In Chinese Medicine, every season has an element and an organ association. Spring brings with it all the newness of the wood element and relates to the liver and gall bladder.
Liver health is essential to hormone health because many important hormones are processed and synthesized in the liver. If the liver is not functioning optimally, due to a combination of toxicity, genetics, aging and nutrient deficiency, it may cause the following hormone imbalances:
Excess Estrogen – Estrogen is metabolized in the liver and eliminated through sweat, urine and the bowels. If excess estrogen is not eliminated, you can experience symptoms of estrogen dominance such as bloating, breast tenderness, irregular periods, weight gain, irritability, hot flashes, sleep issues and amplified PMS, perimenopause or menopause symptoms.
Hypothyroid – Your thyroid makes quite a bit of T4 and that T4 is then converted to the usable thyroid hormone (T3) by your liver. A stressed liver can reduce the conversion of T4 to T3 and sometimes cause hypothyroid symptoms like thinning hair, cold hands and feet, constipation and a slower metabolism.
HPA Axis dysfunction – Prolonged liver toxicity can also elevate your cortisol and cause symptoms of “adrenal fatigue” such as general feelings of tiredness and unwellness.
Spring cleansing, when done properly, can help you jump start your weight loss, increase energy, balance moods and significantly reduce a variety of hormone-related symptoms. Green and Tonic offers a variety of foods to help you nourish your liver and jumpstart the “spring cleaning” process:
Roasted Beets with Spring Onion-Mint Pesto & Walnuts (new!) has beets that help purify the blood and the liver.
G&T’s spring cleanse kit has many key detox ingredients including dandelion root which is one of the best tonics for the liver.
Drinking juices such as Sweety Beety, Sun Raven and Jungle Juice are a great way to give your digestion a break while allowing the beets, dandelion, cilantro, lemon and other greens to work their liver-cleansing magic.
Here are a few more ways you can show your liver some love:
Sip a cup of warm water with lemon and/or apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning.
Rub your toes. Your liver meridian runs right between your first (aka. big toe) and second toe. Rubbing along this area between the two bones helps to soothe and soften an overworked liver.
Try dry brushing. Dry brushing helps with detoxification and can help soothe the liver by getting the lymph moving. Dry brushing is best right before a hot shower or bath.
Lisa Jacobsen is a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Holistic Health Coach. She works with men and women who suffer from hormonal imbalances, fatigue, digestive issues, low sex drive and stubborn weight. You can find her at the G&T store in Westport on Wednesday mornings and also at www.bewell4good.com