Liver Dietary Therapy – How to prepare for spring
The most important function of the liver is to ensure unobstructed and uninterrupted qi flow in the body by coordinating and controlling the amount and speed of coursing qi and substances. This requires equilibrium and harmony. Emotional impact such as anger and rage immediately block qi flow.
Emotions such as anger or rage seriously impact the flow of qi and can easily block or obstruct qi flow. Protracted unresolved obstructions lead to development of internal heat such as heated emotions.
The sour flavor associated with the liver astringent and contracting, which gathers fluids and protects the blood. Unhealthy eating habits, strong emotions such as aggression, anger and rage, and a hectic and stressful lifestyle produce liver heat and impair liver function.
Foods that get the energy up and moving, the liver’s time of year is spring. They support the liver remove heat and stagnation from the liver and support the spleen.
In general, foods that are good for spring are warm ascending sweet foods. In early spring, try cabbage, sweet potato, carrot and beetroot. As the weather changes, move to mint, sweet rice, shiitake mushrooms, peas, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and in late spring, cherries.
Gently warming and pungent foods are particularly good for spring. These include fennel, oregano, rosemary, caraway, dill, bay leaf, grains, legumes and seeds. Pungent flavored foods stimulate circulation of qi and blood, moving energy up and out.
|Avoid||Alcohol, coffee, drugs, food colouring, preservatives, heavily spiced foods, sugar|
|Fruit||Plums, rhubarb, lemons, apples, mangoes, mulberry fruit, lychees, grapes|
|Vegetables||Water chestnuts, spinach, celery, beets, red cabbage, carrots, fennel|
|Grains||Spelt, barley, wheat, short grain rice,|
|Nuts and Seeds||Sesame, sunflower seeds,|
|Fish||Oysters, mussels, octopus|
|Meat||Poultry, poultry liver, beef, beef stock, beef liver, veal liver, lamb liver, duck|
1. Kastner, J., 2004, Chinese Nutrition Therapy – Dietetics in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Goerg Thiem Verlag, New York
2. Wong, L., Knapsey, K., 2002, Food for the Seasons – Eat Well and Stay Healthy the Traditional Chinese Way, Red Dog, Australia
© Haynes Acupuncture Gold Coast 2012