The lymphatic system is a vital part of the immune system that often goes overlooked. It consists of vessels and nodes that carry a fluid called “lymph” from tissues and organs to the bloodstream. There is approximately three to five times more lymph fluid in the body than there is blood. Lymph is meant to help the body filter and clean toxins, debris, and pathogens that compile in our circulatory system as a result of toxic environments, medications, and an unhealthy diet. Lymph fluid passes through lymph nodes – that act as filtering stations – located in our organ tissues, and move to the surface of our skin near the neck, abdomen, armpits and groin. These nodes are meant to remove waste products, damaged cells, infectious organisms, and foreign particles to prevent blockages and protect against infection.
Think of the lymphatic system as a city waste removal service; garbage is removed on a regular basis, and if not, the garbage will build up and eventually overwhelm a household. It is possible for our lymphatic system to become blocked and congested, causing stagnation in circulation and therefore having adverse effects on the body.
Some of the symptoms of this include:
•issues with digestion
•increase in acidity in the body
A congested lymphatic system obstructs cell-nourishing elements from our bloodstream and prevents infection-fighting material from destroying germs and pathogens. This is when the role of the liver becomes important. Your liver is responsible for breaking down anything you consume and ingest. It is the liver’s job to distinguish between what to absorb (like vitamins) and what to filter out of the bloodstream.
Today, many negative lifestyle factors contribute to an increase in toxic load in the body which can possibly result in blockages. A diet high in unhealthy, processed foods including preservatives and pesticides could contribute to clogging your liver which will cause it to have greater difficulty breaking down fats. An increase in the use of prescription medication also contributes to a buildup of toxins in your liver. Our systems are not designed to handle so much chemical toxicities (aka pills) that create adverse effects on our immune and lymphatic systems.
But wait! There is more. Not only are we increasing toxic build up in the body through chemicals we ingest, but chemicals we absorb through our skin too! Shampoos, antiperspirants, cosmetics, perfumes; all contain high levels of heavy metals and chemicals we are not meant to absorb. A recent study demonstrated how one brand of women’s foundation contained over forty percent of the legal amount of lead! This could also cause hormone imbalances that result in other side effects.
Now you may be wondering what can be done to help detox the body and prevent blockages? Here are several things you can do to help your lymphatic system do its job:
1.Eat a well-balanced, nutritionally adequate diet. Moreover, try to consume as many natural, organic plant-based foods as possible. Stay away from GMO, pesticide-ridden , or overly-processed foods as they clog the liver. Decrease consumption of smoked, deep-fried, cured and salted foods.
2.Avoid unnecessary drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can be very taxing on the liver which is the primary organ of detoxification. Try to limit your alcohol intake even more if you are a women as it also can affect hormonal balance.
3.Use organic beauty, skincare and cleaning products. Try to eliminate exposure to harmful toxins by using products that are voided of known carcinogenic substances, yes they may smell good, but at what cost? More brands now offer products made with organic or non-toxic ingredients, let`s not only read labels of what we eat but also of what we put on our body.
4.Cleanse using herbs and spices. Herbs and spices such as dandelion root, milk thistle, burdock, turmeric, cinnamon, licorice along with green and white teas can do a great job at helping your body to cleanse itself more efficiently.
5.Regular use of infrared saunas. Infrared saunas have has been shown to restore lymph function by detoxifying your body through sweat glands, cleaning and draining your system.
6.Dry brushing. Brushing your skin especially after exercise or an infrared sauna can help not only remove dead skin cells but can also help improve blood flow and lymph circulation.
7.Exercise and rebounders. Why not make it fun! Mini trampolines are a great way to expel toxins by jostling the lymph nodes and squeezing toxins out. Physical activity also promotes healthy circulation that prevents lymph from becoming st agnant. Stress- reducing activities such as yoga, tai-chi and meditation help with increased blood flow and improved lymphatic function.
8.Homeopathic remedies. When you know your lymphatic system could use more help, remedies like Lymphdiaral (Pascoe) are designed to gently cleanse the lymphatic systems and tissues.
A healthy lymphatic system will help decrease swelling, improve immune function, improve removal of toxins and reduce inflammation as well as speed healing. Make sure you take good care of this important but often over-looked system.