by Karyn Chabot
Liver and gallbladder season is upon us. This is when the elements of water and earth (kapha) are elevated in nature and within our physiology. Did you know knee problems are a symptom of liver trouble, and excessive flatulence and burping are signs of a troubled gallbladder? It’s time to unclog the liver, which is the major filter of the body.
The function of the liver, among many things, is to dump bile into the gallbladder. The gallbladder, in turn, dumps into the digestive track. (This is a very simplified version of the sequence.) If your colon is clogged, the liver and gallbladder have no place to release, so they hold onto toxins and become even more clogged.
- Eat light; eat less.
- Avoid greasy, heavy foods like cheese, dairy, eggs and dark meats.
- Avoid wheat and most white carbohydrates.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, high-fructose corn syrup, white sugar, cooked honey and frozen or left over foods. Instead, eat legumes like mung beans (soak them overnight to avoid gas), steamed greens and other kapha-pacifying vegetables, whole grains, wild?caught fish like salmon and eat your biggest meal at lunch. Try eating only fruit for breakfast.
- Increase exercise. Sweat more.
- Challenge yourself. Get fresh air and sunshine. Do something new. Laugh, sing and dance more.
This is kapha season, so eat kapha?pacifying foods. Ayurveda says “like increases like and opposites balance.” You don’t have to memorize the list of kapha?pacifying foods; instead, learn the attributes of kapha itself. Avoid foods that have kapha attributes, and choose foods that are the opposite.
Here are some of the attributes of kapha: oily, static, heavy, slow, cold, wet and soft. For example, cheese exhibits all of the above attributes. It’s oily and tends to stick, so it has static properties. It’s heavy, compared to lettuce. When heated, it melts slowly. It’s usually served cold. It has moisture, especially Brie cheese, and it’s soft generally. The softer the cheese, the more kapha it contains, which means the more earth and water will accumulate on your body as a result of eating it.
Popcorn, without butter and salt, has attributes that are extremely opposite of kapha. Don’t go crazy on popcorn if you are trying to lose weight though. Everything should be done in moderation. Too much popcorn can throw your vata out of balance, then vata can push kapha and cause weight gain. Radiant health revolves around being aware of your body and the nature around you, as well as having discernment and discipline to make the right choices for your unique physiology.
Cleansing your colon is an excellent way to help make space in your body, so your liver and gallbladder can release and detoxify. This may not be your cup of tea, but why not try a small warm water enema once a week for one month first thing in the morning before food. Add a tablespoon of sesame or sunflower oil to the warm water; don’t do it after a meal because it will disturb digestion.
You must also take into account what elements are out of balance within your own body, as well as how the seasons are affecting you. Follow this link to find a list of vata, pitta and kapha foods: www.sacredstonehealing.com/files/food_guidelines.pdf.
Karyn Chabot graduated from Goddard College with her bachelor’s degree in alternative health in 1995. In 1997, she graduated and studied with Dr. Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S, at his school, The Ayurvedic Institute, in New Mexico. That same year, she also graduated from Universal Massage Therapeutics of New Mexico. During the past 23 years of working in the health industry, she became a licensed and nationally certified massage therapist and continuing-education provider for other massage therapists. In 1998, she became certified as a Ayur*Yoga Therapist, and later graduated from the Ayurveda-Yoga Institute of New York City. She then became certified as a master crystologist with the Taomchi Association of America, Reiki practitioner, certified Quantum Touch therapist and certified fitness trainer and nutritionist. She also holds certification as a Pancha Karma Therapist and Medical Thai Therapist. For more information, visit www.sacredstonehealing.com.