Water, fire, air and earth – are known as the four elements. They have had special meaning throughout history and have allowed our ancestors to begin to explore complex physical and energetic phenomena. Of course, we now know that there are hundreds of elements, but originally, water, fire, air and earth were studied.

The study of the elements has inspired many philosophies, medical theories, and scientific disciplines. Read on to learn about each element and why it is essential to human health.


Water = Liquids = Hydration

Earth = Food = Nutrition

fire = sunlight = energy

Air = Oxygen = Breath 3



Why is water essential? The human body is, on average, made up of 60% water. Considering that we started our lives as embryos growing in an amniotic sac, it makes sense that water is vital to our existence. Even after we are born, water plays a vital role in our bodies. It protects us from injury by involving our brain, spinal cord, joints and fetus, and it carries nutrients through our body through the blood. Water is also essential to facilitate the elimination of waste through urination. What is clean water? Water pollution occurs when water becomes contaminated, which can occur through human pollution and the result of chemical runoff and concentrated waste (especially from industrial agriculture) entering the water supply. Water coming out of a faucet has been treated at a water treatment facility to remove contaminants and make it safe to drink. However, homemade water filters can also help remove things like chlorine and purify it even more.



Why is fire essential? The fire element represents the sun. Daily exposure to the sun and outdoors has decreased due to lifestyle changes and the desire to reduce potential damage to the skin. The benefit of sun exposure, or phototherapy, has been documented for centuries. While it’s true that overexposure can increase your risk of skin cancer, some exposure is actually beneficial. Sun exposure allows the body to synthesize vitamin D. What is safe sun exposure? While some sun exposure helps synthesize vitamin D, excessive sun exposure causes damage to the skin and increases the risk of skin cancer. Those with lighter skin tones are more susceptible to sun damage, even with brief periods of exposure. Those with darker skin tones may be less likely to get sunburned after brief exposure, but unprotected skin may still be susceptible to damage. To help protect the skin, reduce exposure when the sun’s rays are strongest, especially during the summer months, sunscreen is recommended, preferably natural without the addition of heavy metals, it can also help to minimize exposure to harmful rays. , while still allowing some vitamin D to be synthesized. Vitamin D-rich foods such as fatty fish, some mushrooms, and vegetable milk are low-risk options for getting sufficient amounts of the nutrient without risking your skin’s health. Supplements can also be a good option to ensure that nutrient needs are met.



Why is air essential? Breathe. It is so important for the human body to automate the breathing process that if we deliberately try to stop breathing, we will pass out so that our body can take over and start breathing again. We need air. More specifically, we need oxygen through clean air. What is fresh air? Clean air is simply fresh air that does not contain harmful chemicals or pollution. Air pollutants are a serious matter and the sources of these pollutants are both natural and man-made. They infiltrate almost every space we occupy – both indoors and outdoors. In fact, according to studies of human exposure to air pollutants by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Indoor levels of pollutants can be two to five times – and occasionally more than 100 times – higher than external”. EPA and environmental agencies measure air quality using the Air Quality Index (AQI). This rates outdoor air cleanliness by comparing the values of various pollutants for a specific location and time period and issuing a rating from “good” to “dangerous”. This is a useful feature for determining the air quality in your area. Check Air Notes for more information on clean air!



Why is land essential? From an elementary point of view, the earth is a provider. We use it to grow our food, which then nourishes our bodies and minds. Some religions are based on our dependence on the earth and all that it offers humanity. The earth provides the plants and animals that fuel our bodies. It also breaks down and recycles our waste into usable soil and provides us with the water and resources we need to create shelter. What are clean soil and clean food? As with the other elements, the main concern with our soil – and with our food – is its quality. Soil is subject to contamination, mainly due to human impact. When we move and manipulate the soil to meet our needs, we alter the communities that depend on that space, as well as the ecosystems contained in the soil itself. The soil is alive. The organisms that live in the soil are what make it the fertile, nutrient-rich land that plants depend on to grow and flourish. The animals then consume the plants to nourish their bodies and the cycle continues. When we inflict manual (ie, deforestation, urbanization, non-rotational crops, blacktops, fracking, and mining) and chemical (ie, pesticides, herbicides, chemical dumping, fertilizers, landscape dyes, and construction leaching) changes, we change – and often destroy – these organisms. This process leaves us with infertile, “dead” soil or, in many cases, poisonous soil. Since the food we eat needs healthy soil to grow, so do we. The quality and quantity of the food we get from the land is totally dependent on the quality of the soil. Plant and animal waste, its remains and any chemicals collected along the way decompose back into the soil. In short, clean soil is living soil, and from living soil comes healthy plants and animals.



The best way to understand how vital these elements are is to connect with them in nature. Feeling the sand between your toes, the sun on your face and a sip of cold water after a walk in the forest go beyond explanations of cause and effect. They evoke an emotional response that can stimulate our minds, calm our nerves, and enrich our lives.