Spring Cooking With Liver Qi in Mind

A few days ago, we looked at Liver Qi in Motion, the constant flow of Qi that allows flexibility of mind, body, and spirit. Liver Qi helps to process stress, and is responsible for the smooth flow of blood, Qi, and emotions. The overwhelming majority of women’s health issues trace back to unbalanced Liver Qi. So in Spring—the season of the Liver—it’s important to give extra support to this hard working organ and its partner, Gallbladder.

In yesterday’s post, we took a closer look at how to use food to reconnect to Nature. Whether you start a garden or buy produce from your local farmers, food can be used as a gateway to bring us back to the purity of what once was. Now that you are invested in boosting your Liver Qi, a simple way to start is through cooking. Liver Qi moves up and out, like the branches of a tree. Picture bamboo swaying gracefully in the breeze, firmly rooted yet able to flow freely.

So when you choose foods to prepare for Liver Qi support, select those that grow in the same manner: stringbeans, peas, cucumbers, and bamboo shoots. Foods that are sour and/or green add another element of support for Liver Qi. Try broccoli rabe, dandelion greens (great for making tea!), eggplant, fennel, green apples, lemon, pickled ginger, plums, scallions, soup pickles, mung beans, and vinegar.

Here are a few recipes to get you started!

Dandelion Tea


1 bunch dandelion greens

brown sugar or honey, to taste


Add dandelion greens to a large pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Discard the greens and sweeten with brown sugar or honey, to taste.

Drink throughout the day as a natural detoxifier.



Asian Cucumber Salad


3 seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1 carrot, shredded

1 cup edamame, shelled

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


3/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped


Add the vegetables and edamame to a large bowl. Mix.

Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk to combine.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.

Refrigerate for at least one hour. Toss again before serving.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

*We generally recommend warm, cooked foods. Are you wondering why this recipe contains raw vegetables? The vinegar “cooks” or breaks down the cold essence of the raw vegetables, making them easier to digest.

Go a Step Further

Get creative and try to combine some of the Liver Qi-boosting ingredients to make a simple, yet thoughtful meal. And of course, stay close to Nature, buying only what is fresh and in-season to further support your body. Find more recipes on our website.