In traditional Chinese medicine, the visceral organs, as well as other organs and tissues, have similar properties to the five elements; they interact physiologically and pathologically as the five elements do. Through similarity comparison, different phenomena are attributed to the categories of the five elements.
wood – symbolizes growth and construction of the substance – liver, gall bladder, eye, tendon
water – represents a liquid, movable, removing element – kidney, urinary bladder, ear, bone
metal – symbolizes hardness, expansiveness and defense – lung, larg instestine, tongue, hair/skin
earth – corresponds with an accepting, but also destroying element – spleen, stomach, muscle
fire – represents warmth, heat – heart, small intestine, tongue, vessel