A WORD FROM ZENTRICH

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Word of Zentrich

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GEMMOTHERAPY
Treatment for the third millennium


Phytotherapy, i.e., treatment by plants belongs among the very oldest treatment methods - that however does not mean that it is not continuously developing. Even modern phytotherapeutists use, as their forerunners, the simplest drug form - it means teas, ointments and elektuáriá - while more and more modern elements are preferred. And gemmotherapy belongs among them, which means the scientific use of special spirit-glycerin extracts from plant buds.
The first to call the attention of the professional public to the fact that there originate in plants, under certain conditions, highly effective substances which are not observed under normal circumstances, was the Ukrainian scientist and professor of Odessa University, the academic Vladimir Petrovič Fižatov /1875 - 1956/ who at the turn of the 1950s developed a method of preparation of so-called biogenous stimulators.
Fižatov discovered that when the freshly cut part of a plant is placed under very unfavourable conditions - to darkness and cold, plant textures mobilize all internal powers for their preservation and thus originate chemical reactions, in the process of which unique substances with extraordinary healing abilities occur in the plant.

The Belgian doctor of French origin, Dr. Med. Paul Henry, was enthusiastic about Filatov´s work and wanted to develop his ideas. One day, in the spring of 1952, a cleaner brought him to his laboratory several twigs with birch buds and catkins - and there he was struck by a genial idea - to substitute the "middle-aged" suffering" of live plants by a simple processing of buds. In a short time ha had on his desk the first gemmotherapeuticum - and he was not really surprised when he discovered through analysis that bud extracts are very similar to Filatov´s biogennic stimulators. Dr. Henry experimented further and he soon observed that traditional ethanolic extracts were too strong for practice - and gradually spirit-glycerine specialities occurred and he eventually came up with the first homeopathic potency, decimal dilution D1, and he thus combined the excellent alopatic effects of the contained chemical substances and information influence of homeopathic potency.

Dr. Henry called his method "blastotherapy" after the Greek word "blastos" = germ, but already in 1954 they talked about gemmotherapy after the Latin word "gemma" = bud. Maybe because the new method was spread mostly by homeopathic doctors, the new method did not expand much outside France and even now it is most developed in Francophone countries. In addition to the "mother" France, it is especially found in Belgium, Canada and the border areas of Switzerland, Italy and Spain - and nowadays also in the Czech Republic and lately also Slovakia.

A Moravian herbalist Rudolf Franec and his pupil Jozef A. Zentrich brought gemmotherapy to the Czech Republic in 1968. However, the conditions of those times did not make it possible to prepare gemmotherapeutics otherwise than in an amateur way, and for long years there were only timid attempts. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Jozef A. Zentrich with his co-worker Ing. Juraj Jančo, CSc. - authors of the now famous nine-volume Herbarium of Medicinal Plants (EMINENT Publishing House, Prague, 1994 - 2001) - tried once more to make gemmotherapy popular, and in the 5th volume from 1997 they described in detail this issue. However, production still remained on an amateur basis. Eventually in 1998, a pensioned Moravian teacher, Mgr. Jarmila Podhorná, started as a pioneer to produce gemmotherapeutics on a mass scale in her firm NADĚJE (HOPE) and she gradually introduced into production more than 35 kinds of gemmotherapeutic extracts. So we are grateful to Mrs. Podhorská for the fact that the Czech Republic was the first non-Francophone country in the world where gemmotherapeutics started to be not only used on a mass scale but also produced. Mgr. Podhorná started to produce gemmotherapeutics "on a green field" and only gradually acquired necessary experience. From among several possible technologies she believed in the simplest and the cheapest, which she has never changed, and the consequence is that the form slowly loses in quality and nowadays it cannot compete on this basis with the producer of Rabštejnska apatyka, the products of which are prepared with care with the highest concentration of spirit-glycerin, what is naturally reflected in its higher content of effective substances and thus in its higher efficiency of preparations. But even so we should be grateful to Mgr. Podhorská for her pioneering the path!

The use of gemmotherapeutics is very wide-spread: there are preparations antiallergic, e.g., kalina siripútková (in Czech tušalaj obecný) - Viburnum lantana, preparations effecting the after-treatment of borreliosis - grapevine hroznorodý, then preparations suitable for use in gynaecology, e.g., blackberry, strawberry, anti-rheumatics - alder tree and black currant; in oncology, gemmotherapeutics from heather are effective. The basic cleansing - the French say "drainage" substance is birch, beech or oak; prostate difficulties in older men are treated by Sequoia gigantean (in Czech sekvoj obrovská), and we could continue on and on.

According to the success gemmotherapeutics have achieved we can bravely state that gemmotherapy is a rising treatment method of the 21st century and it has not yet said its last word …


Herbalist Jozef Anton Zentrich
Chairman of the Czech-Moravian Association of Treatment Arts
seated in Olomouc
Otrokovice, 21 March MMII