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. Anxiously awaiting the hope and promise of spring, lovers will make a last ditch effort on Valentine's Day to resurrect the dying embers of affection.
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 & gall bladder. Many people will experience a gall bladder 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 famous examples include beets, dandelion, lemons, vinegar, aloe vera, and an herb called bhumyamalaki. Gall Bladder Tonic is a perfect early spring tonic.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his 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.