The lymphatic system is not commonly talked about, but is a critical part of the body – you have twice as much lymph fluid as blood! It is a network of tissues and organs that rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials; it is part of your natural sewage treatment system.
A primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph fluid. Lymph fluid contains white blood cells that are instrumental in fighting infection all throughout the body. Thus, a healthy lymphatic system is key to a healthy body.
Below are common symptoms of a congested lymphatic system:
- Breast swelling or soreness with each cycle
- Dry skin
- Mild rash or acne
- Rings get tight on fingers
- Soreness and/or stiffness in the morning
- Feeling tired
- Bloating / Holding on to water
- Itchy skin
- Weight gain and extra belly fat
- Swollen glands
- Low immunity
- Brain fog
- Mild headaches
- Elevated histamine and irritation due to common environmental allergens
- Occasional constipation, diarrhea, and/or mucus in the stool
Even though lymphatic congestion is triggered by a wide range of factors, everything can be narrowed down to three major causes.
- Stress (the cause of about 80% of all chronic health issues)
- Digestive imbalances (may irritate intestinal villi, which is a classic reason for lymph congestion)
- Iodine deficiency (iodine helps to mitigate the effects of a toxic environment and supports the lymphatic system at the cellular level)
Natural ways that help to detox and maintain a strong lymphatic system
Drink plenty of fluid
Since the lymph is made of nearly 95 percent water, water is critical for its health. Therefore, make sure you stay hydrated by drinking half your weight in ounces of water daily in order to avoid improper lymph flow.
In addition to water, you can have freshly-squeezed juices, broths, and herbal teas, all of which help the lymphatic system move while mineralizing the body and the lymph. It is worth mentioning that green vegetable juices are one of those good-for-you beverages which do deep cleanse of all detox organs, including the lymphatic system.
Some herbs like echinacea, astragalus, cat’s claw, burdock root, pokeroot, goldenseal, red clover or wild indigo root have the ability to clean the lymphatic system and can be drunk regularly to help with the detox process.
Near infrared sauna
Near infrared sauna therapy penetrates deeper into the skin, and allows the body to sweat while in parasympathetic nervous system mode, so toxins are being sweated out. The circulation/release of toxins, the regeneration of tissues, and the heat all work together to improve lymphatic flow.
Legs up the wall
Lying with your legs up the wall enhances the lymphatic flow by stimulating the activation of the lymphatic valves for eliminating toxins. Plus, it helps sleep better at night, too.
Hydrotherapy shower is a shower where hot and cold water are used alternatively. Towards the end of your shower, just switch the water quickly from hot to cold a couple of times. Here is a link for more information on hydrotherapy showers.
Rebounding is the best natural way to detox your lymphatic system. The lymphatic fluid is thixotropic, which means when you rebound you warm your body, which liquefies the lymphatic fluid and allows to flow easier through the body. Rebounding will allow you to clean up the lymph nodes much faster and more efficient. The lymphatic system works best when you move your body, which helps keep fluids circulating. Any type of regular exercise and movement (even walking) is good for keeping lymph fluid flowing.
Dry skin brushing
Dry skin brushing provides a wide range of health benefits, from improving lymphatic flow and optimizing detoxification to boosting organ functions and boosting energy levels.
Here’s how to dry brush:
- Get a natural bristle brush with a long handle
- Stand in the shower room/ bathtub
- Start dry brushing, starting from the feet and moving toward the heart by using long motions. Ultimately, move on to the hands, again brushing towards the heart.
- Brush several times in each area
- Pay attention to the more sensitive areas, like the breasts
- Take a shower, when done. Alternate between the hottest and the coldest temperature to stimulate blood circulation
- Pat dry the body and then apply coconut oil onto the skin for hydration
- For optimal results, dry brush every day before taking a shower