Wood Element – Spring march 21- June 21
In the five-element theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is related to the wood element, which is paired with our liver and gall bladder meridians and arises from the potential of water, which is the winter element we are moving from.
As we are walking around watching all of nature sprouting to life, little green shoots bursting out of seemingly nowhere into full blown blossoming greenery, flowers and scents. I have been enjoying walks in the forest from the sleep of winter into the miraculous seeming appearance of spring. It is also exciting to walk in the city and watch people come alive and bright with possibility again, buzzing with life and excitement for warmth after a long cold closed in winter. A welcome sense of renewal and creativity is everywhere.
The liver governs our will, vision and self responsibility, so cleansing and bringing balance to it in spring at a time when we are bursting through with creativity and expression will help us in our direction and path for fruitfulness of our purpose.
It is a time of free expression and creativity, not to be blocked because if blocked it could give rise to frustration, anger, jealousy and stagnation. Find inspiration in being creative and engage in acts of kindness.
You hear of many cleanses, spring cleaning, mind, body and soul. This is also reflected in what nature provides us with at this time. The flavor of this season is sour. A time to drink lots of fluids,put lemon in your water, eat lots of raw foods and greens, sprouts are great, seeds and nuts all help nourish the liver. Engage in physical activity to help get things flowing and aid in cleansing the liver. Go for walks, bike rides enjoy the fresh air.
I have been loving dandelion tea, in particular really loving dandy blend and mixing it with chaga bits from Giddy YoYo
and a touch of almond milk to make a cappuccino type drink. Super detoxifying and delicious.
Even dandelion leaves make a great addition to salad.
Great ways to get foods that are in season for spring are to visit your local farmers market. Nature provides us with what we need in the time and place that we need it. A closer relationship with observing nature will help us stay in tune with our own bodies and help us maintain a balance in our own well-being. The farmers market is also a lovely place to reconnect with your community and be in a space where people are having the intention to connect with the season.
Foods that are great for including in your spring menus are
Grain: wheat, oats, rye, buckwheat
Vegetables: broccoli, parsley, lettuce, kale, collard greens, carrots, alfalfa, beets, leeks, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, artichokes, cucumbers, celery, endive, radicchio, escarole, watercress
Beans and Pulses: mung, Lima, green lentils
Fruits: limes, lemons, grapefruit, green apple, sour cherry, avocado, plums, quince
Herbs: Milk thistle, dandelion, chelidonium, gynostemma leaf, spirulina, turmeric
Chinese Tonic Foods: Reishi mushrooms, Lycium berries (Goji), Schizandra berries
Delicious meal idea
Sautee up turmeric in sesame oil, then add some shiitake mushrooms with some wild leaks, then add some kale , broccoli, and water cress.
Put it over some buckwheat, mung beans, add some alfalfa on top with some roasted nuts and seeds and squeeze on some lime.
Shiatsu and yoga are great to help balance our meridians as well.
So go out and take some time to be in nature and observe the similarities between what is happening with you and what is happening outside.