Spring is the element of WOOD and the color GREEN.
The ancient Taoists (Prounounced “dao-ists”) looked to nature to understand the human body, mind and spirit. They were philosophers and we need to be clear, Taoism is not a religion. When we tune into the movement of the seasons, we reconnect with and maintain our vitality. Just as with our circadian rhythms, our seasonal rhythms affect our health. Eating with the seasons is an excellent foundation to thriving health.
Spring- Wood – Green, Liver,
Liver out of balance = Anger
Liver in balance = Flow
In Spring, Yang is Rising
Let’s look around, what do you see? Trees starting to leaf out, flowers begining their bloom, greens pushing up? This is YANG rising. This is the start of the great in-breath – the height of which is the heat and outward orientation of summer. Yang is rising, the rivers are flowing, the birds are chirping and making nests, we all come out of hibernation.
The LIVER is the organ associated with spring. If our liver is in balance we experience free flow of qi (energy, emotions). If our liver needs some support, we may be quick to anger, snap at loved ones, or experience a low slow simmer of anger. Also, referred to Liver Qi Stagnation. I suffered with this for years. It’s true. Part of this is constitutional, meaning I have a tendency towards this, my family has a tendency, essentially – lots of – um- venting. Living in the south has been a balm to my constitution. I deeply enjoy – and have learned from- the kindness and generosity of spirit I have met in this region.
One of the solutions to opening up the free flow of liver qi is to take an aimless walk. This is for real, and it works wonders at opening up the free flow of liver qi. There is also a wonderful Chinese Medicine herbal formula called, Free and Easy Wanderer. Also, very helpful. These work wonders in conjunction with acupuncture which will support your liver and it’s reflexes. Feel free to ask us more about these remedies.
Foods to add in to your diet are – Greens, Greens, Greens. Greens impart, light, flexible energy to us. Bitter Greens and herbs, support the liver directly. Dandelion, Broccoli Rabe, and Nettles are especially helpful. Chickweed is growing abundantly, add this to your salads or smoothies. When working with the more bitter greens, please be sure to have them with plenty of healthy fat, it cuts the bitterness and adds a nutritional punch. Health fats would include Avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, grass fed butter, and for those who tolerate it- bacon fat. A wonderful tincture to support the liver is Milk Thistle.
But truly, any greens- the fresher the better. These new greens that sprout up are here to help us clear away stagnation. Here is a fantastic Nettles Pesto recipe that I love to make with Fresh Nettles every spring. I usually do a green juice cleanse and my spirit and my body feel lighter and more upbeat.
A wonderful stone for this time of year that would support the free flow of liver qi is Amazonite. Known by the ancients as “Heaven flowing into the river stone.” It is calm, tranquil and supports us.
Here are some other thoughts to help us tune into the beauty of Spring.
- Young plants
- Spring fever- is Yang Rising
- Moved by nature – Emotions, awakening
- Nature sings, puts on a show
- Slough away the old, the dense
- Joyousness and Cheer
- Tending to the garden can bring joy and connection
As we align our hearts with Nature, we arrive more deeply into balance.
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