Five Elements Shopping Guide

The color scheme of HYY products packaging is based on the Five Elements Theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

The five elements and their correspondents

The five elements and their correspondents

What is the Five Elements Theory?

The Five Elements Theory evolved from the study of various processes, functions, and phenomena of nature. The theory asserts substances can be divided into one of five basic elements: wood, fire, water, metal and earth which contain their own specific characteristics and properties. Today we refer to this medical system as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

wood fire earth metal water

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How is the Five Elements Theory related to our health?

Phenomena in the natural world are grouped into one of the five elements according to their properties, functions and appearance, but other correlations can be made among them. We can illustrate its many relationships with nature and the body. The rules that govern the five elements include a mutual generation cycle, a mutual restriction cycle, over restriction, reverse restriction and balance between generation and restriction.

The five elements cycle

The five elements cycle

The physiological activities of human organs are also part of natural phenomena so they can be classified according to the different characteristics of the five elements as well:


Associated organ system
Similar functions of the elements & the associated organ system


Lung Lung has clearing and descending properties similar to metal


Liver Both have the function of qi flow


Kidney Kidney controls water metabolism and storing essence which is associates with the water element’s characteristics of moistening and flowing downward.


Heart Both create warming actions.


Spleen Spleen transforms food into essential substances the body needs which is associated with the earth element’s characteristics of growth and transformation.


Balance between generation and restriction is important for normal transformation of the five elements. Each element is under the influence of the other four in some way. For example, wood generates fire and water generates wood. On the other hand, wood inhibits earth, but itself is inhibited by metal. In this way, all five elements establish an intricate homeostasis in nature. This wisdom has also been applied to TCM by incorporating the theory of the five elements into health maintenance strategies, which have been successful for thousands of years.

Chinese Medicine looks at body organs differently from Western Medicine

In western medicine, the body’s organs are explained in terms of their anatomical structure and physiological functions. However, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the approach is quite different. Organs are considered functional units of the body. Therefore, what is typically thought of as an organ (i.e. heart, liver, stomach etc.) has a much broader meaning and application in TCM. An organ’s anatomical structure is not as important as its yin yang properties or relationships with other organs. Chinese medicine recognizes five yin organs and six yang organs, also known as “zang” and “fu” organs respectively. In TCM, the physiological functions of the body are based on harmonious relationships between yin and yang organs. That means you may have health problems if your yin yang organs are not in a balanced condition.

How should I pick a product suitable for me?

  1. Identify which health organ system you wish to improve.
  2. Identify the representing color associated with the health organ from the Five Element Theory table.
  3. Find the suitable HYY product with the same label color scheme.
  4. Read the benefits of your chosen products to determine if it fits your needs.
  5. Consult a pharmacist, your local TCM doctor or HYY if you have unanswered questions.

Thank you for your patronage and we look forward to your next purchase!

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