In our last post, we explored the connection between springtime and the liver in the Chinese medicine. We also discussed the tendency of the liver to fall out of balance in the spring and how this is the ideal time of year to focus on detoxifying your liver.

The word “detox” has become a popular term over the past few years. Before we get into the ways/benefits of detoxing your liver, let me explain what I mean when I use the word “detox.” When I talk about detoxing your liver, I’m referring to the ability to support the body’s natural detoxification processes through lifestyle changes, nutrition and supplementation. I want to be clear that I’m not referring to aggressive cleanses, all-juice diets, etc.

The liver is the organ of detoxification and is constantly working hard to carry out its elimination duties. Here are a few ways to support the liver and its ability to do its job:

  1. Drink water with lemon. Lemon is sour, sour is good for the liver.
  2. Avoid unhealthy food. Nutrition is very important. Avoid greasy foods, preservatives, additives, processed foods, dyes, sweeteners, alcohol, drugs and trans-fats, which are bad for the liver.
  3. Eat fresh produce. It’s spring: the color is green and there’s new growth. This means lots of fresh produce and new vegetables. Savor seasonal produce.
  4. Move your body. Exercise! In winter, yin is dominant – everything is quiet, still and dark. In spring, yang is emerging out of yin, which sparks energy and movement. Exercise your body and use your muscles and tendons to detox your body.
  5. Heal with herbs. There are several herbs that are great for the liver, such as Chai hu, Milk Thistle, Dandelion root, Burdock root, Licorice and Fumaria.
  6. Get regular Acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture helps to move qi and blood throughout the body, which is especially helpful to the liver this time of year as it is prone to stagnation.
  7. Eat for the liver. There are several foods that are great for the liver, such as: green-leafy vegetables, gluten-free whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes.

Are you taking steps to detoxify your liver this spring? How do you feel? Share your comments below.