Does Your Spring Cleaning Schedule Include Liver Cleansing?

May 21, 2020
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Even though it feels like our world has changed dramatically, nature has stayed the same. The seasons are changing, right on schedule, and the gray clouds have given way to sunny skies and warmer temperatures around the country. Our bodies are in tune with the natural seasons, and as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has taught us, Spring is a time of new growth and cleansing.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is a time of renewal and liver cleansing.

In TCM, every season has a color, a flavor, a natural element, and an organ that are dominant during that time. Spring is the green season, when bitter flavors like dandelion greens are prominent, the wood element governs, and the liver and gallbladder are the organs that drive how we feel. This affects your moods, spine, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, eyesight, and motivation level.

This may all sound quite strange to you if you aren’t familiar with the holistic approach to health, but I assure you, everything within you is connected and communicates, and you are also connected to the cycles of the planet. We know this on a more concrete level with how the health of our environment affects our own health, and how we feel as the seasons change. TCM takes this further to study how the cycles and health of everything in the natural world around us affect our wellbeing.

Spring is a pivotal season for health. Because it is the time of renewal, if we don’t listen to the signals we are getting that the liver and gallbladder need support, then we carry this ill health with us into the following seasons, until we come back to Spring again. This can cause a snowball effect and leave us with a bigger challenge to overcome next year. On a positive note, if there are signs your liver and gallbladder need support and you nourish and cleanse them back to health, then the momentum is built to overcome other health issues in the coming seasons.

How Your Liver and Gallbladder Affect Your Total Body Health

If your liver meridian (energy pathway) is in balance, you may be feeling a rush of creative energy and inspiration, with a new drive to achieve your goals. However, when your liver energy is stagnating, you may feel fearful, irritable, indecisive, angry, aggressive, frustrated, or downright stuck on your path in life. (Honestly, I think this pretty much describes everyone during this pandemic.) When these feelings linger, they are often accompanied by some level of depression and lacking in motivation. At the same time, you may have achy joints, less flexibility, digestive issues, and dimming eyesight.

In order for a liver and gallbladder to cleanse to be effective, we have to be able to eliminate the toxins completely, and the best way is through the bowel. A back up of toxins from the liver causes bloating, trouble digesting fats, fatigue, constipation, acid reflux, fat gain, and can spread to other organs and can even affect the health of the thyroid and your hormone balance. If your digestive system isn’t running at peak performance, then that’s the first place to start.

Gentle and Effective Spring Cleansing

When we are in tune with what the seasons have to offer, it becomes effortless to cleanse and nourish the dominant organs. In Spring, the bitter green foods and herbs that are part of the wood element are springing up from the ground and are excellent liver and gallbladder cleansers that also help to stimulate bile flow. Cleansing doesn’t have to be harsh and drastic to be effective. Small daily changes to your routine can produce excellent results!

Here are the elements your Spring cleansing regimen should include:

  • Think Green. Young, leafy greens and sprouts, including the wild greens like dandelion and lambs quarters should abound in the daily diet. Only wild harvest those that haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals and aren’t in an area prone to animal waste. You may also consider a supplement like Liver Lovin Formula from UNI KEY Health, which includes artichoke, taurine and chlorophyll to help move toxins, energize the system and boost bile production.
  • Keep It Light. Your liver and gallbladder need several light, small meals a day during cleansing to keep everything moving. Avoid large, heavy, rich meals.
  • Get Bitter. Douse your greens with a refreshing lime juice dressing, add lemon to your water, and eat your bitters. These all stimulate an increase in the flow of bile, which binds and escorts toxins out of the liver and gallbladder to be eliminated. Adequate bile production is also essential to balance the pH of the small intestine to help eradicate any unwanted invaders trying to disrupt the microbiome. This makes fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, and curtido excellent accompaniments to your meals.
  • Drink Dandy Tea. A fan favorite for years, daily dandelion root tea is a gentle yet effective way to keep bile flowing and toxins moving out from the liver and gallbladder, while keeping blood sugars in balance and relieving digestive issues.
  • Consider a Colon Cleanse. Spring renewal is all about “out with the old, in with the new,” and this applies to digestion and detoxing as well. Good health begins in the gut, and there’s no better way to get your bowels moving, flush accumulated toxins, clean out undigested food, and eliminate parasites and fungi than a cleanse. My Colon Cleansing Kit from UNI KEY Health contains all you need to cleanse the colon and get everything moving again. Healthy digestion leads to a healthy liver!
  • Get Gallbladder Support and Build Better Bile. If your gallbladder is struggling or has been surgically removed, or your fat digestion is impaired and you’re bloating, then you need good gallbladder support. Your gallbladder supports the health of your liver and your digestion and is a key player in how well fats are digested and toxins are eliminated. In my humble opinion, Bile Builder from UNI KEY Health is a must-have supplement for anyone struggling with these issues. Countless clients of mine have reported tremendous strides in their digestive health when they faithfully take their Bile Builder with big meals.
  • Clean House. I mean this literally. Spring is the time to create order out of chaos. Get rid of everything cluttering your home that you don’t need and do a deep clean. Create space that relieves stress and makes room for creativity and new things to come.

Do you have a body refreshing spring cleaning regiment that includes any of the above or anything extra? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Lorna

    Good to know about the foods to help the gallbladder. The Liver Lovin supplement sounds like it would be helpful.

  2. Lucy Ann

    It is interesting to consider a colon cleanse. I will check into that.

  3. Marcie

    Great tips to help the liver. I”m going to start having lighter meals and including those bitter foods.



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