School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion

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Spring Liver Congestion

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You may experience waves of bitterness, discouragement and a sense of failure late winter. Try not to take these 'liver' emotions too seriously. Instead, these emotions offer an important cue. February is the month of liver bitterness.

February comes at the bitter end of winter, the time of ashes. The natural environment offers slim pickings this time of year and the pantry is nearly bare. Early spring is the hardest month for animals in the wild.

Blood remains stagnant due to cold temperatures. However, the body is already releasing fats in preparation for spring. The result is stagnation and congestion of the liver & gallbladder. Many people will experience a gallbladder attack in early spring. Liver congestion (aggravating Kapha) creates suppression of emotions. February is the most likely month of liver congestion.

Favor cholagogues in early spring. Cholagogues release bile, cleansing the liver. Since bile is fatty and the primary pathway for cholesterol metabolism, releasing bile also reduces triglyceride levels in the blood. Cholagogues include anything bitter or sour. Some important examples include beets, dandelion, lemons, vinegar, aloe vera, and an herb called bhumyamalaki.

A 1/4tsp of turmeric sprinkled over a meal can help move stagnant blood, warming up a cold or stagnant February liver.

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About John Joseph Immel

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.

John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 7 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.

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MASTER AYURVEDIC DIGESTION & NUTRITION 500 HOUR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
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