Julia Graves' first book - "The Language of Plants" - is a brilliant book that gives a comprehensive insight into the doctrine of signatures. This is a topic which has, to my knowledge, never been written about as in depth as in Ms. Graves' book.
Part I covers the doctrine of signature in theory.
The first chapter is an interesting historical overview of the doctrine of signatures.
The next chapter explains very nicely what exactly is meant by "doctrine of signatures".
Ms. Graves explains how to tune into plants - "plant attunement" and how to differentiate betwenn "chatter" that may clutter your mind and actual information that the plant is "communicating" about itself.
Chapter 4 explores living nature - nature as a vibrant, living thing. Here we learn more about signatures - i. e. that they can be similars or contraries.
Also we explore plants as equals.
Chapter 5 delves into using the doctrine of signatures in practice.
Chapter 6 explains what is NOT a signature, which is a very important aspect to understand in order to use the doctrine of signatures properly.
Part II of the book then covers in great detail the doctrine of signatures in practice.
Ms. Graves covers all aspects of signature: colours, shapes, smells, tastes, touch, understanding as well as elements and environment. She also goes into planetary signatures, organ and physiological signatures, disease signatures and animal signatures.
"The Language of Plants" is an incredibly rich source of holistic herbal information. Not only does one learn alot of interesting things about alot of plants, one learns how to figure out new or different aspects of plants and how to put them to use in the most optimal way for the individual patient.
This is not an "esoteric" book that suggests "shamanic" trips to talk to plants but rather a fresh and detailed look at a straightforward, age-old method of learning about and utilising medicinal plants.
Ms. Graves takes care to point out that one should approach the use of signature with care, utilising good, known resources to double check ones discoveries to insure safe practice.
This book is fascinating, educational for all herbalists - from beginner to advanced - and can also be used as an excellent reference book if one wanted to look up i.e. what a shape or colour might be a signature for or if one wanted to learn about plants that are useful for pain, asthma or lyme disease etc.
I cannot find enough words of praise for this unique book and highly recommend it to any herbalist, holistic practitioner or anyone who is interested in plants, especially medicinal ones.
A quote from the book:
"nature lies before one like a book asking to be read"
Well, if you want to read nature's book, Julia Graves' book would be the best "how to" book to do exactly that.
Thank you Julia for writing this wonderful book!