Chinese Clock Holds Key to Liver Health
Stress of modern living and our standard western diet, which includes alcohol, fried food and fast food, strain our health, especially our Liver. Stopping eating by 7 pm may be the best thing we can do for our health. Looking to ancient Chinese medicine we find a clear explanation of why this is. In Chinese Medicine, qi, or energy, runs though the body through a series of twelve main channels, or meridians. For each meridian there is a two hour time period for which the energy is strongest.
According to Chinese Medicine, digestion is controlled by the Earth element. The organs which correspond to the Earth element are Stomach and Spleen. The Stomach meridian`s energy is strongest in the morning between 7 and 9 am, and the Spleen is strongest between 9 am and 11 am. Therefore 7 am to 11 am is the best time to eat because our digestive energy is strongest.
Twelve hours later the energy of our digestive organs is the weakest, and we should stop eating by 7 pm. Light meals of freshly cooked vegetables and fruits, or clear soups and broths, are best if we are hungry in the evening since these foods are simplest to digest.
Digestion is naturally slower in the evening as the energy is weakest in those meridians at that time. Food stays in the stomach and tends to ferment leading to gas, bloating and discomfort. Energy is drawn from other organs to help digest food. Overnight from 11 pm until 3 am the energy is strongest in the gall bladder and liver. These organs cleanse the blood and control sleep. They become taxed when we eat late at night. We get indigestion, insomnia and a feeling of not being well rested in the morning. In addition, our joints may ache or become arthritic. Toxins get stored in our organs and joints when the liver cannot function properly.
Eating late at night strains our liver, drawing energy from it to help us digest food. There are liver flushes and herbs such as dandelion, chrysanthemum and Swedish Bitters to cleanse and regenerate the liver. Yet one of the best things we can do for the liver is to stop eating by 7 pm. Once the liver energy is not being drawn away toward digestion, the liver is able to function and heal.
When we stop eating at 7 pm, many symptoms, even those which seem unrelated to digestion such as pain and arthritis, will disappear. People often lose weight quickly as the body is able to rid itself of toxins. The meridians balance and naturally become stronger when energy is not drawn into digestion overnight.