The taste of food is an important part of eating. According to the five-element framework, food is categorized into five flavors.
The five flavors are pair with the five organs:
- The heart is bitter
- The spleen is sweet
- The lungs are spicy and pungent
- The kidneys are salty
- The liver is sour
Each flavor is associated with five major organs.
- A bitter flavor can clear heat.
- Sweet flavor can tonify the body.
- Spicy and pungent flavor can expel wind and cold from the body.
- Salty flavor can help the body to dissolve stagnation.
- A sour flavor can calm the body.
The body will send signals through cravings for a particular taste to help give us signals that the organ is sick. This helps to balance your health and recover from illness.
Each taste is correlated with a season.
- Bitter - summer season
- Sweet - late summer season
- Spicy and pungent - with the fall season
- Salty - the winter season
- Sour - the spring season
The more you consciously include a variety of the five tastes in meals, even just a small amount of herb or spice can contribute to balancing your body.
Each season is linked to a corresponding pair of yin/yang organs.
The yin organs are:
- the liver,
- The pericardium is considered an organ in Traditional Chinese medicine.
The function of the yin organs is to produce, transform, regulate and store substances in the body. These are Qi, blood, bodily fluids, Jing our essence, and Shen our spirit. The yin organs do not have empty cavities. They are called ‘Zang’ organs in Chinese
The yang organs are:
- Gall bladder
- Urinary bladder
- Small intestine and large intestine.
- The triple burner is called the Sanjiao and does not have any physical structure but is considered an organ in traditional Chinese medicine.
Their main responsibility for the yang organs is to digest and transmit nutrients to the body without storing them and to excrete waste. The yang cavities are usually empty. They are called ‘Fu’ in Chinese.
How we practice through the seasons.
Following nature is important in Daoism. Following the natural surrounding environment is the first step to being in the Dao. In the Daoist philosophy, nature means heaven, fate, destiny, purpose, and the environment around us. Following a practice that is adapted to the seasons will help you to follow the natural way.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that each organ has a related emotion.
- The heart is related to joy
- The liver is related to anger
- The spleen is related to pensiveness
- The lungs are related to anxiety
- The kidneys are related to fear.
When emotions become too strong and last a long time they become chronic and overpowering which can injure the internal organ associated with that emotion.
Once there is physical damage to the internal organ it isn’t enough to eliminate that emotion. Now physical action is required to heal the body.
In the Seasonal workshops, we look at the exercises you can do to stimulate and heal the organs. How to stretch their associated meridians and nourish them through mindful eating.
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