Spring and the Liver and Gall Bladder Meridians, blood stagnation and deficiency

In Oriental Medicine, each Meridian has a season that represents a changing of where a different set of Meridians are active. Spring is the season for the Liver and Gall Bladder Meridians; they care for the organs of liver and gall bladder as well as the eyes, blood, tendons and ligaments, and feelings such as anger, frustration and courage.

The Liver Meridian. A stagnated Liver Meridian can lead to headaches, migraines, constipation and a bitter taste. Sour is the flavor for spring, so to alleviate this experience, try adding some lemons, pears, apples, grapefruit, kiwi, mandarin orange, olives, pineapple, strawberries, tangerines and tomatoes to your meal plan. (Read more about this in my article about organic food.)

Blood Stagnation and the Liver Meridian. The Liver Meridian can be responsible for Qi and Blood Stagnation — and these can be the cause of a variety of pains. Acupuncture helps relieve the stagnation. To help your body heal from pain, include chestnuts, chili peppers, chives, crabs, onions, mustard leaves, peaches and vinegar in your diet.

Blood deficiency and foods that help. Blood Deficiency needs tonics to build us up, and Blood Deficiency may leave a person pale, weak, dizzy and tired. Has anyone said you are anemic? After childbirth or surgery, one can develop a blood deficiency. Eating adzuki beans, apricots, beef, beets, eggs, dark leafy greens, figs, grapes, kidney beans, parsley, sardines and watercress helps build up your blood.

The Liver Meridian and our eyes. The Liver Meridian works with our eyes. Foods that help this are cucumbers, tofu, water chestnuts and chicken.

It’s time to detox. Simple detox procedures are always good for the body in the spring, since this time of the year represents new growth and releasing the old. Black sesame seeds, celery, chives, clams, crabs, peppermint, plums, saffron, chicory, vinegar and wine help with a detox and support the Liver and Gall Bladder Meridians.

One of my favorite detox foods is beets. I eat one every day in the spring. Also, I recommend Dr. Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain. We are seeing incredible, yes, incredible changes in our patients who are following his recommendations.

How much fruit should you eat this season? I recommend only one serving of fruit a day; keep it under 15 grams of fructose. (See my list.) Be sure to eat enough protein – especially eggs, chicken, clams and crabs every day.