Gemmotherapy for Everyone: Building Immunity in Babies and Children
28 June 2018 (online)
This book is a teaching tool for parents of young children, about the use of Gemmotherapic remedies for common and frequent diseases in babies and children.
Gemmotherapy, the use of a triple extract from young buds, shoots, and rootlets, is considered as herbalism; so, why is it reviewed in a homeopathic journal and recommended by homeopaths? Before going into the book review itself, it seems adequate to give a short explanation, which will probably not please everybody. As a tool, a Gemmotherapic tincture is extracted from embryonic elements of a plant (buds, shoots, and rootlets), implying that the total therapeutic potential is provided, as opposed to a more specific, pathology-oriented partial instrument, be it natural (alcoholic tincture, tea as in infusions, decoctions, etc.) or chemical (drugs). Used professionally, the Gemmotherapic prescription is wholistic inasmuch as it looks at the totality of the patient's presentation albeit in less depth and detail than a homeopathic prescription. Therefore, it is easy, and not contradictory, for a homeopath to use a tool that gives a fast and reliable answer without suppression, repression, or modification of the deeper terrain we want to cure to avoid recurrences and achieve total health. Gemmotherapy is also easy to ‘protocolise’ (apologies for the neologism) in a manner that is familiar to patients who have been exposed to conventional therapies, easy to follow, but also easy to modify according to the patient's reaction to the treatment.
This is basically the essence of Lauren's work: to give parents an easy and safe tool that can be used at home, preferably after a first consultation where the essential principles are explained. It is a guide, a reference that is user friendly even for anxious and exhausted parents.
I was very happy to see that it all starts with proper elimination and proper nutrition being promoted as the foundation of health. Simple and correct explanations are given with nice graphics. A dairy-free diet is enhanced, hallelujah; I simply wish that gluten-free diets were also heavily promoted.
The use of Gemmotherapic remedies to promote elimination and to build immunity is then explained, followed by protocols for seven most chronic conditions encountered in infancy, like digestive, skin, ENT and respiratory problems and a glimpse at complicated cases, all illustrated with patient stories from Lauren's own practice.
Then protocols are given for acute situations, again very clear and easy to follow and modify if need be. My only measly drawbacks at that stage are first the exclusive use of degrees Fahrenheit and ounces: adding international metrics, Celsius and millilitres would certainly make it more palatable outside of the United States; and second is the fact that one has to reach the end of the book to realise Lauren is recommending the use of the 1D/1X solution as opposed to the concentrate: this should be clearly mentioned at the start of the book along with the general recommendation for posology to avoid a confusion that can end up in serious overdose.
FAQs and a history of Gemmotherapy follow. I felt honoured to be included in it through the 2008 edition of my own book ‘Dynamic Gemmotherapy’, but I would take this opportunity to mention that it is now outdated and has been replaced in 2016 by ‘Dynamic Gemmotherapy. Beyond Gemmotherapy’.
An index of diseases and conditions concludes the book, allowing to quickly find the appropriate treatment in a hurry.
Why would a professional homeopath read and own this book? It is a good first insight and exposure to a practice that few know; it can generate interest in learning professionally how to use it (and it does not clash with the tenets and philosophy of homeopathy!). It is valuable to show to parents and recommend it alongside homeopathic first-aid books and courses, but of course the practitioner should also be familiar with its contents to explain it properly. And for people who are not familiar with the ‘subtleties’ of modalities and concomitants or are fearful of homeopathic remedies (yes they exist), Gemmotherapy can be recommended as a simple and safe herbal approach that is nevertheless closer to homeopathic practice than modern phytotherapy.