Spring – the Energy of Wood Element

Spring - the energy of the Wood Element
Harvesting wild nettle in Port Townsend, WA

Spring – the Energy of the Wood Element


As winter thaws, now is the time to explore a deeper side of Spring – the energy of the Wood element.  This is the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Five Element (5E) Acupuncture. In these ancient practices, spring is associated with the Wood element and the liver meridian. Understanding the significance of the liver’s energy aligns us with the natural rhythms of the season. Integrating herbal remedies and lifestyle recommendations enhance our overall well being. Join me on a journey to embrace spring’s energy through the lens of Chinese medicine and Five Element Acupuncture.

Spring and the Energy of the Wood Element:

In TCM and Five Element Acupuncture, each season corresponds to one of the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Spring is associated with the Wood element.  This symbolizes growth, renewal, and expansion. The liver and gallbladder meridians correspond to the Wood element.  The liver is the primary organ associated with spring. When the energy of Wood element is balanced, we experience a sense of vitality, flexibility, and creativity. However, imbalances in the liver’s energy lead to physical imbalances.  These include irritability, frustration, and digestive issues.  The Liver meridian is also generally associated with the emotion of anger.  Spring is a great time to name and honor this emotion as a signal that we are out of balance.  If you read my blog on the importance of resting in winter, you understand that the time you spent resting throughout the winter ensures a healthy and energetic spring.

Understanding Five Element Acupuncture:

5E Acupuncture is a holistic healing modality.   It focuses on restoring balance and harmony to the body, mind, and spirit. Practitioners of 5E Acupuncture work with the Five Elements and their corresponding meridians to address imbalances and promote wellness. In the context of spring, 5E Acupuncture emphasizes the importance of supporting the liver’s energy and nourishing the Wood element. This creates a smooth flow of qi and vitality throughout the body.

Herbal Remedies for Liver Health:

In addition to acupuncture, Chinese nutrition and herbal medicine offers a wealth of remedies to support liver health.  These also balance the Wood element. Some herbs commonly used to support liver health during the spring season include:

  • Milk Thistle (Shui Fei Ji): A powerful liver tonic, milk thistle helps protect liver cells from damage and supports detoxification processes. In Washington State, this is considered a noxious weed so you are welcome to wildcraft as much as you can.
  • Bupleurum (Chai Hu): Known for its ability to soothe liver qi stagnation, bupleurum helps alleviate symptoms such as irritability, stress, and tension.
  • Peppermint (Bo He): Peppermint has cooling properties that can help soothe liver heat and promote digestion, making it a valuable herb for springtime imbalances.
  • Schisandra Berry (Wu Wei Zi): Schisandra berry is an adaptogenic herb that supports liver function, enhances resilience to stress, and promotes overall vitality.
  • Dandelion (Pu Gong Yin): Dandelion is way more than just a weed in the yard.  Not only do dandelions nourish bees while they await more succulent flowers, it supports the detoxifier duties of the liver organ.
  • Nettle: one of the first herbs to pop out of the fields, this highly nutritious herb helps the liver function better, detoxifies our systems, may help with allergies and supplies an incredible amount of antioxidants and minerals.

Lifestyle Recommendations for Spring:

Incorporating lifestyle recommendations rooted in Chinese medicine can further support liver health and balance during the spring season:

  • Mindful Movement: Engage in gentle exercises such as tai chi, qigong, or yoga to promote the smooth flow of qi and support liver health.
  • Embrace Sour Foods: Include sour foods such as lemon, lime, vinegar, and fermented foods in your diet to stimulate the liver’s energy and aid digestion.
  • Spend Time in Nature: Connect with the rejuvenating energy of spring by spending time outdoors, engaging in activities like hiking, gardening, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature.
  • Practice Emotional Release: Spring is a time for renewal and releasing what no longer serves us. Practice emotional release techniques such as journaling, meditation, or breath-work.  These activities release stagnant emotions and promote emotional well-being.


As spring unfolds its beauty and vitality, you have a wonderful opportunity to harmonize with the energy of the season. Simple lifestyle and nutritional adjustments helps you support the liver’s energy.  By integrating herbal remedies, and adopting lifestyle recommendations, you can cultivate balance, vitality, and harmony within ourselves. As you align with the natural rhythms of spring, may you experience renewed energy, creativity, and well-being in body, mind, and spirit.

If you are interested in learning more about how a Five Element or Naturopathic approach to health would benefit you, please book a complimentary 15 minute consult with me.