Liver Syndromes and Chinese Nutrition

Binding depression of liver qi (stagnation) (gan qi yu jie)

Ascendant liver yang (gan yang shang kang) Liver fire flaming upward (gan huo shang yan) Liver yin vacuity (gan yin xu) Liver blood vacuity (gan xue xu)

Imbalances of the liver network are very common. The primary purpose of this network is to smooth and regulate the coursing of qi. The liver is the most important organ for the preservation of blood. Large amounts of blood return to the liver at night and are regenerated there. The liver opens at the eyes, which can show signs of possible imbalances.

Western diagnosis:

Temporal headache, hypertension, sleep disorders, gynecological problems such as dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual cramps) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Emotional imbalance with irritability and aggression.


Diet: Warming foods and cooking methods, especially acrid spices, high-proof alcohol, and very fatty or oily foods, can damage the liver. They have a heating effect and thus "ignite" liver yang, which in turn damages liver yin. This often results in ascending liver yang, or, in its more extreme form, liver fire flaming upward (gan huo shang yan), which is often accompanied by liver yin vacuity. In women, liver yin vacuity frequently presents as blood vacuity. General: The liver is sensitive to external pathogenic factors such as wind and dampness and especially sensitive to emotional upsets. Chinese medicine views the liver as a filter for all emotional impact. The liver distributes the impact in the body. Anger, rage, and resentment cause the liver to "cramp up" and inhibit the smooth coursing of qi. One of the most common syndromes in clinical practice is binding depression of liver qi (gan qi yu jie), which is mainly attributable to emotional imbalance. Even small emotional impacts such as arguments, frustrations, etc. can block liver qi. Over a period of time (months to years) these problems accumulate and root deeply inside the body. In addition to "undigested" emotions, a hectic and stressful lifestyle can also overheat the liver.

fj Restoring balance to the liver network requires not only dietary changes, but also changes in lifestyle, such as stress reduction, regular relaxation exercises, rest and meditation periods, as well as appropriate expression of one's emotions.

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