The Doctrine of Signatures Quiz Rhiannon_REEP 2017-10-03T09:52:20+00:00
Of the 2,590 plant species native to Britain, at least 600 have been used in healing – both in folk cures and in conventional medicines. Many of these plants are still in use today. For example, yew needles are an important ingredient in cancer medication, while foxgloves contain an essential compound for the treatment of heart conditions. A peculiar form of folk healing called the ‘Doctrine of Signatures’ was practiced in the West from the Middle Ages until the 18th century. Followers of the Doctrine believed that plants were divinely endowed with healing properties for the benefit of humans. They believed that God, or the gods, had given plants the characteristics of the part of the human body or the ailment they were designed to treat. Most treatments didn’t work because the Doctrine was based on an ordered form of superstition. The few that did work did so purely by coincidence! Rather surprisingly, there are still a few believers in the Doctrine of Signatures today… Take our Doctrine of Signatures quiz to find out what these 12 plants were believed to treat.