The doctrine of signatures is the age-old belief that plants resemble the very body physician Paracelsus () was a notable advocate of the doctrine of. Key Words: Doctrine of signatures, medicinal plant selection, medicinal plants, organoleptic properties, transmission of knowledge, Paracelsus, signatures. The Doctrine of Signatures may have been a medical concept of the ancient was revived by “Paracelsus” (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim), a.

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There is one concept that underlies all work in plant spirit shamanism, which is that nature itself will tell you what they are used for and its well-stocked medicine cabinet is right in front of us every day. Shamans recognise the spiritual powers and qualities of plants in many ways: Although such considerations do not play a role in modern medicine which does not believe in these spiritual powers at allit was not long ago that we, too, had an understanding that nature is alive and is talking to us in these ways.

Doctrine of signatures – Wikipedia

The 16 th century alchemist and philosopher, Aureolus Phillippus Theophrastus Bombast — better known as Paracelsus — introduced this notion in his Doctrine of Signatures treatise, which proposed that the Creator has placed his seal on plants to indicate their medicinal uses. This was not just idle speculation on the part of Paracelsus; nature itself taught him the truth of it. Not otherwise than in the great book of nature, written with the finger of God….

Similarly, the hollow stalk of garlic resembles the windpipe and is used for throat and bronchial problems. By the same token, willow grows in damp places and will heal rheumatic conditions, caused by a build-up of fluid on the joints. It is a curiosity that many liver remedies have yellow flowers, those for the nerves bluefor the spleen orangefor the paracslsus white.


Serpentaria Rauwolfia resembles a snake and is an old traditional remedy for snake-bite. It is, rather, as if the Earth is a living organism, which consciously takes care of itself. According to Paracelsus, then, the appearance of a plant is the gateway to its spirit or consciousness. The doctrine of signatures, per se, is not something known to many indigenous shamans, but they understand the principles behind it well enough — that nature is alive, aware, and communicates with us.

These principles are not regarded as fanciful at all, but practical and important enough that they can save lives. I discovered how the doctrine of signatures operates in the Amazon, for example, during an experience with the jergon sacha plant reported by one jungle traveller, who came across this plant accidentally, when walking through the rainforest with the shaman Javier Arevalo, studying the properties of the plants.

A few minutes later we came across this tall-stemmed plant. This was jergon sacha, he said.

Javier cut a stem from it and proceeded to whip me psracelsus the body, paying most attention to my legs and the soles of my feet. I asked him why this plant was used in this way, and he indicated the pattern on the stem which looks identical to the snakes in the forest. Jergon sacha is widely used as an antidote to snake venom in the Amazon. Its use signaturee directly related to its physical appearance, the tall stem closely resembling the venomous pit viper known as the Jararaca or Bushmaster, which is indigenous to the Amazon.

The Bushmaster, unlike most other snakes, is aggressive and will defend its territory.

Doctrine of signatures

It can strike in the blink of an eye from 15 feet and is rightly feared and respected. Another illustration of the connection between the form and function of a plant is provided by Artiduro Aro Cardenas, a shaman who works with plant perfumes. No-one really knows how homeopathy works, but the fact that it does seems clear. Infor example, when cholera destroyed signaturrs Austrian cities and orthodox medicine was unable to stop its spread, the government turned in desperation to homeopathy and built a quick and crude hospital in which patients could be treated.


The results spoke for themselves: Shamans have a simple explanation for this: Join us for an authentic experience of ayahuasca, San Pedro, and plant spirit shamanism in the beautiful rainforests and mountains of Peru.

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