Tǔ – 土 – Earth



  • Governs transportation and transformation of; Food into qi and blood, Water transformation, Raising of the pure
  • Controls the blood (Qi holds the blood in the vessels)
  • Dominates the muscle and the four limbs
  • Opens into the mouth, reflected on the lips

Paired with: Stomach

  • Receives and decomposes food



The Chinese think Earth is associated with the qualities of patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, hard work, and stability. The earth element is also nurturing and seeks to draw all things together with itself, in order to bring harmony, rootedness and stability. Other attributes of the earth element include ambition, stubbornness, responsibility and long-term planning.

In the controlling cycle, earth controls water by damming or absorbing it; wood can overcome it by breaking it up (by the roots).

In the conductive cycle, earth is produced by fire's ashes, and in turn melts to produce metal.