. Had Thomas come to see me a year earlier I would have missed this sign that his elimination was not optimized and began immediately with homeopathic treatment. While we will never know for certain that his symptoms would aggravate, I feel certain they would have, given his congested state. If you have worked with children on inhalers or have a child yourself ,you are familiar with the level of fear and anxiety both parent and child have about anything that would make the situation worse and about not using the inhaler. I have found Gemmotherapy to be the perfect bridge in those situations.
As a stage one protocol for Thomas we began with European Blueberry Gemmotherapy (vaccinium myrtillus) 3x daily to open his elimination and support his kidneys. At the two week check point, Thomas’s mom reported he was having a bowel movement every morning with much more ease. With his positive response I felt safe adding a second extract, Lithy (viburnum lantana).
Thomas would then take the Blueberry, morning and midday and the Lithy with his evening meal. To address the acute coughing I instructed Thomas’s mother to abstain from the inhaler and dose Thomas ever 15 mins with Lithy until he settles. Then for the following days include an extra dose of Lithy each morning along with the Blueberry. This worked like a charm. Thomas mother had to phone the next day after the first cold front rolled in, so pleased they had made it through the night without the inhaler and that Thomas had been able to return to sleep on his own after the acute dosing.
While this process moved Thomas through the first stage of treatment I knew there was still work to do on his constitution with Homeopathy and further cleaning with the next level of Gemmotherapy extracts.
How to learn more?
The clinical research in Gemmotherapy is moving faster than publications have been available in English. Clinical application of Gemmotherapy is the most valuable information for practitioners because it is the how one can gains knowledge regarding the actual practice of Gemmotherapy. What does exist on the web and in English language books is in the style of materia-medica lists of known bio-therapeutic qualities of each Gemmotherapy extract. While valuable and providing a good foundation for learning this medicine, it is not useful information when it comes to integrating it into your practice case by case.
Clinical application methods are just now coming into their own. However, because the clinical studies in Europe have been conducted by MD’s and university laboratories, there is definitely an underlying Allopathic perspective.
In this article I have shared with you what is actually the first stage of the method I use in my practice and teach to other practitioners. It was developed collaboratively with a few of my European colleagues who shared my same desire to find a holistic approach to integrating Gemmotherapy with Homeopathy and a clean Plant Based Diet. A short summary of my method can be found on my blog here: http://laurenhubele.com/gemmotherapy-answers-the-stages-of-healing-redux/ and sequential online training modules (http://laurenhubele.com/train-with-lauren/ ) are available.
A foundational program that I completed can be found at Nick Churchill’s School of Gemmotherapy ). These self-paced modules delve into the history, theory, and study of the individual Gemmotherapy extracts.
Karen Allen offers an introductory recorded course sharing her experiences with Gemmotherapy and how she has applied it in her own practice (http://karenallenhomeopathy.com/training/on-demand-classes/practitioner-skills/introduction-to-gemmotherapy/).
In my opinion, the best introductory book available in English would be Phytoembryotherapy: The Embryo of Gemmotherapy. It is currently the most accurate and useful book available in English covering remedies in encyclopedia style.
Finally in the formation stage is The American Gemmotherapy Association ( ) where you can register for quarterly newsletters and be kept up to date on advances in this exciting medicine.