Spring: A Time for Caring for Your Liver

above photo by @blackgirlsjuice716

In the spring equinox occurring March 20-21 day and night are equal in length.

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 water of spring nourishes new growth.  

 In our bodies, the organs associated with spring are the liver and gallbladder which govern the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments. 


 The emotion of anger strongly affects the liver, casing 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 livers condition.

 The flavor associated with the liver is sour – a little sour food improves liver function while too much can damage. 

As the kidneys are associated with water, the liver is linked with the wood element. As in the cycle of the season when water nourishes the growth of trees, 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. 

Spring Foods 

 Foods that support the liver: cabbage, sauerkraut, cauliflower, brussels 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, whole 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, peaches, 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 Cleans the Liver: rye, romaine lettuce, asparagus, amaranth, quinoa, citrus peel.

Foods That Cool Liver Heat: mung beans, mung bean sprouts, celery, seaweeds, 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.