Digestive Health and the Earth Element

The earth element in Asian medicine is present in the transition between seasons. The earth element represents what nurtures and supports us. It is associated with digestion- physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is the archetype of a mother, the great nourisher, and has its roots in the family.
If a person has an earth deficiency, they can have weak digestion, chronic digestive issues, a tendency toward loose stools, low energy, and more. They may also get sick every time the season changes. Often with the earth element imbalance will present with craving sugar and other foods that will tend to aggregate the earth energetics of the body. If the earth’s energy is weak, digestion is often insufficient for complex food combinations.
Another aspect of the earth imbalance can be excessive phlegm and or dampness that is aggravated by dairy, wheat, and sugar. Emotionally, when the earth’s energy is imbalanced there can be a tendency towards over-thinking or excessive worry. If this imbalance is significant, the person may worry to the point of obsession.
When digestion is upset, avoid the following foods: spicy, greasy, peanuts, mango’s, raw, cold/or frozen, wheat, dairy, and sugar. Also, avoid complex meal combinations. It is a sign of restored balance when, after simplifying the diet for some time, trigger foods and or complicated meals do not cause digestive upset and also when sugar cravings are absent or well controlled. A sign of emotional balance for the earth element is when a person can control the tendency to over-think or worry. In supporting the earth element energetically, nourish your body, home, and cultivate your sense of family and community.
If the digestion is out of balance, acupuncture treatments and herbal formulas can be essential to help rebalance the digestive health. Foods that balance the earth element are: orange/yellow foods & bland foods, as well as meals that are deeply warming and also simple and easy to digest, such as conjee or Kitchari. Eating simple meals can help to rebalance the digestive system, especially after having an acute stomach upset. Enteric-coated probiotics are also essential when rebalancing the digestive system.

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