I can’t put my finger on it, but when I was in school learning all about the human body, I became fascinated with the lymphatic system. I think partly it’s because I think “lymphatic” is a fun word to say. However, the lymphatic system has a very important job, and just like all the other organs and organ systems we should try to keep it happy and healthy.
What does the lymphatic system do?
The lymphatic system is one of the six organs that help eliminate toxins and harmful substances from the body (The other five are bowel, skin, kidneys, liver, and lungs). The lymphatic system works very closely with the immune system and works very similarly to the cardiovascular system. The lymphatic system has vessels all throughout the human body, however, unlike the cardiovascular system it does not have a heart to pump the fluid through the body. So the lymphatic system relies on movement to get the fluid where it needs to go.
The fluid is called lymph and is colorless or slightly yellow. Throughout the body we have lymph nodes, they are oval or bean-shaped masses. While in the lymph nodes the lymph is being filtered from toxins and bacteria and then the lymph is sent to the bloodstream.
The lymph nodes: Cleans the lymph, absorbs harmful substances that would be harmful to the blood. From plasma cells, it forms antibodies and antitoxins. It forms lymphocytes.
The lymphatic system: Returns filter lymph to the bloodstream. Helps prevent diseases.
Unfortunately, things like acid, toxins, and drugs can cause the lymphatic system to become congested and not perform at its full potential. This can weaken the immune system and cause diseases.
Holistic Ways to Keep the Lymphatic System Happy and Healthy
Eat whole foods and more alkaline foods. Keeping toxic food out of the body helps all the organs and systems to run smoothly.
Make sure you are getting enough potassium and chlorine in your diet. A few foods with natural potassium are bananas, kelp, avocado, and sweet potatoes. A few foods with natural chlorine are tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage, and celery.
Regular exercising that works the whole body, like running, dancing, yoga, and jumping on a trampoline.
Dry Skin Brushing
Saunas and steam rooms.
Herbs That Support the Lymphatic System:
Burdock Arctium lappa
Calendula Calendula officinalis
Cleavers Galium aparine
Echinacea Echinacea purpurea
Mullein Verbascum thapsus
Oatstraw Avena sativa
Red clover Trifolium pratense
Yellow dock Rumex crispus
Petersen, D. (2015). NAT 101: Nutrition, Bodycare, & Herbalism. Portland, OR: American College of Healthcare Sciences.
Petersen, D. (2015). NAT 211: Nutrition, Bodycare, & Herbalism. Portland, OR: American College of Healthcare Sciences.
Petersen, D. (2015). NAT 308: Nutrition, Bodycare, & Herbalism. Portland, OR: American College of Healthcare Sciences.