Spring Fever–Liver Health

Tree of life 2Here in NC we had our first week of hot weather. Spring had rushed in, better late than never. Birds were chirping, bees buzzing, flowers popping and pollen flying. The sun shone with clear purpose and I was in a bad mood. In fact, despite the wonderful weather–everyone seemed grumpy. While I was actively avoiding my loved ones, I picked up a book and was reminded of the basis of all the irritation: Spring fever, literally.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a cosmological system called Five Element Theory. Within their system, health is directly influenced by the energetic shifts of the natural world, as well by the internal (physical) environment. When we look at the below chart, we see that the season that corresponds with the Liver (network) is spring-time. The liver is connected with the Wood element, the emotion of the Liver is anger (interesting….) the senses associated are vision and the taste of sour. So, what does this mean for my grouchy mood? Let’s break this down….

 theory-of-the-five-elements1

 The energy of spring is rushing, vibrant, the fever pitch of nature coming to life again. Our physical bodies also waking up, the heat of the sun warming our bodies and causing an increase in atomic vibration. Our energy is moving faster and in TCM, the Liver network is responsible for the smooth flow of energy. If our Liver is not in top shape (cold/flu, too many Christmas cookies, tax time, etc) then it may not be able to command the flow of spring energy giving rise to internal heat and wind (allergies, headaches), anger, insomnia and other issues.

Interestingly, traditional medicine has always used the spring time, as a natural time for detoxification, with special focus on the liver and lymphatic system. The first spring herbs are full of nutrients, but also have special diuretic and detoxification properties, some also have antihistamine constituents  that help with seasonal allergies. Mother Nature is offering us the exact medicine we need to prepare our bodies for the spring rush. Many of us also feel an innate desire to spring-clean our bodies–getting rid of excess winter weight, becoming more active and social.

I came home and shared this information with Brandon. It made sense to him, he had been grumpy too. We decided to do an experiment: drinking an herbal tea to support the liver to see if we could cool the fever from the liver. We mixed Dandelion leaf, Nettle Leaf, and Peppermint to make the tea. Our formula well balanced for liver-fire. The dandelion and nettle both have a slightly sour taste (which is the taste to balance Liver). They are also nutritive and work as both diuretics and mild detoxifiers. Their energy is cool and soothing. The Peppermint is very cooling and helps to take the kinetic energy out of the nervous system.

We both found the tea to be very satisfying and we both felt more calm. I was humbled to be reminded that I am not apart from the natural world, but am more influenced by it then my consciousness knows. By looking in my backyard apothecary at the plethora of spring medicine there, the herbs inspired my conscience-awareness.

Homestead Healthcare Spring Fever Tea

Dandelion leaf         1p

Nettle leaf                  1p

Peppermint leaf      1/2p

Lightly infuse herbs and mix with local honey for added immune enhancement.

Resources:

Crystal Honeycutt, HB: http://www.balancedliving4u.com

Just Bee Apiary: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Bee-Apiary/325542800863610