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A Healthy Liver: Eating the Five Element Way

In our online food class: Healthy Eating—The Five Element Way you can learn how to create a healthy, balanced body by balancing what you eat—based on the Five Tastes of Food.

Here’s a class discussion we had recently about how balancing the tastes of food in a meal can affect health.


Stillness ... then the bat
Flying among
the willows
Black against green sky
— Basho


Since I have found I enjoy the addition of a sour component to several foods I often eat, does that indicate my liver may be out of balance? I would not describe the situation as being a craving as such. It seems like it is more of a flavor enhancement kind of thing.


Yes, your choice of adding the sour taste to your food is an indication that your Liver could use some rebalancing—and enhancing the flavor of your meal with a bit more of the sour taste may be just what your Liver needs.

On the other hand, to make the point: If one were craving sour food, that would indicate a more significant imbalance with the Liver energy, which might require a more vigorous technique like acupuncture or Chinese medicinal herbs to get the Liver rebalanced.

Keep an eye on your consumption of sour tasting foods and see how much of them you’re choosing; perhaps make some notes in your food journal.

There are also Chi Kung exercises you can do to keep your Liver balanced; (we’re planning to show some in a future course).

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

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IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.