What the Heck is Lymph and Why Do I Need to Worry About it?
The lymphatic system is the system that cleans out your body. Lymphatic fluid travels through your body removing viruses, cancer cells and other things that need to be removed from your body for your continued health. Lymph nodes are the filters within that system. They are located in various sites like your groin, armpit, neck and under your chin. For a broader description of the lymphatic system see the Inner Body website or Medline Plus.
Since the lymphatic system clears various toxic items from your body it is important to keep it clear and working. There are a number of ways to do this. Lymphatic massage can get the system moving, body brushing with a dry brush can increase lymph flow, exercise; particularly jumping; can really be beneficial in moving the lymph.
Diet is also important to the lymphatic system. Eating fruit on an empty stomach allows the enzymes to act quicker to help clear your body of toxins. A diet heavy in green leafy vegetables, fruit and raw nuts will also help keep your lymphatic system clean. Sugars, heavy red meat consumption, refined sugars, white flour, sugar, rice and chemical laden processed food will clog the lymphatic system.
Herbs for the Lymphatic System
The herbs that are thought best to assist the lymphatic system are the herbs that also help boost the immune system, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as being excellent natural diuretics. These herbs include:
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) or pot marigold is an amazing herb for boosting the immune system. If you work in the public during cold and flu season and don’t have ragweed allergies and are not pregnant, calendula tea can help you by boosting and strengthening your immune system. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties assist your lymph system. Calendula also helps increase blood flow to wounds and any increase in blood flow also increases removal of lymph.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) or cone flower is famous for its use in assisting and strengthening the immune system. It also helps lessen congestion and swelling in the lymphatic system.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) or orange root is an amazingly bitter herb but it is also amazing. It can assist with oral issues, it is anti-inflammatory and encourages lymphatic drainage.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) or “that darn weed” is one of the most unsung heroes of the herbal world. It is almost always used for liver cleanses and the root can be made into a coffee substitute. It is an excellent diuretic and helps decrease swelling. It is even thought to lower blood pressure and decrease cholesterol. Because of it’s effects as a diuretic and cleanser it assists in lymphatic drainage.
Last but not least water, water, water! I know you have all heard it before but if you don’t bathe in dirty water why would you want your cells and organs to? Drinking a reasonable amount of water daily will help digestion, assist in weight removal, hydrate your skin and give you a boost in lymphatic drainage.
It seems to me that a couple of weeks a year filled with vegetables, fruit, healthy eating and adequate water will give your body the much needed vacation it deserves. You never know, you just may love the way you feel enough to change your diet permanently!
THIS BLOG IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR.