Spring is a time of new beginnings, fertility, conceiving ideas, and laying the groundwork for things to come. It is a time to restore health, to build new relationships, to express our emotional truths, to expand on current projects and to plant seeds that may one day come to fruition. As winter’s ice breaks up and currents flow, the waters of sprint nourish new growth.
In our bodies, the organs associated with spring are the liver and gallbladder, which govern the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments.
The emotions of anger strongly affects the liver, causing stagnation of energy and blood when we hold anger in or excessive internal heat if we express anger too much. The health of the liver is reflected in our eyes and nails. Blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, yellow sclera, ridged, soft or brittle nails each communicate the liver’s condition. The flavor associated with the liver is sour – a little sour food improves liver function while too much can damage.
As kidneys are associated with water, the liver is linked with the wood element. As in the cycle of the seasons when water nourishes the growth of tree, the kidneys are said to be the mother of the liver. If the liver is overactive, it will deplete the kidneys; if the kidneys are deficient, the liver will lack support.The liver blood nourishes the tendons, muscles and joints. When the liver is deficient, there may be pain, weakness and stiffness.
•Foods that support the liver: cabbage, sauerkraut, cauliflower, brussel sprouts,broccoli, broccoli sprouts, other sprouts, kale, dandelion, salad greens, beets, red peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, soy, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, spirulina, who grains, flaxseed oil, fish oil, olive oil, apples, other juicy fruits, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, turmeric powder.
•Foods that remove Liver Stagnation: onions, leeks, garlic, mustard greens, turmeric, basil, bay leaf, cardamom, cumin, fennel, dill, ginger, black pepper, horseradish, rosemary, mint, cabbage, broccoli cauliflower, brussels sprouts, beets, strawberry, peach, cherry, raw vegetables and fruit, apple cider vinegar with honey.
•Foods to avoid: Avoid the foods that cause liver stagnation – red meat, cream, cheese, eggs, butter, rich nuts, lard, margarine, most oils (except fish, flaxseed and olive oil) alcohol.
•Sour foods that improve the liver: apple cider vinegar, lemon, lime, grapefruit.
•Bitter foods that cleanse the liver: rye, romaine lettuce, asparagus, amaranth, quinoa, citrus peel.
•Foods that cool liver heat: mung beans, mung bean sprouts, celery, seaweed, kelp, lettuce, cucumber, tofu, watercress, millet, plum, chlorella, spirulina, daikon radish, rhubarb.
•Foods that build liver yin and blood: Mung beans, mung bean sprouts, cucumber, tofu, millet, flaxseed oil, spirulina, chlorella, dark grapes, raspberries, blackberries.