Brief Introduction about Five Elements and the application on Human
( 5 elements, i.e. wood, fire, water, metal & earth : used in the Chinese natural medicine to explain various physiological
and pathological phenomena)
Foreigners are always puzzled when they first heard about the 5-element theory. They find it too abstract
and hard to understand. It is , in fact, quite plain and universally accepted as a series of natural laws in this country.
Now we try to explain in an easy way by showing you some examples:
And the interactions among 5 elements:
- Fire evolved from wood, because wood can catch fire;
- Earth evolved from fire, as anything on fire becomes ashes afterwards;
- Metal evolved from earth, because metals are from the earth;
- Water evolved from metal, as all metals can melt into liquid;
- Wood evolved from water, because water is indispensable for plants.
- Wood prevails over earth, because trees grow out of the earth;
- Earth prevails over water, as earth stops the flood;
- Water prevails over fire, because it extinguishes fire;
- Fire prevails over metal, as heat melts metals;
- Metal prevails over wood, because wood can be cut or sawn by metals.
The above-mentioned, if understood, becomes first step towards a better understanding of this 5 -element theory
which sounds mythical and profound. In face, with the development of this 5-element theory, they have been endowed with more
meanings.The followings are the analogy drawn by the Chinese scholars majoring in preserving
health by comparing the nature of these elements:
- Liver associates with wood;
- Heart associates with fire;
- Spleen associates with earth;
- Lung associates with metal;
- Kidney associates with water.
- Circulation of Assimilation: liver-heart-spleen-lung-kidney;
- Circulation of Depression: liver-spleen-kidney-heart-lung.
These interactions have been tested and approved by human clinical experiments. For example, spleen turns
food and water into nutrition and vigour to nourish lung, A bad functioned lung will impair the function of spleen.