In Chinese Medicine, Spring is the season of the Liver organ. When Spring comes, the Liver organ reaches its zenith. The energy of the Liver coalesces and expands encouraging new growth. Like the green of new shoots, the color that represents Liver is green.
For Chinese Medicine, the Liver has many vital functions. Not only does the Liver store blood, the Liver also ensures the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. The blood of the Liver is identified as being responsible for our capacity to recover energy and aids in resistance to colds and flu.
Each of the organs is assigned a role in Chinese Medicine to help gain a deeper understanding of the responsibility of the organ and how the organ works. The Liver is often compared to an army general and like the army general gives direction to the movement of energy, Qi, in the body. As an army general use to being in command and having orders followed, the Liver has little patience for lack of compliance and obedience. When restrained, the emotion of the Liver is frustration, anger, resentment, or quickness of temper.
When the season of an organ comes around, the goal in Chinese Medicine is to support that organ because that organ will be most active during its season. Key ways to aid in supporting your liver include getting out and about. Cabin fever is perfect example of restrained Liver Qi. The edgy, anticipation of the end of winter and the coming of the sun. To help eliminate cabin fever, we start going out more, travel to the mall, go to a movie, and spend time getting the yard ready for the garden. The liver is tired of lying dormant throughout the winter and now wants to move.
Calcium rich foods are an excellent source of support for the Liver. Unfortunately, dairy products have a tendency to top the list of calcium rich foods. Yet, deep green vegetables also contain calcium like broccoli, kale, turnip greens, and soybeans. Almonds contain calcium and help with high blood sugar levels. Other foods which contain calcium and other properties include: white beans, salmon, figs, and sesame seeds.
For those of us who get sick in early spring because we are running around dressed too lightly for the weather, remember the liver loathes the wind. So, make sure that your neck and back and head are properly dressed for the season even if the rest of you is not.
As we move deeper into the season of Spring, allow yourself more freedom and fewer restraints. And make sure to get plenty of rest.