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Assessing Your Elements: The Troika and the Five Elements

You may be wondering: what is a troika? Troika means three and represents the three body types, three types of metabolism, three states of mind, three parts of the brain, three stages of life and the three primary systems of elimination. The troika represents a holistic perspective of each person’s constitution, the collection of characteristics that makes each person who they are.

And this Saturday, March 14, from 12 - 4 pm, Community Herbalist and Health Educator, Leah Wolfe, will use her practice of herbalism to guide a workshop at Ohio Herb Center in Gahanna (110 Mill St.) where each participant will learn how to assess her/his troika. Then, with the knowledge and guidance from Leah, participants will create an herbal formula to take home that supports each person’s individual troika.

The second part of the class is about the elements and how they influence wellness, vitality, and a balanced troika. The four elements in traditional western herbalism are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, with the fifth known as Ether, Spirit or Vitality. Earth represents the grounding effect of gravity, the foundation and structure of the body, and the building blocks to survive and thrive. Air represents the breath of life, the inspiration that feeds the spirit, and the expansive quality of imagination and communication. Fire represents our burning passions for life, the fervor of love and joy, and the ability to defend, digest and eliminate. Water represents the welling up and draining of emotion, the cooling downward spiral, and the salty ocean of blood that courses through our bodies.

At the end of this class, participants learn how exposure to the elements--with the rollercoaster of life-- leads us in and out of balance so that going forward, each person can create a second herbal formula that fits her/his elemental assessment.

Leah Wolfe, MPH, is a community herbalist and health educator who tends a United Plant Savers Sanctuary and an educational project called the Trillium Center. She is a regional representative for the American Herbalists Guild and works with Herbalists Without Borders. She lives on a farm in NE Ohio putting her words into practice, making folk arts, botanical medicine, and gathering herbs for her community. Learn more at and

Register for the Troika class this Saturday is limited. Register now to reserve your spot.

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