How the lymphatic system works
The lymphatic system moves lymphatic fluids around the body through the action of muscles and the lung, via a one-way valve system, collecting waste products and toxins as it goes and disposing of them through the bladder, bowels, lungs and skin.
The lymphatic vessels are spread as a network throughout the body but they are particularly concentrated in the groin, behind the knees, in the armpits, neck and upper chest.
Lymph fluid is involved in the absorption of fat from the intestines, as well as in the drainage and removal of toxic waste from the body. Lymph fluid is also a reservoir for certain kinds of white blood cells that attack and ingest chemical and bacterial invaders, and cleans out waste.
This system is one of the most essential methods the body has of detoxifying itself and is a vital part of the immune response. If the lymphatic system is not functioning properly, a very wide range of illnesses can develop.
General symptoms of the lymph system not working effectively, are a tendency to oedema (swelling), swollen glands, a susceptibly to infections and viruses, recurrent tonsillitis or sore throats, and a tendency for constipation. The function of the lymphatic system will often remain impaired following a bout of glandular fever.
Natural ways of helping the lymphatic system
Regular exercise is necessary to maintain a healthy lymphatic system because vigorous motion stimulates the dumping of waste and the flow of lymphatic fluid.
Foods that are beneficial include fresh fruit and green vegetables (organically grown). Also drinking filtered water, the lymphatic system has to struggle to remove the chemicals and metals that are present in high levels in tap water from the body.
Herbs for the lymph, Cleavers, Echinacea, Golden seal, Marigold, Nettles, Poke root and Red clover.
Massage ‘lymphatic drainage’ can be particularly effective when essential oils are also used.
Essential oils for lymphatic system include: fennel, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, bay laurel, basil and rosemary.
Homeopathic tissue salt Kalimur for symptoms resulting from a poorly functioning lymphatic system.
Skin brushing is considered to be a simple effective way of moving the lymph fluid and freeing any impacted lymph mucus from the nodes.