Friday, April 25, 2008

DYNAMIC GEMMOTHERAPY. Integrative Embryonic Phytotherapy.

Here are a few pages of my latest book, Dynamic Gemmotherapy. If that wets your appetite you can buy it at type dynamic gemmotherapy in the search box. Happy reading and comments are welcome.........

Dynamic Gemmotherapy.

Integrative Embryonic Phytotherapy.

Dr. Joe Rozencwajg, NMD.

Copyright Dr. J. Rozencwajg, MD, PhD, NMD and Natura Medica Ltd.
All rights reserved for all countries, anywhere, everywhere.
Any reproduction by any means, photocopy, electronic or other is strictly forbidden.


It is customary to find a preliminary Disclaimer in this type of book, which generally says that it does not replace “proper” medical advice, the remedies have not been properly investigated by the FDA or any other organism and that no responsibility is taken for anything happening from the use of the book.
All the information contained is this book has been clinically tested by many Medical Doctors and generations of Traditional Healers, Homeopaths, Herbalists, Ayurvedic Doctors and TCM practitioners.
We know how it works, we know when it works, we know why it works, we know how and when to use it and for what conditions on which patients.
That this practice has not been vouched for by any official representative of the Techno-Chemical Medical Industry is not relevant.
This is a book for health practitioners who want to learn something new and different. It is each practitioner’s responsibility and duty to use the knowledge imparted safely and carefully.
If you are not a health practitioner and you want to use this for yourself or somebody else, you do that at your own risk and under your own responsibility. Would you buy a textbook of surgery and remove your own gallbladder?
Knowledge is here to be shared, not to be hidden and either suppressed because it is too effective or restricted to a few of the elite for their own financial improvement. Knowledge belongs to the people but must be applied safely and diligently by those who understand the instrument properly.

Dr. Joe Rozencwajg, NMD.
New Plymouth.
New Zealand.


To all the giants of Natural Medicine on whose shoulders I stand,

To my family who had to withstand my crappy moods while I was trying to write properly in a language that is not my mother tongue,

To all my colleagues who are going to get this book so I can finally have a proper holiday,

Thank you for being there………..


Introduction. 1
History and Elementary Principles. 3
List of gemmotherapic remedies. 9
Materia Medica of the remedies. 11
Suggested Therapeutic Applications. 129
Cardiovascular system. 132
Respiratory system and ENT. 139
Digestive system. 143
Reproductive system. 147
Urinary system. 148
Osteoarticular system. 150
Neurology. 155
Dermatology and Allergology. 158
Endocrinology and Nutrition. 163
Paediatric. 169
Geriatry. 174
Mental and Psychiatric problems. 177
Clinical Integrated Repertory. 178
Conclusion. 222
References and Bibliography. 223
The Author. 226


More and more people tend to avoid chemical and pharmaceutical drugs when possible; patients, the consumers of health products, realize that although sometimes useful and lifesaving, those drugs do not cure and are fraught with side effects that are sometimes worse than the disease they claim to treat.

Homeopathy, Herbalism, Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine all have answers instead of conventional drugs; but the world of plants is full of surprises, and Gemmotherapy is one of them.

I learned this system while still practicing conventional medicine in Belgium. It was very appealing because it combines plant extracts without the need to become a phytotherapist (herbalist) or a homeopath while supported by laboratory research and the clinical experience of medical doctors. For me, it was a link and a gateway between the two worlds. Moreover, there are not too many remedies to study, they cover pretty much most of the pathology seen in a general consultation and they do not taste foul like Western Herbs or Chinese decoctions.

Even though I have since studied all those other systems and use them daily in my natural medicine practice, Gemmotherapy has remained a magnificent addition that can solve difficult situations and allow other therapies, more energetic, to act and complete the cure in depth. They are certainly not mutually exclusive and Gemmotherapy can be added to any modality, even conventional medicine, or used on its own.

Why “Dynamic Gemmotherapy”? All the books and references I consulted and used over time have in common that they do not relate the gemmotherapic indications to the other ways of practicing medicine that are using the same plants; in doing so, the scope of the remedies becomes limited, too narrow instead of being integrative, as should be expected from the notion that buds contain the whole potential of the adult plant. This is one approach I have tried to correct.

And as a respectful salute to Dr. Pol Henry, I have subtitled this book “Embryonic Phytotherapy”, which is the name he gave to this technique. And “Integrative” is there to signify the attempt to link all the different uses of the same plant by different healing modalities.
It is worth spending a little time exploring this little known area.
Enjoy your trip!

History and Elementary Principles.

Pol Henry, a Belgian Medical Doctor, published in 1970 his findings about the use of extracts from buds, rootlets, young shoots and the inner bark of roots.
He based his system and choice of plants on his concept of phytosociology, where certain categories of plants are the highest evolutionary organisms in the herbal world, in this case the trees. This is why most of his original remedies are bud extracts from trees; this was balanced and enhanced by the popular and traditional use of shrub extracts he added because of their clear usefulness.

Buds, and other young parts, are reservoirs of what is called “primary meristems”, which are young cells with an elevated nucleocytoplasmic balance; in other words, they have a lot more nucleic acids proportionally to mature cells; those are what we would call today the “herbal stem cells”.

Meristems are permanent regions of growth; apical meristems are found either at or close to the tips of roots and shoots; as the apical meristems create new cells, the roots and shoots grow; lateral meristems increase the width of the roots and shoots.
The same way animal embryonic tissue differentiates in ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm, when a bud expands, the apical meristems also differentiate in three primary meristems: the protoderm, that will become the epidermis of the plant with the procambium system; and the ground meristems made of parenchymatous cells that will differentiate into the pith and the cortex.

Buds have kept the total anabolic ability of the primitive embryonic cell. They contain nucleic acids, minerals, oligoelements, vitamins, enzymes and most importantly growth factors, the most important of them being Auxins and Gibberellins.
Those are Plant Growth Regulators with specific actions, acting in low concentrations and regulating cell enlargement, division, differentiation, organogenesis, aging and dormancy.

Auxins are derived from Tryptophan and are also found in human urine; they are similar to indole-3-acetic-acid (IAA); their action is on cell elongation, inhibition of root growth, fruiting without pollinisation, inducing rooting in low concentration and selective inhibition and destruction of some species in higher concentration, hence their use as selective weed killers. They can induce the production of other plant hormones and growth regulators, control secretion and respiration and have many effects on the growth of the plant. Auxins were the first plants hormones to be discovered; they are produced in the apical meristems, buds and young leaves.

Gibberellins are synthesized in leaves, accumulate in immature seeds and fruits of certain plants; they initiate the synthesis of hydrolytic and proteolytic enzymes necessary for germination. They increase stem growth, induce flowering and modify the germination conditions; they are commercially used to increase yield of crops.
Auxins and gibberellins are thus complementary and the presence of both is necessary.

Other Growth Regulators are Cytokinins, Abscicic Acid and Ethylene.
Cytokinins are Purines, related to Adenine; they coordinate the simultaneous growth of roots and shoots, they control the development and morphogenesis of the seed and the plant embryo.
Abscicic acid is a growth inhibitor and is involved in the wilting of plants.
Ethylene, the gas, is involved in the maturing and ripening of the fruits; its production is induced by Auxins; this is well known by the fruit industry that uses ethylene to artificially mature fruits just before they are marketed.

Within the buds is contained the totality of the information of the adult plants; therapeutically, it implies that bud extracts will have a wider range of action that either the leaves, the flowers or the roots and that their action will be more powerful and in-depth, needing less remedy and acting faster.

Pol Henry naturally called his new therapy “Phytoembryotherapy” but it was soon renamed Gemmotherapy by Dr. Max Tetau who continued and expanded the research. For Tetau and his colleague Bergeret, the main cause of disease is the accumulation of toxins within the cells and organs; in order to promote healing, those toxins must be eliminated and the repair of tissues promoted (actually this is the theory and way of practice of the French Homeopath Leon Vannier and his school).

We can then define Gemmotherapy as tissular phytoembryotherapy acting through drainage, stimulation and regeneration of the cells, tissues and organs. Each remedy has precise and intense therapeutic properties, which Tetau calls homeopathic drainage, although there is not real homeopathicity as defined in Classical Homeopathy.

Tetau, Bergeret and other French practitioners tend to use Gemmotherapy in combination with herbal tinctures; this practice was first called “Phytotherapie Renovee” (renewed phytotherapy), then “Homeopathie Vegetale” (herbal homeopathy) and is finally now called simply Gemmotherapy, although the association with regular herbal tinctures is still much promoted. Pol Henry’s last book, prefaced by Max Tetau, bears the title: “Gemmotherapie” and the subtitle “Therapeutique par les extraits Embryonnaires Vegetaux” (therapy through vegetal embryonic extracts).

The clinical application of Gemmotherapy was documented not only through clinical normalisation of the patient but also through the laboratory test known as Protein Electrophoresis and through the study and normalisation of coagulation patterns. Those are often highly abnormal in a variety of diseases and become normal under the influence of the bud extracts; unfortunately Protein Electrophoresis is very much non specific for named diseases, not allowing a precise conventional differential diagnosis and has become less used and even often not performed in general practice; but it still is a good objective test of biochemical normalisation if it is available.
The major experimental researches leading to the clinical indications were made on mice.

Activity on neutrophiles and eosinophiles, studying local allergic reactions:
- Rosemarinus Officinalis: hepatodigestive allergy
- Viburnum Lantana: tracheobronchial allergy
- Ficus Carica: mucosal allergy with hypoplasia
- Alnus Glutinosa: mucosal allergy with hyperplasia

Activity on macrophages, reticulohistiocytic system like the liver Kupfer cells, monocytes, etc,….
- Betula Verrucosa
- Betula Pubescens
- Juglans Regia
- Fagus Sylvestris
- Ulmus Campestris
- Cornus Sanguinea

Activity on lymphoplasmocytic cells, immunoglobulin production:
- Juglans Regia
- Cornus Sanguinea that has also an intense antithrombotic activity, explaining its activity in acute myocardial infarction at 25 drops every 15 minutes of the1X (1D) solution.

Activity on erythropoietic cells:
- Coryllus Avellana
- Abies Pectinea
- Most of the Conifers

Activity on osteoblasts:
- Betula Verrucosa
- Abies Pectinea

Activity on megacaryocytes and platelets:
- Tamarix Gallica
- Carpinus Betulus

Activity on exsudative phase of infection:
- Alnus Glutinosa
- Betula Pubescens
- Populus Nigra
- Fraxinus Excelsior
- Ulmus Campestris
- Ribes Nigrum

Neuro-endocrine activity:
- Ribes Nigrum activates the corticosurrenals (adrenal cortex)
- Ficus Carica regularises the corticodiencephalic axis, hence, being an anxiolytic, is used in nevroses and psychosomatic disorders
- Tilia is a tranquilliser at a level equal to the Benzodiazepines

All this will become clearer when we go through each remedy separately in detail.

The buds, young shoots and others are collected in the spring. It is a renewable source with the need of large quantities to create the extracts with only one yearly collection time, hence the often high price of the finished products.

The original preparation as Pol Henry described it was by maceration in a mix of water, alcohol and glycerine, allowing for the extraction of the totality of the active ingredients. Tetau and his school made the extraction in alcohol and glycerine only, adding the water during the dilution and potentisation process. The macerate yield 1/20th of the dry weight and the potentisation is made in a 1X (1D) potency (potentisation, for those not familiar with the term, is a homeopathic technique that implies dilution of the original extract, here 1 in 9, followed by succussion, which is the energetic hitting of the vial containing the remedy against a solid but elastic surface; this leads to a decrease in potential toxicity through the dilution but an increase in therapeutic efficiency because of the energetic activation of the succussion; for more details, please consult the homeopathic textbooks).

This difference has led to controversy. Some therapists claim that the water extraction is missing although in fact the alcohol is never 100% proof, even not 96% but generally 70%, leaving 30% of water for extraction of water soluble substances. The same therapists claim that the 1X (1D) potency is in fact a simple dilution and that no industry really succusses large quantities. They have created what they call concentrates, using the water-alcohol-glycerine extraction method, without dilution/ potentisation. The recommended dosage of the concentrate is 10 times less with the argument that this introduces less alcohol for the patient, which is important especially for children and babies.
Using alcohol 70% with glycerine gives a final concentration of 35%, which diluted to 1X (1D) give a 3.5% alcohol concentration, of which 10 to 30 drops are used in infants. You decide if this is relevant…..

On the other hand, potentizing a remedy imparts an increased therapeutic potential, at least in theory, which would be missing in the concentrate: this is simply solved by preparing the drops in a bit of water and succussing before administration.
The clinical reports that can be read using either the concentrates or the 1X (1D) give basically the same results and it is recommended you use whatever is available or feel comfortable with. Personally, having used both preparations, I do not see any difference at all.

It appears clearly that Gemmotherapy is a technique separated from all the others: it is not Homeopathy as there has been no proving, the remedy is not matched according to symptoms and signs but through understanding of the physiology, biochemistry and physiopathology of the diseases; it is not Herbal Medicine per se although very close to it: there is very little, if any at all, traditional use of specific young parts of plants as opposed to mature or older parts of plants (e.g. in herbalism you must have a 2 years old root of Echinacea to have an active remedy).
Gemmotherapy is a scientific method of prescription taking into account human physiology and physiopathology, plant chemistry and well understood clinical diagnosis; this means not working through labels but through understanding of the mechanism of disease in each and every patient. Individualization of treatment remains the cornerstone of this technique too.

List of gemmotherapic remedies.

I have listed the international name (Latin, botanical denomination) that is used in the book, then the French and the English popular names in that order, so that you can recognise the plant and also the labels on the bottles. Some providers do label their products with only the common name in use in the country of production and have not yet switched to international nomenclature. Some of the remedies are new and do not appear in older reference books; proper credit will be given when warranted.

1. Abies Pectinata Sapin Pectine Red Spruce
2. Acer Campestre Erable Champetre Hedge Maple
3. Aesculus Hippocastanatum Marronier Horse Chestnut
4. Alnus Glutinosa Aulne Glutineux Alder
5. Alnus Incarna Aulne Rouge Red Alder
6. Ampelopsis Weitchii Vigne Vierge Wild Woodvine
7. Betula Alba Bouleau Blanc White Birch
8. Betula Pubescens Bouleau Pubescent Common Birch
9. Betula Verrucosa Bouleau Verruqueux Silver Birch
10. Carpinus Betulus Charme Hornbeam
11. Castanea Vesca Chataignier Chestnut
12. Cedrus Libani Cedre du Liban Cedar of Lebanon
13. Cercis Siliquastrum Arbre de Judee Red Bud
14. Citrus Limonum Citronnier Lemon tree
15. Cornus Sanguinea Cornouiller Sanguin Blood Twig
16. Corylus Avellana Noisetier Filbert, Hazelnut tree
17. Crataegus Oxycantha Aubepine Hawthorn
18. Fagus Sylvatica Hetre Beech
19. Ficus Carica Figuier Fig tree
20. Fraxinus Excelsior Frene Ash tree
21. Ilex Aquifolium Houx Holly tree
22. Juglans Regia Noyer Walnut
23. Juniperus Communis Genevrier Juniper
24. Ligustrum Vulgare Troene Primworth
25. Lonicera Nigra Chevrefeuille Black Honeysuckle
26. Malus Sylvestris Pommier Apple tree*
27. Olea Europea Olivier Olive tree
28. Pinus Montana Pin Mountain Pine
29. Platanus Orientalis Platane Oriental Plane tree
30. Populus Nigra Peuplier Black Poplar
31. Prunus Amygdalus Amandier Sweet Almond
32. Quercus Robur Chene Oak
33. Ribes Nigrum Cassis Black Currant
34. Rosa Canina Rosier Dog Rose
35. Rosemarinus Officinalis Romarin Rosemary
36. Rubus Fructicosus Ronce Blackberry Vine
37. Rubus Idaeus Framboisier Raspberry
38. Secale Cereale Seigle Rye grain
39. Sequoia Gigantea Sequoia Giant Redwood
40. Sorbus Domestica Sorbier Rowan Tree
41. Syringa Vulgaris Lilas Common Lilac
42. Tamaris Gallica Tamaris Tamaris
43. Tilia Tomentosa Tilleul Lime tree
44. Ulmus Campestris Orme Elm
45. Vaccinum Vitis Idaea Airelle Wine berry
46. Viburnum Lantana Viorne Lithy tree
47. Viscum Album Gui Mistletoe
48. Vitis Vinifera Vigne Grape vine
49. Zea Mais Mais Maize

* This is a new remedy, my thanks to Philippe Andrianne for the information received.

Materia Medica of the remedies.

You need to understand this before you read further, so do not skip: as written previously, the Gemmotherapy remedies have the potential healing properties of the whole plant. Therefore I will start by listing their uses in Western and Eastern Herbalism, Aromatherapy, Homeopathy and others when available. This way, should you find a clinical indication that is not listed for Gemmotherapy but is listed for the same plant in another tradition or technique, you might consider using it in bud form instead of the traditional other application, if it does make sense to the totality of your prescription and makes it simpler. Over time, as my clinical experience has grown, it has become clear that this is indeed the case and no matter what is written in the original books of Gemmotherapy, the bud extracts do have all the indications that are mentioned for any part of the plant. Taking that into account, the selection of the remedy needs to focus on the major action of the bud as described by experienced gemmotherapists and decide whether that action might be unnecessary or even harmful according to the actual patient’s situation and the other remedies or drugs this patient is taking. For example, the remedy Ampelopsis Weitchii acts on fibrous tissues and helps their repair while removing the inflammatory component; by the same token it might be a smart idea not to use it in an immediate post-operative situation as it might very much prevent scarring and repair of wounds…….on the other hand, this could be only a theoretical contraindication.

Posology: as usual the posology is individual and has to be adapted to the level of energy of the patient and changed according to tolerance.
The usual adult dose of the 1X (1D) gemmotherapic remedy will vary: traditionally 50-150 drops either once a day or in 3 doses. If you use the concentrate, the dose will be 5-15 drops. For children and infants, it is suggested to work according to weight as compared to a 70 kilograms adult, bearing in mind that their metabolism is faster, so you should not be too shy in dosing. The first and most frequent symptom of excessive dosage would be nausea; you omit the next administration then reduce the dose. But remember that the remedies act as drainers too, so a high dose early in treatment may and has caused the sudden release of toxins in a body that is not prepared for the assault; you will then find symptoms compatible with the toxin, if known, or more general symptoms, like vertigo, dizziness, nausea, “weird” feelings, etc,…those disappear within a few hours but are a sure indication to start low and slow. In doubt or in a frail patient, start at about a fifth or even a tenth of the dose you would otherwise use and increase gradually. This is also clear indications that repair of the drainage organs (Organotherapy) has to be accomplished before continuing with drainage and detoxification. Do not stick to rigid posology schemes you might find in books, use your intelligence and essentially the patient’s clinical reaction. Remember that those are very powerful remedies; having a “standard” dose written by an “authority” does not mean this is what you have to use; the more problems your patient suffers from, the more he will be susceptible to reactions, so lower the dose accordingly and increase progressively. The worst thing that can happen is that you wasted a few days…..treat safely. And in doubt, start with one drop of the concentrate or 5 drops of the 1X(1D), raise until you reached either the level of tolerance of the patient or the indicated dose.

Remember that it is also possible to overdose! One patient of mine, in his zeal to get better, increased Ribes Nigrum to such an extent that he had many symptoms of hyper stimulation of the adrenal glands, especially the medullar part, with tachycardia, chest pains and chest constriction; even though this was also amplified by other remedies and supplements he was wolfing down, it stopped when the Ribes was stopped; this situation was a clear reminder of the powerful pharmacological action of the gemmotherapic remedies.

Using every remedy separately is the preferred method. Although some companies have created ready made complexes with clinical indications, it is always better if, as a practitioner, you create your own formula adapted to each and every patient. You might be willing to use one remedy long term, another short term and another as a trial for symptom relief: why mix them? You cannot separate them, stop one or change the posology. In the clinical part, some examples of administration might be given if it seems relevant, but remember, they would only be examples; as always, individualisation remains the key to successful prescription.

Most of the Gemmotherapic remedies work best in combinations through synergy of action. Those synergies are included in the Materia Medica but here too they are certainly not limitative and the practitioner’s creativity will hopefully in time give us many more possible associations. You will find them under “Frequently used combinations” and they reflect the combined experience of therapists as they described it; they seem logical but their inclusion in this book does not mean I endorse them fully, recommend them above any other type of association or exclude any other type of combination.

Precautions, interactions and potential side effects have been included when present; it does make sense that if the buds contain all the therapeutic potential of the whole plant, they also contain the problems that could arise from the use of that plant.
The limited botanical description of the plants is given purely for the sake of information; no trees or plants were harmed during the writing of this book, with the exception of a high consumption of Camillia Sinensis in the form of Earl Grey Green Tea.


Heidi Stevenson said...

Your book sounds good! I've been looking for a good English language gemmotherapy book. It sounds like yours might be it. Have just ordered it.

Robin said...

Just finished reviewing your second book on gemmotherapy. Thanks Dr. Roz for your continued efforts to bring gemmotherapy to english speaking people of the world.
I hope in the future you consider a book with cases for those of us that are working with gemmo products.

Enjoy Life!!!

Geoffrey W. Rutledge, MD, PhD said...

Hi, I think your blog is terrific, and I would like to feature you on Wellsphere ( Would you drop me an email?
Good health!
Geoffrey W. Rutledge, MD, PhD