From Yang Jizhou, The Great Compendium of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Zhenjiu Dacheng), ca. 1590:
The eyes represent the orifices of the liver. When a person closes his/her eyes and falls asleep, the blood returns to the liver. From there it is transmitted to the eyes, and the ability to see results from this. When a person sleeps, now, the nameless fire within grows dim in order to revitalize. Although it may be impossible to refrain from sleeping altogether, it is advisable not to just let this energy dissipate for the mere sake of falling into a slumber. www.itmonline.org
In 1994, I had my second complete physical collapse with the following triggers within one year: 1) gall bladder surgery: 2) a 3-week pharmaceutical cocktail aimed at healing ulcers but really an A-bomb of destruction, that killed parasites as stomach ulcers are now know to be; and, 3) a fender bender which triggered within me a full-blown cortisol/inflammatory episode, so intense that I lost 60 pounds in as many days. I was so debilitated that my Baptist father offered healing prayer over me for a week, and then his prayers became little messages for me to submit to my impending death.
My daughter, Stefanie, was more proactive. She went to an Amish healer in Jamesport, MO and asked the woman to see me. This healer read eyes to diagnose weaknesses of the body. She looked at my eyes and suggested that we work on cleansing the liver. That was a fascinating diagnosis for me because my eyes in my youth were sea-foam green, gold-flecked, and black-rimmed, set against jet-black hair, and commented on daily, especially by strangers. In my adult life they had faded to a quiet unnoticeable teal-grey and I started dying my graying hair at menopause just so my eyes would reappear in the mirror. What did my eyes have to do with my liver???
That the liver is such an important organ, especially for a lipese working towards health, is key to self-empowerment. One Chinese proverb says : The doctor who heals the liver heals a hundred diseases. So, really, WHAT DOES the liver do? According to Jessica Bates in Ehow Fun Facts About the Liver:
Food enters your body through your mouth and throat, then travels to your stomach and intestines for digestion. The broken-down food materials find their way to your liver by way of the bloodstream. Once these materials break down further, they are used to make bile, a necessary digestion liquid, and other substances.
Your liver also aids your immune system in battling infection. It stores vitamins, nutrients, minerals and sugar, and it is also responsible for production. Whenever your body needs these nutrients or hormones, your liver releases them to do their jobs. Your liver is in direct control of the chemical balance in your blood.http://www.ehow.com/way_5662043_fun-human-liver.html#ixzz2rRDt9u34
Bates also says if the liver stops functioning a person dies within a day, not exactly the immediate death of a stopped heart, to which all romantic poetry, love songs, Hugh Grant movies, and biblical references, are made but still important. In fact, the liver seems to ignored by all of humanity’s curious interest in body parts, including The Wizard Of Oz: a heart, a brain, the “noive.” No, if I only had a liver. In fact, if the word liver is mentioned in our conversations at all it is liver-lilied, a negative reflection of a person’s lack of courage, but which began as an affirmation that the liver is the seat of courage (1600’s England), and, when blood is flowing properly, the liver is the color of a lily so named after the pleasing color of the liver. Yes, call me liver-lilied! Let’s not even discuss how many times and in how many ways many of us have expressed how we HATE liver, even the thought of liver, and how excitedly we proclaim our hatred for liver in culinary conversations. Oh be careful little lips what you say.
Further, Bates says, “the liver also stores fat, and if too much fat is stored there you can develop fatty liver disease. Alcohol, toxins and bacteria are isolated in your liver and flushed out of your body. Like a filter, the liver works as the body's detoxification factory.
Detoxification of the body as performed by our toxified livers is the only game in Healthville these days. Even so, a lot of us don’t even know where the liver is located and we don’t care to. Look how the liver lays over the stomach in this illustration and how often when we feel pain in that area we think we have a stomach ache. Also, look how the liver sits on the colon where so many people have said to me: “I got a sharp pain right here.” Energy workers reading this might well consider an entire session on liver detoxing. For some of us, the liver to the right and under the breast is the exact spot we instinctively rub when we eat foods our body won’t metabolize. We call them belly, tummy, and stomach aches but they are really our poor, ignored, and abused liver’s ache.
According to Chinese medicine, the liver is always where anger is held and released from.
Certain emotional states can result from, or cause, liver qi disorders. For example, a state of depression brought on by an unexpected event can eventually cause physical symptoms attributed to liver qi stagnation; liver qi stagnation, in turn, can cause mental depression. An intense outbreak of anger can induce sudden headaches, dizziness, chest pain, and other signs of -qi flare up (as the Neijing points out: "When a person is angry, the qi moves up); liver qi flaring up can cause one to feel anger. Sometimes a person will suffer a stroke ("qi and blood rushing to the brain") during or shortly after an outburst of anger. Anger is a physiologically normal emotion and will usually not cause disease. The constant suppression of anger or putting oneself always in a situation that generates anger, on the other hand, can be the cause of long ranging problems, since it promotes a chronic state of internal qi stagnation. www.itmonline.org
So we aren’t really pissed off at all. We are livered off. Its the spot where we feel a nudgy little pain when we cough hard or in our youth where pain stabs when we played too hard, and important to this blog, it’s the spot where many of us feel chronic tenderness and low-level pain. It’s the pain I blamed on my gallbladder before it was removed, and since it was removed, mythical gallbladder scar tissue. It’s also the spot that collects and maintains fat-soluble and B vitamins for you women who have had vitamin deficiencies after gastric by-pass surgery because you no longer produce or your liver no longer stores them.
So where were we? Oh, yes. My eyes. The eyes are windows to the soul. No that’s not it. The eyes are portholes to the liver. We brought a friend to see the Amish healer once. She looked into the friend’s eyes and said “Oh, dear you have not had a bowel movement for six days (“Exactly six days,” our wide-eyed friend confessed in the car.)
* Iridology an alternative medicine technique whose proponents claim that patterns, colors, and other characteristics of the iris can be examined to determine information about a patient's systemic health. Practitioners match their observations to iris charts, which divide the iris into zones that correspond to specific parts of the human body. Iridologists see the eyes as "windows" into the body's state of health. Iridologists believe they can use the charts to distinguish between healthy systems and organs in the body and those that are overactive, inflamed, or distressed. Iridologists believe this information demonstrates a patient's susceptibility towards certain illnesses, reflects past medical problems, or predicts later health problems. (Wikipedia)
It became increasing clear to me over the last few months that my liver has been working too hard as the “spot” has become more of a “hot spot.” I began a regiment of dandelion but still my liver grumbled too much over okay foods. I was talking to Catia, another daughter about this issue as I rubbed my liver, and she reminded me of an herb tea that I engineer with remarkable results with AIDS patients, cures for HepC and a nurse’s incurable liver condition because, my friends, the liver constantly regrows itself, and if you nourish it, it should grow faster than it is damaged if it isn’t too damaged. I purchased the herb and began using it. One day last week, I looked in the mirror and saw my old crazy green eyes peeping back. I noted I was wearing teal, okay. The day after, green. Okay, but even so, every time I went to the bathroom I looked in the mirror at a familiar friend I have missed for awhile. Then on the third day, I wore red and they were still sea-foam green. I told Stef and she said, “I noticed your eyes were back a few days ago. “ I thought and then I remembered. I looked at my nails, which have been ridging for a few years, despite my best efforts to nourish them, and they were smoothing out too. “It’s the liver cleanse, Stef.”
I will write more about liver cleanses in the near future, I promise, but in the meantime see if this description of blood and liver has anything in common with you.
LIVER BLOOD DEFICIENCY (gan xue xu): primary symptoms are pale face color; dizziness; dry eyes or, at a more advanced stage, blurry vision (especially at night); numbness in the extremities (including arms easily "falling asleep" while sleeping); limited flexibility of tendons and muscles. Secondary symptoms include pale lips and nails; dry, split, atrophied, or malformed nails; muscle twitching; spasms or cramping in the extremities; trembling hands or feet; occasional intercostal pain; ringing in the ears; in females: decreased and pale menstrual flow. The tongue is typically pale or pink; the pulse tends to be fine, or wiry and forceless.
Representative Herbs: tang-kuei (danggui), peony (baishao), gelatin (ejiao), ligustrum (nuzhenzi), cornus (shanzhuyu), cnidium (chuanxiong), zizyphus (suanzaoren), millettia (jixueteng).
Representative Formulas: Tang-kuei Four Combination (Siwu Tang); Tonify the Liver Decoction (Bugan Tang); Linking Decoction (Yiguan Jian) minus melia (chuanlianzi) plus peony (baishao).
A Liver Song Dedicated to the Sisters I Love
LIVER LONG AND PROSPER!