Beans and the Doctrine of Signatures

The doctrine of signatures is an old principle which basically states that a substance can be used to treat that which it resembles. The example which will be used in this article is that beans are beneficial to the Kidneys because they look like kidneys. This might seem like a primitive and silly notion at first. However, this concept is at the root of almost all traditional systems of herbal medicine. The traditional uses of herbs are commonly validated by modern, scientific investigation. All that changes is the explanation as to how the herb works. In modern times we ascribe the function of an herb to a set of chemical compounds instead of to its appearance. I am not sure this makes a difference, as the end result is the same.

Beans benefit the Kidneys because they have resonance with them. There is a similar quality of energy which underlies the formation of each and gives rise to a similar structure. Beans are generally high in fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates. They are, in my opinion, superfoods, and they are terribly overlooked. Beans produce strong, stable energy. They are good for draining excess fluid from the body, and they aid in the body’s ability to utilize protein more efficiently. They are particularly useful for regulating blood sugar levels. The smaller beans typically have more medicinal value. My personal favorites are black eyed peas, aduki beans, black beans, and mung beans.

Chinese medicine utilizes several beans as medicinal herbs. The most commonly used and familiar are mung beans (clear Summer Heat), aduki beans (treat swollen legs), and soybeans (fortify the Spleen).