Updated: Apr 13
In Chinese medicine, the spring season is associated with the Wood element.
This element symbolizes the birth and fresh beginning stages of Yang energy. Wood represents new life and creation. The wood phase corresponds to the East, to dawn, to springtime, when the buds come out on the trees and turn into young green leaves when seeds that have laid dormant under the earth all winter push up through the ground as sprouts.
Warmth and light begin to return; the soil is moist with the winter melt, the days are now longer than the nights. Wood energy is expansive, moving out in all directions. It is the time when we are moved to spend more time outdoors once again in the freshness of a spring morning. Its color is green.
The Wood energy is what provides us with the sense of renewal, reawakening, and rebirth. It gives us the connection to the future and allows us to plan and design in all areas of our lives. The Wood provides us the vision and foresight to move ahead. The Wood allows us to express our true nature and manifest ourselves in the world.
The Wood gives us the ability to initiate thoughts, plans, and activities. It helps us coordinate our ideas and feelings into action and change. It soothes the movement through our lives, where we inevitably run into obstacles. It gives us the vision, the ability to change, the roots, and the flexibility to make a new plan and decide what is needed, how to adjust, and what to change. Other predominant attributes are considered to be strength and flexibility, like bamboo. It is also associated with qualities of generosity and forgiveness.
Springtime is also an optimum time to take care and cleanse the associated internal organs of the Wood element, which are the liver and gallbladder.
The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. It is located in the upper right abdomen aiding in digestion, removes waste products and worn-out cells from the blood. The liver weighs about three and a half pounds. It measures 8 inches horizontally (across), and 6.5 inches vertically (down) and is 4.5 inches thick.
The liver converts food into substances needed for life and growth, storing glycogen (a blood-sugar regulator), amino acids, protein, and fat. It also makes the enzymes and bile that help to digest food.
Also, the liver neutralizes harmful toxins and wastes, so it is at great risk of contamination from environmental toxins and those contained in over-processed foods. The liver has over 500 different functions; it is the body’s chemical factory.
"Cleansing the liver of gallstones dramatically improves digestion, which is the basis of your whole health. You can expect your allergies to disappear, too, more with each cleanse you do! Incredibly, it also eliminates shoulder, upper arm, and upper back pain. You have more energy and an increased sense of well-being.” Hulda Clark
Simple ways to start the daily cleansing process:
Drink 3-4 glasses of water with lemon juice (not essential oil). Include the following foods into your diet:
Lots of green leafy vegetables in your diet: like kale, Swiss chard, dandelion, and spinach.
Cleansing WOOD Essential Oils:
Bergamot (Citrus aurantium ssp. bergamia) soothes the flow of digestion, harmonizes the liver chi (energy), and reduces nervous indigestion and loss of appetite due to emotional stress.
Chamomile, Roman (Anthemis nobilis) reduces indigestion, flatulence, gastritis, abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, and ulcerative colitis.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) works best for warming aching muscles, arthritis, nausea, aiding digestion, and increasing circulation in the digestive system.
Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) improves the lymphatic system, clears inner heat, and thereby clears the body of toxins.
Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) reduces inflammation, stimulates and promotes tissue repair.
Lemon (Citrus x limon) boosts the immune system and cleanses the body, improves the digestive system's functions, and is helpful for constipation.
Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium) restores mental fatigue, confusion, and anxiety. Rectifies liver chi, reduces dyspepsia, flatulence, and insomnia.
Spruce, Black (Picea mariana) assists mental and physical exhaustion, muscle aches and pains, aching joints, poor circulation, restores depleted and overworked adrenal glands, and muscle spasms. It is also helpful for bronchitis or asthma.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a good digestive aid, improves digestion, elimination, and can calm gastric spasms.
*Please check all precautions before using and essential oils and herbs.
While doing an internal cleanse, essential oils are encouraged to be used in several applications such as topical blends, baths, or a shower salt scrub.
Herbs that are cleansing to the liver and gallbladder:
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Yellow Dock (Cichorium intybus)
These herbs can be administered as herb tea, in capsules, or tincture form. Please follow the directions on the label of any herbal product.
How to Prepare Herbal Infusions and Decoctions:
Herbal Infusion: Pour one quart of boiling water over two Tablespoons of herb(s) and let it steep for twenty minutes. Keep the lid on tightly. Drink three to four cups daily or as needed.
Root Infusion: Use one to two Tablespoons of chosen root per quart of water. Pour boiling water over the root and let the infusion sit for thirty minutes, or even overnight. Keep the pot well covered. Strain and drink four cups daily.
When using both herbs and roots, decoct the roots first, and then turn off the heat. Then add the leaves and/or flowers, cover tightly, and infuse as long as desired. Strain and drink up to four cups daily.
Please note: if you are pregnant or nursing, this is not a suitable time for cleansing the body. If you do have an existing health condition, please consult your healthcare provider.
For more in-depth information on cleansing, the body view our six-hour Essential Cleansing course.
Enjoy a happy and vibrant Spring!
Haas, Elson M., M.D., The Detox Diet, Berkeley, CA, Celestial Arts Publishing, 1996, p. 31.
Sage Press PDF File, Technical Data Report for Chanca Piedra: http://www.rain-tree.com/chanca-techreport.pdf
Willmont, Dennis, Aromatherapy with Chinese Medicine, Marshfield, MA, Willmountain Press, 2003, p. 264-265.
Catty, Suzanne, Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy, Rochester, VT, Healing Arts Press, 2001, p. 105-106.