KEEPING CALM & COOL
We have arrived at a glorious time of the year and if you are like me, you thrive in the summer time! Nature wakes up and just goes through the magical motions of seeding, growing and producing fruit. We are exposed to the elements and can integrate further into the fertility and abundance that surrounds us. Nature is a big support for our bodies, while everything is good in moderation, all of the elements have a role in helping us to feel more at easy. Our nervous system flourishes with time in nature, and how can it not with nutrients from a little sun, birds singing, the green vegetation?
As the heat rises, so does our energy and the fire in our bodies. It's easier to become more irritated if we are not fully present and aware. Heat to the exterior body can change how our organs and viscera are functioning and also our constitution. The sudden change in weather can set us off kilter and maybe even create anxieties around doing everything and taking advantage of the short time that we have with warm weather in Canada.
It's important to always adjust our pace with every change in season, and ancient wisdom has always spoken about supporting the body and tuning into what it needs.
The liver is a vital organ for cleansing the blood, making blood, making bile for digestion, transporting nutrients and so much more! It is even considered an endocrine organ, playing a roll in clearing hormones out of the body. The liver carries the emotion of anger and opens to the eyes (we may see signs of liver deficiencies in the eyes). Our bodies are constantly exposed to environmental toxins, so guess who's doing the work to separate toxins from nutrients? You guessed it, the liver! The issue here is, if our liver is not able to recognize foreign toxins, it then stores it and over time those can clog up the body and increase the changes of liver stagnation - and the entire body would pay the price, the liver has over 500 jobs!
As you can see, taking care of the liver is essential and maybe even a priority over the other organs (arguably...)
Let's talk about some simple ways to support the liver!
The liver likes sour foods - like lemon, lime, sour apple, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, fermented foods
Herbal support - Milk thistle protects the liver, Astragalus root repairs liver cells, licorice root cleanses the liver, dandelion helps the liver make bile, burdock root and gentle plants like chickweed will go a LONG way! (always check with your trusted herbalist before using any plant)
Manage your emotions - notice when emotions are flaring up and move through them consciously (easier said than done right?) all emotions are natural, but notice the ones that are residing for long periods of time, or even the one that seems to be the most prominent, if anger is the answer, maybe your liver is trying to send you a message
Reduce alcohol intake (yes that includes wine lol) and sweet, greasy & fatty processed foods, and if you cannot that's okay - up the support with whole foods and sour foods
Add in bitters - bitters help to get the liver going. It can be a pre-dinner aperitif to help stimulate gastric juices and bile. This helps in the digestive process and clearing up left over food in the stomach
A small cup of coffee in the morning, stimulates the liver - it helps to get it going and moving it's energy throughout the body
One key sign that your liver may be slow function or not at optimal health is late nights and insomnia (particularly between 1am-3am) In TCM this is a sign that our liver is needing some support!
If it's your thing: Coffee enemas. They are tried and true, There are nerves and the portal vein that connects the liver to the large intestine. Coffee enema's help to stimulate the liver in releasing a high amount of bile and glutathion to clear heavy toxins from the body. (always speak with a naturopath before administering this and any new herbs to your body)