I teach my Foundations of Gemmotherapy series a few times a year, and I’m always delighted by the fascinating mix of students it attracts. The group tends to be a blend of Homeopaths, Acupuncturists, NDs, Nurses, and moms, usually scattered across the US and Canada. Occasionally there will be a student from England, France, Romania or Australia, which are all areas where there is considerable interest in Gemmotherapy. However, in September during the group introductions, I met my first student from Kyiv. Lena, an entrepreneur, and mother of five has had a passion for natural medicine for over fifteen years. Despite the fact that Gemmotherapy is unavailable in Ukraine, Lena felt called to learn about this intriguing therapy.
The path that led Lena to Gemmotherapy is an interesting one. Sixteen years ago she began her search for natural solutions for her children when their symptoms were not resolved by conventional medicine. Through homeopathy, she found solutions for her sons' croup and panic attacks. Lena was spurred to study natural medicine on her own after her physician homeopath was unable to find the correct remedy for some ailments. To begin, she immersed herself in books while her children were young, and then as time permitted she enrolled in a formal training program in Kyiv.
Looking for a Solution
For sixteen years now homeopathy has been the primary support for her family’s health and has served them very well. That is until there was an outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus at her youngest son’s school three years ago. This form of Staph often leads to the manifestation of painful carbuncles. In the case of her son, this would re-occur every month, and before long it had spread to her entire family of seven!
The conventional medical approach to this in Ukraine, as in the U.S., is a course of strong antibiotics and the surgical removal of the carbuncle if it does not heal on its own.
During this time period Lena reached out to many homeopathic physicians, and while the remedies provided some relief, and the outbreaks occurred further and further apart there was not a complete resolution.
After nearly three years of struggling with the lingering effects of S. aureas Lena asked her Romanian homeopath physician about Gemmotherapy. She could see there was a problem within her family that neither conventional medicine nor homeopathy alone could resolve, and she was determined to find a solution.
The idea of Gemmotherapy made sense to Lena. She knew that our bodies need drainage and what she discovered on the internet led her to believe it could be a second instrument for her to use as it worked on another level. So in her search to discover more a Russian homeopath led her to my books which then led her to my training programs.
After the Foundations of Gemmotherapy course began, two members of Lena’s family experienced outbreaks of S. aureas, and she was quickly in need of Gemmotherapy extracts. Getting extracts from the U.S. to Ukraine would take weeks but the Universe was conspiring on Lena’s behalf. There just happened to be a lovely Romanian student in my class. After a quick email introduction Dumi became Lena’s Gemmotherapy angel, and before long her family was benefiting from the support of Gemmotherapy extracts.
Bringing Gemmotherapy to Ukraine
Intuitively from the start, Lena knew there was more to this than the needs of her own family. With years of experience running her own bookshop in the center of Kyiv, her entrepreneurial spirit saw an opportunity in bringing Gemmotherapy to Ukraine.
Without hesitation, I offered my support to Lena in anyway she needed. We met a few times on Zoom, and Lena’s game plan began to take shape. When I decided to make this trip to France, bringing us just a bit closer geographically, Lena’s husband encouraged her to come and spend some days with me. And that is exactly what happened.
It was a remarkable four days together. Lena came prepared with her questions about the uses of Gemmotherapy, the organizational structure needed to support the sale of extracts and how to spread the message. But you can be sure we also talked about our families, food and even a bit of politics. We have had lovely walks through the cobblestone streets of Foix, and along the banks of the rushing Ariege. We’ve spent time in the kitchen preparing plant-based meals and sharing recipes, too. After the first twenty-four hours, we both felt as if we’d known each other for years.
I can’t even begin to express how mentoring her in this endeavor fills my heart with joy. I have been blessed over and again along my path with remarkable and generous mentors. To be able to pass along my lessons is a gift beyond compare. By Lena’s final day, it was down to all business. The day began with a joint call with our parent company, Plant Extrakt, in Romania to discuss logistics. Our conversations then turned to translations for labels, shipping practicalities, and next steps. But to be clear we definitely reserved some time for another walk along the Ariege, some shopping and for preparation of one more soup together. In fact, I wouldn’t rule out a joint effort on a vegan soup cookbook in our future!
To promote the sale of Gemmotherapy in a country where it’s unknown is a challenge I am quite familiar with. I’ve learned so many lessons along the way and am delighted to share them. Lena will need to create a buzz and she will do that first with my books that she has currently begun translating into Russian. She has begun a social media campaign on Instagram and Facebook promoting the extracts themselves and plant-based meals so that when the extracts arrive there will already be some interest. Lena also aspires to host a Foundations of Gemmotherapy seminar this summer in Kyiv, and if it comes together I may find myself on a new adventure to a part of the world I’ve never been. No complaints here.
And so I ask you to join me in sending Lena well wishes. Another brave pioneering woman, forging a path for others to follow to live fuller, healthier lives.