Spring is the season of the liver. It is also the time to grow and be mindful of your body, a time to exercise outside and to do breathing exercises to protect and strengthen the lungs. But also be mindful that too much exercise is not healthy. An important time to eat foods to nourish and strengthen the liver and kidneys. Our organs assist each other in staying healthy and kidney health is important to liver health.

Bitter and sour foods reduce excesses in the liver…. like grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, brown-rice or rice-wine vinegars, limes, pungent foods, anything in the onion family, mustard greens, turmeric, basil, bay leaf, cardamom, marjoram, cumin fennel, dill, ginger, horseradish, rosemary, mints, lemon balm.

The kidneys benefit from any foods that are black and or shaped like the kidneys. Incorporating nori, the seaweed sheets used in most sushi wraps, black sesame seeds or black tahini will nourish the kidneys and help the hair be healthy. Asparagus and watercress, the liver also likes watercress, are also good kidney foods. If you choose black beans or any other type beans, make sure you soak them for 36 to 48 hours changing the water twice and then pressure cook them to remove as many lectins as possible.

Lectins are a compound that cause inflammation and are found in the skins of beans and legumes, and skin and seeds of many fruits, including the nightshades, like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, squashes and beans. Lectins can be lessened if you remove the seeds and skins.

Symptoms of Kidney imbalance include; bone problems, especially of the knees, low back and teeth hearing, infections, head hair problems, including hair loss, premature greying and split ends, urinary, sexual and reproductive issues, poor growth and premature aging excessive fear.

Symptoms of liver imbalance are put into categories: Liver heat, stuck liver energy, deficient liver yin and blood and liver wind and too many symptoms to list all in this article. A few are listed here to give you an idea.
Liver Heat: anything that is red, like the face, eyes, splitting headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia menopausal disorders, irritability, impatience, aggression, because heat rises not only in nature outside the body, but also inside the body.
Stagnant liver , allergies, distended abdomen or breasts, menstrual, eye, tendon and finger or toenail problems, being rigid and inflexible and frustration, moodiness, impulsiveness and negativity are all signs the liver is not happy.
Liver wind: pain that comes and goes, cramps, tremors, twitching, palsy, vertigo, dizziness, nervousness, agitation, uneasiness.

The liver, and the kidneys too, are important filters.  Filters need cleaning. We clean the filters in our car several times a years and change the filter in our air conditioner every month.  The filters in our body need the same care and intention.  We clean the outside of our body every day. Imagine how dirty the inside is after 30, 40 or 50 years of being clogged up with foods that we have enjoyed, like ice cream, pastries, alcohol, fried foods and more, but are not what the body considers helpful.

Changing to a more healthy diet can make you feel better, but will not be the total answer to clearing the inside.  You don’t change the kind of gas you put in your car to clean the oil and filter, because that is a different system.  You do an intentional oil and filter change. This is what the body also needs, intentional cleaning of the liver and kidney as it is a filter too.

Herbal medicine, a very highly developed medicine, that uses specific herbs to help with the specific pattern the body is presenting may help the liver so we can have better physical and mental health.

Is it time for an internal shower? Contact your acupuncturist/herbalist and clean the inside of your body every six months.