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The fire element rules the heart and small intestine, and, in our body (as in nature), is warming and activating and brings spark, love, laughter and joy. This element is also in charge of the tissue of the blood vessels and the sense organ of the tongue.

The color associated with fire is red. When in balance, the emotion of fire is joy, and when out of balance, one experiences volatile emotions or inappropriate laughter.

The taste that nourishes the fire element is bitter, and the fire element is at its most active between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for the heart and between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. for the small intestine. Therefore, if you tend to get more tired or emotional during these times or feel more energized, it can be an indication of the state of health of these organs.

When the fire element is strong and in balance, a person will be charismatic and sociable and enjoy conversing and interacting with others. She will excel at commanding others to action. When fire energy is weak or out of balance, a person may suffer from anxiety, stress and sleep disturbances and may be too excitable or easily stimulated to excess. She can also be cold-natured and emotionally disconnected. Some common illnesses related to fire imbalance include heart palpitations, chest pain or pressure, irregular heartbeat, hypertension and sores or ulcers in the mouth, particularly on the tip of the tongue.


The Heart

As soon as the heart takes its last beat, it's the end of life in this physical body. It is the master organ, responsible for the circulation of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to nourish and sustain life in all the cells and organs in the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, which looks beyond the physical structure and function of an organ, the heart is seen as the home for the spirit and the seat of consciousness, responsible for mental vitality and clear thinking. It is responsible for the strength and flow of Qi (vital energy) in the body and governs the blood vessels. In Oriental diagnosis, the tongue is said to reflect the condition of the various organs in the body, with the tip of the tongue corresponding to the heart. Redness or sores on the tip of the tongue can indicate a disturbance in the fire element.


The Small Intestine

The small intestine, a vital part of the digestive system, has the function of absorbing the nutrients in our food into the bloodstream after it leaves the stomach. The nutrients are delivered throughout the body in the blood that flows through the small intestine, and the waste is delivered to the large intestine, where it continues through the digestive channel. In Chinese medicine, like the heart, the small intestine is said to influence mental clarity and our ability to make clear decisions. It is also connected with our ability to absorb and integrate concepts and ideas.


Get a list of foods to "feed your fire" and help with the health of your heart and small intestine

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