In the world around us, the element of Water is of course found in the rivers, the seas, the rain, and the dew on the grass. The qualities of Water are that it is fluid, cleansing, changing, and diluting.

Each element changes in relationship to those around it. Water can be hot or cold depending on how active the Fire element is. It has a cyclical relationship with Air in the journey of aspiration and condensation. It can wear away structures of Earth, it can also carry Earth (in the form of minerals) within it. Earth gives boundaries to Water – which is boundless – think of riverbanks and streams.

In your body, the Water element is represented by all the fluids you contain. It is part of your blood, your lymph, and your urine. So it governs the mucous membranes, the lymphatic system, and the kidneys. Water is also traditionally associated with the emotions.

The Water element is linked to the STEM of a plant – the part that brings water up from the ground to all of the plant parts. In my tradition, the Water element is linked to the season of Spring, when the waters of the land which have been made immobile as ice, are released again as the temperatures rise.

The elements can cause us problems when they are out of balance with the others. Too much of any quality is not good! Unchecked fluidity leads to a lack of boundaries, we have problems in the Water governed parts of our body, we can start to retain water, and have problems with our kidneys or urinary tract infections. Too little water and the body is dehydrated, can’t cleanse itself, and may become toxic.


The Water element governs the stem of a plant, the part that brings water up from the ground and delivers it to the other parts of the whole. In large trees, this massive movement of water can be hundreds of gallons being pumped all the way to the top and back down again.

Plants that are watery include things like cucumber, chickweed, and cleavers. They each carry a lot of water so can be bringing this element to the body (like cucumber) where there is too little fluid present or can be assisting the cleansing of the body (like chickweed). Cleavers supports the lymphatic systems of the body and helps the removal of metabolites through the lymph, and the draining of the lymph system where water retention has become a problem. These situations all demonstrate the Water element being out of balance.

If you recognise that the Water element could be out of balance within you, try drinking galium water if you have water retention and cucumber water if you are dehydrated. Simply put either slices of cucumber or a handful of galium stems in a jug of water, leave overnight and drink throughout the next day.