Calabash Remedy for Sickness

Calabash (Wu Lou) Remedy for Sickness
by Nancy C. Canestaro, D.Arch.

What does a hard-shelled golden yellow gourd (calabash) have to do with a Feng Shui remedy? It can seem to fit more into the superstitious realm, rather than being a legitimate remedy for sickness.

A Little History…
The calabash (Wu Lou) is described as being more than a medicine bottle symbol for good health, through its shape and color. It is an actual cure used in Feng Shui. Some of the reasons are symbolic; some are by association; and others come from inherent characteristics of the gourd.

Master Joseph Yu in an article ( described the correlation between the Wu Lou and I Ching, through the Trigram, Dui.

I-Ching is an ancient oracle describing the relationships between Heaven and Earth and everything in between (Man). Yin energy is quiet, represented by a broken line changing to a Yang/solid/active line (—); or conversely, a Yang/solid line changing to a Yin/broken line (- -).

Master Yu wrote that Fu Xi, a sage in ancient China, developed the eight symbols comprising I-Ching. Each Trigram is layered with multiple meanings. Dui, for example, is joyful representing the youngest daughter and the mouth among other things.

Dried gourds are associated with the god of longevity, Sau Sing. Placed next to the bed, it is thought to protect someone from illness. The Trigram, Dui, is also associated with the mouth. The Wu Lou has an opening at the top, its “mouth”, which could be used to pour in medicine.

Sickness energy in classical Feng Shu is an Earth element (the number 2 in a Feng Shui analysis). The color of the fruit in the calabash and the hard outer shell, a golden yellow, are associated with metallic gold, a Feng Shui remedy for Earth/w sickness.

In Five-Element theory, Metal reduces Earth. Sometimes a Feng Shui practitioner will recommend that certain walls be painted a golden yellow or that golden yellow objects be placed in a particular location. Other times the sound of a mechanically wound pendulum clock is needed.

Taoist monks have also used the Wu Lou to draw in and bottle up evil spirits, therefore keeping them busy. This was thought to absorb negative chi in the area. All of these associations have been used to protect someone from harm in their home.

Calabash Physical Characteristics…
An actual dried calabash is more effective as a remedy than the metal renditions you can purchase online. The calabash has an opening at the top and is hollow so that medicine could be poured inside.

The physical shape of the Wu Lou symbolizes heaven and earth unified. The top part represents  heaven and the bottom is grounded in the earth. When we make use of the gourd for health, we are creating harmony between heaven/the top, earth/the bottom, and man/the one who uses it.

A Source for Wu Lou

Download a PDF version of this article…Calabash (Wu Lou) Remedy for Sickness

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