Many turn to herbs and natural remedies for supporting certain aspects of health. Boosting the immune system, improving liver or kidney health, detoxifying the body, and even clearing up the skin are popular go-to’s.
You’d be hard-pressed to find one herb or natural remedy that can do all of these things at once! Herbs each have their specialties, or more than a few. That said, is there one aspect of health that, if focused on, can have a beneficial domino effect on others?
The answer is yes— and this system is called the lymphatic system. Though we’re taught a lot about the cardiovascular, skeletal, and muscular systems, we hardly learn anything about this overlooked yet underexplored part of the body!
What is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system is a large part of the body’s network of blood vessels, glands, nerves, and more. Just like these systems, the lymphatic system branches out all over the body to link skin, blood, and organs (especially the liver and kidneys) together, all connected through an intricate network of lymph nodes.
You could call the lymphatic system the “waterways” of the body. It literally transports moisture, water, and fluids out of the blood, into lymph nodes, and even out of the pores of our skin (e.g., sweating and fevers) for either keeping us cool when we work out or helping fight infection.
Its role is to literally “purify” us. It works in concert with the immune system to expel pathogens and purge them from the body while keeping us cool and removing unnecessary waste or impurities.
How the lymphatic system works
Think of a canal or a drainage system. The drainage needs to be hooked up or directly linked to the source that needs to be drained.
It’s the same with the lymphatic system, which works like a “drain” for impurities and pathogens in the body. To achieve this, lymph nodes and lymph vessels are connected to glands, the kidneys, liver, and blood vessels— all parts of the body contain impurities or pathogens, which the lymph can then “drain” away.
So, how does the lymphatic system “get rid” of impurities? In many ways: it can move toxins and pathogens out to the lymph nodes, where antibodies are developed there to fight them there and elsewhere. Lymph vessels are also wired somewhat into the kidneys and liver to help them filter out toxins.
The last method for lymphatic drainage you’re probably very familiar with: sweating! Which is very good for you. Sweating is, in fact, the lymphatic system moving impurities from your body out through the skin. It’s very purifying, and the whole reason why sweat or steam baths like saunas, sweat lodges, or temezcal are said to have such strong detoxifying properties.
What a healthy lymphatic system means
By targeting your lymphatic system for support, in reality, you’re targeting a lot of important dimensions to your health.
That’s right: by taking care of your lymphatic system, you’re also boosting several other aspects of your wellness, and lowering the risk of many diseases in the process, too. Because a healthy lymphatic system means:
- Better immunity Less inflammation
- Fewer impurities (which equals clearer skin)
- The best natural detoxification possible
- Fewer infections and sickness
- Reduced cancer risk
- More energy, less fatigue
Those who want the most cleansing and thorough detox possible will want to include care for their lymphatic system and extra support for the liver and kidneys. Together, these systems will bring the most natural cleanse and purification to the body—removing impurities, infection, fatigue, inflammation, and so much more— and sometimes, all it takes is to focus on the lymphatic system.
How do I support my lymph health?
Even if you’ve never heard of the lymphatic system before, taking care of it is something you can do at home with self-care, home remedies, and herbs— and it’s quite easy.
Just like eating healthy, getting enough exercise, stretching, etc., it only takes a little change to your routine to stay on top of it. If you want to take better care of this precious and detoxifying bodily system, here are some good approaches that people use:
- Dry brushing. Take a dry bristle brush and gently stroke your skin, starting from your heart and belly along your arms and legs to your toes and fingertips. This is supposed to help your lymph flow.
- Rebounding. Look it up! This is becoming a popular way to move the lymph, involving specific exercises that can be done on a trampoline.
- Exercise. Don’t have time or money for rebounding (or a trampoline at that)? Plain old exercise should be good enough, which helps the blood pump and lymph flow and bring on a good sweat.
- Sweats. Steam baths, saunas, and similar spa or therapeutic treatments can really help stimulate the lymphatic system.
- Staying hydrated. Drink TONS of water, often. Your lymphatic system works best when you’re hydrated.
- Taking lymphatic herbs. In their own unique ways, certain herbs support lymphatic health and keep it moving!
Herbs that help the lymphatic system
Herbs and supplements are the perfect compliments to a new focus and change in your self-care routine, especially for lymphatic care. Which herbs should you turn to for boosting your lymphatic system and encouraging detoxification? Here are some of the most well-known and powerful for your lymphatic system:
- Lymphatic cleanse powder
- Barley Grass
- Milk Thistle
- Oregon Grape
- Red Clover
Each of these herbs works differently in how they stimulate and support the lymphatic system. For the best results, please seek a professional herbalist for the best formulas or take a look in our shop for our own lymph herbs and formulas.
The lymphatic system is powerful! The right herbs and self-care can have incredible effects on the lymphatic system for your energy, health, and well-being.