Springtime is Tune Up Time for the Liver

A happy liver helps decrease allergies, improve digestion and can eliminate or reduce frustration and anger.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the season of the Liver. The definition of Liver in TCM is defined as the system of energy in the body that is responsible for the smooth flow of your body's "Qi" and the health of the liver organ.

There are five elements in TCM:  Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.  Liver is the Wood element, it's flavor is sour, the color is green, and the emotion is anger. When the Liver Qi is congested and stagnant, this can result in irritability and anger. High stress and poor diet will cause this to occur. We need the smooth flow of Qi to move the blood and body fluids and create a sense of ease and relaxation. If not moved and balanced, this can build over time and result In headaches and sensations of heat in the head. Stomach pains, poor appetite, or nausea can be a result of the Liver Qi overacting on the stomach. Depression and anxiety can also be a result of stagnant Liver Qi.

Photo by Abdone

Photo by Abdone

Spring is here and it is the optimal time of year to harmonize our Liver. Lemon in water, vinegar on our foods, and yoga or long walks to help relax the Liver help create balance and peace of mind.  Good to remember that moderation in diet and exercise is key, as too much can result in stagnation as well.  When we acknowledge our emotions and allow them to flow, it prevents the Liver from turning in and creating harm to ourselves

Foods that are harmful to the liver system are: excessive caffeine and dairy, alcohol, fatty foods as well as fried foods. Try these foods to help a liver system that is out of balance: lemons, zucchini, oatmeal, rye, avocados, limes, cashews, and lima beans. If gluten intolerant or Celiac eliminate rye and most oatmeals.