Try these simple tips to keep your gallbladder happy and healthy
Now we're going to discuss something that is not often discussed - the gallbladder. Many people don't realize how important the gallbladder is to our body as well as fully understand what the function of the gallbladder is.
It is part of the biliary tract. Its primary function is to store and concentrate bile, a yellow-brown digestive enzyme produced by the liver. In addition, the gallbladder governs decision-making and planning, controls the sinews, and effects dreams.
On an emotional level, the gallbladder is responsible for our passion for life, inspiration, action, and assertiveness. Keeping the gallbladder balanced is crucial to maintaining a healthy well being. When the gallbladder is balanced and energy is flowing freely, we feel happy, healthy, assertive, and passionate.
In Chinese medicine, the gallbladder is categorized as a Yang organ. The Yang organs are the organs that are typically responsible for digestion and transmitting nutrients to the rest of our body. The gallbladder is the only Yang organ that doesn't have direct contact with food or a direct connection with the outside of our body.
The gallbladder controls bile received from the Liver. The bile helps the digestive process by breaking up fats. It also drains waste products from the liver into the duodenum, a part of the small intestine. This release of waste products and bile from the liver is considered to be a regulation of the energy of the liver, also referred to as the liver qi.
The digestive process and the liver qi work hand in hand. So when the liver qi is working smoothly, so it's your digestion. If this process is harmed, it can negatively affect digestion-causing problems like vomiting, regurgitation, belching and hiccups.
Nowadays it is common for people to have their gallbladders removed due to gallstones or other related issues. However, in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the organs were never removed, if there were a problem with the gallbladder they would treat it by exploring dietary options, with herbs, or through acupuncture.
The gallbladder is most directly affected by diet and stress. In traditional Chinese medicine also considers emotion as direct causation to problems with the gallbladder. In TCM, each organ is associated with emotion - the gallbladder's emotion is anger. It is believed that if you hold in anger and bottle it up you will eventually cause imbalance to the gallbladder, which could lead to disease.
Nonetheless, it is very important to take care of your gallbladder. Here are a couple of simple things you can do to keep your gallbladder happy and healthy.
You are what you eat! Avoid eating greasy, fatty, rich, and spicy foods. These products can cause sharp abdominal pains after consumption, which points to gallbladder stones and other problems.
Good to Read: Eating Right for A Healthy Life
Since the gallbladder controls bile, which aids in breaking down fats, you should try and keep your intake of these foods to a minimum to not overload your gallbladder. Try and eat more foods that are beneficial to the gallbladder-like broccoli, beetroot, oranges, jasmine, peppermint, and green tea, radishes, garlic, basil, lemon, chive, kale, carrots, celery, and grapefruit.
Express yourself! Try and express your emotions freely. This sounds easier said than done, but stagnation in TCM is what can cause disease and discomfort. Rapid emotional changes can also point towards a gallbladder imbalance. It is important to have a healthy emotional life and constantly try to express what your feeling rather than keep it bottled up.
Farm to fork! In Chinese medicine, it is important that you eat foods grown locally and in season. With the advancement of air travel, we have been spoiled with the opportunity to eat whatever food we want at any time of the year. This was not the way our digestive system was designed, so we are overloading them with too many diverse foods at all times of the year.
In TCM, every food has a temperature that interacts with your body, adding heat, cold, or keeping it neutral. Food also has healing components, so it is important to eat the proper foods when we become sick and help our body to recover and rebalance.
Keep moving! The gallbladder meridian runs bilaterally along the body, beginning at the end of your eyebrow though the side of your body and ends at the corner of the nail bed of your fourth toe. Therefore, an exercise that stimulates the sides of your body helps the flow of energy of the liver qi and helps remove any blockages.
Spring-cleaning! Spring is the season connected with the gallbladder and its partner the liver. The spring element is wood, its taste is sour, and its color is green. After a brutal winter, you can imagine the bright green stems of plants breaking through the ground represent new life. This enforces the importance to give the gallbladder a rest from caffeine, alcohol, and other intoxicants as well as cleanse your organs by drinking lots of water and eating fresh greens.
Good to Read: Spring Cleaning Tips: Reducing Toxins In Your Home
Wear a watch! In Chinese medicine, every organ has 2 hours in every 12 where its qi reaches its peak. The gallbladder's energy reaches its peak between 11pm and 1am. It is beneficial to your body if you refrain from consuming intoxicants, as they can place unnecessary stress on the gallbladder. Itâ€™s also beneficial if you rest your body as much as possible in these 2 hours.
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