When we think of all the reasons behind ill health, the lymphatic system barely ever comes to mind. This overlooked network of tissues and organs rids the body of waste and toxins. It also carries white blood cells (lymph) throughout the body.
Hence, if you have an infection, low immunity, disease, chest pain, fatigue, frequent coughs, wheezing, bloating, and other related problems, you might need to cleanse your lymphatic system.1 2 Here are seven natural ways to go about it.
1. Drink More Water
The benefits of water go beyond good skin and weight management. Without adequate water, the lymphatic system cannot function properly. Hence, dehydration causes it to slow down. This is because the lymphatic system is 95% water and needs water to flush out toxins. So, make sure to drink enough water
2. Try Skin Brushing
This technique improves circulation and lymphatic flow. This, especially if you have cellulite, cold hands, or cold feet. All you need is a natural bristle brush and some time on your hands. Here’s how you can go about skin brushing
- Using firm finger pressure, massage your collar bones and on the left and right side of the groin area on your upper legs.
- Brush the soles of your feet in a circular motion. Move upward over your legs, stomach, buttocks, and waist.
- Use long, upward strokes to brush your hands and arms. Use circular motions over your palms.
- Brush from your neck and shoulders to your chest and down your back.
You could do this every day before you shower. However, refrain from doing this before you sleep as it is said to energize your body and may cause restless sleep.4
3. Try Breathing Techniques
The lymphatic system depends on muscular movement, gravity, and breathing to move lymph fluid through the body. The lymph drains into the blood through two ducts at the base of the neck. Breathing fuels this action and massages the ducts so the fluid flows freely.5
However, just regular breathing doesn’t help. In order to ensure that the lymph system is working well, you need to do deep belly breathing. In it, the diaphragm acts as a lymphatic pump and ensures that it’s functioning well.6 So, whenever you find the time, sit down in a quiet spot and practice deep breathing.
4. Exercise Regularly
Here’s another reason to step on a treadmill. The lymphatic system has filters called lymphoid organs which includes the appendix, thymus, spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes. These organs contain cells that detoxify the body and build immunity. Lack of exercise keeps the cells from functioning well and the filters from working efficiently.7
Research shows that obesity impairs lymphatic function. Hence, by fighting obesity, you will also help provide a boost to the lymphatic system.8
Alternatively, excess exercise raises the body’s cortisol levels and suppresses the action of immune cells in the lymph system. This makes us susceptible to stress and infection.9 So, make sure to incorporate moderate exercise into your daily routine to help keep your lymph system in good shape.
5. Eat Clean
There’s more to healthy food than just weight management. Eating clean helps cleanse the lymph system and get the lymph fluid moving better. Hence, avoid foods that contain preservatives, added flavors, colors, enhancers, and stabilizers.
Furthermore, avoid refined food, simple carbohydrates, and sugars. These clog your lymph system, and cause rapid blood sugar fluctuations. Instead, go for whole fruits, vegetables, and grains.10
6. Try Essential Oils
Essential oils might just help you cleanse and alleviate the symptoms of a clogged lymph system. Here are a few of
- Infections: Essential oils like tea tree, thyme, sage, eucalyptus, pine, and lemongrass are antimicrobial and might fight common infections.
- Bloating: Fluid retention can be fought with essential oils like rosemary, ginger, cypress, juniper, cedar wood, fennel, sandalwood, and coriander.
- Immune enhancing: Chamomile, basil, lemon, thyme, lavender, and tea tree boost the immunity.
- Circulation: Cedarwood, rosemary, and sage can stimulate circulation in the lymph system.
Essential oils might also reduce cellulite, which is a common symptom of a blocked lymphatic system.11 You can use these essential oils individually, or add a few of them to a warm bath.
A mix of a few drops of pure geranium, juniper and black pepper oil with almond or geranium oil might stimulate the lymphatic system. You could do this several times per week.12
7. Sweat A Lot
Sweat therapy might be
You could sweat through exercise, a sauna, or even a hot shower. Ensure that you don’t wear tight fitting clothes since they prevent sweating.13
Proper functioning of the lymphatic system is vital for our health. And, a few simple and all natural ways can help it do just that. However, it’s important to remember that these tips can’t replace a doctor’s prescription and diagnosis. So, if you do suffer from any of the symptoms of a blocked lymphatic system, be sure to consult a medical professional.
|↑1||Signs, Symptoms, and Complications. US Department Of Health And Human Sciences.|
|↑2||Lymphatic system. Victoria State Government.|
|↑3, ↑10, ↑12||Cook, Michelle Schoffro. The 4 Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.|
|↑4||Cook, Michelle Schoffro. The
|↑5, ↑13||Andrew, Asa. Empowering Your Health: Do You Want to Get Well?. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2007.|
|↑6||Diaphragm Deep Breathing. City Of Eugene, Oregon.|
|↑7||Farris, Russell, and Per Marin. The Potbelly Syndrome: How Common Germs Cause Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease. Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2005.|
|↑8||Weitman, Evan S., Seth Z. Aschen, Gina Farias-Eisner, Nicholas Albano, Daniel A. Cuzzone, Swapna Ghanta, Jamie C. Zampell, Daniel Thorek, and Babak J. Mehrara. “Obesity impairs lymphatic fluid transport and dendritic cell migration to lymph nodes.” PloS one 8, no. 8 (2013): e70703.|
|↑9||Farris, Russell, and Per Marin. The Potbelly Syndrome: How Common Germs Cause
|↑11||Pitman, Vicki. Aromatherapy: a practical approach. Nelson Thornes, 2004.|