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The Language of Plants

A Guide to the Doctrine of Signatures

May 2012
More details
  • Publisher
    Lindisfarne Books
  • Published
    15th May 2012
  • ISBN 9781584200987
  • Language English
  • Pages 368 pp.
  • Size 7" x 8.75"
  • Images 200 color & b/w

It is only in the age of technology that human beings have lost a sense of nature being alive. Throughout history, people spoke to nature, and nature communicated with them. During the Middle Ages, reading the “book of nature” was called the doctrine of signatures, which had always been an important part of interacting with nature for traditional healers and herbalists.

“As a child, I just knew which plant to pick up and hold to my head for a headache to go away. Once I heard about the concept of a ‘doctrine of signatures,’ I would just stand silently, in awe of nature talking to me, talking and talking in her silent, direct speech. The book of nature seemed so obviously spelled out, and in oddest contrast to what I learned in medical school. My professors seemed never to have heard of nature being vibrant and alive and brimming with patterns of energy that are right there for us to understand and use.... This direct and primordial experience of being part of nature's omnipresent, cyclic course taught me more in the realm of no-words than any university ever could have.” —Julia Graves

The Language of Plants covers all aspects of the doctrine of signatures in an easily accessible format, so that everyone, whether nature lovers or healers, can learn to read the language of plants in connection with healing.

More than 200 color and b/w images.

“A powerful and unique book, The Language of Plants is without doubt the most in-depth discussion of plant signatures available to us today. A brilliant medical herbalist, Julia has drawn from ancient and modern sources and blended this knowledge with her own rich experience and personal wisdom to create a marvelous resource, designed to take us deeply into the healing energetics of plants. While reading it, I felt a modern alchemist at work.”

—Rosemary Gladstar, herbalist, author of Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health and The Herbalist’s Way

C O N T E N T S:



1. History
2. The Doctrine of Signature Today
3. What Is a Signature?
4. Plants as Teachers
5. The Doctrine of Signature in Practice
6. What Is Not a Signature


7. Colors, the Language of Flowers
8. Shapes
9. Smell, Taste, Sound, Touch, and Understanding
10. The Elements and the Environment
11. The Planetary Signature
12. Organ and Physiological Signatures
13. Disease Signatures
14. Animal Signature
15. The Energetic Signature

Appendix: Holistic Plant Study
General Index
Plant Index

Julia Graves

Julia Graves grew up in Germany in close communion with nature. She trained in anthroposophic massage therapy, herbalism, and medicine from an early age. Julia has traveled around the globe, from Northern America to the Himalayas, to study the relevance of the doctrine of signatures in the world. She is a practicing herbalist, maker of flower essences, and a naturopathic doctor. Julia organized a naturopathic relief clinic in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and presently lives on her farm in a remote area of France.