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Doctrine Of Signatures

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The Doctrine Of Signatures is an ancient philosophy used by herbalists, which states that ailments of a certain part of the body can be cured by herbs bearing a physical resemblance to that part of the body.

A classic example is that described by William Coles, a 17th-century botanist and herbalist, who stated that walnuts, bearing a strong visual resemblance to the head and brain, were good for curing head ailments.

In old times the Doctrine Of Signatures was much used, and the old herbalists tended to observe the principle "as above, so below", believing that the universe was "divinely ordered". However in modern times the doctrine of signatures is generally considered superstitious within scientific circles. The scientists' argument, generally speaking, is that "correlation is not causation".

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[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_signatures

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