Can your health benefit from the 'Doctrine of Signatures'?
We’ve all heard that carrots are good for the eyes and walnuts are good for our brains, but did you know that the ‘doctrine of signatures’ in nature can potentially heal us from all manner of ills?
The Doctrine of Signatures is an ancient philosophy that suggests that plants and herbs that resemble certain parts of the body can be used to treat ailments related to those body parts. While this theory isn’t widely accepted by modern medicine, some of the plants and foods traditionally associated with menopause can still be helpful for women going through this transition.
There is a growing movement of people who advocate for natural medicine and living a holistic lifestyle that is in harmony with nature. The idea is that by eating and living how nature intended, we can improve our health and wellbeing, and reduce our impact on the environment. This approach emphasizes the use of natural remedies, such as herbs and encourages a diet that is based on whole, unprocessed foods.
By avoiding consumerism, fast food, and fake food, we can reduce our exposure to harmful chemicals, additives, and preservatives that are often found in processed foods. In addition, by living in harmony with nature, we can reduce our stress levels, improve our sleep, and increase our connection to the natural world. While this approach may not be suitable for everyone, it offers an alternative to the consumer-driven culture that dominates much of modern society and can be a source of inspiration and empowerment for those who choose to follow it.
The adoption of this philosophy or at least in part during the transition years of menopause can be extremely helpful due to its low inflammatory impact. During menopause, women often experience a range of symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, and insomnia. There is substance in the science behind certain foods being beneficial in managing these symptoms. For example:
Soy: Soy contains natural plant estrogens called isoflavones that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Some studies have suggested that soy may help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flushes in menopausal women. Including foods like tofu, tempeh, miso, and edamame beans can help with estrogen balancing.
Flaxseed: Flaxseed is another rich source of plant estrogens, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve heart health and reduce inflammation. Some research has suggested that flaxseed may help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flushes in menopausal women. Flaxseeds are most beneficial when freshly ground and in oil form.
Fruits and vegetables: Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help support overall health during menopause. These foods are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system.
Herbal teas: Certain herbs like black cohosh, red clover, and dong quai have traditionally been used to alleviate menopausal symptoms. Drinking herbal teas made from these herbs can be a soothing and natural way to support the body during this transition.
Lifestyle diseases account for a large percentage of chronic illness in the western world today, and the quickest and safest form of medicine is to change your diet. Next time you choose something to eat or drink, take a closer look at how the ‘Doctrine of Signatures’ in foods can help or hinder your health. There are so many examples in nature of fruits and vegetables that resemble body parts and organs, here are a few examples:
* Tomatoes for Heart health - when sliced tomatoes contain chambers like our heart and contain natural potassium required to keep our heart pumping.
* Ginger to calm the Stomach - ginger looks of the intestines with its knobbly protusions and works as a great calmative for digestive discomfort.
* Citrus for Breast health - sliced citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the breast and contain many nutrients required for breast health and can help avoid breast cancer.
* Celery for strong Bones - the strong stalks of celery resemble the structure of long bones. Celery contains vitamin K to assist with blood clotting and protects bone density.
* Avocado for Reproductive health - the essential fats in avocado are important for hormone balance and in pregnancy resemble a woman's womb.
As famously stated by Ann Wigmore, founder of Hippocrates Health Farm:
“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison”
Everything you do, think, and consume adds to your vitality, energy, and spirit. Maybe the answer to your health issues lies in paying closer attention to natures ‘doctrine of signatures’.
Written by Mona Hecke
Mona Hecke is a degree qualified Naturopath, nutrition specialist and health and wellness writer.
With over 20 years in the health industry, beginning with a focus on children and families, and a bestselling book ‘The Lunchbox Revolution’, Mona is now empowering women through education and conversation to take action and embrace change. Gut health, mindfulness, nutrition, hormones, and menopause are the topics that women want and need to know to create their healthy future.
Mona holds certifications in Lifestyle Coaching, Kinesiology, holistic herbal medicine, and nutrition.
A recognised leader in the health industry, Mona’s strong social media presence and passion for influencing change will continue to be a catalyst for health reform for the benefit of every Australian.