Gemmotherapy is a natural therapy that consists of using the properties inherent to embryonic tissue in growing plants i.e. the buds and new shoots of trees and shrubs. It can be defined as a comprehensive energetic cell therapy.

Gemmotherapy - Poplar buds
Poplar buds

The history of gemmotherapy

Historically, buds first began to be used for therapeutic purposes in the Middle Ages as a result of the influence of alchemical philosophy. The old pharmacopoeias mention more specifically the use of poplar buds for making poplar ointment and fir buds for making herbal teas and pectoral syrup.

But gemmotherapy itself was invented by Pol Henry, a Belgian homeopath, in the 60s. He published the results of his research and clinical trials in 1970 and called this new therapy "phytembryotherapy".It was developed further by Max Tétau, who called it "gemmotherapy". The name comes from the Latin word "gemmae" which means "bud". 

The richness of the buds

Buds are made of embryonic tissue that contains all the concentrated vital energy and active ingredients needed for the budding tree to grow. The bud alone contains the properties of that tree’s flowers, fruits and leaves, which explains the highly effective activity of bud extracts. Buds are like the plant’s concentrated “totum”. Inside the bud are miniature leaves, stems and the start of tiny flowers.

The embryonic tissues inside the bud contain all the genetic heritage of the future plant. This plant tissue is rich in nucleic acids, amino acids, phyto-hormones, vitamins, trace elements, minerals and sap. Many other active ingredients that are contained in the bud will not necessarily be present in the adult plant or to a lesser extent.

Gemmotherapy - Longitudinal cut of the oak bud

1. Protective scales - 2-3. Miniature sheets - 4. Secondary bud

Harvested just before opening.

When harvested just before opening, buds retain all their purity and strength. There are no effects from ageing and negative factors such as pollution and pesticides. All organic life has much greater vitality in its infancy than later on. The outer layers of the bud protect it from the elements.

While most natural remedies use just one part of the adult plant, gemmotherapy uses the embryonic benefits of meristem tissue. Remedies that use this contain all the characteristics of every part of the adult plant, i.e. the properties of the flowers, leaves, fruits, wood sap and roots.

Gemmotherapy - Harvesting the buds
Gemmotherapy - Linden bud

So meristem macerate concentrates from linden buds (tilia tomentosa moench) have the sedative properties of the flowers as well as the cleansing and diuretic properties of the wood sap. 

Gemmotherapy - Hawthorn bud

The same applies to hawthorn bud extract (crataegus oxyacantha L.) which has the properties of the fruit (beneficial for the muscles of the heart) and the flower (beneficial for your heart rate).

Now you see all the more why buds contain so many riches, because they contain all the benefits from the flower AND the leaf AND the fruit AND the stem... all in one bud.

Concentrated bud mother-macerates

The buds are harvested in the spring, at the high point of their natural development cycle. They are macerated fresh for several weeks in a mixture of water, alcohol and glycerine. The extract obtained is called concentrated macerate because it is not diluted. In gemmotherapy, this technique enables us to extract all the benefits and vital energy from the buds. Every part of the maceration mixture plays a specific role:

  • Water extracts the mineral salts, vitamins, flavonoids, etc.
  • Alcohol extracts the alkaloids, heterosides, etc.
  • Plant-based glycerine extracts the flavonoids, phenols, etc.
Gemmotherapy - Harvest
Gemmotherapy - Harvest 2
Gemmotherapy - Packaging
Gemmotherapy - Packaging 2


Often an essential remedy to sooth the respiratory tracts, HerbalGem’s traditional syrups are genuinely the result of family expertise, and a blend of pure natural benefits from a special recipe.

Much like the saying that "the best soup is made in old saucepans", HerbalGem uses a family recipe for its syrups and makes them in a large pot in the traditional way.

The syrup recipe is divided into 4 phases:

Gemmotherapy - Syrups manufacturing process
  • Phase 1, elderberry syrup: at the end of the summer, we choose fresh and ORGANIC elderberries to make our base syrup. This fruit is used to prevent colds and flu, and for its diuretic, laxative and cleansing qualities. The berries are first cooked in water, then ORGANIC all-flower honey is added, as well as unrefined and ORGANIC cane sugar as a preservative.
  • Phase 2, dry plant decoctions: depending on the syrup and what it will be used to treat, we add precise quantities of different plants to water at 60°C. These plants are then pressed and filtered. The valuable liquid extract is obtained by straining the results through a sieve. We then return the liquid to the heat and add unrefined ORGANIC cane sugar.
  • Phase 3, concentrated fresh bud macerates: we add the bud macerates harvested from our own growing sites.
  • Phase 4, mother-tinctures based on German pharmacopoeia: we add the freshest plants after macerating them in ORGANIC alcohol in order to extract all the active ingredients.

Birch sap

Gemmotherapy - Birch forest

In spring when nature starts to wake again after winter, birch sap (rich in bioavailable trace elements) begins to rise in the trees. Loaded with minerals and filled with energy after passing through the tree, it could genuinely be called the water of life.

HerbalGem harvests this precious water of life by drilling a small hole in the trunk of the birch tree, part of a careful process that doesn't harm the host. Harvested fresh by us in the Belgian Ardennes, on land that is rich in minerals, the sap is filtered and enriched with concentrated bud extracts. It is then bottled quickly so it is ready just a few days after the harvest.

By adding concentrated bud extracts to the sap, we add even more properties to this mixture.  The buds contain all the DNA information for the future plant and they contain all of its benefits.  This makes them a real blend of effective active ingredients.  HerbalGem’s birch sap is also certified organic and 100% natural.

Gemmotherapy - Birch sap

Tips for use

Gemmotherapy is a natural, innovative and affordable therapy for all ages.  It can be beneficial for children, babies and even pregnant women to a certain extent. Nevertheless, for optimum results, we recommend certain dosages.