The "Clogged" Lymphatic System

The “Clogged” Lymphatic System 

 

The lymphatic system is a part of the circulatory system and a vital part of the immune system. This system is made of the glands, lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland and tonsils. The lymph system has multiple interrelated functions. Some of those functions are: 

  • It removes interstitial fluid from tissues. 
  • The lymph system absorbs and transports fatty acids and fats as chyle from the digestive system. 
  • The lymphatic system transports white blood cells to and from the lymph nodes and into the bones. 
  • It helps to transport antigen-presenting cells, like dendritic cells, to the lymph nodes where an immune response is stimulated. 

When the lymphatic system is out of balance or not working properly, many people face nutrient deficiencies from a high intake of processed foods and lack of activity. Certain health issues have been linked to having an overabundance of toxins in the body. If you suffer from these conditions, consider talking to your doctor about cleansing your lymphatic system. 

  • Arthritis 
  • Digestive disorders and diseases 
  • Frequent headaches 
  • Skin conditions 
  • Sinus infections 
  • Unexplained injuries and deep bruising 
  • Excess weight 
  • Chronic fatigue 

While the lymphatic system does not have its own active pumping system, it does utilize the body’s movement, breathing, intestinal activity and muscle action to create flow. By helping to keep your body in tune and working, you can thusly ensure that your lymphatic system is working up to par.  

Here are some things you can do to help unclog your lymphatic system and strengthen your overall health. 

  • Exercise. Regular exercising is key for a healthy lymphatic system. At the beginning, start with less vigorous training sessions, and try to slowly incorporate more intense exercises to your daily training. The most stimulating exercise for the lymphatic system is the rebounding on a small trampoline. 
  • Hot and cold showers. The hot water helps dilate the blood vessels, and the cold water shrivels them. This creates a “pump” action that forces out the fluid that has stayed in the body more time. This therapy is not recommended for pregnant women and those who suffer from cardiovascular disease. 
  • Dry brushing. Brush your dry skin in a circular motion for 10 minutes by using a natural bristle brush, and then take a shower. You can combine dry brushing with hot and cold shower for better effects. 
  • Alternative treatments. A lymphatic drainage massage is one of the easiest ways to detoxify the lymphatic system. A skilled massage therapist can stimulate circulation in the lymph, and drain fat, fluids, and toxins away from your cells for proper elimination. Acupuncture is another effective treatment that will help you stimulate lymph flow and help remove toxins from the body. An infrared sauna is also a great and easy option. The sweat excreted through your skin eases the toxic burden on your lymphatic system, which allows it to work better. 
  • Avoid tight clothing. You can reduce the proper circulation in the lymphatic system by wearing tight clothes. Tight clothing can cause blockages in the lymph system, which can lead to accumulation of toxins. 
  • Drink clean water. It is advisable to drink up to half your body weight in ounces of water per day. (For example, 160 lbs. = 80 ounces of water). You should also drink a few glasses of lemon water as well. 
  • Breathe deeply. Our bodies have three times more lymph fluid than blood, but there is no organ to pump it. The pumping action of deep breathing will help the lymphatic system to transport the toxins into the blood before they are detoxified by the liver. 
  • Eat foods promoting lymph health. Eating raw and nutrient rich foods diet promotes a healthy lymphatic system. Some of the cleansing foods for the lymph system are: 
  • Leafy green vegetables 
  • Ground flaxseed and hemp seed 
  • Chia seeds 
  • Low sugar fruits 
  • Avocado 
  • Garlic 
  • Brazil nuts 
  • Almonds 
  • Walnuts 
  • Cranberries 
  • Try supplements that encourage lymph flow. There are many herbs that can be very helpful for the lymphatic system. Use the following herbs to prepare teas that promote lymph health: 
  • Parsley 
  • Poke root 
  • Goldenseal 
  • Cilantro 
  • Wild indigo root 
  • Astragalus 
  • Echinacea 
  • Avoid foods that clog or block your lymph flow. Improve your lymphatic health by avoiding the following foods: 
  • Processed foods 
  • Artificial sweeteners 
  • Conventionally raised meat 
  • Conventional dairy 
  • Sugar 
  • Soy 
  • Table salt 

If you suspect you may have a clogged or unsteadily flowing lymphatic system, do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor to find the best course of action for your situation.  

 

 

Resources Used: 

Reclaiming Intimacy 

ACS 

Medical News Today 

 

Back to blog