The Earth Element

Chinese Character for the Earth Element

Late summer brings the harvest and also the element of Earth. The Earth element pertains to the digestive tract. It offers us an ability to take care of ourselves and others. It is Mother Earth. Late summer is a perfect time of year for the Earth element; the time when the Earth gives its bounty in the form of the harvest. The Earth element also gives us our ability to think, study and learn (or digest) new information. The color is yellow and the flavor is sweet.

As the harvest continues, we begin to look to autumn and the cooler weather to come.  And with that cooler weather we begin to cook our foods more, which is ideal for an Earth type who tends towards digestive deficiency. In fact, soups are the perfect food for an out of balance Earth type with a weak digestion, which is often due to stress. Below you will find a perfect soup recipe to strengthen the Earth element, which is good for all of us in the late summer:

Sun Soup - Tonifying Earth

Bowl of soup with autumn leaves on the rim


  • 2 cans of garbanzos or the equivalent of fresh cooked
  • 2 cans of chicken, or vegetable broth or the equivalent of freshly prepared
  • 2 carrots cut into pieces
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • Any of the yellow-orange EARTH vegetables (e.g.  butternut squash)
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon parsley cut into fairly large pieces
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil


  • Heat the ghee or olive oil in a soup pot (medium heat)
  • Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds
  • Add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent (don’t burn the garlic), lower the heat if necessary
  • Add the broth, carrots, “Earth” veggies and garbanzo beans and cook until the carrots are soft
  • Cool the soup until tepid, and then blend the soup into puree. If you like it with more texture, leave some of the carrots and garbanzos whole
  • Return to the pot and heat again, add the parsley and lemon to taste (Be careful with the lemon juice, it’s easy to overdo it. Add it little by little until you get the desired taste)
  • Serve

 (Recipe from Ellie Sernet, Santa Fe, NM)

Written by Stephanie Gianarelli of Acupuncture Northwest & Associates, an acupuncture clinic specializing in mental health, pain, fertility and pregnancy with clinics in Seattle, Bellevue and Tacoma, Washington.