Wood Element: Sprouts and Fermented Foods
According to Chinese Medicine, there are foods that can heal you and foods that can harm you, based on your imbalance or constitutional make up. These foods are classified by their elemental affiliation, temperature, season, flavor, and their balance. As a general rule, always eat foods that are in season, local, and never over eat one flavor.
As we age, we turn to stone: stenosis, fibrosis, sclerosis,calcifications. The body hardens, but with proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications, we can reduce and or eliminate this process of rigor mortis. By following a lifestyle as close to nature as possible, and supplementing when necessary, we can live a very healthy and long life. This is the practice of Yang Sheng, the practice of nurturing life.
The spring season corresponds with the Wood Element. Spring is considered young yang, like sunrise. This is the time when nature’s energy is expanding, pushing upward. The organs that correspond with the Wood element are the Liver and Gallbladder. In Chinese Medical Theory, the Liver controls the smooth flow of Qi. It also controls the tendons and sinews. It has an important role over menstruation, and promoting a healthy circadian rhythm. The Liver regulates all functions in the body. The Gallbladder is known for being the decision maker, and has a relationship with the brain.
The sensory organ of the Wood element are the eyes. The emotional aspect is frustration, which causes congestion and stagnation of Qi. The flavor of the Wood Element is sour, which is very moving. The Wood element rules over the sinews and tendons.
Some conditions that may be due to a Wood imbalance are dry, itchy, red eyes, poor impulse control, fatigue, inability to make decisions, mental fogginess, poor eating habits, irregular menstruation, tendonitis, loss of range of motion, sore muscles or joints, tight muscles or joint stiffness, insomnia, tinnitus, high blood pressure, moodiness, dream disturbed sleep, alternating fever and chills, neck pain and stiffness, and hip pain and stiffness, vertex or temporal headaches, PCOS, yeast infections, brittle nails, dry skin, flank pain, cholecystitis.
The spring is an optimal time to do a detox. After a dormant winter, the body needs to shed toxins that have built up from inactivity and from the body healing. The liver filters the blood in western medical theory, monitors blood composition, as well as play a role in breaking down fat (which is where we store toxins). It also helps regulate blood sugars, immune system function, and blood clotting.
As we age, it becomes more and more imperative to take care of our organs, to ensure optimal health. By following a lifestyle of moderation, and by taking joy in living healthy, we may reap the rewards that come with such diligence.
Foods You Should Be Eating During Spring
Leafy Greens, Lemons, Vinegars, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Kombucha, Bone Broth, Pickles, Celery, Barley, Asparagus, Beets, Lime Quinoa, Goji Berries, Basil, Sprouts, Avocado, Green Apple, Tomato, Liver, Broccoli, Leek, Lima Beans, Watercress Kale Collard Greens Artichokes, Escarole, Parsley, Cucumbers, Alfalfa, Mung Beans, Lentils, Sour Cherries, Turkey