The final of the elemental series is here, and in this article we will discuss the lesser known element ether.
This series has focused on the elements from an Ayurvedic perspective, and Ether is one of the elements that forms their constitutions.
To learn about elemental eating you can listen to my podcast about Elemental and Intuitive eating here.
Read about constitutional medicine here.
Each of the elements are associated with different aspects of health and nature.
- The ether element relates to the transitions in between seasons and is associated with the colours black, white or sometimes rainbow due to its embodiment of all nature.
- This element is associated with the brain, nerves and consciousness.
- Ether in nature is pure consciousness that is formed via the harmonisation of all elements (air, fire, water, earth) and is the invisible web of life that weaves everything together.
- Ether is often referred to as “space” or “spirit”.
- When out of balance a person may feel out of touch with their intuition, feelings, thoughts and sensations.
Ether constitution characteristics:
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine an ether type is associated with the vata dosha.
If you are an ether type you may be thin and small in frame with long slender limbs with visually prominent joints and veins. Your face, skin, lips and ears may be thin and ether types are known for having very dry pale skin and course hair.
Your skin may also be naturally cold to touch. Constitutionally ether is highly active so you may find that your movements as well as your mind are quick and dynamic with an underlying tension.
Ether is a balance of both yin and yang in dual nature due to its harmonious union of all elements. If you are governed by this element, when balanced you are intuitive, creative, imaginative and highly visionary. When out of balance you may feel restless, fearful, timid, nervous, foggy and ungrounded. Do you find that it is easy to learn something but you seem to forget quickly? Then you may be an ether type!
Energetically an ether dominant tissue state is wind tension that leads to nervousness, spasm, constriction and overall tension in the body. Wind tension affects both the mental and physical body due to an imbalance of the nerves.
How does ether show up in your body?
The body expresses excess ether in the following signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty in concentration
- Memory difficulties
- Muscle spasms
- Trembling movements
- Backward type symptoms of hiccough, nausea, reflux and vomiting
- Sudden bloating and/or gas
- Alternation of diarrhoea and constipation
- Alternation of chills and fever
- Cold hands and feet
- Feeling cold in the joints
- Quivering tongue
- Wiry and tense pulse
3 tips to balance excess ether:
- To improve cognitive brain function and improve memory, try nootropic herbal medicines such as Bacopa monniera (Bacopa), Ginkgo biloba (Gingko) and Paeonia lactiflora (Peony). Nootropics generally work by directing circulation to the brain to improve function.
- Treat yourself to a magnesium salt bath to help reduce tension and relax your body. To enhance this sense of inner calm whilst enjoying your bath sip on nervine herbal teas such as Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola), Schisandra chinensis (Schisandra), Scutellaria lateriflora (Skullcap), Bacopa monniera (Bacopa) and Verbena officinalis (Vervain).
- To ground your energy when you are feeling restless, go outside, take your shoes off and touch your feet on the bare earth- this is known as Earthing. Studies have shown that this technique helps to settle the mind by activating your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). Try to practice earthing daily for 10 minutes in the sun if possible (for extra vitamin D exposure) to enjoy the benefits!