A solar term is a period of about two weeks based on the sun’s position in the zodiac and forms the traditional Chinese calendar system. The calendar follows the ancient Chinese belief that living in accordance with nature will enable one to live a harmonious life. This article series explores each solar term, offering guidance on how to best navigate the season.
As the sun draws nearer and warms the earth, snows recede and rain increases, but this rainwater is very gentle, so as not to harm the fragile sprouts that signal spring’s emergence.
The current solar term (Feb. 19 to March 4) is Rain Water, a time when nature provides the necessary conditions for growth.
According to Chinese theory, everything on Earth is composed of just five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.
The element for spring is wood, the only element among the five that is a living organism. This reflects the fact that all living creatures are very prosperous and come alive during the spring season.
During Rain Water, all living beings, including the bushes and trees, which are made of wood, are waking up from the winter and need water for nourishment. This also follows the theory in the five-element system that “water enhances wood.”
The rains are typically very mild—even misty—during this time. One can see this as heaven’s tender love to gently awaken the plants with sprinkles of rain, rather than downpours, as large drops would surely crush the baby sprouts.
Living in Harmony with ‘Rain Water’
Not surprisingly, there is a lot of humidity in the air, and that is good for the skin but bad for the bones and organs.
In the theory of five elements, the organ associated with the element of wood is the liver, so spring is the best season to adjust any imbalances associated with the liver.
It is better for the elderly to avoid direct contact with cold water and to eat more sweet flavors. The sour flavor is not recommended for this period of the time, as it damages the liver, and increases the water retention in our bodies.
To promote a healthy liver function, avoid alcohol, and heavy or oily foods. It is also important to keep a calm mind, as the Chinese believe anger damages one’s liver.
The Best Time for Weight Loss
At this time of year, hormones and enzymes are very active, and with minimal effort, we can get rid of retained fluids inside our bodies, and extra fat stored over the winter. You may be surprised by how quickly your body can shape up if you exercise regularly and sleep and wake early.
Spring weight loss resolutions are very common. This is, in fact, the best opportunity of the year to achieve results!
To take the best advantage of this season, eat plenty of freshly sprouted spring greens. New sprouts are filled with enzymes and minerals to help our bodies recharge, refresh, and awaken in accordance with spring energies.
In addition to anything that is local and freshly sprouted, try herbal teas made with dandelion, lemon balm, rosemary, and orange. Season your food with thyme, basil, ginger, and garlic.
Moreen Liao is a descendant of four generations of traditional Chinese medicine doctors. She is also a certified aromatherapist and the founder of Ausganica, a manufacturer of salon-quality, certified organic cosmetics. Visit Ausganica.