The Doctrine of Signatures in herbalism is the notion that we can intuit the medicinal properties of a plant based on its physical characteristics.
For example, if a plant resembles a certain body part or organ, it may have an affinity for that organ system which it resembles.
Applying the DOS is a little confusing because sometimes it exhibits the imbalanced (or “disease”) state of the organ, and others it can look like the healthy vital version.
So I often use it with a grain of salt. Ultimately, it’s just another tool available to us in our toolbox.
I definitely don’t recommend using this as the ONLY tool when foraging, in an attempt to self-medicate.
A lot of plants have potential toxicity or adverse effects, so one must be very careful and aware when wild-harvesting.
However, it can help us bring an already honed awareness to another level.
In fact, we don’t even have to harvest or ingest anything to get benefits from plants!
We can simply observe what they have to teach us, using all our organoleptic senses as well as our intellect and intuition.
I say – let’s use ALL our tools.