Let’s start Wednesday morning off with some magic! Now, today’s post is rather simple. Beet chips (but so good). However, today I wanted to talk about a concept today that will help you look, not just at these chips, but food – all plants and herbs in general, with a new curiosity. Oooo this excites me so much! So here we go…
The Doctrine of Signatures
There is a hugely profound, ancient wisdom we are taught in Herbal Medicine, known as the Doctrine of Signatures. Put simply, it is the belief that the physical appearance of all plants gives clues as to the healing, nourishing magic they contain within. Their unique shape and form is in fact a signature. Herbalists and wise women of the middle ages took care to examine a plant, paying special attention to its shape, colour, and structure. Healers believed that those that resembled parts of the human body would help to cure an affliction of that body part.
This theory was greatly popularised by the 16th century Renaissance physician Paracelsus…
‘Nature marks each growth…according to its curative benefit.’
Paracelsus was an interesting character by the way. Definitely someone I’d have a fantasy dinner party with. He was an alchemist, botanist, astrologer and wandering nomad, regarded as the Father of chemical pharmacology.
So let’s have a look at some examples… Walnuts look like a brain, and are high in the omega-3 fatty acids that support brain health. Carrots look like eyes when you slice them, and are high in beta-carotene; the precursor to vitamin A, an essential nutrient for eye health. Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos...like…you got it!
So how can you interpret these plant clues for yourself?
Pay close attention to the habitat of the plant – if it grows in a swamp, perhaps it can help with damp, respiratory conditions. Appreciate the colour – reds and purples relate to the blood and circulatory system, pink to body tissue, yellow represents the liver, bile, gallbladder and spleen, white – our bones and connective tissue, orange – vitality and energy, and blue – antiseptic. Does it have a scent? Perhaps it deodorises the body. Analyse the shape too – an avocado looks like a womb. Look at the texture of the plant, does it have thorns? Perhaps it helps with pain.
And finally, look for any individual quirks – these quirks are the greatest clues.
So…thanks for the tangent Lauren…but what about beetroot?!
Oh yeah! See how excited I got! Well, beets are easy to interpret. Their deep red colour indicates that it deeply nourishes the blood and circulatory system. They are high in nitrates which help to relax blood vessels, helping to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow throughout the body. Beets also grow in the dirt – in amongst all kinds of microbes – so they are also possible immune supporters.
So now to finish, here is the world’s simplest recipe for some tasty, crispy, blood boosting beet chips:
| makes a good stash |
- 2 big beets
- Coconut oil
- Sea Salt
- Peel the beets and slice into chips using a mandolin.
- Lay them flat on a teflex sheet on a dehydrator try, and baste lightly with coconut oil.
- Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Dehydrate at 115˚F till the desired crispiness is reached.