At this time of year many people tend to do “spring cleaning” in the home, so I thought it would be fun to share some information about the importance of spring cleaning to help keep our mind and body happy and healthy. According to Chinese Medicine, the Liver and Gallbladder are the internal organs associated with spring. This article will provide background and discuss the importance of taking special care of these vital organs throughout spring.
This season of renewal and rejuvenation is a great time to do simple “cleansing,” especially for the Liver and Gallbladder. Both of these organs are always working to renew the body in several ways, such as their role in digestion and ridding the body of toxins. For instance, the Liver is the largest internal organ and functions include storing and distributing nourishment throughout the body, filtering toxins from the blood, and is involved in the formation of red blood cells and breakdown of blood. The liver, or hepatic cells, make bile which aids in digestion and stores the bile in the gallbladder to be used in the intestines for the breakdown of fats, and for enhancing the small intestine’s ability to absorb fatty acids.
In addition to physical function, these organs have spiritual and emotional function as well. The Liver involves regulating emotions, particularly anger, resentment, forgiveness, flexibility, and planning. It is a smooth and healthy Liver that contributes to our ability to visualize and make flexible plans. If the Liver were a person she would be the one who writes the mission statement for a company. And, if the Gallbladder were a person, he would be the one to carry out the plans, and delegate responsibility to the appropriate people in order to get the job done well. They work fabulous together.
There are some very general dietary guidelines to keep in mind during early springtime which include eating less, limiting or avoiding heavy foods such as meat, dairy, poor quality fats, and intoxicants. A general list of foods that help the Liver and Gallbladder function include the onion family, vinegar, basil, lemon, mint and leafy greens, especially dandelion and mustard greens.
Carrying out a springtime cleanse can be very simple, or more involved depending upon individual need. It is a good idea to do a cleanse with the guidance of a healthcare practitioner, or along with a friend or family member so that there is someone to ask questions and talk with about the experience. In general, people notice that even though doing a cleanse may have been trying at times, they feel much more vibrant when it’s finished.
“Since spring is the season in which the universal energy begins anew and rejuvenates, one should attempt to correspond to it directly by being open and unsuppressed, both physically and emotionally.” -Huang Di Nei Jing
To read more articles by Daisy Lear, L.Ac. visit daisylear.com
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