Spring – Season of the Wood Element

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It is spring – the the season of rebirth and the wood element. The liver and gallbladder are the organs that are dominant at this time of year. When the liver is deficient there may be pain, weakness and/or stiffness in the joints, muscles and tendons as these are governed by the liver.

The liver, the major detoxification organ in the body, is responsible for many functions including: transforming proteins, carbohydrates and fats into energy; producing bile; protecting the body from parasites, bacteria and viruses; hormonal balance; and detoxification of harmful substances.

Poor dietary habits, frequent antibiotic use, alcohol, processed foods, prescription and recreational drugs all help to place burden on the liver.

Signs of a sluggish liver may include: blood sugar imbalances; high blood pressure; allergies; difficulty losing weight; skin disorders; digestive difficulties; PMS; and emotions such as anger, resentment and bitterness.

This is the best time of year to do a “detox” program. It is wise to choose a program that addresses the whole body so that any toxins that are eliminated from the liver and gallbladder will be able to be removed from the body via the urine, sweat, lungs and bowels.

Foods that support the liver are: apples, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, turmeric, garlic, whole grains, spirulina, oils (olive, flaxseed, fish), salad greens, sprouts, sauerkraut beets, carrots, onions and the brassica family (cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli – they should be lightly steamed before eating).

A sluggish liver may be helped by: mustard greens, leeks, strawberries, peaches, cherries, raw veggies, horseradish, mint, fennel and dill.

Other helpful foods to assist in a whole body cleanse: apple dicer vinegar, lemon, lime, asparagus, citrus peel, kelp, seaweeds, celery, cucumber, chlorella and spirulina.

Foods to avoid: alcohol, margarine, cheese, eggs, butter, rich nuts, red meats, cream and vegetable oils.

And remember to keep your water intake up. For most of us that equates to half our body weight in ounces per day.