Chinese Medicine Food

Spring  - A Time for Cleansing

By Gigi Vincentine Dr. TCM Dip., R. TCM. P., R. Ac.

Spring… can you feel it sprouting up inside you?  We can certainly see it on the outside, in our gardens and on the trees.  We can even hear it in the birdsong.  In Chinese Medicine theory our Qi is now starting to commence its journey towards the outer layer of the body.  In summer our Qi will be in the outer most layer and in winter it will retract to our inner core.  Now it’s time for growth, expansion and spreading our Qi. The expression, “Don’t spread yourself to thin.” is very applicable in spring time.

We all get excited and start doing all the things we couldn’t do throughout the winter. Don’t do everything at once, prioritize!  Stay grounded like the roots of a tree while your buds are sprouting out into the fresh air. Remember with spring comes rain and wind.  Keep yourself warm and safe from the elements. 

From the winter stews and soups, you may feel like eating crunchier foods.  It is certainly time to start munching on some raw foods, but don’t over do it.  Remember we need to protect our stomach fires and not douse them out by eating too many cold foods.  You can always  “warm up” those salads by adding some ginger to your dressing or fresh lemon juice to aid digestion. 

Have you been waiting to do a cleanse?  Yes, it’s time!  We move into the Liver/Gallbladder season and hence we could use a little detoxifying.  A simple way to cleanse during this time of year is focusing on more green in our diet.  Green being the Liver/Gallbladder color of the 5 element system.  What’s green in our surroundings that grow like weeds? WEEDS!  I.e. dandelion greens, nettle leaves, cleavers. They grow abundantly all around us.  Nettle in particular is well known to help us with our allergies.  This is because of the high level of minerals and cleansing properties of this plant.

Raw Food Detoxification

Another way to cleanse is by juicing.  Having 2-5 glasses of fresh raw vegetable/fruit juice a day can really make a difference.  You can purchase a good juicer for about $150.  Your health is worth it. There are lots of detox kits or cleanses out there for first timers or for the very faithful.  Your local vitamin store can help or if you have some medical concerns you can visit your Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

When you are on a cleanse, give yourself time and space for it. It doesn’t mean you have to quit your job or go on holiday, but you will get more benefit from it if you take time each day to meditate, do more yoga, or take some rest.  Acupuncture can help you with the process of detoxification while giving you energy to keep on going.  Massage is also another way to move the toxins out and keep your energy flowing. There are lots of approaches to clearing out the winter cobs webs.  Choose one that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Welcome to longer days and shorter nights and a season of growth and inspiration!

More Articles by Gigi Vincentine on Eating and Living with the Seasons Through Traditional Chinese Medicine


Summer Hot Fun Joy Abundance…


The Abundance of Autumn in Preparation for the Winter


Being Present, Listening…to Ourselves

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