Each of the elements are associated with different aspects of health and nature.
- The earth element relates to the season of winter and is associated with the colours green and brown.
- This element is associated with the liver, connective tissue and bones.
- Earth in nature is strong and stable just like a tree stands tall in the forest unmoved by external forces.
- When out of balance a person may be too fixed and rigid in their body and mind, resistant to change.
Continuing the mini-series of the elements we now move onto the element earth.
To learn about elemental eating you can listen to my latest podcast about Elemental and Intuitive eating here.
Read about constitutional medicine here.
Earth constitution characteristics:
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine an earth type is associated with the Kapha dosha. If you are an earth type your body is endomorph in shape with a larger frame, broad shoulders, thick muscles and bones making you physically resilient. You may have thick hair, radiant eyes and oily skin that is damp and cold to touch. Excess earth types are prone to gaining weight easily and when out of balance you may feel sluggish, slow and heavy.
Earth is yin in dual nature and if you are governed by this element, when balanced you are grounded, gentle, even-tempered, calm and forgiving. When out of balance you may be blunt, emotionally guarded, stubborn, greedy and over possessive of materialistic objects. You are naturally skilled at being structured, organised, disciplined and consistent with routines making you highly reliable to those around you. You are a creature of habit and may struggle to let go of structured routine so it is important that you practice the art of surrendering in order to become more adaptable to change when life paves you a new path. Change is inevitable and vital as it opens the doorway of opportunity for growth and transformation.
Energetically an earth dominant tissue state is “cold depression” where the depressed activity disrupts the tissues ability to move, function and stimulate bodily duties. This lack of stimulation leads to decreased blood flow, diminished cellular activity, accumulated waste products and consequently a lack of nutrients, oxygen and hydration within the tissues.
How does earth show up in your body?
The body expresses excess earth in the following signs and symptoms:
- Cold extremities (hands and feet)
- Lowered metabolism
- poor digestion
- Sluggish liver
- Weight gain or obesity
- Insulin sensitivity or resistance
- Heart disease
- Pale skin and tongue
- Slow pulse rate
- Lack of motivation
3 tips to balance excess earth:
1. To stimulate digestion and improve metabolism consume warming spices to generate heat in the body such as chilli, cayenne, ginger, black pepper, garlic, cinnamon, cloves and mustard. You can easily add these aromatic spices to your stir-fries, curries and stews. Another popular and easy way to warm-up your digestive fire is to brew a delicious traditional chai tea on your stove.
2. Consume bitter foods and herbs such as gentian, globe artichoke, bitter melon, ginger, rocket leaves and dandelion greens in order to stimulate the removal of excess metabolic waste that may have accumulated in your liver and large intestine. This will help to improve digestion and elimination, making you feel less sluggish!
3. To balance out your natural yin state, stimulate your body by engaging in high-energy (yang) exercise such as running, swimming, dancing, bike riding and cross fit training.