Ever heard of the theory that the appearance of plants reveals their use and function? This 16th century theory fascinates many, but what is it really? Myth or reality ? We tell you everything in our article on the theory of signatures.
The History Behind Signature Theory
The use of plants in our daily lives is not new; it goes back much further in time, to Antiquity. Doctors of the time treated their patients using plants. This is where it all begins.
Over time, the use of plants has spread and evolved. We find traces of these uses as far back as ancient China. Little by little, classifications were created and served as a basis for modern pharmacology. This theory was only established by a 16th century Swiss doctor, Paracelsus. He summarized the principle with this formula: “similia similibus curantur” or like treats like.
The olive tree continues to develop its branches, even after major damage (fire or frost). People who need olives believe that this tree can always mobilize new reserves of strength. The ancient Greeks and Romans already knew that the olive tree helped with exhaustion. Their athletes and warriors regenerated quickly through friction or massage with olive oil.
Unfortunately, although there are a large number of plants with unique properties for the human body, this theory was abandoned during the 18th century due to a lack of scientific evidence.
What about Bach Flowers?
Another famous British doctor, Doctor Edward Bach also used this approach for his work which led to the discovery of the 38 Bach Flowers. Some examples: the Bach flower “impatience” rejects its seeds suddenly, as if it wanted to be reborn as quickly as possible.
Another example is the Rock Rose. Its flowers are far too large for its delicate stems which tremble under their weight but nevertheless rise towards the sun. This allows you to concentrate on the essentials.
And today ?
While the theory of signatures has since disappeared, it is still possible to find it in different forms in our society and culture today. In architecture for example, with the possibility of identifying people's profession by looking at the way their house was built.
This principle is also increasingly used in marketing, for advertisements. The goal is to sell something whose image will communicate information to us. The form will then define the content.
Or in the kitchen, where chefs have fun creating illusions so that our body identifies the food on the plate with what it thinks it knows about it.
This theory was one of the bases of medicine for several centuries, throughout different eras of History. It made it possible to lay certain foundations for theories of modern medicine. Although today it is less recognized in the medical field, its principle remains used in other fields.