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Gemmotherapy: A gift from the trees.

Black Currant bud

Gemmotherapy, derived from the buds of certain trees and shrubs, is a drainage, detoxification, immune system stimulating, and nutritional liquid solution that is often used to improve wellness at the cellular level. Within the bud is the life of the plant, containing all the genetic information to create the leaves, flowers, fruit, and branches. Similar to stem cells in humans, the meristem within the bud is rich in nutrients. You will find minerals, vitamins, growth factors, plant hormones, trace elements, enzymes, and nucleic acids all within the bud, providing regenerative properties for the tree or shrub.

Gemmo comes from the Latin word gemma, meaning bud, gem, or jewel. In late winter, right before spring, the tree buds are so quiet and tightly closed that you can see how they might be thought of as a gem. The freshly picked buds are collected and then processed in a specific manner to extract the nutrients and phytochemicals. The end product is a 1:10 dilution.

Who created it?

Buds of trees have been used for centuries, Hildegard of Bingen, a mother abbess from the 12th century, wrote about using the buds of eight trees: Ash, Blackcurrant, Birch, Crab Apple, Poplar, Rose Hip, Silver Linden and Spanish Chestnut, in her book The Book of Subtleties of Divine Creatures.

It was not until the early 1960s that a Belgian homeopath, Dr. Pol Henry (1918-1988), began research using the embryonic plant tissue of trees and shrubs, calling this method phytoembryotherapy. Many others have researched and published books on this enlightening modality.

How is it beneficial to you and your horse?

Gemmotherapy supports physical and emotional changes in the body, through the genetic imprint of the tree bud’s cells. The meristem contains totipotential cells that have the ability to reproduce the entire tree. This life energy is able to respond to what the body needs and can help the body detoxify, drain, nourish, and support balance.

Fig bud


Gemmotherapy tinctures can be used in a number of ways.

1. A few drops of the liquid can be applied to the inside of your horse’s ears twice daily. (Remember all the acupuncture points in the ears.) It does take longer to see benefits with this method, but is still effective.

2. You can add 5-10 drops of the gemmotherapy, or gemmo, to your horse’s food twice daily. Always start with the smallest dose for a few days, to allow your horse’s body to adjust to the new information being received from the gemmo. You can increase the dosage to 10 drops two to three times a day over at least a 10-day period. Remember that gemmos drain and detoxify, so allow your horse’s body to slowly adjust.

3. For the sensitive horse, you can also add 1 drop of the gemmo to spring water to dilute further and give 5-10 drops of this mixture to your horse. As the horse adjusts you can then reduce the water in the mixture and over time you will just be giving the gemmo.

Three Favorite Gemmos

We will talk about 3 useful gemmotherapies, but keep in mind that there are over 60 gemmotherapies.

Silver Linden/Lime, Tilia tomentosa – anti-inflammatory, nourishes the nervous system, supports the healing of the digestive tract in nervous horses.

Blackcurrant, Ribes nigrum – anti-inflammatory, helpful for horses weaning off of corticosteroid treatment, revitalizes energy, immunoregulatory properties that can balance allergic reactions.

Fig, Ficus carica – the guardian of digestion, anti-inflammatory to the digestive tract, helps the horse digest life events on an emotional and physical level.

“The tree, this giant of our planet, is the symbol of the life force of creations, while its heart penetrates the earth and invades it with the roots, branches embraced the sky.” —“Phytoembryotherapy,” Dr. Ledoux and Gueniot

It is important to note that some gemmotherapy plants do have contraindications so always check with your equine herbalist or herbal-trained veterinarian for guidance on using this modality for the most effective response. Gemmotherapy remedies are made by a few companies but I generally use Boiron, and can be purchased online from many wellness sites.

Gemmotherapy can be wonderfully beneficial for supporting balance in the body and mind; consider adding tree bud medicine to your wellness protocol for yourself and your horse.

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