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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spring Cleaning ~ Wood Element ~ Liver Detox

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Now that we finally got a break in the weather, everyone is thinking about spring cleaning which usually translates into new looks for the home (and wardrobe), losing weight, new ideas for  summer activities and detoxing the body to spring into better health!

As an herbalist and teacher of healing with the elements (water, wood, fire, earth and metal), I would like to offer a few ideas to give you more ammunition to spring into better health.

Spring time is a natural cycle of the Universe where we find ourselves with new energy (coming out of the cold, dormant winter), mentally and physically.  We want to move more and think of new and exciting things.  In healing with the elements, Spring is encompassed within the Wood element.  The color of the Wood Element is green, its yin and yang organs are liver and gall bladder, its emotion is anger and its sense organ are the eyes.

The wood element is consider the Home of the Soul, the liver the body's largest internal organ, and the eyes the Windows of the Soul, as the liver opens into the eyes. When the wood element is properly nourished by the water element, the liver is harmonized and receives blood properly and the eyes can see; many eye and vision disorders are liver-related. Eyebright aids in stimulating the liver to clear the blood and relieve those conditions that affect clarity of vision and thought. It should be taken liberally on a daily basis to treat all eye problems.

The Liver is like a “General of an Army” because it maintains evenness and harmony of movement throughout the body, and together with the gall bladder, controls bile secretion. Therefore, imbalanced wood may result in poor resistance to illness, allergic sensitivities: sinus, skin problems, or irritated or watery eyes.

Golden Seal
Herbs with the sour taste, which sedates (or calms) the liver, include aloe vera, barberry, chaparral, gentian, golden seal, Peruvian bark, white poplar bark, dandelion, Oregon grape root, yellow dock and sassafras. 

Herbs with a sweet taste tonifies the liver, and include licorice and marshmallow. 

Yellow Dock
Some herbs that restore balance to the liver include: Burdock, Chaparral, Dandelion, Yellow Dock, Gentian, Prickly Ash Bark and Sassafras.

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