Spring Clean Your Liver

Chinese Medicine dietary advice for health and wellness through the seasons.


Let’s talk about spring… While winter was a time to conserve energy and reduce activity, spring is a time of regeneration and new beginnings. Seeds sprout, flowers bloom, and the sun warms the earth. You only have to look outside to see and feel the changes in the air! Spring is the ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation for overall health and well-being.

According to Chinese medicine’s Five Element theory, spring is the season associated with the Liver. The Liver represents growth, expansion and movement as well as new beginnings. When we truly understand what our Liver does to keep us healthy, we see how important it is to our health as a whole. Chinese medicine practitioners’ apply the Five Elements to diagnose and treat all health issues.

five-elements-379106_1280The Five Elements are a universal template that organises all natural phenomena into five groups or patterns in nature. Each of the five groups – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – include categories such as a season, a climate, a stage of growth and development, an internal organ, body tissue, sense, sound, taste, colour, emotion. The Five Elements not only show us how the structures and systems in our bodies are connected to and interact with each other, but also how they interrelate and interact with the natural environment we live in.



In Chinese Medicine the Liver is responsible for the smooth flowing of Qi (or the internal energy) throughout the body. When the Liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity also runs smoothly. Quite simply, if your Liver is not functioning well ? if its energy is stuck ? you will most likely feel stuck, weighed down and out of sorts. Are you aware that anger, frustration, resentment and stress are the emotions/feelings that correspond to the Liver? They can unbalance its function. In the same way an out-of-balance Liver can create these emotions/feelings. By improving your Liver function you are effectively creating the possibility for a year of emotional balance. Another very powerful reason to spring clean your Liver.

When the Liver works better, we feel less stressed and irritable, we lose excess weight, sleep better, we’re not bothered by headaches or PMS or skin problems and we feel more energetic. Try adding some ‘Liver’ friendly foods for a few weeks and see how you fee, or come in for an Acupuncture treatment where Laura or Fran can assess your health needs and give you personalized dietary advice using the natural theories of Chinese Medicine.

Foods that support the liver include:

  • Alfalfa
  • Algae
  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Citrus
  • Collard Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Fermented Food
  • Ginger
  • Kale
  • Lettuces
  • Radishes and it’s leaves
  • Seaweed
  • Small amounts of vinegar
  • Sour pickles
  • Spirulina
  • Sprouts (Beans, Seeds, Grains)
  • Watercress
  • Wheatgrass




Compiled from: http://www.chinesemedicineliving.com/blog/acupuncture/loving-your-liver-with-chinese medicine, http://www.tcmworld.org/why-do-a-liver-cleanse-and-detox-in-the-springtime.

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