Time for Spring Cleaning

dandelion

I really love to clean… no seriously, it is weird, but true. Okay yes I get super sick of cleaning my house all the time. But nothing feels better to me when I am super stressed… to just do some crazy cleaning. Spring cleaning is great for aesthetics and how the feng shui in the house appears, but it is also great for internal work too. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Spring is associated with the Wood element, and the Liver organ system. The Liver is paired with the Gall Bladder. The Liver governs the tendons and ligaments in the body and is considered the “general organ.” You know the one that tells everyone else what to do, how to do it and go, go, go!!! The Liver is associated with a SOUR flavor and the color GREEN. The Liver is something we tax in our society in so many ways, physically, emotionally and energetically.

So this Spring lets do some Spring Cleaning and really help support that Liver!!!

Herbs to Support the Liver

  • Best Liver Formula: Xiao Yao Wan (Free and Easy Wanderer) Tonifies the Spleen and Stomach and moves Liver Qi. And come on… the name kind of says it all; I love to be a free and easy wanderer in life.
  • Single Herbs that are great in Tea: Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Chicory Root, Turmeric, Artichoke Leaf and my local favorite… Oregon Grape.
  • Foods that Support the Liver: Leafy greens, sour foods like lemon, green smoothies, fermented foods, beets and beet greens and seasonal foods.

Movement to Support the Liver

  • ANY movement!!! Remember the Liver governs the tendons and ligaments in the body… so just getting up and getting moving is going to help make the Liver happy. Taking a nice brisk walk to enjoy the emerging flowers around town; oh this is really embracing the Spring energy of the Liver…. ah…

green

Benefits of a Healthy Liver

  • Hormone Balance
  • Improved Digestion
  • Increased Energy
  • Efficient Detox
  • Less Allergies

Ways to do a Gentle Spring Clean on the Liver

  • Up the amount of fresh plants and veggies in the diet
  • Drink a Liver supportive tea daily for two weeks
  • Add some lemon juice to your water (please drink room temperature or warm, not iced water)
  • Try to eat healthier: limit oils, limit processed foods and heavy, hard to digest foods like animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.)
  • Foods to focus on: salad greens, vegetables, dark leafy greens, green smoothies, green juices… see the GREEN theme here

Green Juice Recipe to Support the Liver

  • 1 green apple
  • 6 leaves of romaine lettuce (or other salad green)
  • 1 chard leaf
  • 2 kale leaves (or sub 1 collard green)
  • 1/4 bunch parsely
  • slice of lemon (if you like more sour add more lemon)
  • Ginger (optional, but I love the warming balance)

Green-Juice

Advertisements

Fall Into Health with TCM

leaves

Autumn in Traditional Chinese Medicine is associated with the Metal element. The Metal element correlates to the Lungs and Large Intestine. Their primary function is to take in new things and let go of the old. The Lungs control inhalation-exhalation and also control the opening and closing of our pores. Our skin is governed by the Lungs and one way to renew and give new life to our Lungs is through our skin. Our skin protects us from any external evils also known as pathogens like bacteria or viruses. Here are some steps for supporting the Lungs during the fall.

  1. Practice meditation that involves focus on breathwork. For instance the mantra by Thich Nhat Han, “breathing in I relax breathing out I smile”
  2. Take care of our skin and help it let go of what is not wanted. Exfoliate your whole body with a sugar or salt scrub. See recipe below.
  3. Use a detoxifying massage oil to nourish your skin and perform lymph massage while applying the oil. See this site for making calendula oil, a detoxifying oil you can make at home. You can also just use some extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Or spice it up by adding a couple drops of your favorite essential oils.
  4. Nourish your Lungs with food. Pears are a great food to moisten the Lungs if you have a dry cough or tend towards dryness in your body. You can also make stewed pears (add walnuts to tonify the yang) that nourishes the yin and yang and is aromatic to help open the Lungs.
  5. Take an herbal formula to support our Wei qi or protective qi. Like Jade Windscreen Yu Ping Fang San. This supports the Lungs and prevents us from catching a cold or flu. Come in to see Genevieve to help you get the right formula for your constitution.

Have a beautiful Fall and stay healthy and happy!

img_1641

Lovely Calendula Blooming in the Garden

 

Spicy and Sweet Body Scrub 6oz.

  • ½ cup brown sugar or turbinado sugar or sea salt*
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • (can use almond or sesame oil as well)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (powdered)
  • ½ teaspoon ginger (powdered)
  • ½ teaspoon clove (powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground rice
  • (or 20 drops vanilla essential oil)
  • *optional* add 10 drops cinnamon EO

Mix all ingredients in a glass or metal bowl, using a whisk to uniformly mix. Scoop into storage container. Use on moistened skin to exfoliate, then rinse. Not intended for using more than 1 x per week. *Can also use sea salt for this recipe, especially Epsom salt to penetrate tight muscles. Use caution since salt is more abrasive and can sting on freshly shaven or sensitive skin.