Seasonal eating is a key to health and wellness. This page will connect you to information that can help you to balance and strengthen your –what aryurvedics would call Doshas — your natural way of being at any time. Discover; The 5-Element Diagram and Chart from ancient Taoist teachings that follow The Nature of All Things. Seasonal Foods listed from John Garvey’s out of print book The Five Phases of Food: How To Begin 2nd Edition; and helpful acupoints called Horary Points which you can use hourly & daily, anytime (for insomnia) and when traveling to avoid jet lag by tuning your body clock to the time of your destination. Enjoy!!!

SAVE This Page (BOOKMARK) so that you can get back to the info below. And/or take the Values & 5-Elements Quiz seasonally to determine any changes you may be experiencing and then support yourself with the Horary Acupoints and 5-Element Foods.

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”  Hippocrates

“Organ Pairs are Nourished by Foods in the Same Phase”  Garvey

Description of 5-Element Diagram

Pentagon containing a Pentagram — outer solid line composed of vector arrows indicating a clockwise direction of energy flow is known as the nourishment cycle (Or Mother Cycle)— each phase tonifies or increases the energy in the proceeding phase.

The dotted-line Pentagram or star-formation within the Pentagon represents what is known as The Control Cycle (or Grandmother Cycle).  Here each phase acts to sedate or decrease the energy content of the phase which is located 2 positions in front of it.

The dual function of nourishment and control exists for each phase. 

“That which tonifies (supplies) when taken in moderation, will sedate (drain) when taken in excess: quantity changes quality”      Garvey

Garvey continues, “The secret to maintaining balance is to supply where there is deficiency and to drain where there is excess. Most acute symptoms indicate excess while chronic symptoms indicate deficiency”.

From Paul Lundberg, “If fire is weak water may extinguish it If water is deficient fire can vaporize it — overcoming the element that usually controls it.  Reversal of control sequence is called Counteracting or Insulting.

The Key Word Is Balance

Fire and Water balance each other,

Metal and Wood balance each other, and

Earth is at the Center that balances all the other four elements.

At transitional times we take on Earth Qualities (pivot) until the next season. {An important acupoint to support transitions is Stomach 25 which is 2 cun (thumb widths) on either side of the Navel. It is known as “Spiritual Pivot”

WATER allows Wood to grow (inspire)

WOOD fuels the Fire (energizes)

FIRE nourishes the Earth (ashes into soil) 

EARTH creates structured Metals (coal, diamonds) 

METAL nourishes Water (breaks down element into air, water

WATER controls FIRE (hot flashes & fevers)

WOOD stabilizes EARTH (clear up indigestion, infuses enthusiasm)

EARTH contains and provides boundaries for WATER (motivate, nourish)

FIRE controls METAL(inspires and loosens up seriousness)

METAL controls WOOD(create structure & discipline projects complete)

Adaptation — Creating a Zone of Resiliency

To stay healthy a person must continually adapt to changes going on both inside & outside the body. If adaptations are not made illness can manifest as disharmony — too far in the stress zone.  The task is to interpret cause and adjust lifestyle to restore body function.

One must look after yourself and be responsible for your own condition.

Rest. Exercise. Diet, Security.

Nourishing/Shen Cycle aka “Mother & Child”

          WATER allows Wood to grow & accomplish things.

          WOOD fuels the Fire to reach out for relationships.

          FIRE creates Earth (ashes into soil) which nourishes all.

          EARTH condenses to create structured Metals (coal, diamonds). 

          METAL enriches Water to settle, rest & be quiet.

Control/Restraining/Ko Cycle aka “Grandmother”

WATER extinguishes FIRE 

Hot flashes due to deficient Water or 

too much Fire can vaporize Water (fried) 

WOOD penetrates/roots into/stabilizes EARTH 

Sugar & High protein stresses liver. Too acidic and liver becomes toxic, overworked. (Symptoms=Breast sensitivity, Digestion problems, constipation, diarrhea, Menstrual problems). 

EARTH dams/provides boundaries for  WATER 

Too much earth, waterlogged, bloated, edemic, sensitive to humidity. Difficult to loose weight/fleshy/worrier. Sluggish, unmotivated. Must find balance in taking care of others and our own needs. 

FIRE melts Metal 

Inspiring, playfulness—child-self. Lightness


Can give structure to dreams. Can inspire or criticism can impinge upon

  the childlike qualities of wood — (performing, creativity). 

5-Element Chart

The 5-Element Supporting Foods

The Five Tastes 

from Lundberg referencing the Shang Su text,

     “ That which soaks and descends (water) is salty, that which blazes

       upward (fire) is bitter, that which can be bent and straightened (wood)

       is sour, that which can be moulded and become hard (metal) is 

       pungent, that which permits sowing and reaping (earth) is sweet.”

5-Element Foods For Each Season


Liver/Gall Bladder 


Sour Foods, Tart Fruits, Citrus Fruits, Grapefruit Juice, Healthy Oils/Fats are good for liver–create insulation & ability to buffer stress.  Steamed Dark Greens, Broccoli, Carrots, Green Peppers, Zucchini, Avocado, Lettuces, Pickles, Olives, Chicken Liver Pate, Chicken (free range)=Blood-Building Tonic, Sour Yoghurt, Pastas, Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rye, Spelt(Russian wheat), Green Lentils,Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Mayo, Butter, Strawberries, Sour Plums, Sour Apples, Sour Cherries, Crab apples, Hibiscus, Cheeses, Wheat, Oats, Barley, Split Pea, Mung, Green Lentil, Artichoke, Lettuce, Parsley, Pea, Rhubarb, Snap Bean, Zucchini, String Bean, Vinegar.

Craving Chinese Food, Greasy Fried Food, Pizza, Peanut Butter, Buttery Foods, Cappuccino (Night Owls), Coffee, Cola>> crank up a sluggish Liver but can be addictive, poisonous or damaging to Liver.


Heart/Small Intestine  Pericardium/Triple Warmer

Fire Supporting Foods

Bitter Greens, Swiss Chard, Black Beans, Red Lentils. Bitter Dark Chocolate, Pistachio Nuts, Corn, Asparagus, Dandelion, Escarole, Okra, Apricot, Guava, Loquat, Persimmon, Raspberry, Strawberry, Sesame, Hops, Tomato.

Craving (Excitants/Electrolytes): Popcorn, Shrimp, Chocolate, Coffee, Liquor, Tobacco.

EARTH/ Late Summer


Earth Supporting Foods

Almonds, Yams, Chick Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Pecans, Millet, Mango, Pumpkin Seeds, Healthy Fats — Flax Seed Oil, Evening Primrose, Borage Oil, Olive Oil, Fenugreek, Anise, Licorice, Marjoram, Vanilla, Pine Nut, Macadamia, Anchovy, Salmon, Swordfish, Tuna, Bamboo Shoot, Collards, Squash, Eggplant, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Spinach, Corn on the Cob, Tapioca, Coconut, Fig, Dates, Grapes, Melon, Orange, Papaya, Pineapple, Plantain, Prune, Raisin, Cherry.

Craving Sugar, Ice Cream, Fruit Juice, Quail, Pheasant, Honey, Maple Syrup, Pero, Relish.


Lung/Large Intestine

Metal Supporting Foods

Sulphur Veggies—Radish, Leek, Celery, Watercress, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Daikon, Garlic, Ginger, Iceberg Lettuce, Kolrabi, Lotus Root, Onion, Mustard Green, Rapini, Turnip, Tempeh, Rice, Taro, Great Northern Bean, Navy Bean, White Potato, Peach, Pear.

Craving Mint, Mochi, Spirulina, Tofu, Beef, Turkey, Soybean, Spices.



Water Supporting Foods 

Seaweed, Eggs, Kelp, Pinto Beans, Aduki Beans, Kidney Beans, Buckwheat, Beets, Water Chestnut, Cranberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Purple Grapes, Watermelon, Shellfish, Dulse, Kale, Mushroom.

Craving  Duck, Pork, Ham, Cafix, Miso, Pickles, Salt, Tamari, Soy Sauce, Tea, Gomasio, Water.

Horary Points For 5-Elements

When you stimulate these points in time you strengthen the element and organ.

Place a fulcrum (curved pull, smile,comma) into a point for 2 minutes each side.






Time/ Point Locations:

3 a.m. to 5 a.m.: (LU8 Metal) On the forearm, one thumb-width proximal to the radial aspect of the wrist crease (see picture below)

5 a.m. to 7 a.m.: (LI1 Metal ) On the index finger, at the base of the radial side of the nail bed (see picture below)

7 a.m. to 9 a.m.: (ST36 Earth ) On the lower leg, just below the head of the tibia, one thumb-width lateral from midline (see picture below)

9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: (SP3 Earth) On the medial arch of the foot, proximal to the joint connecting the big toe to the foot (see picture below)

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: (HT8 Fire) On the palm of the hand, where the tip of the little finger rests when making a loose fist (see picture below)

1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: (SI5 Fire) On the ulnar end of the wrist crease distal to the ulna (see picture below)

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: (BL66 Water) On the lateral side of the foot, proximal to the joint connecting the little toe to the foot (see picture below)

5 p.m. to 7 p.m.: (KI10 Water) On the medial side of the leg, just above the end of the popliteal crease (see picture below)

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: (PC8 Fire) At the center of the palm, where the tip of the 3rd finger rests when making a loose fist (see picture below)

9 p.m. to 11 p.m.: (TW6 Fire) On top of the forearm, 3 thumb-widths proximal to the wrist, between the bones (see picture below)

11 p.m. to 1 a.m.: (GB41 Wood) On top of the foot, between the 4th and 5th toes, where the bones meet (see picture below)

1 a.m. to 3 a.m.: (LV1 Wood) On the big toe, at the base of the lateral side of the nail bed (see picture below)

About the Horary Point Authors

Susan Popiel RN, BSN, CST graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and has served as a nurse for over 25 years. She is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association AHNA. Her interest in natural, integrative healthcare led her to study Clinical Acupressure, Process Acupressure, Craniosacral Therapy, Zero Balancing, Insight Dialogue Meditation, guided imagery and journaling. She holds certification in Clinical Acupressure and Craniosacral Therapy and teaches the Acupressure Seva Stress Release Protocol Course. Susan has a private practice in Pisgah Forest, N.C.

Cathy Miller MM, LMT, ABT is an acupressure therapist, licensed massage therapist and Diplomate of Asian Bodywork Therapy (NCCAOM). She sees clients at Crossings: a center for the healing traditions in Silver Spring, Md., and is an affiliated practitioner 

Alvina Quatrano LMT is a colleague of Susan and Cathy who lives and practices in Naples FL.  She teaches acupressure which is approved for CEU’s by FL Board of Health and NBTCMB.  Alvina also teaches many classes and offers an online and hands-on Art of Holistic Massage (AOHMassage) Class approved for 34 FL CEU credits.  See for more information.


Values & 5-Elements

Art of Holistic Massage (AOHMassage) Foundation 1: Subtle Body Continuing Education for Massage Therapists NCBTMB & FL

5-Element Module AOHMassage Foundation 1: Subtle Body

5-Element Foods: For a document of this info please contact Alvina at