The lymphatic system, the largest circulatory system in the body, has been under-investigated for years, due the difficulty in measuring its flow. The good news is that we are learning more every day about the purpose and function of the lymph.
Keeping the lymphatic system or “the drains” of the body cleansed is critical to optimal health and longevity.
Here is 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.
- It houses over 500 lymph nodes that are home to our white blood cells.
- 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 reduced functionality as a result of aging, much like the cardiovascular system. (11,12)
- 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 has linked the lymphatic system to optimal health and longevity for thousands of years, 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 processed foods, environmental toxins, comfort foods and a lack of exercise, the lymph can become severely congested in many people.
The 5 Best Herbs to Cleanse the Lymphatic System
For the reasons above, I developed a product designed to strengthen and detoxify the lymphatic system, called Lymph Cleanse. I have found that many people need a 2-3 month lymph cleansing, scrubbing boost to balance and support optimal function of the lymph.
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 root and Astragalus root.
- Red root is perhaps one of the best lymph decongestive herbs available. It works best for congested lymph and to offset the age-related accumulation of fibrous tissue and associated sluggish immunity. (1) For mild fatigue 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, supporting a healthy and efficient drainage system for the blood to move into. (1)
- Ocotillo bark: 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)
- 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)
- Astragalus: 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.
- Ginger root: 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)