Flower Essences est. 1977
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Tomato (strength and perseverance)

Like most people, I also have some personal experience with the tomato plant. The red color, and even the size of the fruit, suggests a correlation with the heart/courage. When we slice a tomato horizontally, we see chambers, reminiscent of the chambers of the heart. The red color also can represent the root chakra, the idea of having enough, of being provided for.

Tomato seedlings are especially vulnerable to damping off, a condition caused by too much water (emotion) and too little air circulation (mental stagnation). This would suggest that stagnant emotion would thwart the Tomato personality. They need fresh air, fresh ideas, changes.

Tomato’s roots are much deeper than the roots of corn, and they manage to survive more severe drought periods, suggesting that Tomato is a more powerful ally during periods of greatest stress.

Tomato plants have long, branching, hairy stems. Herbalist Matthew Wood tells us that under the traditional Doctrine of Signatures, hairy things are considered helpful for the lungs or blood (although I don’t yet exactly grasp the physical symbolism here). Apparently the plant’s hairs are viewed as representing the tiny capillaries.

Tomatoes contain lycopene and are believed to help prevent prostate cancer, which some suggest comes from an over-aggressive attitude toward women. And of course aggression comes from a fear that you don’t have enough power. So tomatoes would assure us that we do have strength and don’t have to cut others to shreds to feel strong enough in ourselves.

In the tomato’s roots, we see a strongly branching system, similar to the nerves in the body. There is an awareness of everything, a perception of all the stimuli.

As a member of the nightshade family, tomato can be an allergen to sensitive people. There was a time when humans considered tomatoes to be poisonous. The tomato allergy can be common in people with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue, people whose nerves seem to be on sensory overload. Life seems to be a bit much for these people.

Both hybrids and heirloom tomatoes are tough, yet they need to be supported on some sort of trellis, like some Tomato personalities, forceful, dominant, yet needing/demanding things be done for them to prop them up.

Tomato plants are tough enough that the elderly can grow them in big tubs on their balconies at the old folks’ homes. The harvest seems to peak in the dog days of summer, when people’s energies are flagging from the endless heat (so tomatoes show up when we need them most).

Tomato fruits can remain on the vine after the plant appears to be dead, suggesting a valiancy and unconquerable spirit.

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