While perceiving the plant remedies from the materia medica point of view, we cannot ignore the concept of doctrine of signature.
The signature is a token of identity and identification. The doctrine of signature, in its true sense and originality was not formulated for the medical profession. It is based on a spiritual philosophy and simple concept that Almighty had marked everything he had created with a sign.
The doctrine of signature is an ancient philosophy which postulates that the parts of plant that bear resemblance with the parts of human body or animals has useful relevance to them. It can also refer to the environment or places where the plants grow. Originally relating to herbs and medicinal plants, the modern day application of this doctrine contends that every plant has a pattern that resembles a body organ or physiological function which acts as a signal or sign.
The outward appearance of a body signalizes its special properties (as of magic or healing virtue) and there is a relationship between theoutward qualities of a medicinal object and the diseases against which it is effective. The doctrine of signature points to the mysterious healing power unfolded by the merciful nature.
‘The Doctrine of Signature is one of the first and most significant works of our time to show how closely connected the liberal arts are to the clinical medicine. It is the seminal work in the recent history of the philosophy of medicine, a field that is enjoying a renaissance throughout the world today’ wrote Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD.
1. A sliced carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye…and the present science does support its role in improving the blood supply of the eye and the vision.
2. A tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. Recent research portrays tomatoes as a useful vegetable for heart and blood.
3. Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and it is a well proved fact that grapes are good for the heart and it acts as a blood vitalizer.
4. A walnut looks like a little brain. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neocortex. We are now aware of the fact that walnuts help in the development of over 3 dozen neurotransmitters essential for normal neurological functioning.
5. Kidney beans actually heal and help in maintaining the kidney function and surprisingly they look exactly like the human kidneys.
6. Celery, Bok choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23 percent sodium and these foods are 23 percent sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.
7. Eggplant, avocados and pears are related to the normal functions of uterus and cervix of the female – they look just like these organs. It has been postulated by research that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And the striking similarity is that, it takes exactly nine months to grow an avocado from a blossom to a ripened fruit. There are over fourteen thousand phytolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about one forty one of them).
8. Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. They increase the count and motility of male sperm and also improve the overall fertility of the male.
9. Sweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.
10. Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.
11. Grapefruits, oranges, and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually improve the health of the breasts and its lymphatic circulation.
12. Onions look like body cells. Today’s research shows that onions help clear waste material from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.
13. Bananas, cucumber and zucchini resemble the male sexual organ and also increase the strength.
14. Peanuts have a profoundeffect on the testicles and sexual libido. Peanuts were banned as a food for males by the church often during the middle ages. Most of us are unaware about the fact that arginine, which is the main ingredient of Viagra, is extracted from peanuts.
However, we should also know the limitations of the application of doctrine of signature. It does not tell the whole story about a plant. To illustrate, the ancients identified willow bark as a remedy for rheumatism, by observing the damp environment in which willow trees grow. Willow bark contains what we now know as aspirin, but the doctrine of signature failed to identify many other potential medical uses of aspirin. Furthermore, the doctrine of signature tells us nothing about the proper preparation and use of the herb, the proper dose and the possible interactions (synergy or interference) between multiple herbal remedies.
In a similar way, doctrine of signature can’t explain the whole theme of a remedy. The doctrine has a limited scope of application because a remedy has a deeper action on multiple planes. Effects of a remedy are beyond the reach of the doctrine of signature. Furthermore, we should remember that life is a perfect blend of multiple colours and unity is the nature of life. There is always a cross connection between the kingdoms. Every plant contains minerals and it has a definitive role in proving symptoms and in alleviating variable disease conditions. Analyzing the remedies of the plant kingdom, we often come across aggression, violence, etc. as proving symptoms. The same is also true for mineral and animal remedies. Many minerals exhibit sensitivity and many animal remedies exhibit calmness. In other words, kingdom classification is not a rigid compartmentalization. Study of a remedy as a separate, independent, unitary and existential potential is the real stuff.
After this all, I am thankful to you guys for studying this Article.
Thank you team RHMC & Faculty members who gave me such a great opportunity for experiencing the clinical knowledge and clear the Mind about The Doctrine of Signature.