Springtime Liver Cleanse

Springtime Liver Cleanse

Liver Cleanse/Flush

  • Either: Drink the juice of a fresh lemon (1/2) in luke-warm water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning,
  • Or, (add to the above lemon juice) the juice from half an orange, and 1 TBS of olive oil
  • Or, (more elaborately) to the above lemon/ olive oil (cold pressed)/ orange juice mixture, add two cloves of minced garlic and then ground together in a blender- every morning for a week

Recipe for Greens

During this liver flush and all through the spring try to incorporate dark leafy greens. Not only are they high in iron and fiber they help to flush out the toxins from the body. Try this recipe three times a week during your liver flush. DON’T BE AFRAID OF YOUR GREEN VEGGIES! They are easy and quick to make.

  • Pick a leafy green: kale, collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, dandelions (or a combo).
  • Clean greens and break off the stem (you can just pull the leafy parts off of the thick stem).
  • Bring approx gallon of water to boil.
  • Once water is at a rolling boil, throw greens in water.
  • Cook 5-7 min/ fast boil until leaves turn dark green and start to sink.
  • Scoop out of water (keep water boiling on stove) and place on chopping board. Chop into pieces.
  • In the same boiling water put in udon noodles or pasta
  • Do not overcook! Read the package for cook time, it generally only takes a couple of minutes.
  • In separate pan sauté some garlic and crushed red peppers in olive oil. Make sure you have enough oil to cover the pasta and greens. Once cooked add to greens. Add salt, pepper, and lemon to taste. Mix and serve.

Springtime and Chinese Medicine

Spring is the ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation for overall health and well-being. As spring is represented by the wood element and includes the liver and its complementary organ, the gallbladder, these two organs are usually the primary targets for springtime cleansing and health regimens.

  • Element: Wood
  • Season: Spring
  • Color: Green
  • Nature: Yang
  • Organs: Liver, Gallbladder
  • Emotion: Anger (can also manifest as frustration, irritability, stress)
  • Governs/controls: Sinews and Tendons

The Liver Function in Chinese Medicine

According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the Liver (the energetic not the physiological organ) is responsible for the smooth flowing of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the Liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly. When there is dysfunction of the Liver it can manifest as anger/frustration/ irritability, headaches, dry eyes, and frequent sprains/strains. It can also manifest as menstrual disorders including painful periods and PMS.

Helpful Spring Time Hints

Stretch – The liver controls the tendons. According to Chinese medicine, the liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine. Try yoga or Tai Qi.

Eat Green – Green is the color of the Liver and of springtime. Eating young plants – fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses – can improve the Liver’s overall functions and aid in the movement of Qi.

Taste Sour – Foods and drinks with sour tastes are thought to stimulate the Liver’s Qi. Put lemon slices in your drinking water, use vinegar and olive oil for your salad dressing. Garnish your sandwich with a slice of dill pickle.

Get Out and Move – Exercise moves Liver Qi flow. If you have been feeling irritable, find an outdoor activity to smooth out that Liver Qi stagnation. Go for a walk or take up bike riding

Do a Liver Cleanse – Clean out all the stuff your body accumulated during your winter hibernation mode. Liver cleanses are for detoxing the liver and kidneys, especially allowing the liver to regenerate and rejuvenate. Here is a nice one that I personally use every year. It was recommended to me by a dear friend and teacher Justin Pomeroy. Justin owns Life Gate Center in Chicago, IL and was one of the first people to start practicing acupuncture in Illinois.

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