This is the “cleaning” season, the time when everything is reborn and restored. We bloom to be later nurtured by the summer. The beginning of Spring is March 21, the time of Spring equinox when day equals night. For the next 6 months the sun and the yang principle will be dominating our lives. Spring is the greening season, the time to plant intentions as well as food, relationships, and goals.
This element relates to the living and growing, i.e. all living things. This element also refers to all growing structures, like the roots, and the trunks, the bones. A wood imbalance can result in spinal problems, poor flexibility. Arthritis for example is a wood problem or deficiency.
The colour associated with the wood element is green, and mentally this corresponds to the concept of “idea”, or clarity and ability to plan and make decisions. The direction associated with the wood element is East, the beginning of the day as the sun rises on the East. Thus, this element rules and dominates the morning and the way our body reacts during this time. The climate related to spring is the wind, which clears the old and brings the fresh. Wind nourishes the wood, and it supports pollination processes. Too much wind will imbalance the wood element in us. The liver will weaken and we will result with poor immune systems, and allergic sensitivities [how to treat allergies]. The eyes are the sense organ for the liver and Wood element. The wood element is associated with the sour flavor. The emotion of this element is Anger. Suppressing anger will affect the liver and gallbladder. The tissues governed by the Wood element are the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, those which hold us together, giving strength and flexibility.
Organs: Liver and Gallbladder
These organs carry out essential body functions, particularly the digestion and processing of many substances taken into the body. The liver is the largest internal organ, located in the right upper abdomen. The liver supports the processes carried out by the heart and lungs. Essentially it stores and distributes nourishment for the entire body, as well as taking part in the formation of blood, and filtering the toxins it. The hepatic cells in the liver make bile which aids in digestion, then stores it in the gallbladder to be used in the intestines for the breakdown of fats and for enhancing the small intestine’s ability to absorb fatty acids. The liver also aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, helping to keep the blood sugar levels regulated by converting fats and proteins into glucose. The liver can form vitamin A and store vitamin D and B-complex. It also stores minerals such as copper, zing, and iron. The gallbladder sits beneath and at the front edge of the central area of the liver. It stores and secretes bile for digestion, especially breaking down fats.
- Relaxing before eating to receive full nourishment of the meal. Eating should be avoided under stressful situations.
- Liver detox: drink lemon water. In the mornings when you wake up squeeze a 1/4 of a lemon in warm water and drink before eating breakfast.
- Consuming whole foods, as these have the most energy, getting it from the vital life force [Earth and Sun], while foods that are factory-processed or heated lose much of their natural nourishment.
- The spring time is the best time for detoxing and cleaning our bodies. Note: this is different than fasting, which is defined as water intake only.
- This is the best time to take fruit and vegetable juices, as these lighten up the heat-producing diet of Winter.
- Eat sprouted seeds, grains, beans. Almost any seed or bean will sprout.
- It is important to also do therapeutic massages to help the tissues release toxins and tension, like reflexology and acupressure.
- To keep the body strong while detoxing, it is important to add a high-protein plant product like Spirulina or Chlorella. You can add these powders to cold-raw soups, salads or green juices.
- Peppermint and Dandelion are great for spring time. Their freshness cleans and stimulates. Try making a spray tonic for your face. It is also good for colds and fevers. Dandelion is a great liver cleanser.
- Exercises that stretch your muscles are good during this time. It is also good to introduce new activities and goals. To support you cleans process restorative yoga is best at this time of the year.
Diet & Recipes
Stanley Burroughs’ Master Cleanser
- 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemons
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup (I recommend local honey)
- 1/10 tsp cayenne pepper
- 8 oz spring water
- Drink 8-12 glasses throughout the day. At least 6 glasses for 1-2 weeks.
- If carrying the drink, use a glass jar to avoid toxins created from plastic reacting to acids in the lemon.
- Rinse your mouth after drinking to clear the lemon and maple syrup from your teeth. The sugars can be damaging, and ascorbic/citric acids can pull calcium from enamel.
Lemon: High in vitamin C and potassium. The astringent flavor contract and tighten tissues, clearing toxins from deep tissues, joints, and organs
Cayenne Pepper: clears blood, eliminates toxins and mucus, and keeps body warm.
Maple Syrup: Gives energy, and like honey, it is a primary natural sugar.
Adding a cold-pressed (unrefined) olive oil, one tablespoon twice a daily, is a good nutrient, liver toner, and intestinal lubricant.
Mix a teaspoon of licorice root, anise, fennel or fenugreek in a few cups of water, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, then let steep. Drink in the morning and before going to bed. *This is a mild laxative tea*
“Staying Healthy with the Seasons” by Dr. Elson M. Haas. M.D. 21st Century Edition.