Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM Spring Transition- Root & Bones

Transitioning from Spring to Summer with TCM

TCM conceptualizes the transition from spring to summer as a significant shift in the balance of Qi (life force energy) and the body’s relationship to our external environment. As we continue to experience building Yang energy, it’s as important as ever to support the Liver—the organ system corresponding to the Spring season—in order to regulate the smooth flow of Qi, enhance our ability to adapt to environmental changes, and bring balance to our emotions. We can find a sense of alignment through this transition by leaning on TCM wisdom, which offers guidance on lifestyle, herbal support, and spiritual health for comprehensively optimizing resilience, harmony, and health.  


As we move from the element of Wood (Spring) to Fire (Summer), we will naturally notice energetics characterized by quickening and expansion, as this is the elemental signature of heat. While this shift heralds a plethora of blessings, like increased productivity and socialization, it is crucial to tend to the preservation of Yin so that we don’t experience burnout. Though Yin and Yang are opposing forces, they are deeply complementary, and it is their dynamic and cyclical dance that creates Qi—the abundance, quality, and unobstructed flow of which is foundational to our health. Just as we stoke Yang during the peak Yin season of Winter, including with warming foods, during the move toward the peak Yang phase of the year, we must nourish Yin. We can do this by staying hydrated, prioritizing restorative sleep, and minimizing stress or cultivating a healthy stress response. 


The Liver plays a crucial role in regulating the smooth flow of Qi both physically and emotionally. As one of our most important organs of elimination and detoxification, the Liver is responsible for helping to metabolize waste for excretion and food into Qi. By supporting optimal digestive function, regulating the volume and distribution of Blood, and processing our emotions, a tonified Liver is key for preventing stagnation. Indeed, emotions are a form of Qi and it is the Liver that’s responsible for emotional regulation, especially as related to the balance between depression, anxiety, and anger. The Heart, which is the organ system corresponding to Summer, is ultimately tasked with feeling and filtering all unprocessed emotions, so it is uniquely susceptible to being emotionally overburdened. We can help prevent this downstream overburdening of the Heart as we move into Summer by making space for emotional release and supporting the Liver with an abundance of fresh Spring greens and herbs like Reishi or Pearl. We can also lessen its toxic load through activities like Epsom salt baths or sweating (in a sauna or through exercise). 


Tonic herbalism is deeply supportive as we navigate this seasonal transition by supporting the body's adaptation to rising Yang energy and increased activity that Summer brings. Here are our recommended allies during this shift:


  1. Astragalus is often enlisted for preventive support during seasonal transitions, as a renowned TCM herb for enhancing immune function, tonifying Qi, and promoting overall vitality. It is an adaptogen that specifically supports the body's ability to harmonize with environmental change, while promoting robust energy levels—beneficial as the pace continues to quicken.  
  2. Shen (spirit) is housed in the Heart, and this blend is deeply supportive of our spiritual health by promoting a calm mind, lifted spirits, and a sense of tranquility. Our proprietary formula features extracts of Reishi, Jujube seed, White Peony root, Asparagus root, Polygala root, and Albizia Bark—a synergistic blend offering comprehensive and targeted support for the Heart-Liver connection. By promoting healthy sleep cycles and emotional regulation, it is a great ally for cultivating balance as we move into Summer. 
  3. Schizandra is another excellent choice during seasonal transitions as it’s an adaptogen that enhances the body’s capacity to cope with stress / change and is a perfectly balanced Yin and Yang tonic. Considered nourishing to Yin and generative of fluids, Schizandra helps us flow into the season associated with Fire in a prepared and well-resourced way. Its sour flavor is tonifying to the Liver, but it also has an affinity for the Heart and Small Intestine, which correspond to the Summer season. 
  4. Reishi is a potent nervine tonic that tonifies Qi and nourishes Shen. With an affinity for both the Liver (Spring) and the Heart (Summer), this is a timely moment for Reishi as it tonifies two of the most important and susceptible organs of this transition. When the body is adjusting to environmental changes and potential allergens, Reishi can help enhance resilience through its immunomodulating properties, while also improving stress response as an adaptogen.