Already we see evidence that spring has arrive from the sun coming up earlier and staying longer to flowers blooming. You may have also noticed the shift in our body's energy with these seasonal changes.
Spring is the season of the liver and gallbladder in TCM, with these organs responsible for regulating the smooth flow of energy throughout the body and mind. When this flow isn't smooth and soothing we experience irritation, frustration, anger, depression, insomnia, indecisiveness, and are more prone to headaches, joint pain, muscle strains. So keeping the liver and gallbladder energies in balance is important!
We can help prevent blockages to our smooth flow of energy through our diet and lifestyle choices. We want to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals and poor quality fats and denatured foods.
Spring is associated with the colour green. For nourishing and rejuvenating the liver we suggest getting some greens like kale, Swiss chard, and parsley into your diet. I find the easiest way to do that is in a green smoothie.
Or lightly fry some shredded silverbeet as a side to any meal. I like this with a little tamari and poached egg for breakfast. Lightly steamed/simmered 'el dente' vegetables are a good way to go in Spring.
You could try starting the day, to help cleanse the liver and gallbladder, by having a cup of warm water with a slice of lemon or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
Consider swapping that coffee for a cup of peppermint tea.
For most of us we notice that eating dairy, high fat fried foods and large quantities of nut fats causes us to feel sluggish. These heavy foods exacerbate sluggishness in the liver. More 'pungent' immune boosting foods such as garlic, ginger, watercress, mustard greens, turmeric, basil, cardamom, marjoram, cumin, and fennel are beneficial to our diet. These help to ease the transition into spring when changes in weather make us susceptible to allergies, flus and acute illness.
To deal with inflammation and problematic heat in the liver, or for dealing with springtime allergies try including bitter foods in your diet including - romaine lettuce, asparagus, amaranth, quinoa, radish leaves, citrus peel, dandelion, chamomile, milk thistle seeds, and Oregon grape root - all have liver cleansing capabilities. These foods will also benefit red, swollen joints.