Ask Parvati 16: Anger as an Ally, Part 6: The Angry Liver

BY Parvati



So far this week, I have addressed emotional, ecological and spiritual effects of anger. Here, we take a look at some of the physical and energetic aspects.


If you are feeling irritable, frustrated or angry, you may have constricted liver energy and you may need a liver cleanse. As we move through spring and into summer, it is useful to know that there is a biological correlation to the tendency in summer for tempers to flare.


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) understands the liver and gallbladder as the seat of anger. Our common language reflects that when we say, “that galls me”. Anger is related to too much heat in the liver.


Traditional East Indian medicine known as Ayurveda associates liver with Pitta, the fiery element. The liver’s hot quality provides the fire of digestion, gets us up and going, and keeps us able to process and digest not just food, but information we take in in every moment.


The liver, as its name indicates, is associated with our will to live. In TCM, it relates to the wood element, which allows us to grow and expand. When the wood energy of the liver is in balance, it helps us work in balance with others. But when the flow becomes constricted, we experience something like an energy traffic jam, which makes us feel pent up and ready to blow.


Life is full of setbacks with things often not going as we want them to go. If your body and mind are in balance, you can go with the flow with greater ease. But when the liver is constricted, there is less room for energy to flow and heat begins to rise.


Losing one’s temper can feel like a release valve has just blown. For a bit, we can feel relief. But usually, we have to pick up debris and we find ourselves no further ahead than before the blowup. We have discharged the energy that has been blocked in the liver, but not solved the problem.


Everything that you ingest passes through your liver via the blood. Since the body does not know how to get rid of many of the unnatural toxins we ingest daily, such as chemicals, preservatives and additives, many toxic substances end up stored in the liver. Once overloaded, the liver begins to have trouble digesting and eliminating wastes from the body. This can then lead to a buildup of toxins in other organs and tissues.


Diet and exercise are essential for a healthy liver. A daily yoga practice that is balanced and well-rounded provides an excellent way to detoxify and tonify the liver, as well as all of the internal organs.


During the winter, we tend to eat heavier foods to keep up the internal heat and keep us warm. In the spring, we must change our diet to help the liver flush out toxins and meet the challenge of the summer heat. We need to start eating more raw foods, lighter foods. If we enjoy fried foods, we must let go of this till next winter. Include lots of fresh, leafy greens in your diet. Avoid red meats, fatty foods, alcohol and congesting foods like cheeses. Your liver will love you for it.


Some indications you may benefit from a liver cleanse are frequent irritability and temper flares, a tendency to get headaches, sinus issues, feeling groggy in the morning, or feeling easily flushed in the face.


There are many herbal tonics for keeping your liver humming, most easily available at your local health food store. Spring is the ideal time for the cleanse, letting go of excess fat from the winter, making room for the extra heat of the summer.


It is optimal to consult a health care practitioner prior to a deep cleanse. There are however over-the-counter cleanse kits and herbal tea preparations that are generally safe for those of sound health. If you are in the market to pick up a cleanse kit or tea, you want to look for herbal preparations that include one of the following herbs known to support liver health: black radish, burdock root, dandelion root, dandelion leaf, nettle, sarsaparilla, ginger, parsley, yellow dock, peppermint, rosemary, rose hips, kelp, milk thistle.


Happy cleansing!


May we all feel light and in the co-creative flow.

May we all feel the cool support of love.

May we all rest in the richness of our true nature.

May we all be free of the ignorant heat of anger.