… or setting good daily routines, and the reasons why a little yellow ball of goodness can be your friend!
Spring time and wood
Spring time is when – according to Chinese Medicine – two Wood elements are most active:
The Liver is responsible for moving qi and blood in the body, and helps bring about change when it is running smoothly. The Liver organ has many jobs in the body. It helps regulate hormones, cholesterol and even weight and can become over-burdened and tired. If the Liver is out of balance, you may experience irritability; frustration; and anger; or feel depressed and inflexible. If the Liver is overloaded or not functioning well, physically, you may have symptoms including: menstrual problems; fibroids; prostate issues; headaches and IBS.
The Gallbladder stores and excretes bile, when needed during digestion. It is also the decision-maker and helps give a person the courage and initiative to make those changes to come about. When the Gall Bladder is out of balance, you may feel unable to make decisions; or feel a timidity or shyness and you might become easily discouraged. The Gall Bladder depends on the Liver to control the smooth release of bile, for a smooth digestion.
Another Chinese Medicine concept to consider is Damp, which is when joints can become very achy because the body holds on to too much water. It can be described as being like rusting on the inside. This can be due to diet, lack of exercise as well as changes in the weather. Damp is associated with Spleen energy and the digestive system. A person with Damp may have a sense of heaviness and lethargy about them, and may have loose bowels, and cloudy thinking.
Therefore, with active Livers and Gallbladders, plus a general change in the seasonal weather, we need to be kind to ourselves to ensure that toxins don’t build up in our bodies.
A zingy wake-up to digestion
Sour flavours, such as in lemons, can help the Liver to perform better. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is thought to stimulate the Liver into producing more bile. The Liver in turn cleans up the rest of the body by breaking down fats and aiding digestion. Whilst there isn’t too much Western research to support this, it is practiced by many in the East. Using lemon water as part of a detox regime however has been shown to help on weight loss programmes, along with helping reduce insulin resistance and improve cardiovascular function. See this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25912765
Four other reasons that lemons can protect the body
Lemons contain Vitamin C and flavonoids, which help protect cells from damage from free radicals. Foods rich in Vitamin A and E can also help prevent this type of damage and also prevent the oxidisation process, which contributes to the ageing process.
Citrus juices can also have a positive effect on skin and the ageing process, reducing skin thickness and wrinkles. See this link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814615013023?via%3Dihub
Lemons have a high concentration of citrate, whichcan help prevent the formation of kidney stones. See this link: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones_prevent
Many foods in the Western diet are more on the acidic side. This is not ideal because most disease and inflammation thrive in acidic environments. Drinking lemon water can help bring our bodies back to pH7, because of its alkalising effect.
Looking after your smile
If you decide to try lemon water, remember that lemon is said to damage tooth enamel long-term, so take the following precautions:
- Use a straw to drink lemon water, to send it to the back of the mouth and away from teeth.
- After, swish some tap water in your mouth to encourage saliva to return to normal.
- Wait an hour (!) to brush your teeth to avoid damaging the enamel.
Lemons can awaken your taste buds with a zing in the morning!