As we move into Spring time, we can nourish ourselves through eating certain types of foods that are beneficial for our liver and gallbladder. The liver and gallbladder meridians are linked to the element of wood and the season of Spring in Chinese five element theory. As well as doing movement practices to help stimulate the points along the liver and gallbladder meridians, we can eat foods that support the liver and gallbladder, creating a greater vibrancy and optimism associated with this time of year.
In the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, the liver is said to 'hold the office of general of the armed forces. Assessment of circumstances and conception of plans stem from it', which makes Spring a create time to be bring creative plans to fruition so that we are in a position to put them into action during the time of peak yang in the Summer. The gallbladder 'is responsible for what is just and exact. Determination and decision stem from it' and it is associated with the emotion of courage. Combine the qualities of liver and gallbladder together, in balance and well nourished, it gives us courage to bring our plans into being.
The liver really loves all green leafy veg - they are nourishing for the blood - as well as foods that help cut through congestion and fat; this can include things such as citrus foods, in particular lemon. Lemon in hot water can be great, or adding lemon to food. Below is a simple recipe taken from the book Recipes for Self-Healing by Daverick Leggett that combines greens and lemon!
Spring Greens with Lemon
Daverick says 'Simplicity is the key to enjoying fresh spring greens, which are a vital part of our diet. This way of cooking them is light and refreshing.'
1 lb spring greens
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons lemon juice
Gomasio (an alternative to salt: this is 20 parts sesame seeds, 1 part sea salt - dry roast the ingredients in a pan and then grind together in a mini blender or with pestle and mortar)
Roughly shred the spring greens and steam them until just tender. Combine the olive oil and lemon. Serve the greens, pour on the dressing and sprinkle liberally with gomasio (or sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds if you haven't time to make the gomasio).