In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wood energy governs the Liver and Gallbladder. The liver is the largest gland in our bodies and is responsible for both for the flow of blood and the flow of Qi. By helping with detoxification and metabolism, it helps energy move freely through the body.
The liver does so much for our emotional and physical well-being: filtering and absorbing toxins, regulating metabolism and hormones. Think of it as traffic control—controlling the flow of nutrients and fats—into the blood and onto muscles and tissues.
When the liver is stagnant, we feel sluggish, overwhelmed and irritable. Mental fatigue, headaches, eye issues, digestive discomfort, inflammation and pain in muscles and joints, frequent colds and flus, headaches, skin breakouts, depression and mood swings are common symptoms when our Liver Qi is not flowing. When your liver is functioning properly, your emotional and physical states are balanced.
Because of the critical role the liver plays in purifying our blood, giving it a break and allowing it to detox is an important part of any wellness program.
In general, you should get rest, reduce stress, avoid alcohol, sugar and greasy foods. Drink plenty of water, coffee (in moderation), green tea, fiber, brussel sprouts, leafy greens (the more bitter, the better!), broccoli, beets, almonds, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit, dark chocolate, warm spices (especially turmeric), dandelion, milk thistle, olive oil, and garlic are all beneficial to liver health.
Erewhon’s philosophy of uniqueness means detox and cleanses work differently for different people. While these general recommendations should benefit most individuals, it’s important that you listen to your body.
For many, cleansing your liver during winter is not ideal. However, we are lucky to live in Southern California and together with a healthy diet, you liver can thrive year round. Wood energy is all about vision, so mediation, journaling, and talking through ideas with loved ones in your community are ways to keep your liver energy flowing.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2019! xx