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10 Tips for Liver Health in Spring from Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • Published on: 01 May, 2015
  • Last update: 24 November, 2017


In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each season represents one of the Five Elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood. And since we mirror nature, each of these elements corresponds with an organ system in the body.

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Fire = summer | the heart + small intestine
Earth = late summer | the stomach
Metal = autumn | the lungs + large intestine
Water = winter | the kidneys + bladder
Wood = spring | the liver + gallbladder
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We’re now feeling the warm sun of spring and watching the world bloom around us. Since we are undeniable part of that world, we are also experiencing changes within our bodies.

As Lily likes to say, “We are all just mini universes. To be healthy we have to follow what’s happening in nature around us.”

This is why in TCM, you’re supposed to eat your largest meal of the day when the sun is burning the brightest in the sky; for this signals us that our ‘digestive fire’ and metabolism are also ‘burning’ strong. This is also why the earth gives us specific seasonal foods to strengthen our organs through the changing weather!

Warming, orange foods (pumpkin, squash, sweet potato) grow in autumn/winter to nourish our kidneys and keep us protected from the harsh cold. Sweet, cooling foods (cucumber, strawberries) grow in the summer to balance and cool the ‘fire’ outside and keep ‘heat’ out of our hearts. (Have you ever seen someone get angry or agitated due to the heat? Give them some fruit!)

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What about spring?

Spring is a time of rebirth, sudden growth, and rapid expansion. This sudden burst of activity can stir up confusing, tumultuous feelings. We now find the will to initiate and execute projects that have been contemplated, but not yet begun. Spring is creative, volatile, and powerful and so are we as we enter this phase in our annual cycle. The organ that represents this season is the Liver, tasked in TCM with the job of instigating movement and arousing the mind by allowing tension and pressure to build. If the liver is out of balance, we can feel angry, irritable, frustrated, and stuck.

If your liver is not healthy (i.e. it’s clogged/stagnant) you will have spring allergies, since it’s the corresponding season! Makes sense, huh? Anyone who has seasonal allergies OR just allergies in general (to food or chemicals) has the root problem of a clogged liver. Most doctors still do not know this.

Have you ever seen red/orange ‘tomato skins’ or ‘carrot pieces’ in your stool when you didn’t eat them? Those are liver fluke parasites clogging your ducts. There are also liver/gall stones playing a part in our stagnant livers.

The eyes are the sensory organ related to the Liver, so it’s no wonder they get irritated when liver-based allergies arise. If you have any eye issues, including blurry vision, red or dry eyes, itchy eyes, it’s a sign that deep down that your liver is not functioning smoothly.

10 Tips for Liver Health in Spring

1) To combat this root problem of liver stagnation, a liver flush can be very helpful. Andreas Moritz wrote a book on how to perform an easy one at home using apple juice, grapefruit, olive oil, and epsom salts.

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2) Spring is the perfect time to add daily liver detox tools to your regimen. Milk thistle and burdock root tea, high doses of Vitamin C to open up Phase II liver detox pathways, glucaronic acid, NAC, beet root and zinc are my favorites.

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3) The flavor that supports the liver according to The 5 Elements is “sour.” Be sure to include lemon, high quality vinegar, garlic, ginger, green apples, grapefruit, mung beans, green grapes, scallions, and onion.

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4) Green is the color of the liver and of spring. Green vegetables (broccoli, string beans) and all green leafy vegetables, especially if the plants are young, cleanse and freshen the body.

5) There is a very special reason dandelions sprout up everywhere during spring. They are anything but weeds! Dandelions are some of the most powerful liver detoxifiers known to man. You can juice dandelions (especially the root), brew a tea, and even put them in your salads. The earth always sends us plants that will benefit whatever is plaguing humans. Right now, humans are suffering from extreme liver clogging (poor food, greasy food, pharmaceuticals, constant chemicals, anger, etc). Dandelions are a gift to us.

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6) Sprouts from seeds such as beans, mung beans, and radish are extremely valuable to eat right now for liver and full body repair.

7) Stretch! The liver controls the tendons. In TCM, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine.

8) Although you should be doing this all year, eat at least one raw carrot every single day. They contain a special fiber that binds to toxins and removes them from the liver.

source:imgarcade.com

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9) Using a hairbrush, hit your legs up and down the insides of your thighs and calves, starting at the ankles, for about five minutes. This gently stimulates your Liver meridian and relaxes it.

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10) If you’re frustrated (the emotion of the liver), scream at the top of your lungs to let all of your anger and tension out. Afterwards, have a good cry to bring the energy back down and release remaining stress.

Happy Friday! xoxo, Organic Olivia

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11 Comments

Holly

Reply
Hi Olivia, Bumped into your blog browsing the web and now I’m a weekly reader. Thank you for sharing such well informed articles. They are inspiring. I’m considering doing a liver flush as I have chronic problems with chin acne. I went through a traumatic life event 1-1/2 years ago and now have moderate daily stress level. Before that, my stress level was fairly low and my skin was nearly perfect. Can it take a while for trauma to show up outwardly in the skin? My skin was clear through the terrible event, but started getting bad a few months after it was over. I do OCM to “wash” my face at night and it seemed to help at first, but the deep blemishes have returned in spite of it. Any other advice you have to offer? Thanks, Holly

Rick Morales

Reply
Hi Olivia, are you familiar the 43 Essential Nutrients that the World Health Organization, The FDA and the Medical Institute of Science and many other well known organizations, doctors (Harvard educated) and many other nutritionists are saying that our body require on a daily basis so that our bodies can live, grow and heal on its own? I’ve suffered from an illness going on 18 months now to date. Thankfully about 8 weeks ago I found out about a new food company that makes ‘real food’ that contains “all” of these 43 Essential Nutrients and it’s been helping me tremendously. It’s helped me more than the 9 doctors that I’ve seen in the past 18 months that did nothing more than prescribe me practically every medication under the sun for my issue only to have them not work. I now know what a guinea pig feels like. I hated hearing “let’s see if this works”. When you are sick you want nothing more than to trust your doctor(s). Sounds familiar? Very similar to your story. l would like to share with you this company and their food so that you may also share it with your audience. These foods and their powerful results are being shared and backed by various Nutritional Dietitians and top nutritional and protein scientists in the world. The results have been so incredible that Harvard and Tuffs are currently conducting tests to further prove the argument that “You Are What You Eat” and that many of today’s degenerative diseases can be corrected and avoided by merely eating the right foods and by giving the body what it’s been intended to do (self heal) if treated properly. All the best and good health to you! Rick 🙂

Olivia Trask- Lopez

Reply
Hi! I read on curezone about a book called “Your Last Acne Solution” by: Leo Keisen. It’s an intense text book about cleansing the internal organs and the health of skin. I cannot seem to find It to purchase. Have you heard of it? Do you know where I might be able to find it? Some have mentioned an e book but I cannot find any Info on it. Thank you

Olivia

Reply

Wow! I just looked up posts on CureZone about it and I’m dying to get my hands on it! PLEASE let me know if you happen to find it.

Fiona

Reply
Hi, I just came across your blog and love it. I was wondering what your suggestions would be for me. I used to have flawless skin, and in the past year and a half, I have been through tremendous stress (2 traumatic events occurred in my family), and I found myself with the most horrible acne and cysts on my cheeks. I am 30 and dealing with this has been terrible. I dont like taking medicine at all, so I refused going to a dermatologist who would surely suggest some type of pill or cream. I’ve been using apple cider vinegar as a toner and I think that has helped a bit, as I don’t have nearly as much acne as I did six months ago. However, I still have random pimples around my temples and occasionally on my cheeks. I am also now suffering from terrible scars as a result of the acne that first appeared when this all started. I used to go makeup-free but my face is so scarred that it’s hard to go makeup free anymore. Any suggestions for a detox and for ridding myself of acne scars? I appreciate the help. Thank you!

Olivia

Reply

Hi Fiona! Ok, so here’s the deal – the liver is the seat of emotion. It makes perfect sense that after being on an emotional roller coaster, your liver would have its energy pathways blocked. The NUMBER ONE thing you can do is emotional healing and stress relief. Epsom salt baths are my life, haha. Second of all a liver flush would be wonderful I’m sure. Check out Andreas Moritz book about liver flushing, it’s very cheap and effective. And finally, check out if there’s any NAET practitioners in your area. I believe 1/2 of my acne was from parasites/gall stones, and 1/2 of it was that my energy pathways were so blocked that I was “allergic” or intolerant to so many foods, including Vitamin C. When I had an “allergy” NAET treatment to Vitamin C the difference was night and day (which makes sense since vitamin C is the ultimate skin vitamin and opens up liver phase II detox pathways). Sending lots of love!

LisaC

Reply
*feeling I had it together right up till the end!

LisaC

Reply
*do

LisaC

Reply
Hi Olivia and Readers! I saw on your Instagram that you attended a Celebration of Female Expression and I wanted to connect with you about my book project and see if you have any interest in writing a (very) short contribution. It’s a non-fiction book for young women beginning to explore their sexuality, called “My 1st O.” Not overly graphic or clinical, it’s a collection of the different, inspiring, often humorous stories of the emotional and educating experience, meant to empower women in their sexual lives. We are teaming with women’s organizations and publications around the country. If you (or anyone) would like to learn more, please email me at My1stObook@gmail.com and I would love to connect with more info. Thanks! And thanks for everything you so! My entire family just finished round 2 of a parasite cleanse and we are felling GREAT!!!

Natalie

Reply
Thank you!!!!!!

Shayna Olgin

Reply
So let me ask you. What milk thistle is good to get ? Ive been drinking a lot of dandelion root tea. Could this be why my season allergies are non exsistent right now ? Bc usually im dying a slow death at this time . But my eczema on my hands are flaring up.Im doing acupunture the naet treatment . Im allergic to so many things. Incliding vitamin c. Thats whatbue treating right now. Please let me know the best milk thistle to get. Thank u !!

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