The Five Seasons of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has origins dating back thousands of years. While modern medicine has paved the way for new treatments and preventative measures in health care, millions of men and women continue to practice TCM. If you’re interested in trying it, though, you’ll first need to familiarize yourself with the five seasons of TCM and the organs that they target.


When speaking in the context of TCM, the spring season is associated with new life and beginnings. It is a time for a cleansing toxins from your body and negative energy from your mind, which is why it focuses on the liver and gallbladder. You can cleanse your liver and gallbladder by eating more grapefruit, beets, carrots, green tea, and leafy green vegetables.

Early Summer

The early summer season of TCM is associated with heart health and blood flow. Being that heart disease remains the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States, this is one season that shouldn’t be overlooked. Individuals can promote a healthy heart and cardiovascular system by incorporating more physical activity and outdoor exercise into their early summer routine.

Late Summer

The Earth element is linked to the summer season in TCM, with a focus on the spleen and stomach. As you may already know, the stomach is responsible for “holding” your food as it begins to digest, whereas the spleen works to transport nutrients from the food throughout your body. To promote a healthy stomach, spleen and digestive system, focus on natural, organic foods while eating them more slowly.


As we get deeper into the year, TCM becomes focused on the lungs and large intestines. The fall season of TCM emphasizes the importance of proper lung health and function. Our lungs are responsible for taking in oxygen, absorbing it into our blood while simultaneously expelling carbon dioxide. The large intestines, on the other hand, are responsible for absorbing vitamins and nutrients. Not many people would think of large intestines and lungs as being similar, but they both have a similar purpose of absorbing vital compounds that we need to survive.


The fifth and final season of TCM is winter, which is linked to kidney health. Many people overlook the importance of kidney health, resulting in buildups of toxin within the body. A simple and effective way to promote healthy kidney function is to drink water, lots of water. Strive for a minimum of eight, 8-ounce glasses of H2O per day. Foods like black beans and red adzuki beans can also prove beneficial for kidney health.


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