A Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective from Dr Julia Bartrop (TCM)


Finally, spring has arrived! This year, particularly here in Melbourne it has felt as though this winter has been an incredibly long and arduous one with lots of colds, flu and other infections going around.

However, in the last few days, we have had warmer weather, the breeze has had a feel of warmth to it and the sun’s rays are warming the earth and our bodies. The flowers are beginning to bloom, seeds are sprouting, leaves are budding, and our moods are beginning to feel lighter and spritelier!

I know that my mood is lifting, and my spirits are much higher.

While winter is a time to conserve our energy and to reduce our activity, Spring is the time to jump into action. It is a time of huge movement, renewal, regeneration, and rejuvenation. New beginnings abound and we feel our spirit begin to surge and soar.

Spring is the ideal time to detox, cleanse and rejuvenate your health.

Spring from TCM viewpoint.

Spring is the time of the liver and its associated organ the Gallbladder. These 2 organs together oversee the smooth flow of energy (Qi) throughout the body. Smooth flowing Qi enables our physical and emotional health to flow freely and easily.

So, in spring, the Liver and the Gallbladder are the 2 primary targets to cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate to ensure optimal physical, emotional health and wellbeing.


  • Element: WOOD
  • Colour: GREEN
  • Taste: SOUR
  • Nature: YANG
  • Emotions: ANGER

As the main theme of spring is to reinforce the actions of the liver and gallbladder, our focus for spring must be on detoxing, cleansing and eliminating toxins from our bodies. This reinforces the energy and function of the liver and the gallbladder.

A fresh green Cabbage, green foods need to be eaten in spring

Green Cabbage – perfect to assist the LIver energy.

Eat sour food: the taste of Spring is sour. Sour foods activate the liver function and enable the body to improve detoxification. Sour foods include apple cider vinegar, vinegar, pickled foods, lemon, limes. Cut up a few slices of lemon and put them in your water. A few slices of lemon in warm water first thing in the morning activates the liver and improves your overall digestive function as well.

A teapot and a cup of tea, with green tea steeping

Tea for Spring

Enjoy Milk Thistle tea – this tea assists the liver cells to regenerate themselves and protects it from incoming toxins. It enables the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances such as alcohol, drugs, environmental toxins, pollutants, and even heavy metals.

Get Acupuncture – acupuncture treatments in spring may assist with reducing stress, anger and irritability. Acupuncture in general may assist with rejuvenating the energy and function of the liver and the gallbladder.

Even a seasonal treatment of Acupuncture 4 times a year at the change of season can be extremely beneficial in enhancing your bodies overall health.

Julia applying acupuncture to a point on the clients hands

Written by Dr Julia Bartrop (TCM).

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