A Malfunctioning Liver Leads To Irritability, Frustration, And Anger

We usually encounter problems related to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression as well as widespread illnesses, but spending one day out in the big city or having to go through rush hour traffic and it immediately becomes apparent we are also in the center of an epidemic of anger, frustration, and irritability. Some people believe that extreme acts of violence such as mass shootings are signs of a society’s inability to comprehend, process, and liberate itself from anger rather than being an ideologically driven phenomenon we’ve been led to believe.

Anger and other strong emotions can be indications that can help identify physical illnesses before they totally manifest as extreme and out of control problems. Anger has long been associated with the health of the organs in the biliary system, particularly the liver. The biliary system is the system that separates toxins from the blood and helps in the breakdown of fats during digestion.

A blocked or clogged biliary system or an improperly functioning liver are the first things to be perceived in a patient’s behavior as chronic irritation and frustration, fits of rage, and irrational anger.

The Liver’s Role in Preserving Vitality

The liver is situated above the stomach, on the right side of your stomach cavity, just below the diaphragm at the base of the rib cage. The liver works with the gallbladder to produce bile, a fluid of green-yellow color that consists of bile salts, cholesterol and waste products. The liver is also considered as some kind of a warehouse that controls blood circulation to the heart.

When it comes to metabolism and vitality, the liver and the related organs play a very important role, and when it becomes stagnant or are over-taxed, this can manifest in several ways in the mind and body. Signs may include:

• Itching, rashes, and other skin problems
• Fatigue
• Vision problems
• Above average levels of frustration, irritability, and anger

Tranquil Living by Following Ancient Wisdom

Traditional cultures hundreds of years followed a totally different approach in diagnosing health, usually interpreting emotional signs as indication on how the physical body was functioning. If an individual manifested signs of imbalance that favored one emotion over the entire gamut of human emotions, this warranted a more in depth diagnosis. Used to be people didn’t need to depend on the outset of pain prior to realizing that their health required treatment.

The Tushu Bian written during the Ming Dynasty states “The element wood is related to the liver. The liver is the organ that houses the blood and ids where the hun spirits reside. Only anger, out of the seven emotions of men, is of an intense nature. It exhausts the hun spirits and dries up the blood. Therefore, an individual who comprehends the way of nourishing the liver will never throw fits of anger.”

The relationship between the detoxifying function of the liver and anger is acknowledged in the English language. This relationship helps convert toxicity into bile that is then expelled out of the body via the excretory system. In an English dictionary, the word ‘bile’ is a noun that is described as an alkaline fluid with a brown-greenish color. It is secreted by the liver, assists in digestion, and is saved in the gallbladder. Bile also means irritability or anger.

As human awareness functions on a continuum, flowing between the high-end of the spectrum where harmony and peace reside, and the lower end where negative emotions reside, anger is a representation of the lower frequency modes, which, Chinese medicine considers as one of the seven emotions.

According to traditional Chinese medicine or TCM, anger is a blanket term that can pertain to any of the several negative emotions of frustration, irritability, and resentment. Too much rich blood in the body makes a person highly susceptible to anger. Anger tends to significantly impact the liver leading to stagnant liver vital energy (qi). This then can result in liver energy going upwards to the head resulting in symptoms such as dizziness, and headaches.

In the sciences of Ayurvedic medicine and TCM, the theory of a relationship between the feelings of rage, frustration, and anger and the health of the liver has been well-documented for several generations. This relationship refers to obstructions in the body’s detox systems as a wood deficiency in the theory of the five elements that relates to human health.

About the element of wood:

What happens to people with a chronically imbalanced Wood element? Besides the various issues that can develop in relationship to the gall bladder and liver, imagine the constant frustration and anger of people who feel obstructed in all directions, to which every interaction is a confrontation. Such individuals would never experience rebirth and growth would neither experience springtime internally; they’re aware of change and growth happening all around them yet are stuck inside themselves, they live such chaotic lives they’re unable know how to begin or even see a plan, or direction. One can also imagine how a person, who can’t see the forest from the trees, is so discriminating that he can’t get started on anything.

The accumulation of liver toxicity and the ensuing anger, along with the process of detoxifying the liver, is briefly depicted here:

The liver weighs about five pounds and is the size of a football. It is found in the right upper region of the stomach beneath the diaphragm. It’s a very intricate, complex and fascinating organ — second only to the brain in terms of complexity.

Your liver, to a very large degree, controls your vitality and general health. It shouldn’t be ignored and should be taken care to boost and improve its function. The liver is your body’s hardest working organ and is associated with every bodily function in some way.

One of the liver’s biggest roles is the elimination of dangerous toxins from the body. It may require cleansing itself from time to time, just like any filter. Eliminating toxins from the body is extremely important because if they to stay in the body for a long period of time, it may lead to the rise of cancer.

There are three ways toxins can enter the body: through the skin, breathing, and digestion. A weak functioning liver can cause the toxins to build up in the body, and can then enter the bloodstream, and poison your body to the point of death.

A Culture of Angry Gluttons

One can always identify an angry person just by looking at them, and you can tell if they also consume a huge amount of alcohol, as their nose and face are often red. This present day society thrives on over-consumption and excess, and most of us have wide access to processed and abundant rich foods; however, this society also consumes sugar and drinks alcohol to the max and this is further exacerbated with the consumption of chemical additives, processed foods, and fried foods.

According to Slate magazine, one of the major sources of violence in our world today is over-reacting, and socially, some of the greatest threats to peace are angry adults.

“The adult who is improperly regulated and has a great impulsivity and reactivity, and is in a constant state of fight or flight in every interaction, views the potential for being harmed and thus has the urge to constantly defend himself. The less clear is his thinking, the angrier he feels. His responses are often disproportionate to the circumstance, and he becomes highly susceptible to violence. He never blames himself for his perception and instead blames others including his children, spouse, government, neighbors, and everyone else including people of every culture, religion, nationality, and race. As he is unable to normalize his emotions and is always aggressive, blaming, and angry, he becomes a danger to himself and others.

Individuals who are unable to modulate and regulate their reaction to perceived danger are the ones likely to commit violent crimes. This is a provable fact and not just a hypothesis. A person who doesn’t have the necessary ability to use more sophisticated emotional stabilization, perspective-taking and reasoning, to fine-tune his primitive aggressive impulses and fear will time and time again fall into the pattern of aggressive overreaction, usually with intensified degrees of violence.


The pharmaceutical industry would like us to believe that the key to wellness and health is to be found at the pharmacy and to reinforce this deception they are now developing an ‘anger pill‘ that can help calm people down. They tout it as being powerful enough to take the steam out of even the Incredible Hulk.

The truth is that, understanding how your body works is the real key to better living. It can be the best approach to attaining happiness and health.

Dr. Nelya de Brun, AP, DAOM
Classical Oriental Medicine, LLC
3459 Woolbright Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33436
(561) 932-3905

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