The root represents connection to the inner world. It is first principle medicine ; I am. Do you even know what you are? The roots do. They are positioned deep in the Earth, bringing stability and balance. Roots are thoroughly involved in their placement, their connection, and alliances with community. They play this boundary of Self; interweaving root tendrils with fungal hyphae. Making alliances with bacterial allies and trading information & resources, all to the betterment of themselves within a greater network. Plants are good at getting their needs met through interdependence with others, working together and working as one.
Darwin believed the root brain theory, where the vegetal world ‘thinks’ through its roots; a mind with no one organ. The root hairs might be likened to a swarm neuronal network. 13 million roots. 14 billion root hairs. 6000 miles of ‘thinking’ territory. Each root hair can act as an individual neural organ, utilising a plethora of senses to map the terrain & signal in real time with the major neurotransmitters of GABA, acetylcholine and glutamate to name a few. Collectively, the roots act as a data processing centre, analysing gravity, temperature, humidity, light, electrical fields, pressure, sounds, toxins, chemical gradients, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Roots then make decisions on their movements based on their findings of the world.
The root overlays with the element of the Earth, ruling our middle jiao burner, our appetite, the stomach, spleen and pancreas; key sources of nourishment for our bodies. The transformation and transportation of chi. Earth energy is yin by nature, cool, feminine and still at the centre. However there are more masculine and yang expressions of the Earth in its structure and stability. Nothing is quite so simply one thing, such as the power contained within the still.
Earth appears at the change of all seasons. In the I-Ching, It is represented by the trigram of 3 broken lines; fully receptive. As Earth is caring towards all, having healthy sense of self and not being overly sympathetic can be a lesson of this element. The song of the Earth is sweet in flavour, and melodious in sound. It may cling to things when feeling unstable. But we can only cling to gravity pulling us down, and a deeper knowing of who we truly are. The colour of the Earth is golden orange, and at the middle of all it.
Herbal medicine is the original medicine :)