Helping the liver to process emotion and function optimally
It's safe to say that increased levels of anger are to be expected this time of year. Especially during an election year that also happens to be the "year of COVID," with all of the increased drama highlighted in the media and propaganda in our faces around every corner.
With an increased aim to pit half of the population against the other half and a spotlight on sensitive issues of strategic choice, one would say that anger is an understandable reaction.
Anger comes in many forms - from irritability and impatience to straight up rage and bullying mentalities. What all reactions of anger have in common is that they're a message from within alerting you that your boundaries are being fudged with and that you're in need of some extra attention and/or protection.
As with most emotional responses in life, triggers for anger are very personal and feel very real regardless of how it appears to those looking in. Even so, it's a scientific truth for every human being that anger is processed through the liver, along with many of our stress hormones.
The effect is that we're thrown into flight-or-fight mode, with the digestive system being powered down to help shift the body's focus to fleeing for safety.
From a more "practical" perspective, folks who experience a lot of anger are likely to end up with digestive and circulatory problems - from constipation, diarrhea, and ulcers to high blood pressure, heart disease, and more.
Obviously, the most profound medicine would be acquire by going within to address and unlearn the habitual patterns around anger; diligently practicing more health-full responses to life's triggers.
RELATED: Calm as a Practice
Thankfully, nature also has our back and has been growing herbs for centuries upon centuries in an attempt to help us work through and reduce the intensity of the anger cycle. You know...while we're in the process of reprogramming *nudge nudge*.
Five herbal remedies to add to your cupboard
Orange or orange peel essential oil are helpful when anger is triggered by a feeling of being held back or constricted. When the flow of energy to the liver is constricted, it's often accompanied by a feeling of needing to control every aspect of life; and when that doesn't happen, it's common for anger to arise.
Orange essential oil helps to unblock the flow, allowing you to flow more freely with the unfolding of life. It also aids in digestion and detoxification, helping to increase assimilation of situations that come your way.
Bupleurum helps to release stuck energy and drain excess energy that leads to anger, supporting healthy liver function. It proves to be the most helpful when you notice a sharp temper that arises suddenly and lingers vs a quickly-fading anger that subsides once the triggering situation is resolved.
So when your temper hits hard and doesn’t seem to rationally dissipate, bupleurum can help to clear that channel.
Agrimony is such a helpful friend for soothing the toll of anger. It's known to help those dealing with disparate symptoms of a congested liver, including urinary infections, menstrual problems, migraines, gallstones, asthma and respiratory problems, among others.
The key component here, leading to these representations of blockage, is tension; often chronic and stemming from things such as a living in an intense situation that feels a bit like being victimized day after day. Agrimony does well at easing the build-up of those tensions, lessening the occurrence of anger-ridden outbursts.
You know those times when you find yourself simply feeling cranky, more on edge or easily irritated? Chamomile has your name all over it! It soothes an irritated digestive system as well as reducing inflammation, both of which are physicals symptoms of accumulated anger and both of which lead to those whiney, cranky aspects of it.
The essence of Ylang Ylang is known to invoke feelings of happiness and general well-being. Because of that, it's wonderful for soothing the nervous system and off-setting the heaviness, heat, and aggression that anger brings about.
Sometimes the best medicine for feelings of anger, victimization, and self-pity is to deliberately introduce the opposite. And Ylang Ylang is a beast for doing just that.
Other ways to ease the liver's workload include:
Minimize (or, preferably, avoid altogether) items that aggravate the liver such as alcohol, sugar, and tobacco.
Commit to a healthy sleep routine, preferably one that has you going to bed before 11pm, which is the time when the liver is the focus of the body's renewal and regenerative process.
Get your butt out into nature! It's proven to soothe the whole system as well as giving the liver a break from the hormone overload created by excess stress.
Move your body and move it regularly. Movement helps to increase flow of liver energy and promote healthy circulation, overall, moving toxins from the body and bringing in quality nutrients for optimal liver function.
If you're experiencing chronic anger in your life, it's important to seek attuned assistance in understanding what it's trying to tell/teach you, first and foremost; also helping you to set the pace for how you'll most benefit from addressing underlying causes.
The second key is to focus on working directly with clearing the flow of energy to and from the liver and related organs. An Acupuncturist can provide so much insight here as well as suggested steps to take in processing anger as it arises vs giving it the chance to compile and grow stagnant within the body.
Writing, meditating, training your mind to focus on finding the humor within a situation, and focusing on relaxing your muscles are all practices that will also help to clear the liver's energetic channel.
"When you can't control what's happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what's happening. That's where your power is."
By Sam Jump