Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Health Information Organization
Created by West TCM, Vancouver / Langley Canada
Visit West TCM at their clinical practices; Spence Pentland Acupuncturist in Vancouver, and Ryan Funk Acupuncturist in Langley
TCM Health According to Season
SpringQi (energy) is moving upward & outwards.
Good time to produce & transform Essence, Qi, blood, & body fluids
Nourish Yang Qi to stimulate metabolism
This is also a great time of the year to do food/herbal liver cleanses
Maintain happy Shen (spirit)
Less sleep is needed, late to bed – early to rise
Do more outdoor activities
Weather changes like an infants face – dress accordingly (layers)
Eat pungent (spicy), sweet, & lightly warm foods to prepare body for summer
Exercise & activity should be gentle and smooth styles, i.e. breathing, stretching, Qigong, yoga, light weights, walking, meditation, light cardio, - these simulate an animal coming out of hibernation
Liver Qi is active & stronger – soothe & regulate the liver function, if there is stagnation it may lead to depressive or anger related states (i.e impatience, frustration, sadness, resentment, loneliness, violence, belligerence, rudeness, edginess, arrogance, stubbornness, aggression, impulsiveness & explosive outbursts, & mood swings). The appetite should be slightly lower – eat less in spring as to ease the liver function, outside air helps liver Qi flow. If liver is hyperactive, spring may aggravate the symptoms so it is best to treat this condition in late winter.
Soothe liver Qi with the proper foods (pungent, sweet, cool or slightly warm):
First of all avoid all processed & denatured foods (i.e. refined flours & sugars), high fat foods (i.e. meats, fatty oils & spreads, eggs, milk, cheese, & nuts), chemicals, & intoxicants, these foods are heavy and clog the liver resulting in disease susceptibility.
Eat less in quantity and avoid late meals as to not interfere with liver & gallbladder times of the night ().
Green is the color of the liver & of spring time so consume plentiful young plants, fresh greens, sprouts, & immature cereal grasses (if tendency is towards coldness lightly cook foods or steam at high temperatures for short periods of time)
Basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, caraway, dill, & bayleaf are pungent cooking spices desirable for spring.
Most complex carbohydrates such as grains, legumes, & seeds are sweet in flavour that increases with sprouting, these are good in spring.
Young starchy vegetables thinned from the early garden are also good.
Foods that relieve liver stagnation:
watercress, onion family, mustard greens, turmeric, cumin, dill, ginger, black pepper, horseradish, rosemary, mints, lemon balm, beets, taro root, sweet rice, strawberry, peach, cherry, chestnut, pine nut, cabbage, turnip root, kohlrabi, caulifower, broccoli, & Brussels sprouts, sprouted grains, beans, & seafoods.
Foods that harmonize the liver:
grains, vegetables, legumes & other complex carbohydrates, honey used sparingly, apple cider vinegar, stevia, unrefined cane juice, whole sugar cane, licorice root, barley malt, date sugar, molasses, & rice syrup.
Foods that calm liver excess:
high quality vinegars (i.e. apple cider, brown rice, rice wine), honey, lemon, lime, grapefruit, rye, romaine, lettuce, asparagus, amaranth, quinoa, alfalfa, radish leaves, citrus peels, mints, lemon balm, & dandelion
Foods that cool & detoxify the liver:
mung beans, celery, seaweeds, lettuce, cucumber, watercress, tofu, millet, plum, chlorophyll rich foods (wheat & barley grass, spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella), mushrooms, rhubarb root or stem, radish, & daikon radish.
Foods that tonify liver Yin & blood:
mung beans, chlorophyll rich foods, cucumber, tofu, millet, seaweed, watercress, plum, flax, borage, evening primrose, &/or black current oils, plentiful water intake, aloe vera, dark grapes, blackberries, huckleberries, raspberries, blackstrap molasses, & organic animal liver.
Foods that calm liver Wind:
celery, basil, sage, fennel, dried or fresh ginger, anise, oats, black soybeans, black sesame seeds, kudzu, pine nuts, coconut, flax oil, & shrimp. Foods that worsen this condition are: eggs, goose, crab, buckwheat, hot peppers, curries, & beef.
People who were not breast-fed: these people are more likely to develop immune deficient related problems, allergies, & other liver related disorders. The use regular use of chlorophyll rich foods & GLA fatty acids greatly enhances the overall body strength & liver function.
Spring is the windy season and the weather starts to warm up, therefore Wind & Heat disorders may arise, i.e. respiratory disease.
If a person suffers from chronic pain too much sour flavour goes directly to the nerves & can hurt the liver.
Similar rules apply to the recommended sweet & pungent (spicy) foods, excess is bad.
Helpful ideas to keep healthy in spring:
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