This plant, despised as a weed, is one of nature’s greatest healing aids, and is a medicine chest in itself. It is a hardy perennial, and grows wild nearly everywhere.
It has a fleshy root and a straight stem up to 20cm tall that rises precariously above the ground, and is topped by a bright yellow golden flower which is a collection of tiny florets each providing a ripe seed, in time.
12 leaves grow flat to the ground in a circular arrangement with the tall stem arising from the middle.
A native of Europe and North America, T. officinale has become naturalized in Australia and occurs widely in the cooler parts of the country .
This plant as a herbal remedy, is good for diabetes, tonification of the liver, kidneys and gallbladder, and improves digestion. The leaves, used as a diuretic, may be taken either raw or cooked, and the roots are commonly ground and drunk as a bitter-tasting substitute for coffee.
Doctrine of Signatures
The flower of this extremely beneficial plant hovers and waves in the air way above the ground. It’s as though it’s as far from the physical as it can be, cut off from its roots and sustenance. The leaves and roots have been used for many hundreds of years as herbal medicines, and the leaves are flat on the ground in a circular arrangement, as if they are hugging the earth . The flower seems to be totally disconnected from the base.
The flower head is a bright, distinct yellow, the colour of the intellect or the conscious mind and is made up of many little flowerlets. Each flowerlet has a truncated petal, which appears as if it has been cut off sharply at the outer border.
Taken together, the flowerlets appear to be highly ordered and structured, sitting closely together in a circular arrangement making up the flower head. It is as if there are many separate thoughts going around and around in the head, not going anywhere.
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