Essential Oils for Five Element Personality Types - Balancing the Fire Archetype

Salvador Cefalu, M.S., L.Ac. & Setareh Moafi, PhD, L.Ac.

The Fire element relates to Summer and is the most Yang energy of all the elements in Chinese Medicine, so managing heat is key to keeping the associated organs healthy and functioning optimally.

Fire is associated with the Heart and Small Intestine organ systems. Fire energy is about control, both in terms of its relationship to the Heart as emperor of all the organs via its function of controlling blood circulation, as well as metaphorically in terms of the need to have control.

This is why Heart Fire with accompanying symptoms of anxiety and insomnia can result when we feel the need to control or feel out of control in some aspect of our lives.

Since the Heart system in Chinese Medicine is most closely related to the Shen, or spirit, Fire type personalities can be very animated.

Each of the Five Elements have associated personality types which can be broken up into Yin and Yang archetypes.

The Yang Fire Archetype

Yang Fire types tend to have an extremely unpredictable personality and can be the most manic-depressive of all elemental types. One moment they can be the life of the party, filled with joy and excitement, and the next moment they can find themselves in deep despair as they explore the full spectrum and drama of human emotion.

Since Fire radiates and is Yang by nature, it’s no wonder that Yang Fire types can fill an entire room with their lightness and joy when feeling great and in the same way drain all the energy out of a room when they’re feeling down.

Yang Fire types are artistic, passionate, seductive, and easily attract attention. They can be wonderfully successful in the performing arts. These archetypes feel best when they can enthusiastically pursue their passions in life and often prefer to work for a cause they deeply care about. 

Yang Fire personalities tend to have a sharp intellect, incredible memory and will work tirelessly often until burnout. These individuals tend to easily develop addictions to coffee, drugs and alcohol, and are prone to heart rhythm disturbances, hypertension, angina, heart attacks, insomnia, manic depression, and anxiety. Their intense nature also makes them prone to intestinal problems such as Irritable Bowel and Crohn’s disease, which relate to the Small Intestine aspect of the Fire Element.

Essential Oils to Balance the Yang Fire Archetype

The focus to balance the Yang Fire archetype is to cool the blood in order to calm the heart and nervous system.

This can be supported with essential oils such as Lemon Verbena, Sweet Marjoram, Neroli, Melissa (Lemon Balm), Spikenard and Valerian.

The Yin Fire Archetype

In contrast to the expressive, extroverted Yang Fire personality, the Yin Fire type personality tends to be more introverted and may even be quite shy. 

Though the Yin Fire archetype is more prone to a negative and pessimistic outlook on life, she can nonetheless be very committed, passionate and often quite patient in striving toward her life aspirations.

Physically, the Yin Fire type tends to have a weak heart and slow blood circulation.

Since according to Chinese Medicine the Heart relates to mental and emotional vitality, the Yin Fire archetype tends to have a restless mind and emotional fragility, and this unsettled state of mind can easily lead to insomnia and anxiety. 

Essential Oils to Balance the Yin Fire Archetype

Sandalwood and Frankincense are excellent essential oils to counter the health imbalances that tend to develop for Yin Fire archetypes. Sandalwood and Frankincense calm the mind and relax the diaphragm to improve deep breathing and strengthen the heart for improved blood circulation. Both of these oils are excellent for anxiety, insomnia and invigorating blood circulation throughout the entire body.

Sage and Ylang Ylang are nourishing essential oils for what is called Yin Deficiency with Empty Fire. This pattern translates as a hormonal weakness that creates the common symptoms of menopausal hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia and night sweating. Ylang Ylang is especially good for those anxiety patterns that also exhibit depression concurrently.

Ylang Ylang essential oil is distilled from the flowers and we all know how flowers can brighten up your day! Same idea applies to other flower essential oils such as Rose and Geranium which can also be used for Yin deficiency Fire patterns causing anxiety and depression as well. In fact, Ylang Ylang, Rose and Geranium essential oils are each appropriate for helping balance both Yin and Yang Fire archetype patterns.

It is important to note that Sage is an estrogenic oil and contains a chemical called thujone which can be irritating to the nervous system so it requires caution in its use and best with professional guidance. Sage is however relatively safe when diluted as a topical agent and a very important and unique oil with two contrasting actions as it is nourishing to the hormonal system while supporting detoxification of phlegm stasis in the body. In general, Clary Sage is a safer alternative in terms of Sage oils if there is a history of neurological problems.

Clary Sage also helps reduce Yin deficiency heat patterns which may involve menopausal symptoms as well. Symptoms such as feeling overly nervous and anxious have been found to improve as Clary Sage can help reduce cortisol levels through inhalation. Since it calms and relaxes the nervous system, Clary Sage can also reduce blood pressure so it is beneficial for hypertension, but may be too strong if someone has low blood pressure. For these reasons, it is always best to blend essential oils into a formula to balance out qualities and actions of each essential oil so your specific needs are properly supported.

Clary Sage is also an important oil to reduce depression, especially if it is related to a Yin deficiency heat problem that has exhausted the Qi which can occur with over-exercising, over-work, general burn-out syndrome and postpartum situations as well.

Remember, essential oils are chemical agents that resonate with the body’s deepest energetic level of Jing Essence and therefore can impact the body and mind in powerful ways to alter the most serious of conditions. When used wisely they can be a wonderful aide for your healing in body, mind and spirit.

*Please note these recommendations are for educational purposes only and we suggest consulting a professional healthcare clinician trained in essential oil therapy for your specific needs.


Salvador Cefalu, L.Ac. is the Founder & Co-Director of A Center for Natural Healing in Santa Clara, California, a health and wellness clinic run by he and his wife, Setareh Moafi, L.Ac. that specializes in Classical Chinese Medicine. Salvador is a leading U.S. practitioner of Japanese Meridian Therapy, a rare form of non-insertion Acupuncture using Gold & Silver needles. More information at www.acenterfornaturalhealing.com.

Setareh Moafi, Ph.D., L.Ac. is Co-Owner and Director of A Center for Natural Healing in Santa Clara, California, a health and wellness clinic that specializes in Classical Chinese Medicine and Traditional Japanese Acupuncture. Setareh offers clinical services and transformational workshops that blend the ancient practices of Classical Chinese Medicine and Yoga. More information at www.setarehmoafi.com and www.acenterfornaturalhealing.com.

Passion & Creativity: Balancing the Fire in Your Life

by Setareh Moafi, Ph.D., L.Ac. & Salvador Cefalu, M.S., L.Ac.

fire ring.jpg

Fire is the most immediate, the most in-the-moment of the Five Elements. It represents our potential; the total expression and integration of our being.

Fire is the element that relates most closely to love, passion, creativity, and compassion.

Represented mainly by the Heart, Fire is the only element that encompasses four organs. The other three are the Pericardium, also know as the "Heart Protector," the Triple Burner, which energetically controls the upper, middle, and lower portions of the body, and the Small Intestine. 

Known as the Emperor, the Heart is the main organ within the Fire element. It is responsible for circulating blood throughout the body and thus nourishing all of the internal organs. As such, the Heart is the organ that allows oxygen to flow to the muscles and organs, and allows us to feel warmth, empathy, and compassion.

The Heart holds the Spirit, which in Chinese Medicine is called the Shen and represents the outward expression of the individual energy.  The Shen emanates our sense of compassion, which gives us a sense of our individual self as well as our union with others. Through the Heart we therefore connect to the external world with empathy.

Fire energy guides us with the powers of expression, compassion, intimacy, spontaneity and excitement. It is thus the energy that represents love, an experience that is purely felt. Unlike its opposing element, Water, which has to do with perspective on the past and future and is understood materially through thought, Fire is all about the present moment, and can only be understood in the here and now through feeling.

Since Fire is associated with the Summer, this is the season during which it is most prone to imbalance. Understanding the Fire type personalities guides us toward cultivating harmony with this element in our lives year round.

 

*Fire Type Personalities  

Fire type people live in the moment and use both personal magnetism and their gift of expression to draw people close to them. When in balance, Fire types are jovial, affectionate and optimistic. They are people-oriented, and their charm makes it easy for people to feel close to them and get involved in their exhilarating and often dramatic world. 

Fire types are passionate, creative, personable and sharply intuitive. They can be very spontaneous and make decisions quickly, though they may just as quickly change their minds. 

Like the element in nature, Fire type personalities are warm so it's no wonder why it's so easy for people to feel close and connected to them. And just like fire, these personalities can burn out and burn you in the process if you get too close when they're out of balance.

Once out of balance, Fire types can be overly emotional, anxious, and self-destructive. They are often volatile and restless by nature and tend to develop anxiety and heart problems. They also tend to develop addictions to alcohol and coffee. 

In general, the Fire type personality has a very sharp intellect, incredible memory and will work tirelessly until he is burned out. His restlessness makes it difficult for him to meditate and take time to be still. 

Water is the opposite element to Fire and is also what balances the Fire element. Water relates to wisdom and thus below the emotional flares of Fire lies an unparalleled wisdom; a knowing that comes from a finely tuned intuition.

The Fire element's correlation with the Heart means that Fire type personalities live from and through their hearts, allowing their feelings to guide their decisions and lives. 

Since the Heart system in Chinese Medicine is most closely related to the Shen or Spirit of a person, the Fire type tends to be a very animated individual. 

The Five Element personalities have Yin and Yang variations with the Yang type being more expressive and outward in its expression and the Yin type being more introverted.

If a person is a Yang Fire type, he or she tends to have an extremely unpredictable personality and be the most manic-depressive of all elemental types. One moment the life of the party filled with joy and excitement, and the next moment in deep despair, all the while dragging everyone around them up and down with their extreme nature. 

The Yang Fire person is artistic, passionate and has a magnetic, perhaps even hypnotic quality. Yang Fire types are enthusiastic individuals when pursuing their passions and often prefer to work for a cause they deeply feel they want to support. 

Yang Fire types tend to be easily addicted to coffee and alcohol, prone to heart issues such as palpitations, tachycardia and high blood pressure, as well as angina, heart attacks, insomnia, manic-depression and anxiety.

Yang Fire types are also prone to Intestinal problems such as Irritable Bowel and Crohn’s disease as they tend to have hyperactive nervous systems resulting in overactive and inflamed bowels. 

The Yin Fire type person is a much different individual than the Yang Fire type. The Yin Fire type person tends to be introverted unlike the expressive extrovert Yang Fire personality. The Yin Fire personality can develop as a result of childhood trauma that causes her to feel defeated and develop a negative and pessimistic outlook on life. However, even with that disposition, she can be very committed to striving toward life aspirations even if it requires years of patience. 

Physically, the Yin Fire type tends to have a weak heart and slow blood circulation. In Chinese Medicine, the Heart relates to mental and emotional vitality. As such, the Yin Fire person tends to have a restless mind and emotional fragility, and this unsettled state of mind tends for her to develop insomnia and anxiety. Yin Fire types can be prone to get endocarditis and mitral valve prolapse, reflecting the Fire in their blood. They may also develop aneurysms and arteriosclerosis as a result of their tendency to internalize emotions.

Essential oils are an excellent tool with which to rebalance the Five Elements.

Essential oils are an excellent tool with which to rebalance the Five Elements.

Essential Oils to Balance Fire Types

The Yang Fire type person needs to cool her blood to calm her Heart in order to resolve the associated problems related to this element. Essential oils that are often used for this purpose are Lemon Verbena, Sweet Marjoram, Neroli, Valerian, and of course Lavender.

For Yin Fire types who tend to have poor circulation and weakness of heart function, essential oils that strengthen heart circulation and relax the diaphragm to improve deep breathing are Sandalwood and Frankincense. Both of these oils are cooling and also useful for anxiety, insomnia and invigorating blood circulation throughout the entire body. Warming oils are important for poor circulation leading to internal coldness and cold extremities. Essential oils such as Cinnamon, Ginger, Fennel, Basil, Black Pepper and Rosemary are some of the most useful oils for these purposes. It is best to dilute these warming oils in a carrier oil if applying to the body because their spicy nature can be irritating to the skin. 

Sage is a very nourishing essential oil for what is called Yin Deficiency with empty fire. This pattern translates as a hormonal weakness that creates the common symptoms of menopausal hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia and night sweating. Sage is an estrogenic oil and contains a chemical called thujone which can be toxic so it requires caution in its use and best with professional guidance. Sage is however a very important and unique oil with two contrasting actions as it is very nourishing to the hormonal system while supporting detoxification of phlegm stasis in the body. A safer alternative is Clary Sage which is also yin nourishing and cooling to treat menopausal symptoms of dryness and overheating.

Essential oils offer a very potent option to help with Fire imbalances that negatively impact the body, mind and emotions. In combination with your effort to practice "living in the moment" whether it's through meditation, Yoga, Qi Gong or just practicing mindfulness, the support of essential oils can truly help you live from your Heart to enjoy the passion, creativity and joy that the Fire element brings to all aspects of your life!

 

*We all encompass certain aspects of these 5 element personalities in each of our personalities. Thus, it's important to recognize what element is out of balance to harmonize your health. You can do this by learning about how to rebalance the 5 Elements on your own and with the care and guidance of a licensed practitioner who is familiar with this system.

Disclaimer: the suggestions provided here are not meant to cure any of the ailments listed. It is strongly recommended that essential oil blends be tailored to each individual's needs by a licensed practitioner who is well trained in the use of essential oils, and that long-term use be under the guidance of such a practitioner. You can schedule a consultation with one of our practitioners if you'd like to learn more. 


Salvador Cefalu, M.S., L.Ac. is the Founder & Co-Director of A Center for Natural Healing in Santa Clara, California, a health and wellness clinic run by he and his wife, Setareh Moafi, Ph.D., L.Ac. that specializes in Classical Chinese Medicine. Salvador is a leading U.S. practitioner of Japanese Meridian Therapy, a rare form of non-insertion Acupuncture using Gold & Silver needles. More information at www.acenterfornaturalhealing.com.

Setareh Moafi, Ph.D., L.Ac. is Co-Owner and Director of A Center for Natural Healing in Santa Clara, California, a health and wellness clinic that specializes in Classical Chinese Medicine and Traditional Japanese Acupuncture. Dr. Moafi offers clinical services and transformational workshops that blend the ancient practices of Classical Chinese Medicine and Yoga. More information at www.setarehmoafi.com and www.acenterfornaturalhealing.com