What is the Doctrine of Signatures?

The Doctrine of Signatures is used around the world in pre-modern cultures where thought-by-association is accepted as a valid means of obtaining knowledge.

The idea is that a plant looks like the disease, organ, or person it can heal.

For instance, Celandine (Chelidonium majus) has yellow/orange sap like bile. It was official in the U. S. Pharmacopeia until 1951 for “biliousness;” now they just remove the gallbladder.

Horsetail (Equisetum arvensis) looks and feels like course horse hair, so it is good for the hair. Actually, it is beneficial for nearly all connective tissue. It also grows on wet sands, so it is a remedy for the kidneys.

Thus, the shape, color, sensory impression, and habitat all can be used to determine the uses of a plant.

The putrid smell and bad taste of Figwort (Scrophularia spp.) indicate that it is a remedy for putrefaction. Since it has gland-like or hemorrhoids-like flowers, it is called Figwort and Pilewort and used as a lymphatic and hemorrhoid remedy.


Who is this for?

Do you love plants, herbalism, metaphor, and being in wonder and awe of this vast world? This is for you! This is for all experience levels, beginner to advanced.

Enjoy on-going exploratory and interactive classes. Each month Leigh will guide us in discovering the signatures of a new herb; encouraging and helping students to see this amazing plant world through new eyes, or perhaps simply with a new perspective. At the end of each month, Leigh will present a LIVE online summary of what the groups discovered along with her own studies and insights. Matthew will chime in on occasion too!

These classes are part of the unique and central concept of the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism curriculum: Nature Wisdom.



Join Us!

Free Option: Anyone can join in the discussion on the Doctrine of Signatures Facebook Group or MWIH Community. This is the main form of interaction BEFORE the live class. The live class is not included in the free option.

Subscription Option: With the subscription, you get access to the above free option, all previous classes,  and the option to attend live classes. 

*If you are subscribed to the Library,  you have access to all previous classes and upcoming DOS classes. The subscription option is for people who wish to join outside of the Library subscription. 


You will learn and experience...

  • What is the Doctrine of Signatures

  • How to identify a signature in a plant

  • How to use the language of intuition, metaphor, and archetype to access plant signatures

  • A whole new view of the plant world and the greater environment!

  • A greater connection with and intuition about the plants and their amazing healing potential!

Curriculum

Year 1
Year 2
Burdock - Arctium lappa
February: Cleavers
Summary: Fri, Feb 24th, 7 pm Central (Chicago)
Oak - Quercus spp. March: Hawthorn
Summary: Thurs, Mar 23rd, 7 pm Central (Chicago)
Cedar - Thuja occidentalis April: Coltsfoot
Summary: Thurs, May 4th, 7 pm Central (Chicago)
White Pine - Pinus strobus May: Trillium
Summary: Thurs, Jun 1st, 7 pm Central (Chicago)
Vervain - Verbena spp. June: Nettles
Summary: Thurs, June 29th, 7 pm Central (Chicago)
Violet - Viola spp. July: Monarda
Summary: TBD
Pasque Flower - Pulsatilla spp. August: Sumac
Summary: TBD
Wild Geranium - Geranium maculatum September: Sunflower Seed
Summary: TBD
Creeping Charlie - Glechoma hederacea October: Solomon’s Seal and False Solomon’s Seal
Summary: TBD
Plantain - Plantago spp. November: Rabbit Tobacco
Summary: TBD
Motherwort - Leonurus cardiaca December: Star Anise
Summary: TBD
Prickly Lettuce - Lactuca spp. January: Thyme
Summary: TBD
Goldenrod - Solidago spp.

Year 2 schedule and herbs are subject to change. See the schedule above or on the calendar for upcoming classes.

easy time zone converter


 

 

 

2 Rental Options

Recurring monthly or 12 months (get 2 months free). Includes both Year 1 & 2.
*If you are subscribed to the Library, you have access to all previous and upcoming DOS classes. This subscription option is for people who wish to join outside of the Library subscription.


* No coupon code. Discount is automatically applied. Sale pricing is legacied. Your cost will not change while your subscription is active (until canceled). The monthly payment option is a recurring, automatic payment. The 1-year option is a single, non-recurring payment.  Contact us within 2 weeks of your expiry date to renew the 1-year access option at your current price.



The Library Bundle

Access the Doctrine of Signatures series and many more classes and courses.
(Full list can be found on The Library page.)

Start at any time! Complete the lessons at your own pace.

Certificates designed and signed by Matthew Wood are available for purchase to those who successfully complete all tests with a passing grade of 70% or better. More details regarding herbal course certificates are here.

Tests are multiple-choice, and multiple attempts are permitted.

For those of you seeking clinical hours, we have a list of all classes/courses with corresponding accreditation hours.




Want More?
Enjoy the Free Intro Class

with Matthew Wood and Leigh Arnoldy

Matt and Leigh help you dive into the fascinating topic and study of the Doctrine of Signatures in this Free Intro Class. Enroll for free to access this class and access the extra resource materials.


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My age is 34 and I began reading M.W. at the age of 19. I must express, that as an initial reader back then, the MWIH new videos have been a joyous gift from...

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My age is 34 and I began reading M.W. at the age of 19. I must express, that as an initial reader back then, the MWIH new videos have been a joyous gift from him and his colleagues. Ultimately, to anyone interested: buy all his books and read those, as you shall learn so much more. I can not attest to school, as I am not enrolled; but I own and have studied nearly everyone of his books, and I must say that my own experience has shown to me that his testaments and scholarly citations have inspired me more than any other herbalist. To all herbalist: grow and wildcraft herbs locally for the emerging renaissance of American herbalism. The fate of this knowledge is in our hands.

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Amazing. You wrote the exact information and guideposts for me to follow on my Spirit quest. My whole life I've been mocked for how I lived in the world. Hea...

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