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The Element of Earth

In the early Chinese Medicine texts, it was said that the element of earth permitted sewing, growing and reaping. This theme of cultivating crops makes sense because the element of earth, in a medical context, relates to the spleen and the stomach. These two organs are effectively the Chinese Medicine version of the digestive system.

The element earth follows fire (as discussed in the previous blog titled “The Element of Fire”) and it generates the element of metal. This is logical given that in nature, the earth creates the formation of metal. Some Chinese Medicine theorists suggest the element of earth has a far more integral role within Five Element Theory. They believe the flow of energy always returns to earth before moving on to the next element. This means the earth element is directly connected to all the other elements.

Following are examples of how the element of earth is interpreted within Chinese Medicine theory.

Yin Organ: The Spleen – The spleen is related to earth. Treatment of earth related imbalances may involve treating the spleen.

Yang Organ: The Stomach – Treating the element of earth can also treat imbalances associated with the stomach.

Climate: Dampness – The spleen is easily affected and taken out of balance by dampness.

Colour: Yellow – A yellow or sallow complexion can be indicative of an imbalance in the earth element.

Taste: Sweet – food and/or herbal medicine which is sweet will benefit the spleen.

Sense Organ: The Mouth and Lips – A good sense to taste and moist rosy lips are often a good sign of a healthy spleen.

Tissues: Muscles – A weakness or atrophy in the muscles can be indicative of a spleen imbalance.

Emotions: Pensiveness – Excessive pensiveness and over thinking can lead to the element of earth to become unbalanced.

Sounds: Singing – Speaking in a singing tone can indicate the spleen is out of balance.