The good news is that we are learning more every day about the purpose and function of the lymph!
In a new study published in Scientific Reports, doctors identified what they think may be the body’s 80th organ: the interstitium.
The interstitium is a widespread network of connective tissue that surrounds nearly every organ system in the body. It is mostly found surrounding the digestive and respiratory systems and under the skin—these are all concentrations of lymphatic tissue.
Previously thought as simply dense connective tissue, researchers discovered that the interstitium is actually a series of interconnected, fluid-filled sacs. According to the study, the interstitial space is the primary source of lymph and a major fluid compartment for the body.
Keeping the lymphatic system or “the drains” of the body clean is critical to optimal health and longevity. Here’s why:
- It is both a detox system and nutrient delivery system, and the home of the immune system. (7) Life cannot exists without it.
- It delivers fats as fuel for in-between-meal energy, in the form of triglycerides. (6,7) When not functioning optimally, this is a major cause of fatigue.
- Any proteins and fats that are too large to enter the bloodstream go undigested into the stomach and small intestine and are picked up and processed by the lymphatic system. This is directly linked to weight gain. (8)
- It drains waste from every cell and organ in the body, including the heart and digestive system. (7)
- It provides an immune detox defense for any toxins passing through the intestines, skin, respiratory tract and more. (7)
- The lymph system is vulnerable to the formation of scar tissue and distortion as we age, much like the cardiovascular system. (11)
- It drains 3 pounds of plaque and other toxins from the brain each year. (9)
- Poor lymph drain from the brain and central nervous system has been linked to psychological, cognitive and immune concerns. (9)
- The lymphatic system moves primarily via muscular contractions or exercise. Lack of regular exercise can congest the brain and CNS lymphatic channels that drain the brain while you sleep. (7)
Ayurveda linked the lymphatic system to optimal health and longevity thousands of years ago, and also discussed the importance of detoxifying it.
There are many strategies to keep the lymph healthy, but in the West, as a result of years of processed foods, environmental toxins, comfort foods and a lack of exercise, the lymph has become severely congested in many people.
The 5 Best Herbs to Cleanse the Lymphatic System
For the reasons above, I developed a unique formula designed to boost and detoxify the lymphatic system, called Lymph Cleanse.
I have found that many people need a 2-3 month lymph cleansing, scrubbing boost to get the lymph up to optimal function.
Lymph Cleanse is best taken for a 2-3 month period any time of the year to thoroughly detox the lymphatic system.
It combines five powerful time-tested, lymph-cleansing herbs: Red root, Ocotillo bark, Ginger root, Stillingia and Astragalus. Below, I describe the reasons I chose these specific herbs.
1. Red Root
Red root is perhaps one of the best lymph decongestive herbs available. It works best for congested lymph and to offset age-related accumulation of fibrous tissue which can compromise optimal functionality. (1) For sleepiness and heaviness after meals, mild swelling of the extremities and reduced digestive fire, red root scrubs the intestinal lymphatic-collecting ducts that deliver fats and proteins to the blood and supports a healthy and efficient drainage system. (1)
2. Ocotillo stem
Extracts of this shrub are traditionally used by Native tribes of the Southwestern United States as a lymph de-stagnator and to support lymphatic detox. (2)
3. Stillingia root
Also called queen’s root, stillingia is indicated for a congested lymphatic system and mucous membranes. It is an effective detox agent for a congested lymphatic system. (2)
A rejuvenating scrub for the lymph. It is particularly beneficial for the Skin-Associated Lymphatic Tissue (SALT) and a powerful boosting agent for the lymphatic system. (3,4) When the lymphatic system is congested or toxic, the immune system is stuck in traffic. This can result in hypersensitivity reactions all over the body.
5. Ginger root
Ginger is called the “universal spice” in Ayurveda. It provides a natural scrub to the lacteals or collecting ducts of the intestines, and a natural boost and cleanse to the lymphatic system as a whole. (5)