Nutrition Guidelines for Liver Fire

In TCM, the liver is not only responsible for food metabolism and detoxification, but also helps manage stress. Toxins that overload the liver generate heat, and can also lead to anger. With a diagnosis of liver fire, it is best to keep the liver cool by stir-frying or steaming food, in combination with eating small amounts of raw food, rather than roasting, baking, or deep-frying.

For liver fire, the ratio of food groups should be as follows:

40-60% lightly cooked vegetables, some raw

30% complex carbohydrates

10% protein

Foods that Cool Liver Fire

Rice, millet, wheat, barley, oats

Celery, spinach, swiss chard, cucumber, lettuce, daikon radish, asparagus, eggplant, cabbage, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, alfalfa sprouts, mung bean sprouts, dandelion leaves, watercress, chrysanthemum, bamboo shoots, turnips, carrots, purslane, water chestnuts, spirulina, kelp, seaweed, peppermint

apples, pears, watermelon, plums

tofu, tempeh, soy milk, yogurt

mung beans

crab, oysters, clams

Foods to Restrict or Avoid:

*highly processed food, oily and fatty food, artificial preservative and colourings

chilies, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, leeks, cloves, wasabi

coffee, vinegar, mustard, horseradish, chocolate

lamb, large amounts of red meat, veal, shrimp, prawns

cheese, lard, margarine

citrus, peanuts



Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine, Vol. 2. MacLean & Lyttleton. University of Western Sydney: Australia. 2002.

Chinese Dietary Therapy. Liu, J. Churchill Livingston: Edinburgh.1995.

The Healing Cuisine of China. Zhao & Ellis. Healing Arts Press: Vermont. 1998



This factsheet is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is meant to complement rather than substitute for a consultation with a qualified TCM practitioner.