THE WOOD ELEMENT
The wood element is symbolized by a tree because those that fall into this constitutional type are strong and durable yet flexible. A wood element is considered to be in the birth process of the elemental cycle. This means that wood constitution people should be good at beginning new projects and generating ideas. As a tree has a strong root system a healthy wood element person has a well-grounded personality and strong ties to family. They have good judgment and are usually good decision makers. Anger and frustration are emotions often experienced by this elemental type especially when they are out of balance or stressed.
You thrive in the spring time or get sick if you are out of balance. You would do well consuming small amounts of sour foods on a regular basis.
Wood types tend to have a darker complexion with a tall, slender build and broad shoulders. Their strength (or weakness if out of balance) is in the tendons and joints of the body. The representative organs of this element are the liver and gal bladder. The eyes are another representative organ for this constitution and a wood element person should be vigilant about getting regular eye exams. When a wood element person is out of balance they can experience such ailments as depression, structural weakness, PMS, hypoglycemia, allergies and Reynaud’s syndrome.
• Get regular physical exercise (20 minutes 3x a week minimum.) Your element would benefit from more rigorous exercise that works up a sweat like running, cycling or surfing.
• Avoid or decrease consumption of heavy, greasy, or fried foods, refined sugar and stimulants like caffeine
• Chew your foods thoroughly
• Consume small amounts of sour foods on a regular basis
• A 10-20 minute stretching routine daily would be beneficial (ie calisthenics, yoga or pilates)
• One glass of wine (preferable red) in the evening helps to regulate liver function and has been shown to have a positive impact on the cardiovascular system.
The following list of foods have shown to be beneficial to your element and associated organs. The goal is to work as many of these foods into your regular diet as possible. This information is merely a guideline and one should be sure to eat a varied balanced diet with foods from all the food groups.
Grains: Oats, wheat
Meat: (no more than 1-3 servings per week) Sheep, Chicken (livers)
Fish: (no more than 2-4 servings per week) Crab, Mussel, Shrimp
Vegetables: Apple, Artichoke, Beet, Carrot, Mushroom (button), Radish, Squash, Watercress, Aborigine, Caper, Coriander leaf (Cilantro), Kohlrabi, Leek, Mustard Leaf, Onion, Pepper, Scallion, Turnip
Fruit: Grapefruit, Grape, Lemon/ Lime, Peach, Tangerine, Cherry, Lychee, Peach, Rhubarb, Raspberry
Nuts: Black Sesame Seed, Chestnut, Pine Kennel
Beans: Mung Bean, Green beans
Herbs & Spices: Aniseed, Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Chive Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Dill Seed, Fennel Seed, Hawthorn, Horseradish, Juniper, Marjoram, Mustard, Nutmeg, Pepper, Saffron, Savory, Thyme, Turmeric, Bay, Cayenne, Chili, Chive Leaf, Ginger, Hawthorne, Nutmeg, Turmeric
Beverages: Chamomile, Jasmine, Lime Flower, Peppermint, Star anise, Wine (one glass a day, preferable red)
Oil & Condiments: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Soya oil, Vinegar
HERBAL OR SUPPLEMENT SUGGESTIONS
Take a daily multivitamin
Milk Thistle is a gentle way to cleanse the liver. Take as directed over a 6-8 week period once or twice a year.
Essential Amino Acids- Amino Acids are the building blocks of life. It is important to consume enough of them in their natural form so the body is able to perform all of its different functions as best as possible. Amino acids are found in all living things and are absorbed best by the body when consumed in the form or organic fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy. They can also be found in pill form.
Mint Tea- Mint is a powerful herb that can help to calm and sooth the liver. A cup in the afternoon would be beneficial.
Dandelion and Barberry Root have shown positive effects on boosting liver function. Can be taken in smaller doses over an extended period of time to help maintain liver health or take larger dose over a few days for cleansing purposes.
Cistanche Powder, Zhi Shi or Citrus Auranti- Helps to increase energy, boost immune function, fight off colds and flu. It strengthens the digestive system and increases metabolic rate resulting in better digestion, balanced appetite and weight loss. Cistanche has also been shown to stimulate fat metabolism. This herb is also anti microbial and is good for cleansing the body.
Gynostemma or Jiaolan Tea- This herb has shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as being effective in the treatment of cirrhosis of the liver. Inflammation is a naturally occurring process in the body that when is left untreated can cause such disorders as arthritis, cirrhosis, coronary artery disease and many more auto immune disorders.
Turmeric- This herb has been used for over 2500 years in India. It has anti-microbial properties that help fight against viruses and bacteria. Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties which is good for cardiovascular health and can be useful for the treatment of pain. It has been used for many years in Chinese medicine to treat depression and is a natural detoxifier of the liver. This herb has been shown to speed the healing process and repair damaged cells. Turmeric has also shown positive effects on the treatment of many types of cancer.
Spirulina- Has been shown to help prevent heart damage, lower cholesterol, treat anemia, and can help lower blood pressure. In Chinese medicine it is seen as a blood tonic and is used to treat low energy, poor memory and anemia.
Ginger- A spicy aromatic herb that not only provides great flavor to food but has a profound medicinal effect on the body. Ginger has a long history of treating many ailments but with a particular emphasis on digestive problems. Ginger is great for soothing the spleen and stomach therefore it treats such disorders as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach and pain. Ginger should be used multiple times throughout the week in regular meals but consider an additional supplement or ginger root tea if you should be experiencing any stomach ailments.
Onion (in particular red onion)- The onion has an assortment of health benefits essential for all constitutions and should be consumed daily. Onions contain a specific flavanoid that helps to maintain digestive tract health. The level of allyl ropyl disulfide and chromium found in onions helps to lower blood sugar levels. They also contain a compound that inhibits the breakdown of bone cells. Onions have strong anti-inflammatory properties which help to treat the symptoms of many disorders like arthritis, cardiovascular disease and pain.
Eucommia Bark (Du Zhong)- Has shown in studies to improve bone, ligament, tendon and kidney function. Eucommia can help with stiffness, arthritis, knee & hip problems, overall joint health and also has diuretic properties to help with swelling. The collagen contained in this herb helps the skin and connective tissue to retain its elasticity resulting in firmer skin and stronger joints. This herb is great for building essential energy or Jing and can help to increase and improve sexual function.
Wood types benefit from working up a sweat so get out there and move. It may be hard to implement at first but consider such things as taking the stairs or ridding a bike to work to get your cardio rate up. Bikram or hot yoga would be an excellent choice or simply running or the elliptical trainer (for less impact) at the gym.
Deep Tissue Massage
Detoxifying body wrap
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