Your lymphatic system is the detox hero of your body! For optimal health, it’s crucial to take care of this incredibly important, yet often overlooked, part of our bodies.
Let’s take a look at what the lymphatic system is, what it does and how to best care for yours.
What is the lymphatic system?
Its main role is to cleanse the body of toxins; those that are introduced to the body from external sources (water, food, personal care products, etc) and also toxins that are created internally such as cellular waste and damaged proteins.
A vast network of vessels, glands, organs, and nodes, the lymphatic system works alongside your circulatory system to fight infection and provide a variety of detoxification functions.
It does this by carrying the toxins away from the tissues and into the bloodstream, where they are purified by the spleen, which is the largest lymphatic tissue in the body.
Keeping your lymphatic system in tip-top condition is key to maintaining overall health in your body and ensuring you have a strong, resilient immune system. Essentially, when our lymphatic system is functioning properly, we experience good health and if we do get sick, it helps us recover quickly.
A sluggish lymphatic system
Unlike blood circulation, which moves because of the heart’s pumping action, lymphatic drainage is a passive drainage system.
This means it relies on the proper functioning of muscles and joints to keep it moving properly. It’s easy for the lymphatic system to become sluggish and stagnant if it’s not kept moving and becomes overwhelmed with toxins.
A sluggish lymphatic system can result in a lowered immune system, fluid retention, cellulite, and fatty deposits. It can also be a root cause of respiratory problems, sinus infections, swollen glands, eczema, colds, and ear infections.
How to detox your lymphatic system
Getting a sluggish lymphatic system back to a healthy state isn’t complicated, you can do it with a few small tweaks to your routine.
Spring is a great time to show your lymph system extra TLC, during winter it can become sluggish thanks to all the rich comforting foods and usually less exercise. Here are a few ways you can detox and kickstart a sluggish lymph system.
Dry skin brush
Dry skin brushing is a simple, effective way to boost circulation, assist in lymphatic flow and promote healthy, glowing skin. It may also improve the appearance of cellulite.
I provide detailed instructions for exactly how to brush your skin before taking a shower or bath in my article here. We’re also offering a complete package of a dry brush, lymph cleanse herbal tea and a soap of choice in our Spring Cleanse Pack.
Incorporating yoga moves into your routine can encourage the detoxification of a sluggish lymph system and relieve congestion.
The contracting and relaxing of muscles is the main way lymph moves through the body and dynamic yoga poses cause the muscles to do just that!
This prevents the accumulation of toxins and stagnation. Some of the more advanced yoga poses include inversions such as headstands, handstands and placing legs against a wall. Reversing the effect of gravity helps drain the lymph towards the heart, speeding up the rate it is filtered.
This simple yoga sequence focusing on lymphatic drainage is great for beginners.
Use herbs and nutritionals specifically for lymph drainage
Herbs are a wonderful way to help decongest the lymphatic system, this can be done in foods, tablets, tinctures, and herbs. The easiest herbs to access are:
Cleavers – A good old sticky weed. Yes, it’s the weed that sticks to you and is thankfully easy to pull out from the garden.
Calendula – A lovely lymphatic especially to the lower half of the body by stimulating circulation.
Echinacea flowers and leaf – By activating macrophages that are grown in the lymphatic system, I call them the body’s army defense system.
Dandelion leaf – A wonderful diuretic high in nutrients especially potassium.
Astragalus – Used for chronic immune depletion.
Burdock root – A beautiful deep acting herb for cleansing the blood and lymphatics (should not be taken on its own)
Horse chestnut – A wonderful lymphatic for the legs or preferably lower half of body – best in a tablet/capsule or tincture.
Lemongrass – For boosting immunity and reducing fluid retention.
Quercetin, nutritional ascorbic acid or rutin – All of these can be found in nutritional tablets or a good quality vitamin C mix.
Some of these you may have growing in your garden or most of them you can find in our Naturopathically formulated Lymph Cleanse – skin tea.
Bouncing on a mini-tramp
Bouncing on a mini trampoline, also known as rebounding, is a great way to strengthen your immune system and improve lymphatic drainage. The up and down movement helps lymph drainage as it runs in a vertical orientation in the body.
It also boasts a host of other health benefits including improved muscle tone, increased bone density, improved balance, better digestion and increased fat burning to name a few.
Incorporating a regular DIY lymphatic massage into your routine or booking in with a professional will help keep everything ticking over as it should.
Because the lymphatic system relies on the movement of muscles to transport fluid through the lymph vessels, massage assists this process. If you’re feeling tired and low on energy, lymphatic massage can be a real pick me up.
Eat more raw veggies
Fill your plate with raw veggies!
The naturally occurring enzymes and bioflavonoids in raw fruits and vegetables help to break down toxic buildup so it can be moved out of the body more easily.
Leafy greens are especially important as they contain chlorophyll, a potent cleansing nutrient that cleanses both lymph and blood.
I hope my tips have inspired you to show you lymphatic system some extra TLC in some very simple ways – you’ll reap the benefits of a stronger immune system, more energy and a boost to your all round health!