With first saffrons and snowdrops, nature has spoken of longer and warmer days, the rebirth of plants, and more activity. This is a time when energy turned inward during winter is gradually turning outward.
In Chinese medicine, spring is associated with the wood element, and it governs the liver (and gallbladder). Many of us associate spring with tiredness, commotion, colds, and allergic outbursts. But when the liver and the body’s energy flow are balanced, the transition to spring is light and joyful.
The liver and gallbladder are important factors for blood and bile transport. The insufficient flow of these two has a consequent effect on immune protection. Besides, the liver with the insufficient flow of energy is an important factor in the flow of qi, life energy. This can lead to spring fatigue that many of us feel in these warmer months.
We should turn to nature for support. Green is the color of spring, and we should bring this color to our plates. In the colder months, we paid attention to consuming a lot of cooked root vegetables that ground us, and we added spices that warm us up. Now we can gradually add more fresh green vegetables to our plate, but not all at once. Spring is a transitional period between winter and summer. Just as we don't change our clothes from winter coats to swimsuits as soon as spring arrives, so it goes with vegetables - we add them gradually. Examples of vegetables that stimulate liver function are dandelion, watercress, chard, lettuce, arugula, sprouts, and microgreens. Even if spring fatigue binds us to coffee and other stimulants, it is better to enjoy these in moderation because excessive amounts can burden our liver. The flavor that supports liver function is sour, so we can drink a glass of warm water with few drops of lemon juice in the morning. This simultaneously regulates bile.
Other food that nourishes the body in spring:
If you have ever wanted to try fasting or any other detox, now is the time. Now it is also the right time to take action for everything you wanted to do but you never found the time to do it. Use this spring for the motivation you have been waiting for. The liver embodies action, assertiveness, planning, and inspiration.
People with liver constitution type, where the liver is most exposed, can feel negative emotions in the time of winter transitioning to spring. The liver is most active this time of the year. This means that the liver is being cleaned more intensively, it is more dominant and at the same time most exposed.
Unbalanced qi, associated with liver and gallbladder, can manifest as anger, frustration, stubbornness, fatigue, procrastination, and resentment. On the contrary, the liver inspires us, awakens us with determination, satisfaction, forgiveness, and genuine joy.
If we sense negative emotions, we can best help ourselves. Spring cleanse firstly starts on the inside, and then shines on the outside. With warmer weather and longer days, we should spend more time in nature where we connect with our bare feet to the awakening of the natural world. We can physically connect with nature, that is waking up after a long sleep, through gardening. The overall flow of qi is also closely connected with sufficient physical exercise. Above all, we should first enjoy ourselves in our own body, and then in our environment and nature. This will bring out the desire and passion for something new in us. Spring embodies a new beginning, so let it be true and joyful.