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The Five-Element Theory

The five stages of transformation of energy also reflect the energy functions related
to two major cycles & twelve meridians as well as our senses, environment, food, organs and so on.

The Five Elements:

Fire corresponds with expansive energy, sadness and joy, the heart and small intestine, and bitter foods such as green kale.

Earth corresponds with downward energy, worry and fulfillment, the spleen and stomach, and sweet foods such as squash.

Metal corresponds with contracted energy, grief and hope, the lungs and large intestine, and pungent foods such as garlic.

Water corresponds with floating energy, fear and will, the kidney and bladder, and salty foods such as seaweed.

Tree corresponds with upward energy, anger and kindness, the liver and gall bladder, and sour foods such as lemons.

Because each element nourishes a specific part of the body, if you experience problems in a particular area (e.g., the stomach), you must consume more foods of the corresponding element (in this case, earth foods) in order to restore balance and health.

The 5 Elements Chart

Tree

Fire

Earth

Metal

Water

Energy

Upward

Expansive

Downward

Contracted

Floating

Season

Spring

Summer

Late Summer

Autumn

Winter

Environment

Windy

Hot

Humid

Dry

Cold

Time of day

Morning

Noon

Afternoon

Evening

Night

Grain

Wheat, barley

Corn

Millet

Rice

Beans

Colour

Green

Red

Yellow/Brown

White

Blue/Black

Taste

Sour

Bitter

Sweet

Pungent

Salty

Emotions (-)

Anger

Sadness

Worry

Grief

Fear

Emotions (+)

Kindness

Joy

Fulfillment

Hope

Will

Sense

Sight

Speech

Taste

Smell

Hearing

Organs

Liver Gall Bladder

Heart Small Intestine

Spleen Stomach

Lungs Large Intestine

Kidneys Bladder

Example of Five Macrobiotic Food Tastes and Flavours

Sour: sauerkraut, pickles, brown rice vinegar, umeboshi plums, shiso leaves, lemon rinds, or lime rinds.

Bitter: gomashio, tekka, green nori, parsley, wakame powder, dandelion, or walnuts;

Sweet: miso, applesauce, barley malt, brown rice syrup, mirin, or raisins.

Pungent: scallions, watercress, onions, chives, grated daikon, gingerroot, garlic, mustard, or horseradish.

Salty: gomashio, shio kombu, wakame powder, umeboshi plums or paste, miso, or shoyu

 

 

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