For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how exactly to start the conversation about how I firmly believe that food is the ULTIMATE medicine. Then as I was scrolling through the videos for a new channel I found on YouTube (Holistic Habits), I saw my answer: opening the conversation with the logic behind the doctrine of signatures!
What is the Doctrine of Signatures and Why Should We Follow It?
Merriam Webster defines this as “a theory in old natural philosophy: the outward appearance of a body signalizes its special properties (as of magic or healing virtue) and there is a relationship between the outward qualities of a medicinal object and the diseases against which it is effective.” In layman’s terms, that just means that the shape and color of a specific food, such as strawberries, gives you a clue as to what part of the body it helps to heal.
If you live in America, think about it in terms of the drastic change we’ve seen in our diet since the 1950s. Back then, we ate natural, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, lean meats, and butter. We also had less technology and encouraged our kids to play outside every day. What’s the result? According to the CDC, there were 5.6 million diagnosed cases of diabetes in 1980.
By 2011, that number rose to 20.9 million — that’s a 373% increase in 30 years!!
Examples of the Doctrine of Signatures
As you have probably seen from Dr. Oz show, there is new research showing a correlation between eating more strawberries and the reduction of bad cholesterol around the heart. Looking at a strawberry, I’m sure you can see why that’s a logical connection. Strawberries contain an antioxidant called anthocyanins, which are their “sunscreen” and that sunscreen gets absorbed into our bodies whenever we eat them. When strawberries are in season, they sit in warm weather and go from green (when they’re not ripe) to a vibrant red! If you or I sit out in the sun too long, we’ll get tans and/or sunburns.
Another great thing about strawberries is how rich in fiber they are. Since there is so much fiber in strawberries, eating them regularly can help to reduce cholesterol. As I described in an earlier post, there are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is the kind that swells when it comes in contact with water and fills us up; insoluble can’t be processed by the body because it is meant to act as a brillo pad to scrub out the dried junk in our intestines.
Carrots are another great example of the Doctrine of Signatures. If you look at a slice of a carrot, it looks EXACTLY like the human eye… you can clearly see a pupil and an iris. Coincidentally, carrots are rich in beta carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A, a critical nutrient in healthy eyes!
When you look at the back of any leafy green vegetable, you’ll see that the branches look exactly like the alveoli network in our lungs. The reason why greens are so important to our overall health has to do with the amount of chlorophyll locked within their leaves. Chlorophyll, is the component in plants and trees that helps them convert CO2 into oxygen.
The kidneys are a vital organ in the human body because they filter out the toxins that would collect in our blood. The connection between our kidneys and diabetes is very well known and reishi mushrooms can help reverse the effects of the disease. Reishi mushrooms (and other medicinal mushrooms) are chock full of polysaccharides, or long chain sugars, which take much longer to digest than simple sugars. Think of it this way — polysaccharides as a huge log from an old oak tree that has fallen in the forest and simple sugars are like pine needles from an evergreen tree. Since simple sugars are the arch enemy of diabetics, including more reishi mushroom, whether in a tea or as an extract, will do wonders for improving your numbers.
Interested in learning more about how to make food your ultimate medicine? Contact me for a free health history.