Spring is associated with the Wood element, which governs the liver and gall bladder. Strong winds are typical during spring.  The North and East winds in spring could over-strengthen the liver, which in turn could affect the spleen.  If so, a disharmony of the liver and spleen occurs. 

Allergy problems are abundant during spring.  If the liver is not healthy, it could affect the spleen and the lungs.  Symptoms of this disharmony between organs include: chest congestion, sneezing, running nose, itching eyes and other symptoms that are associated with allergy problems.  It is very important, especially during spring, to cleanse the liver and lungs and to bring a balance among them and other body organs. 

TCM practitioners pay attention to weather, especially very extreme weather, like an unusually windy spring.  Extreme or unusual weather can cause health imbalances in people.  Health problems tend to occur during or immediately following certain seasons.  The liver, which is said to “open into the eyes” in TCM, is associated with cases of infectious hepatitis and cases of pink eye, which tend to be more numerous in the spring.

Spring Activities

   •  Simplify your diet and eat an abundance of vegetables – 2 to 3 servings twice a day.

   Start a regular exercise program that includes an outdoor activity to enjoy the beauty and breathe fresh air. Goal: build strength, flexibility, resilience, health.

   • Spring-cleaning! Clean out an area of your home that has been neglected! Throw out, recycle or give away unused items. This makes room for new things in your life!

   • Clear out/release negative issues or holding patterns. Let in the sunshine and plant seeds of joy!

   • Simply be or walk outside in nature daily. Savour the smells, colours, sounds, sensations and beauty all around you.


TCM practitioners believe that a person should cater his or her diet to the seasons.  Because spring is associated with the liver, it is important to have a diet that strengthens and cleanses the liver.  There are many foods serving the purpose of soothing and cleansing the liver.  Green is the colour of the liver and of spring.   Green and leafy vegetables, especially if the plants are young, help by cleansing and freshening the body.  They benefit the liver’s overall well-being. Dandelion also works well as a spring cleanser.  A balanced diet with a variety of juices such as citrus fruits, pear, apple, celery and carrot is very helpful. Sprouts from seeds such as beans, mung, and radish are valuable for spring use, as well.


Did you know?

1) The liver processes up to 1.5 litres of blood per minute.

2) One third of the output of the heart flows to the digestive system. This blood travels, rich with nutrients and digestive impurities, to the liver through the portal circulation.

3) The liver’s vascular system expands and contracts. It usually holds one-tenth of the body’s blood volume but, under certain disease conditions, expands to hold up to one quarter of the body’s blood.

4) About one-half to two-thirds of the total lymph in the body is derived from the liver.