“The seat of reason is the heart, that of mercy is the liver, that of sympathy is the spleen and that of breath is the lung.” Hazrat Ali (R.A)

health and wellbeing Apr 04, 2022

This small narration has so much food for thought packed into it.

We tend to use our rational thinking more than the real seat of reason and intuition, our hearts.

According to traditional Eastern Medicine (TCM, Ayurveda, and Unani), People with liver issues who have an excess of liver heat are likely to have anger issues. When a person is angry, they show a lack of mercy. The Prophet (PBUH) has mentioned doing ablution when angry, to extinguish the ‘fire’ and if you are angry while standing to sit, and if a person is still angry, to lie down i.e. to discharge the heat and connect to the ground.  The Earth is cooling by its very nature. 

The spleen is connected to the stomach; they represent the Earth element. The Earth is like our mother, our first source of nourishment. The love the mother instills in us is the ability to care for our ‘mother,’ ourselves, and ultimately care for others.

A person who is imbalanced in this respect may require excessive sympathy or may smother others with the over-mothering emotion, endeavoring to ‘fix’ everyone else and becoming depleted themselves. Excessive worrying can weaken the spleen and cause anxiety.

In Eastern Medicine, warming foods and root vegetables, especially sweet root vegetables help the spleen, as the spleen corresponds to the Earth. Self-care and connecting to our natural environment, ‘Mother Earth’ will help, grounding and walking bare-foot on grass, or sand. Deep abdominal breathing also helps to put the body back into a parasympathetic nervous system state, which calms the body reducing the cortisol (stress hormone)  and allowing the body to come more into homeostasis, allowing it to heal. 

We should also not forget deep prayer, dua, dhikr/meditation helps to put our body back into a parasympathetic nervous system state, when we allow our chattering minds to switch off and let go. If someone is so anxious that they are unable to focus, then grounding, deep abdominal breathing, and aromatherapy will help.

Reference of the quotation: Narrated from `Iyad ibn Khalifa by al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (p. 192) with a fair (hasan) chain because of Muhammad ibn Muslim al-Ta'ifi, and al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman (3-4:161)

Farzana Umar, Holistic Health Practitioner, London

(Aafiyah Healing, Nutrition, Mizan Therapy, Fire Cupping)



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