Love Your Lymph!

Each cell does not have its own private blood vessel feeding it, yet it has to get food, water, and oxygen to survive. Bathing cells in nutrients is one of the the lymph system’s many fascinating functions.

Although it is double the size of the circulatory system, most people don’t know much about the lymphatic system and may have never heard of it. There is so much great info out there on how it works, so I won’t go into detail. If you are interested, check out the links I’ve shared this month on Facebook and Twitter to learn more (#LymphTips).

Essentially, the lymphatic (or ‘lymph’ for short) system is your body’s sewer system. With all the filtering and cleaning it has to do in your body, the last thing you want is a toxic, clogged up, overflowing sewer! The lymph system needs flow smoothly and efficiently to keep you in great health.

Signs of Poor Lymphatic Function

  • Long-lasting sock marks and swollen ankles/feet
  • Chronic muscle aches and pains
  • Frequent infections and swollen glands
  • On-going sinus congestion
  • Breast tenderness
  • Chronic productive cough
  • Headaches
  • Varicose veins and/or hemorrhoids
  • Skin conditions
  • Cellulite

One aspect of the lymph system not widely discussed in the wealth of online literature is how to care for it, or better yet, caring for it naturally! I want to share some tips with you on how to promote a healthy lymph system.

Love Your Lymph

1. Eat fresh, raw fruits, vegetables and sprouts: These foods contain enzymes. Enzymes assist the lymphatic system in breaking down cellular debris into fluid that can flow more smoothly. Processed food is dead and lacks enzymes! Go for raw when possible (or lightly steamed).

2. Dry skin brushing: Super easy once it’s a habit, dry skin brushing promotes lymph flow and drainage, taking all of 60 seconds pre-shower. Just try it for a week and see how you feel. Your lymph (immune, skin, circulatory and nervous systems!) will thank you.

3. Exercise: no natural health tip list is ever complete without the mention of physical activity. I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again: “If there ever was a magic bullet in medicine, it’s exercise prescription!” – you can quote me on this =) The health benefits are endless and also include improved function of your lymph system.

4. Drink adequate clean water: To keep the sewage flowing through the pipes, you need to maintain fluid levels. As a rule of thumb, drink ½ your weight in fluid ounces per day. Consider making herbal tea a part of your daily fluid intake, especially dandelion root, which is known for its purifying properties.

5. Consume healthy oils: Coconut, olive, flax and more…these oils will help the efficient flow of the lymph fluid. Unhealthy oils like trans fats, found in processed and fried foods, impair lymphatic circulation and cause damage. Use healthy fats in your food everyday , ideally raw. Click here for a delicious healthy oil-containing recipe.


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4 thoughts on “Love Your Lymph!

  1. Great information! It is so important for all of us to know this infomation. We need to be mindful of this to keep ourselves healthy. Thanks.

  2. Glad to hear it was helpful, Laura. If all you learn is that you have a lymph system and there's ways to make it healthier, I'm happy 🙂

  3. I have most of the lymph symptoms mentioned. I eat mainly raw fruits and vegs, some cooked and some protien. I exercise at least 1 hr each day. Dry brush daily, sometimes twice. Drink lots of water and healthy oils. I eat very little processed food. The medical doctors can find no reason for the swelling, my naturopath has determined it is my lymph system not working properly. I have even had accupuncture to try and help but still it persists. (ankles and feet swelling, cellulite, breast tenderness, dry skin, chronic sinus congestion and productive cough) Any suggestions???

  4. Hi Katie,

    Your ND has you doing all of the right things. That being said, I have worked with people who have lymph systems that don't respond in the way that you expect and the treatment has been different for each person and involves working at deeper underlying causes.

    Our bodies may not always heal at the rate we want them to, despite dilligent efforts. It often takes times and patience. At this point, I'd say keep up the great work and trust that your body needs time to heal. Best wishes on your healing journey!

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