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The Language of Plants

A Guide to the Doctrine of Signatures

Julia Graves

368 pp.  
7" x 8 3/4"
Illustrations: 200 color & b/w

Lindisfarne Books


Published:  May 2012


  • “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, teacher, and author of Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health and The Herbalist’s Way

  • “I used to explain to my surprised friends that I was training in a way of reading plants, even if I had never seen them before. Since then, I have indeed been able to practice on three continents and put my theory to the test.” —Julia Graves

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.

The author says of her approach, “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.”

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.

Read more by the author about this unique book.



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

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

Appendix: Holistic Plant Study
General Index
Plant Index

Related Titles

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  • Stars of the Meadow : Medicinal Herbs As Flower Essences
  • The Hidden Geometry of Flowers : Living Rhythms, Form, and Number
  • Thinking like a Plant : A Living Science for Life
  • Healing Plants : Herbal Remedies, from Traditional to Anthroposophical Medicine
  • The Light Root : Nutrition of the Future: A Spiritual-Scientific Study
  • Esoteric Physiology : Consciousness and Disease

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Biodynamics: Plants ; Body, Mind, Health & Healing: General ; Body, Mind, Health & Healing: Natural Medicine ; Body, Mind, Health & Healing: Plants and Science & Nature: General