the organ system of the Liver. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flowing of Qi (energy) throughout the body. When the liver functions smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly.
Green is the color of the Liver and springtime. Eating young plants - fresh, leafy greens, sprouts, and immature cereal grasses - can improve the Liver's overall functions and aid in qi's movement. The Liver and gallbladder are usually the primary targets for springtime cleansing and health regimens.
And Indeed, these organs often need cleansing and purification after a winter season when one typically eats heavier, richer foods. To cleanse with food, one may use the sour flavor and the bitter flavor, which is cleansing, purifying, and sometimes purgative. We also use the pungent flavor to simulate Qi flow. The sweet taste to harmonize the entire process and sedate an "angry" liver, and even a little salty flavor, especially in the form of sea veggies, is known to provide a healing Yin essence for the Liver to purify and restore.
The spices fennel, dill, anise, caraway, black pepper, oregano, and fenugreek, plus turmeric and rosemary, work well during this season because they are all moderately pungent. Examples of common pungent foods include horseradish, radish, and its sprout, mustard and mustard greens, and all allium family members (chive, leek, onion, garlic, scallion, shallot).
Spring is also time to cook food for a shorter time at higher temperatures, such as stir-frying, light steaming, and simmering to help seal nutrients and enzymes. Bringing creativity and inspiration into your cooking will also help to harmonize with this busy season.
Remember, I'm always here to help; email me your spring diet questions at ContactToni@drtonicamacho.com or click here to check out my class on cooking with spice and learn more about spring herbs and spices
Dr. Toni is a Best-selling author, Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) & Registered Herbalist in San Diego, California. She holds a PhD in psychology, and a Clinical Herbalist Certificate, an HHP certificate and is a Certified Trainer in the Success Principles. In private practice as a HHP she has been influenced by a variety of clinical modalities and orientations, and by the diverse life experiences of her clients. Toni’s approach to healing is holistic & transpersonal. In her work, she integrates the principles of Eastern and Western nutrition, herbololgy, energy medicine, Buddhist mindfulness and personal counseling to assist others in working through their physical or emotional blocks to attain optimal health.