Nutrition Guidelines for Rising Liver Yang

Rising liver yang is a condition that develops when the yin and yang of the body are out of balance. The yin of the body, which refers to the body’s structure and substance, must anchor the yang energy. When the yin is depleted, it cannot balance the yang, and the yang becomes dominant and rises to the upper part of the body. To balance the liver yin and yang, foods that nourish yin and restrain rising yang are recommended. Overly spicy foods and artificial ingredients, which increase yang, should be avoided. Soups, stews, and cooked foods should be emphasized, because they nourish yin.

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

30% grains

30% vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables

30% fruit, preferably cooked or stewed

10% protein

Foods that Reduce Liver Yang Rising

wheat, oats, rice, millet, barley

carrots, chrysanthemum leaves and flower, oyster mushrooms, lily bulbs, string beans

eggs, cow’s milk, soy milk, tofu, black beans, black soybeans, kidney beans

clams, oyster, seaweed, duck,

black sesame seeds, pears, mulberries, blueberries, blackberries

Foods to Restrict or Avoid

Spicy food, curry, barbecued food, chilies, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, leeks, basil, cloves, wasabi, vinegar, pickles, lamb, shrimp, prawns, veal, game meats, citrus, melons, coffee, tea

*also avoid cigarettes, alcohol, recreational stimulants



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.