Fatigue must be one of the most common complaints doctors are faced with. The cause could lie with your lymphatic system – it may be clogged. Let’s talk about your lymphatic system and how you can give it a power boost.

What do you know about your lymphatic system?

You know what lymph nodes are – well, you’re aware when the ones in your neck or groin or armpit are swollen. But do you really know what they do? They’re part of your lymphatic system, the complex drainage network that helps your body get rid of toxins, waste and other unwanted matter. The rest of the system? The spleen (on the left side of the body just above the kidney), thymus gland (above your heart) and lymph vessels. Together, this heroic team battles infections and absorbs excess fluids, fats and toxic waste material from your entire body.

When your lymphatic system goes wrong

The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. When bacteria enter the lymph fluid, the lymph nodes produce more infection-fighting white blood cells, which can cause swelling – that’s when you feel those swollen nodes in the neck, underarms and groin.
A lack of exercise, iodine deficiency, illness or digestive imbalances can clog the lymphatic system and cause health issues and diseases.

How to boost your body’s natural drainage system

Luckily, there’s lots you can do to help cleanse your lymphatic system. So, if you’re feeling lethargic, have constant infections, headaches, skin conditions such as psoriasis, or even bad cellulite, and have ruled out any medical disorders (always consult your medical practitioner if you have any unexplained swellings), give your drainage system a power blast with the following suggestions:

Exercise

While your muscles are moving, they massage your lymphatic system, which improves lymph flow. Jumping up and down is best, although any type of exercise will do the trick.

What to eat to get your lymph flowing

  • Eat more fruits, especially when your stomach is empty. Fresh fruit contains enzymes and acids that are powerful lymph cleansers. It takes just 30 minutes for most fruits to digest in an empty stomach, so their effect is felt quite quickly. Astringent properties in citrus fruits help increase lymph flow; berries such as cranberries bolster the immune system; avocado pears contain the essential fatty acids needed for lymphatic system function.
  • Vegetables, especially leafy greens, are rich in chlorophyll, which helps to purify your blood and lymph. Make your mantra ‘kale, spinach, wheatgrass and broccoli’. Garlic helps remove toxins; ginger benefits the digestion and circulation, which are linked to the lymphatic system; and turmeric helps reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
  • Flaxseed oil is a rich source of lymphatic system-boosting fatty acids. Don’t heat it, though. Sprinkle one to two tablespoons a day on steamed veggies.
  • Nutrient-dense spirulina and kelp help cleanse the body. Add a teaspoon of these to your diet if you can. Spirulina can be used in smoothies. Also try Flora Force West Coast Kelp tablets.
  • Nuts and seeds. Walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds supply your lymph with fatty acids. Take them unsalted though.
  • Plenty of water throughout the day. Your urine should be pale yellow.
  • Herbal teas that help boost lymph flow and eliminate toxins include echinacea, nettle, goldenseal, red clover and astragalus. Or take Flora Force’s Lymph Cleanse™ drops, which has been specially formulated for lymphatic system support. Make sure to contact your medical professional for advice if you are on medication or are pregnant or lactating.

Foods to avoid

No-no’s are foods known to produce toxic waste: Artificial sweeteners, sugar, meat, preservatives, refined grains, processed foods, foods high in salt, pastries and cakes, fizzy cool drinks.

Alternative therapies

Stimulate circulation throughout your lymphatic system with a Lymph drainage massage to help drain fat, fluids, toxins and other waste products from your cells.
Give yourself a dry skin brush before showering. Using a natural bristle brush or fibre-covered pad, brush your dry skin in circular motions upward from the feet to the torso and from the fingers to the chest. Work in the same direction your lymph flows – toward the heart – for about five minutes.

You’ll find more information in our earlier blog 10 Natural ways to boost your lymphatic system.

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Acknowledgements & Photo credits

Article compiled for Flora Force by Judy Beyer.

References

  1. Zimmerman, K. Live Science. Lymphatic system: Facts, functions & diseases. 2015. http://www.livescience.com/26983-lymphatic-system.html
  2. Healthy and Natural World. Top 10 Natural Ways To Cleanse Your Lymphatic System. 2014. http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/natural-ways-to-cleanse-your-lymphatic-system/

Photo credits

  1. Photo courtesy of pixolga / Pixabay.com
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