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Just as the elements of fire, earth, air and water are the building blocks of life, in an astrological chart they are the essential indicators of an individual’s health and well-being.

Even the rudimentary knowledge of which element the Sun occupies, whether it is in fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius), earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) or water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), can provide significant information about your body’s constitutional makeup, what it needs to thrive and how imbalance will manifest. The element of your Sun sign indicates how your body responds to stress. Stress causes imbalance, with subsequent excess or deficiency of that element.

A medically-oriented astrologer delves deeper than the Sun sign, taking into consideration all the planetary positions as well as the Ascendant  in creating a more accurate picture of elemental balance. Most of us have a dominant element in our astrological makeup, as well as one that is least represented or lacking. Generally, I will recommend support measures for the weak element as the first step toward restoring health.

In Using Astrology to Determine Dietary Needs Part One, I described health challenges and healing modalities for the fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) and air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius). In this article, I will cover the earth (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) and water (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) signs.

Water Constitution (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

The water element rules (is linked to) the reproductive and lymphatic systems and body liquids—including blood, mucus and lymph. Water lubricates, flushes and cools the body. Water signs are exceptionally sensitive to their environment, particularly to fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Health issues for water signs generally have a strong emotional component. Water sign people easily pick up negativity from others. They tend to brood on their health and imagine problems to be greater than they are. Their health problems tend to recur in cycles.

Excess Water

These people tend toward sluggish digestion, poor assimilation and slow metabolism. Stagnant excess water may manifest as mucus, cysts, tumors and swellings, as well as systemic candida. Excess water can manifest as weight problems. It is seldom helpful to decrease dietary intake alone. Better results come from increasing the metabolic rate, decreasing the liquid intake, changing the diet and increasing physical activity.

Excess Water is balanced by foods that are hot, dry and light. Vegetables are well tolerated, steamed and served with spices, with minimal salt. Sweets accentuate water. If eaten, they should be consumed separately from other foods. Avoid heavy, oily foods, dairy, sweets, yeasty foods, breads and salt. Beans and fruit are good, but avoid large quantities of melon.

Excess Water can use digestive stimulants and expectorants such as sage, basil and thyme. Diuretics such as parsley, uva ursi and juniper berries help drain excess water from boggy tissue. Chapparal, garlic and olive leaf extract all clear bacteria, fungi and viruses from the system.

Low Water

Low Water constitutions have trouble flushing toxins from their systems, and lack lubrication to their systems. They tend to be stiff and dehydrated and have difficulty sleeping. They suffer from conditions similar to excess air, such as skin and hair dryness and difficult absorption of nutrients. They find it hard to accept emotional nourishment. Take baths, drink plenty of liquids, and live near water.

A diet strong in wheat, rice, oats, seaweed, dairy products and natural sugars supports low water. Melons, cucumbers and other moist and fleshy vegetables help balance this constitution. Avoid beans and natural diuretics such as carrots, celery, cabbage and asparagus. Don't fast, take care with extreme exposure to heat or sunlight and take extra salt with exertion or warm weather.

Low Water should use herbs sparingly as they tend to be diuretics, except for licorice (sweetened with honey). Fruit juices add water to the system.

Earth Constitution (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)

The earth element rules the skeletal and eliminatory systems. The earth element is essential to growth, reproduction and repair of tissue. Earth signs tend toward weight problems, tumor growth or glandular disorders (especially involving the thyroid). Overeating and a diet of heavy foods create excess earth, which is aggravated by lack of exercise and sedentary habits. They often have beautiful strong teeth.

The earth signs have strong sense impressions and thrive on contact with the earth. Theirs is a strength of endurance and persistence. They are more resistant to transient colds and flu than fire or air signs, but may find it harder to throw off bugs once they have taken hold.

Excess Earth

Excess earth is prone to heaviness in the body and sluggishness in the system, and the struggle to overcome inertia. Their digestion and metabolism are slow, increasing density of body tissue—i.e. thick skin, sclerosis, calcium deposits, tumors and increased body hair.

Light foods are indicated for this constitution, such as fruit, salads, sprouts and steamed vegetables with spices added to increase fire . Meals that consist of liquids, juices, soups and teas are better than heavier diets. The main meal should be taken at midday when digestive fire is strongest. Avoid dairy and fried foods. Fasting is helpful, as earth signs tend to retain toxins.

Earth people can use bitter tonics such as gentian or Swedish bitters, and hot spices such as ginger, black pepper and cayenne to add fire to their systems.

Low Earth

Low earth needs grounding. These people tend to ignore their bodies and are not instinctive about what they need. They need routines that stabilize them and give a sense of security. They need more sleep than other elements, and benefit from physical contact with the earth.

Foods need to be heavy and nutritious, such as potatoes, unrefined grains, root crops and dairy. Use vegetables steamed and served with cheese and butter. Reasonable amounts of sugar, butter and oil are well tolerated. Keep fruits and raw foods to a minimum. To improve the digestion, cook with plenty of spices, garlic and onions.

Low Earth can use demulcents such as licorice and slippery elm, seaweed and minerals. Ginseng is grounding, as is astragalus and the auryvedic herb ashwaganda. Low earth benefits from meat in the diet.

Editor’s note: The health information given in this article is not meant as a substitute for care from a qualified physician. This information is given for educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe. is not responsible for any mishaps that occur as a result of using this information.



Gretchen Lawlor, N.D. is an astrologer and naturopath.

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For more information about Gretchen Lawlor, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Gretchen Lawlor:

  • Mercury, the Nervous System and Herbal Support   8/10/2013
  • Astrology and Diet Part 1   6/15/2013
  • Your Health and Moon Sign   11/24/2004
  • Mercury, the Nervous System and Energy Medicine   10/2/2000
  • What Can Medical Astrology Do for You?   2/21/2000

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