Chun Fen (春分) Solar Terms – Diet and General Wellness Guidelines

We are into the Chun Fen (春分) solar term (节气) starting from 20 Mar 2024 to 3 Apr 2024. Chun Fen is the 4th solar term out of the entire 24.

With the beginning of Chun Fen, we are into the second half of the spring season. Hence the name of this solar term “Chun Fen” (春分), which means “dividing spring into two” in Chinese.

Chun Fen has the most well-balanced Yin and Yang energy in the environment, thus this solar term is known to have perfect weather.

In Chinese, there is a saying “风和日丽”, which means that the weather is very suitable for staying outdoors as the winds are breezy and comfortable, and the sun is not as hot as the upcoming solar terms. 

With such good weather, Chun Fen is also known to be one of the best times to fly kites! It is also a tradition for people to fly kites during the Chun Fen period.

In terms of diet, we should focus on 以平为期. This means to avoid foods that have hot (mutton, deer meat, etc) or cold (bitter gourd, crab meat, etc) thermal nature, and choose foods that are of a more balanced (neutral) thermal nature instead.

It is also a good idea to balance out the thermal nature of foods that you eat. For instance, you can stir fry most vegetables with ginger. As most vegetables are cooling/cold in thermal nature, adding a little bit of ginger will help to create balance in the overall thermal nature of the dish.

Similarly when eating meat or other heaty foods, it is recommended to consume them together with vegetables of cooling thermal nature (such as cucumber) as vegetables can help to reduce heatiness and inflammation caused by the meat. 

During this solar term, we should also increase the intake of foods that can help to strengthen our spleen and reduce liver heat.

The following are the top 5 foods that you can eat more frequently during this Chun Fen solar term:

Chinese Yam (山药) – Chinese yam not only has great benefits for the lungs and kidneys but also helps to strengthen the spleen and allow better absorption of nutrients in our body. Chinese yam has a balanced (neutral) thermal nature.

Carrot (胡萝卜) – Carrot is a very common vegetable but its benefits should not be underestimated! Not only does carrot help to strengthen our spleen, it also nourishes our liver and brightens our eyes. Some people may experience a yellowish skin color after consuming too many carrots, in which case you should stop consuming them and the symptoms will subside.

Chives (韭菜) – Chives have beneficial properties to various organs such as the kidneys, stomach and liver. It is one of the rare vegetables that encourages the growth of Yang energy. You can commonly find chives as part of the ingredients in baos and dumplings.

Sprouts – Bean sprouts and pea sprouts are some examples of vegetables in the sprout category that are ideal to be consumed during this solar term. As sprouts signify growth, they can help to play the role of encouraging the outward growth of energy in our body.

Spinach – Spinach is one of the few vegetables that can clear heatiness in the liver. Thus, people eat it to relieve liver-heat symptoms like headache, eye pain, giddiness and hot temper.

General Wellness Recommendation

In this season (Chun Fen and the next two solar terms), our liver will easily go into an excessive state as spring aligns with the wood element (same as the liver). This can make a person easily frustrated and hot-tempered.

One way to prevent this is to consume foods that are sweet in flavor (as mentioned above).

Another way is to get close to nature. This is the perfect time to go for a walk or hike in the park or forest and take time to relax in nature.

Doing some light exercises like brisk walking, jogging, taiji, qigong under the morning sun will also help your body to strengthen its immunity and get rid of dampness (through sweating) especially during this solar term.

During this season, avoid consuming strong tonic foods (unless you have Yang deficiency) and try to eat more vegetables, especially spinach and celery to clear excessive liver heat.

Hope you find this blog post useful!

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