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Spring is here!!!!

There is Sunshine in my Soul Today....

Spring and Sunshine bring the message of renewal. A new beginning which coming after the slumber of winter makes us feel alive and seek after activities filled with positive energy. Yang activities, such as brisk walks and climbing mountains which may tire our bodies but energize them at the same time.

In traditional Chinese Medicine, every season is related to an element, and every element to an organ, and ultimately that organ may be affected by what we do and eat in its season.

The liver is the organ of spring and the wood element and, perhaps next to the spleen, it is the organ most beaten up in this over-stressed, frustrated, toxic society we all live in.

A liver which is in harmony will free our bodies of all harmful chemicals and toxins we ingest and which can hamper the many biochemical processes the liver does daily to keep us healthy, important functions such as glycogenesis, glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis, triglyceride oxidation, phospholipid, cholesterol and lipoprotein synthesis, deamination of amino acids and ammonia removal to name only a few.

In western medicine, when we think of a diseased liver, we think of cirrhosis, hepatitis, hepatomas, hemangiomas, fatty and/or alcoholic livers with their myriads of signs and symptoms, some fatal which will arise in such an important organ. In contrast, the Chinese healer sees all of that, but also gives the liver even more importance on how we behave. A person with a healthy liver is calm and a good leader with sound judgement. A liver in disharmony, on the other hand, will make the patient angry, aggressive, impulsive, resentful, arrogant, edgy, explosive, and even violent.

By that, it is easy to realize that we are surrounded by livers in disharmony in the thousands, and perhaps millions around the world. So, how can we keep our liver in harmony and free of disease that may continue doing its proper functions of detoxifying our bodies, and perhaps even the world? How can we help ourselves and others remain calm and positive, and of sound judgement amid so much craziness which surrounds us?

We can start by eating right and...less. Eating in excess will stagnate or obstruct the liver making it sluggish in circulating the Qi or vital energy it needs to work efficiently.

We can incorporate slightly pungent spices, foods and herbs which help the energy run more freely. Things such as onions, watercress, basil, turmeric, cumin, marjoram, fennel, dill, ginger, rosemary and mint.

Bitter and sour foods will also be beneficial. Among the sour we can use lemons, limes, grapefruits, green apples and vinegar. The bitter foods which will reduce the excess of a diseased liver are rye, quinoa, asparagus, radish and peppermint to name but a few.

Fruits which cool and detoxify the liver are cherries, peaches, plums, green apples, strawberries, and among those which also build liver blood are dark grapes, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and huckleberries. Spirulina, chlorella, watercress, kale and alfalfa will also help rejuvenate the liver.

So next time you run into an angry, violent person hand them out a green apple. And remember that good food choices are wise health investments, especially where the liver is concerned. In the wise words of J. R. R. Tolkien “ If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” And the liver would

sing...”there is sunshine in my soul today...”

Mormon, Single, Chinese/ Western Doctor, and a Woman...

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