At this time of year most 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, and so this article will discuss the importance of taking good care of these vital organs.
This season of renewal and rejuvenation is a great time to do simple “cleansing,” especially for the Liver. According to Chinese medicine the season of spring relates to the Liver and Gall Bladder organs. 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. The Liver is a very hard working organ whose functions are fairly extensive in both Western and Chinese medical theory. 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 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.
According to Chinese medicine, the Liver also involves regulating emotions, particularly anger, forgiveness, flexibility, and planning. It is a smooth and healthy Liver that contributes to our ability to visualize and make 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 best and appropriate people in order to get the job done right. These are just a few functions of the Liver and Gallbladder, which shows how important it is to take good care of these organs.
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, leafy greens, especially dandelion and mustard greens, basil, lemon and mint. Carrying out a springtime cleansecan be very simple, or more involved depending upon your individual need. It is best if done with the guidance of a healthcare practitioner, and also as a family, or along with a friend so that you have someone to ask questions and talk with about the experience. In general, people notice that even though doing a cleanse for the Liver/Gallbladder may have been very trying at times, they feel so 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