Earth Element dietary guidelines

A short and unrecognized season, the Earth element rules the last month of summer and beginning of autumn.  Or otherwise known as, Indian Summer.  It is the middle of the Chinese year and is the point of transition from Yang to Yin. 

To attune to the season, choose foods that are harmonizing and represent the center.  Mildly sweet foods, yellow or gold foods.Spleen/Pancreas and Stomach are in charge of digestion and distribution of food and nutrients. 

Spleen Qi deficiency

Warming foods or at least neutral in nature.  Food that is cold in temperature extinguish the ‘digestive fire’.  The best Spleen/Pancreas tonic is well cooked rice, AKA congee.  Also oats, spelt, sweet rice and mochi.  Other foods are winter squash, carrot, rutabaga, parsnip, turnip, garbanzo beans, black beans, peas, sweet potato, yam, pumpkin, onion, leek, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, garlic, nutmeg.  Small amounts of sweeteners like rice syrup, barley malt, molasses, cherry and date.  If your Spleen Qi deficiency is severe, use a small amount of animal products in your congee, madkeral, tuna, turkey, lamb.  Butter is the only recommended dairy product. 

Chew food well.  Small frequent meals are ideal and food should be cooked (steamed, stir fry, etc) 


No raw cold, sweet or mucus forming food (this means not only dairy, but anything that is creamy, example, soy milk, yogurt, frozen yogurt).   Limited use of meats, eggs, dairy and fats. 

Things that contribute to dampness:

Food that is highly refined or highly processed, Too many ingredients in a meal, Late night eating, Overeating

Foods that dry damp:

Rye, amaranth, corn, aduki beans, celery, lettuce, pumpkin, scallion, alfalfa, turnip, kohlrabi, white pepper, raw honey, all bitter herbs; chaparral, chamomile, pau d’arco and wild blue green algae.  Raw goat’s milk is one product that will usually not promote dampness. 

Much Love,

opens in a new windowChristina “Mei Wen” Martin, L.Ac., Dipl.AC, MTOM, FABORM.

opens in a new windowchristina@berkeley-acupuncture.comcreate new email

opens in a new windowChristina Martin is the founder of Tao to Wellness. She is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Teacher and has been in practice for fifteen years.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is California state licensed and a nationally certified Diplomat of Acupuncture. Christina entered Acupuncture school without ever having an Acupuncture treatment. She simply felt it was her calling.


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