Spring Begins, nourish your liver to avoid spring diseases.
The traditional calendar regards “Spring Begins,” “The Beginning of Summer,” “Autumn Begins,” and “Winter Begins” as the beginning of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, which are called “Beginning of four” Solar Terms.
Spring Begins is the first of 24 Solar Terms, marking the Beginning of Spring in an astronomical sense. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, The Great Theory of Four Qi Regulation stated, “In the third month of spring, this is called growth and development, the heaven and the earth are born, and all things are prosperous,” which means that in the spring, the yang energy is born, and all things are born in spring.
Therefore, during the Spring Begins, taking advantage of the rising yang energy and the vigorous metabolism of the human body, through appropriate health preservation methods, adapting to nature, and striving for physical and mental harmony, it can lay the foundation of the health for the whole year.
立春节气宜养肝为先，调畅情志 Nourish qi and liver during Spring Begins
According to nature, spring belongs to wood, corresponding to liver. This is the theory of the Five Elements, which uses the characteristics of the five elements to explain the characteristics of the physiological activities of the five zang organs. For example, the liver likes to regulate, has the function of dredging, and the wood has the characteristics of hair growth. Therefore, the liver belongs to the “wood.”
The physiological characteristics of the liver are mainly to relieve anger, dislike depression and to be happy.
In terms of spiritual health in spring, we must avoid violent anger, and even avoid depression, be open-minded, optimistic, and maintain a happy mood.
After Spring Begins, the nature is full of vitality, and all things are prosperous. At the same time, we should make fully cherish that spring nature is “to refresh,” and take advantage of the rising of yang, the emergence of all things, and the vigorous metabolism of the human body.
Go to bed early, get up early, and walk in the morning, so that the body is soothed, the spirit is happy, keep an open mind, and the vitality is nurtured.
In spring, when the liver is prosperous and the spleen is weak, the digestive function is easily affected, such as mental depression, which may cause symptoms such as fullness of the chest and flank, abdominal distension and abdominal pain, loose stools, and diarrhea.
As the saying goes, “All herbs return to buds, old diseases germinate” in spring. Spring Begins is also a reason of frequent diseases. Therefore, daily life should be careful not to be overlooked, so as not to increase the burden on the liver. Patients with liver disease, hypertension or cerebrovascular sclerosis should pay attention to protecting and nourishing the liver.
注意保暖， “春捂”有理 Pay attention to keep warm
Another saying goes, “Don’t wear less during spring, and don’t wear hats during autumn.” In spring, the climate changes greatly, and the weather is cold and warm. As the body begins to become loose, its resistance to cold is weakened.
Qiangin Yaofang advocates that clothing should be “thick for lower body and thin for upper body” in spring, and Lao Lao Heng Yan also mentioned, “In spring, the lower body is too warm, and the upper body can be slightly reduced.”
Therefore, don’t put away your winter clothes too early during Spring Begins, you still need to keep warm and keep out the cold, and lastly do not get blown by wind when sweating.
Less nourishing, salt, and sour, more sweet, and mild nutrition supplements
少补少盐 Less salt & less nourishing
The four seasons has the characteristics of “spring birth, summer growth, autumn harvest, and winter storage.” In winter, appropriate supplements are based on individual physical fitness, which is in line with the principle of winter storage.
However, after Spring Begins, the amount of tonic should be gradually reduced to adapt to the seasonal characteristics of comfortable and smoothness in spring.
At the same time, the intake of salt should be reduced, because the salty taste enters the kidney, and excessive salt intake can easily damage the kidney qi, which is not conducive to maintaining the yang qi.
少酸多甘 Less sour & more sweet
The Classic of Internal Medicine states that “nourishing yang in spring and summer, nourishing yin in autumn and winter,” Sun Simiao pointed out in Qian Jin Fang that the diet in spring should “save sour and increase sweetness, to nourish the temper” consume less sour and more sweet foods, and less spicy food in spring.
Because when the sour taste enters the liver, it has astringent properties, which is not conducive to the growth of yang qi and the evacuation of liver qi. Sweet tastes can nourish the spleen and prevent the liver from overpowering the spleen.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also believes that the five flavors enter the five internal organs, such as sour flavor entering the liver, sweet flavor entering the spleen and so on.
If you consume more sour foods, it can strengthen the function of the liver and make the already hyperactive liver qi more prosperous, which will greatly damage the spleen and stomach qi.
Therefore, for spring diet, we should pay attention to the characteristics of the yang qi in the spring, and we should consume products that are spicy and sweet, not sour.
The Law of Tibetan Qi stated, “the liver controls the spring, the liver is bitter, the liver wants to disperse, the pungent supplement is used, and sour is purged.”
Spring Begins, purposefully choose some herbs such as goji berry, turmeric, dan shen, corydalis yanhusuo, etc. that soften the liver, nourish the liver, and soothe the liver and regulate qi, which can also achieve the purpose of nourishing and protecting the liver.
宜平补 Mild nutrition supplements
Spring Begins diet should be balanced and supplemented, and the diet should follow the principle of promoting yang.
The is because the spring is sunny, windy, and rainy, and the climate is dry. Overuse of tonic could increase the body internal fire.
Different people have different tonic methods. For the elderly, due to the gradual decline of the function of the internal organs, the yang deficiency is obvious, and the spring is mainly composed of sweet and warm things, such as red date, Chinese yam, lotus seeds, etc.
For office workers, especially those who often work overtime, while nourishing yang qi, they should also nourish yin, consume more Chinese yam, bamboo shoots, spinach, leeks, fungus, rice, noodles, papaya, lily, goji berry, etc.
Overall, spring tonic should vary from person to person. It is better to supplement with mild tonic and consume more sweet and less sour foods.
Traditional Chinese Medicine emphasizes the unity of human and nature, that people are born in nature and should conform to the law of nature.
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