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The Overlooked Lymph System

Learn how best to stimulate and support the oft-forgotten lymphatic system through diet, herbs, and exercise to improve your long-term immunity and health.

| Spring 2020

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Photo by Adobe Stock/VectorMine

The lymphatic system is possibly the most neglected healing system in the body, yet it plays a significant role in our health. This complex network of nodes, vessels, and organs has the monumental task of handling toxins that enter the body from external sources, such as through foods or air pollution, as well as those that are produced internally through processes such as metabolism, fighting infection, or addressing inflammation. Consisting of the spleen, tonsils, and thymus gland, the lymph plays an important role in boosting immunity, lessening inflammation, and promoting an overall sense of lightness and health.

There’s about as much lymph fluid — a clear or white-tinged fluid — in the body as there is blood, yet, the lymphatic system has no organ to help it pump. Instead, it relies on deep breathing, exercise, and gentle massage to help it effectively move through the body. Of course, foods, herbs, essential oils, nutrients, and some lifestyle modifications can also help eliminate impurities from the system. And when you boost the health of your lymphatic system, you also help purify your blood, as the blood is filtered through the spleen — the largest mass of lymph tissue. The spleen, located just left of the stomach, helps fight infection and destroys worn-out red blood cells in the body.

Whether you’re suffering from a lymphatic system issue (see “Signs of a Sluggish Lymphatic System” below), or just looking to give yours a boost, there’s a lot you can do to decongest this powerful healing system and get your lymph flowing better.



Signs of a Sluggish Lymphatic System  

If you’ve experienced any of the following health concerns, it may be a sign that your lymphatic system is sluggish: 

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Aches and pains
  • Bloating or swelling
  • Breast cancer
  • Cellulite or fatty deposits
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Eye puffiness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frequent cold and flu viruses
  • Lumps or growths
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Other chronic immune system disorders

Foods That Feed the Lymph

Eating a plant-based diet rich in nutrients and high-water foods is one of the best ways to support your lymph. In addition, some specific foods are particularly beneficial.



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