You might not know it, but your lymphatic system is one of the most overlooked parts of your anatomy. It works hard to remove bacteria and fight infection. Instead of ignoring this import part of your body, here are some tips to clean your lymphatic system and get your body functioning at it’s best.
What is Lymph, Exactly?
Of course you know about your immune system. It’s producing white blood cells to keep you healthy when a virus, bacteria or foreign body enters yours. But we rarely hear about the lymphatic system. Lymph is a clear or whitish fluid in your lymphatic system, which is a major part of your immune system. You have more lymph in your body than you do blood.
Lymph nodes produce white blood cells and filter lymph fluid. You can sometimes feel the bean shaped lymph nodes when they are swollen. You will feel them in your armpits and neck. When you are sick and your doctor is feeling around your throat, this swelling of the lymph nodes is part of what she is feeling for.
Why Your Lymphatic System Needs Cleansing
The most well known disease of the lymphatic system is lymphoma. Certain risk factors can contribute to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Some of these are genetic risks that are beyond our control but some are environmental exposures that we can avoid.
Helping your lymphatic system run optimally means that it is better able to fight disease. Since the lymphatic system is going to see anything foreign as something to be removed, avoiding overworking the system will make your lymph work better for you. Instead of working to remove chemicals that we ingest, it can remove disease instead.
Exposure to certain chemicals, infections and viruses, chronic immune system stimulation and poor diet can all contribute to increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Again, reducing the amount of stuff that your lymph system has to work to filter out can help it to be healthy to fight off major illnesses.
Here are 10 ways to clean the lymphatic system at home:
1. Eat clean
Cleaning your diet can also clean your lymph system. Since the system wants to remove anything that is not supposed to be there, avoiding processed foods helps it to run more efficiently. This includes avoiding chemicals, refined sugar, artificial flavorings, colors, additives, preservatives, etc.
2. Add water
Lymph fluid is mostly water, as is the human body. Dehydration only stresses the lymphatic system more and makes it less efficient. Drinking your full fluid intake as clean, clear water will help your lymphatic system flow well. Flush your system with a gallon of water per day.
3. Castor oil packs
Castor oil packs are used by applying castor oil to a clean cotton fabric and placing them on the body in an area that needs cleansing. The area is wrapped in plastic and left in place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You can read about how to make an effective and mess-free castor oil pack here. Most often the pack is applied to the abdomen for aiding the lymphatic system.
4. Get Bouncy
Rebounding, or trampoline jumping, for 10 to 30 minutes gets your lymph fluid moving. Moving the lymphatic fluid through the body gets it to the lymph nodes where it can be cleaned.
5. Practice Yoga
Yoga poses such as legs up the wall (lying with legs elevated), half shoulder stand (legs and chest elevated, arms supporting the back) and downward dog (body in a upside down V) all move blood and lymph toward the heart. This speeds up the rate of filtering and cleaning of the lymphatic fluid.
6. Relax in a Sauna
Sweating with sauna therapy is another way to increase circulation, sweat out toxins and improve lymphatic flow for cleaning.
Lymphatic drainage massage is used to manually flush and detoxify the body. Lymphatic massage also works to treat lymphedema, which is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the body after lymph nodes have been removed as in breast cancer surgery.
Getting blood flowing through exercise also helps the lymphatic system to flow. Simply walking is a good way to raise your heart rate and pump lymphatic fluid to where it can be cleaned in the lymph nodes.
9. Deep breathing
Concentrating on deeply inhaling so that you can feel the contraction in your diaphragm. The change in pressure in your chest forces lymphatic fluid upward from the extremities, where it can then be filtered and cleaned.
10. Herbal Tea
Certain herbs are best for lymph cleansing and a relaxing herbal tea can do the trick. Mix calendula, cleavers and mullein in a tea to help remove lymphatic toxins.
Safely detoxifying your lymphatic system will allow it to perform optimally and give you the best possible immune health. This way, your body will be ready for battle the next time it faces any internal opponent.