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Earth element

Earth element associations: Spleen, Stomach, Late Summer, yellow.

To understand the earth element and all the other elements for that matter, just look to nature for the perfect example. Earth is our Mother. It is nurturing, grounding and reliable. Earth types are empathetic, sweet, patient and they like to be there for others and make people feel good and connected. They often like to cook and nourish their loved ones with good food and live in harmony. The time of this element is what we refer to in TICM as Late Summer when the bounty of summer provides full nourishment and abundance.

The organs associated with the Earth element are the Spleen and its partner the Stomach. These organs are responsible for digesting our food as well as everything we think and see. That is why the type of thoughts in the mind of the Earth element are even more important.

Physically, the Earth element types can have strong jaws with large features, especially the mouth. Their bodies are curvy.

When out of balance, Earth types can have digestive issues, swell easily, gain weight and are likely to experience Spleen deficiency and dampness. Stomach issues arise, weak muscles, food allergies and craving sweets are common. Their loving traits experience disharmony. Nurturing turns to meddling, empathy turns to crowding, sweetness turns to clinginess, listening turns to ambivalence, carrying turns to worried involvement, connections turn to overbearing attachments, facilitating turns to self-sacrifice.

How can earth types positively influence their health?

Nutrition and food therapy: replace sweets with sweet vegetables like yams, sweet potatoes, beets and carrots. Avoid cold food and drinks as well as dry items like crisps, crackers, the Spleen likes warm and moist foods.

Present: stay in the now and do not over worry about things you cannot control. Worrying is the Earth type's biggest downfall. Focus on the now and what you can control and be happy and practice gratitude for that in which you have now.

Connect: be with nature as that will be the best way to refuel, recharge and reconnect. Gardening is especially therapeutic.

Boundaries: develop healthy boundaries and learn how to graciously say "no" so you do not overextend yourself.

Herbs: use Spleen herbs to invigorate digestion, help anxiety and harmonise the Spleen.

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