Chinese Medicine Recommendations for Spring Cleansing #localfarmer'smarket #goeasyonthebooze

As we gently shed the hibernation energy of winter, we should be consuming a range of in-season foods, especially those that help clean out the liver—vegetables like leafy or bitter greens, spring carrots, and radishes. The liver needs special attention during this season since it’s working overtime to deliver the vital life force, qi, throughout the body. While food is certainly a central pillar in TCM, lifestyle practices are equally important (and seasonal!) aspects in balancing the mind, body, and spirit; exercise, sleep, and stress reduction all play a role. TCM is “less about a quick fix—and more about nourishing that which is lacking or reducing that which is in overabundance.

We’re all made up of yin (cool) and yang (hot) elements, according to TCM, and their balance is what keeps us healthy. If yang is dominant, yin-promoting foods should be eaten to stave off illness—a hallmark of imbalance—and vice versa. Whether you need more yin or yang in your diet changes with the season; an idea the West has embraced with the rise of seasonal eating. But eating what’s growing near and now isn’t just about savoring ripe produce; it also restores your body’s equilibrium. Nature will give us what we need to balance out.

During winter we were eating warming foods, like garlic and ginger, but we can now start to eat cooler foods to balance us out. Stick to what nature offers up: cool-weather spring greens like pea sprouts, mustard greens, and kale, including the flowers as they start to bolt with the warming weather. Check with your local farmers or farmers markets, if you have access to them, and keep to what they are currently growing. If in doubt, opt for leafy greens, lots of vegetables, and whole grains, and you’ll be off to a good start!

Go easy on the booze right now.

Protect your liver at all costs! We all know how booze can destroy it, so resist the urge to drink all day in the sun on the weekends. While not a cocktail replacement, ju hua chrysanthemum tea-the variety typically served with dim sum—is great for your liver. Goji berries too!

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