In the world around us, the element of Fire is of course the sun. The qualities of Fire are that it brings warmth and light, and that it is transformative. Think of wood being turned to ash, or heat turning a pile of raw food into a hot plate of stew.
Each element changes in relation to those around it. Fire can be quenched by the Water element, but Fire also has the ability to transform Water into its gaseous form. Fire can warm and dry the Earth providing enough heat to germinate seeds, but in excess it will dry the Earth and scorch delicate new plants. Air provides oxygen which feeds Fire – think of a forest fire spreading when the winds blow across it.
In your body, the Fire element is represented by the digestive fire and your circulation which brings warmth to your whole body. So it follows that the element of Fire governs the digestion and part of the cardiovascular system. The Fire element is linked to the FLOWER of a plant. It is also linked to the Summer season when the sun is at its zenith and we experience the highest temperatures.
The elements can cause us problems when they are out of balance with the others. Too much or too little can cause symptoms. Unchecked heat causes inflammation, or is present in acute infection. Allergies accompanied by rashes and itchiness are due to excess heat. If there is not enough Fire you will find low energy but the Fire dominant person tends to work very hard – so you can also burn out. Traditionally, excessive Fire is also linked with anger.
HERBS OF FIRE
The Fire element governs the flowers of a plant, the part of the plant that is most beautiful – that brings light and colour. Other plants we think of as being high in the Fire element would be hot in flavour, or those that stimulate the circulation bringing heat to the body.
Some of the most common firey plants include ginger and chillies – clearly bringing heat to the body which we can recognise both in our taste buds and also in the warming sensation that we feel after we have eaten them.
If you recognise that you are lacking the Fire element you could bring heat to your body by drinking hot teas and adding ginger and chillies where you can to foods. However, if you feel like your Fire element is out of balance by being too strong, then cooling, watery plants would be very useful to douse some of that heat. As we discussed when we looked at the Water element, cucumber, chickweed, and Galium are three watery, cooling herbs that could help here.