chinese medicine

Spring Cleaning Chinese Medicine Style

Spring is the Natural Time to Cleanse

Spring marks the entry of the wood element according to Chinese Medicine.   Its natural expression is an upward and outward movement with a rootedness to the earth.  This is clearly seen in the blossoming of flowers and trees.  Seasonal shifts are nice reminders to the body’s natural rhythm that a change in the routine is needed.  The days start to get longer, the body begins to buzz with some extra energy and the digestion tends to crave a lighter variety of food.

Chinese medicine doesn’t look at cleansing the same way that it has taken off in the West.  While it is the natural time to clean things out, being that the liver organ is dominant this time of year, the focus is on shifting naturally to foods and drinks that are more appropriate for the body, like dark greens, asparagus, green onions and young aromatic herbs.  Since the weather still remains cool, the cooking methods should align with that.  Instead of slow roasting and stewing meats and root vegetables, spring invites cooking methods like quick stir-fry and blanching.  This way, the digestion does not get overwhelmed by having to warm everything up on it’s own.  What?  How can you cleanse without RAW food?   The simple act of adding more spring greens to the diet can be just enough to activate the liver’s detoxifying power and have you feeling and looking healthier.  Does that mean green juies are out too?  In the Chinese philosophy we have a saying, Modern times, Modern formula.  We love green juices, they give us energy and offer a different kind of hydration.  One a day with some added ginger or daikon will warm things up and have you feeling like you are in the cleansing game.

Are you looking to reboot your body and mind this spring and need a little help? Contact  Laura or Beth  for personalized spring cleaning tips, full body-type analysis, and acupuncture treatments that set your liver up to be it's cleansing best!

Now, onto the recipes!  Here are two great ones that will add some zing to your spring menu, Enjoy!


Spring Asparagus Stir Fry

One bunch of green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 bunch of asparagus, cut into one-inch pieces

1 cup water

2 cups of sugar snap pears, cut into pieces

6 radishes, sliced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon

Rinse and chop vegetables.  In a large sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onions for about a minute, add peas, asparagus and water and simmer for about 2-3 minutes until asparagus is tender, stir in mustard and tarragon and serve.


Pina Verde – Pineapple Green Juice

1 inch slice of a whole pineapple

1 handful of cilantro

1 handful of spinach

1/2 large cucumber

1 celery stalk

3 romaine leaves

1 inch piece of ginger


Preparation:  Juice all ingredients and drink immediately.  Don't have a juicer?  Blend ingredients together in a Vitamix with 1 cup of water, strain through a nut milk bag.