Li Chun (立春) Solar Terms – Diet and General Wellness Guidelines

We are into the Li Chun (立春) solar terms (节气) starting from 04 Feb to 18 Feb 2024. Li Chun is the 1st Solar Term out of the entire 24.

Li Chun also means the beginning of the Spring season. 

Many people are familiar with Li Chun because of the money-depository habits and/or the egg-standing challenge. But in this post, let’s learn more about this solar term and how we can adjust our dietary habits to follow nature.

Spring season aligns with the liver organ because its representative elements are wood. 

In the previous solar terms (Winter season), we focused on 藏 (storing essence in the body). Now in Li Chun (Spring season), we need to do the opposite, which is 生发, which means activating our yang energy to grow outwards.

Hence, the dietary direction in Li Chun is 肝气疏畅,阳气生发. It means to regulate liver qi to eliminate blockage and activate yang energy for outward growth.

One way of activating our yang energy to grow outwards is eating sprout-type vegetables. I will share some of them in the following.

In this solar term, we also try to avoid eating strong tonic foods (as opposed to what is usually done in the Winter season).

The following are some recommended foods to eat during this solar term:

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 normally 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.

Coriander (芫荽) – Coriander also excels in dispersing chill qi (寒气) in the body and improving appetite. A good way to consume coriander is to add them to the porridge especially when the person is having cold-type flu.

Shepherd’s purse (荠菜) – Shepherd’s purse has benefits for the liver, spleen, and bladder. The main difference between Shepherd’s purse and the above vegetables is that it can also help to reduce body heat and remove dampness in the body. Highly suitable for people with Dampness and Heat body constitution. 

General Wellness Recommendation

This solar term is one of the common ones for triggering sinuses in many people because of the pollens coming from surrounding flowers.

If you are prone to sinus or have a runny nose almost every morning, then try to wear a mask before you leave your house for work, especially in the morning. 

Strong winds will also accompany this solar term and this will mean more pollutants might be blown into your working/living area depending on where your workplace/home is. One way to minimize allergy reactions is to turn on air purifiers to help clean the surrounding air.

I hope you find this information helpful!

Have a healthy Li Chun!

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