The lymph system is a complex drainage system. The lymphatic drainage consists of lymph nodes, vessels, spleen, and thymus. The lymphatic system plays an important role in fighting infections and absorbing excess fluids, fats, and toxic waste material from your entire body.
A lack of exercise, iodine deficiency, illness, or digestive imbalances can clog the lymphatic system and cause health issues and diseases. Luckily there are many natural ways to cleanse your lymphatic system and improve skin issues, arthritis, cellulite, headaches, colds, sinus infections, fatigue, cholesterol, digestive disorders, and overall health.
Top 10 Natural Ways To Boost A Sluggish Lymphatic System
1. Alternative Therapies
- Lymph drainage massage: this type of massage stimulates lymph circulation and drains fat, fluids, toxins and other waste products away from your cells.
- Acupuncture: stimulates lymph flow.
- Sauna: saunas or steam baths are an excellent way to sweat out toxins and waste material through the skin and cleanse your system.
Regular exercise that involves jumping is the best way to keep your lymph system flowing smoothly. Although jumping up and down is the best way to stimulate lymph flow, any type of exercise will do the trick. While your muscles are moving, they massage your lymphatic system which improves lymph flow.
3. Foods To Cleanse Your Lymph System
A healthy diet produces less toxins and waste products, which reduces the chance of a clogged lymphatic system. Try to opt for organic products as much as possible to avoid pesticides and other chemicals.
Foods That Promote Lymph Flow
- Fruits, especially cranberries that help the lymphatic system, bowels and kidneys to get rid of various kinds of harmful toxins, are loaded with antioxidants and many other nutrients. You can find more information about the healing powers of berries in the e-book The Healing Berry Guide which is a must if you want to become healthier from the inside out and get healthy and easy berry recipes that are sure to boost your health.
- Veggies, especially leafy greens (due to their chlorophyll content)
- Flaxseed Oil
- Brazil nuts
- Flax or chia seeds – Read here more about the amazing health benefits of nuts and seeds.
These food sources provide important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, and other beneficial phytonutrients to keep your lymph flowing and cleanse your body. Add more raw fruits, vegetables, and fresh juices to your diet as they provide powerful enzymes and acids to cleanse your lymphatic system.
Foods To Avoid
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sugar – you can find here 13 effective ways to quit sugar.
- Refined grains
- Processed foods
- Foods high in salt
- Candy and baked goods
All those foods are known to produce toxic waste and may clog your system.
4. Drink Plenty Of Water
Your body needs water to stay hydrated to keep your lymph fluid flowing properly. A good rule of thumb is to drink 6 to 8 glasses of filtered or purified water a day and ditch sodas, sport drinks, and commercially available sugar-laden fruit juices.
5. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing exercises stimulate lymph flow to avoid toxin build-up and bring more fresh oxygen to your cells.
6. Dry Brushing
The skin is our largest organ and is responsible for detoxifying our body just like the liver, kidneys and colon. Dry brushing is an ancient technique which is part of the Indian Ayurveda and holds numerous health benefits. Not only this, but it’s easy and simple to do, takes only few minutes a day and is very cheap.
Health benefits of dry brushing
Dry brushing exfoliates the skin and removes dead cells, thus contributing to younger, smooth and fresh looking skin. This way the skin is able to better absorb nutrients into the body.
Dry brushing also improves blood circulation and helps the lymphatic system release toxins, thus improving its role in fighting infections and improves the immune system. You can read more about the importance of proper blood circulation and how to improve it in this article.
It also helps in cells renewal, improves muscle tone, tightens the skin andreducese cellulite by releasing fatty deposits under the skin’s surface.
Another added bonus is stress relief. Dry brushing has meditative benefits, especially if done in a quiet place. It may reduce muscle tension and calm your mind, just like a light body massage.
As you can see, dry brushing detoxifies the body from the outside in and works on multiple levels.
How to do dry brushing?
You should choose the right type of brush. Choose a brush with firm bristles but not too hard. The bristles should be natural, typically vegetable-derived. It’s best to choose a long handle that can easily reach to areas such as the back.
The best time to do dry brushing is in the shower before washing yourself when your skin is dry. The brush itself should also be dry. Because dry brushing energizes the body, many people prefer to do it in the morning before they shower, but you can do it any time of the day (but not too close to bedtime, as it may have a stimulating effect on you). Dry brushing can be done on a daily basis and even twice a day. Just remember to avoid brushing broken or inflamed skin.
As the lymphatic system flows towards the heart, you should always brush towards your heart using long gentle strokes (avoid back and forth movement).
- Apply a firm pressure but not too painful to avoid irritating the skin: your skin should be pink after a session and not red.
- Start from the feet, and then work up your legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms.
- It’s best to avoid your face as usually the facial skin is too sensitive.
- Dry brush yourself for about 3-5 minutes and then shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities.
You can even do one of these 5 detox baths to further cleanse your skin.
7. Avoid Chemical-laden Beauty Products
Most commercially available lotions, toothpastes, creams, sunscreens, deodorants, etc. are full of questionable chemicals that end up in your lymphatic system. Choose for natural, organic beauty products or try to make your own chemical-free versions.
8. Herbal Teas
Herbs can be used as a powerful medicine and I’ve already written about herbs and on how to use Herbal Medicine effectively to heal away disease & illnesses. Some herbs may help you to boost lymph flow and eliminate toxins. Those include echinacea, goldenseal, red clover, pokeroot, astragalus, or wild indigo root among others. Make sure to contact an herbalist for advice if you are on medication and avoid those herbal teas when pregnant or lactating.
9. Alternate Hot/Cold Shower
Alternating hot and cold shower for several minutes has a beneficial effect on your blood and lymph flow. The heat causes vessels to dilate and the cold makes them contract. Avoid this therapy when pregnant or struggling with a heart or blood pressure condition.
10. Wear Loose Clothing
Tight clothing slows down lymph flow and can cause blockages. So make sure to wear lose clothing or clothing that fits properly.
If you keep those tips and tricks in mind, your lymphatic system will be working more efficiently to improve your overall health. You’ll have more energy, less aches, and less toxin build-ups.