6-Step Plan to Cleanse Your Lymphatic System

6-Step Plan to Cleanse Your Lymphatic System

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The Science of Lymph

Scientific journals these days are overflowing with ground-breaking research on the lymphatic system.

While the journals are brimming with precious information about the function of the lymphatic system, it might be 5-10 years before this information finds its way into a medical practice—if ever!

At LifeSpa.com, my goal is to bring you this new science now, and not wait 10 years to integrate this knowledge into our healthcare system. Science alone, in my opinion, is not reliable enough unless it is backed by clinical experience or time-tested wisdom.

Ayurveda evaluates the lymphatic system first when addressing nearly every condition. In a toxic world, the lymphatic system (the body’s drainage system) can easily get congested. This concern regularly goes unnoticed and untreated. In my practice, I have found maintaining and cleansing the lymphatic system can be the missing piece of the health puzzle for many.

See also The Miracle of Lymph

6-Step Lymph Detox Plan

While the Colorado Ayurvedic Cleanse and the Short Home Cleanse are powerful lymph-cleansing detox programs, I created this more focused lymph detox in support of lasting benefits.

Note: The lymphatic system drains the body during the day with physical movements, such as exercise, and the subtle brain and central nervous system lymph channels drain at night, during sleep. Thus, I suggest taking some of the lymph support before bed and first thing in the morning.3 Exercise and hydration are also key during the lymph cleanse period.

Step 1: Manjistha – to support the lymphatic system and liver

Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) is a red root that has been traditionally used to decongest the lymphatic system and liver. It is loaded with antioxidants that boost the body’s production of glutathione and other liver-shielding agents.1 The lymphatic system is the body’s major detox system and, when exposed to toxins, constituents of manjistha helped reduce lipid peroxidation damage and boost antioxidants, such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and catalase.2

Step 1 Directions: Take 2 capsules in the AM and 1 before bed.

Learn more about Manjistha

Step 2: Brahmi Brain – to support the brain and intestines

Brahmi (Centella asiatica) is Ayurveda’s premier herb for brain function and mental clarity. Recently, studies have found that brahmi (not to be confused with bacopa) supports the health of the skin both on the inside of the intestinal tract as well as the outer skin of the body. Numerous brahmi antioxidant constituents have been found to support micro-circulation and lymph flow as well. With the new research on lymphatic vessels that drain the brain and central nervous system during sleep, brahmi may be the most effective herb for supporting brain health, cognitive function, and brain lymph drainage.4

Step 2 Directions: Take 2 capsules in the AM and 1 before bed.

Learn more about Brahmi

Step 3: Neem – to support the skin and microbiome

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is Ayurveda’s classic herb for the health of the body’s inner and outer skin.6 It naturally scrubs the intestines of bad, undesirable microbes while supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria. The health of the microbes in the intestines depends on the health of the inner skin and the intestinal lymph drainage. With over 140 compounds, neem supports the health and function of the microbiology, intestinal skin and the function of the lymph flow that drains the intestinal tract.5

Step 3 Directions: Take 2 capsules in the AM and 1 before bed.

Learn more about Neem

Step 4: Lymph-Vein HP – to support micro-circulation

Citrus pith has been used in Ayurveda to support the circulatory function of the body. New studies have found that diosmin, an active ingredient in the white pith (rind) of oranges, has been shown to effectively support healthy micro-circulation by increasing lymphatic contractions. Lymphatic congestion is linked to water retention, bloat, cellulite, sluggish immunity and much more.7 LifeSpa’s Lymph-Vein HP contains diosmin from the white pith of citrus as a powerful lymphatic de-congestive agent.

Step 4 Directions: Take 1 capsule twice per day with food.

Learn more about  6-Step Plan to Cleanse Your Lymphatic System

Step 5: Lymph Cleanse – to boost lymph-scrubbing and lymph flow

Lymph Cleanse is a tincture that combines a host of lymph-cleansing herbs such as Red Root, Ocotillo, Stillingia, Astragalus, and Ginger, and is formulated to scrub both the lymphatic system all over the body and the lining of the intestinal tract, where the majority of the body’s lymphatic system originates.10-14

Step 5 Directions: Take 30 drops in water or juice once a day on an empty stomach. Taking it with food may be a bit easier on the stomach.

Note: For more aggressive results, this can be taken up to 3x/day.

Learn more about Lymph Cleanse

Step 6: Lymphatic Massage Oil – to calm the nervous system and support lymph movement

Lymphatic Massage Oil is rich with lymphatic herbs, like manjistha, that support healthy lymph flow in the skin-associated lymphatic tissue. Oil massage also feeds the natural bacteria on the surface of the skin, while calming the vata or sensory nerve endings on the skin itself.8,9

Step 6 Directions: Massage daily with a small amount of oil during a warm shower or bath, give special attention to areas of lymphatic concentration: the head, neck, feet, and abdomen. For external use only.

Learn more about Lymphatic Massage Oil.
We recommend "How-to: Ayurvedic Daily Oil Self Massage (Abhyanga)": https://lifespa.com/ayurvedic-daily-home-oil-massage-abhyanga/

This Lymph Detox Plan is designed as a 1-3 month lymph-scrubbing cleanse. Start with one month, and if you are feeling lighter and have more energy after the first month, consider doing it for another 1-2 months.

Thank you for visiting LifeSpa.com, where we publish cutting-edge health information combining Ayurvedic wisdom and modern science. If you are enjoying our free content, please visit our Ayurvedic Shop on your way out and share your favorite articles and videos with your friends and family.

Dr. John


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16213120
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153710/
  3. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-sleep-clears-brain
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116297/
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15777222
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3695574/
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8919263
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755111/
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21568717
  10. http://bearmedicineherbals.com/ceanothus.html
  11. Moore, Michael. Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West. Museum of New Mexico Press, 1989.
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17666805
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22155389
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4220497/

80 thoughts on “6-Step Plan to Cleanse Your Lymphatic System”

  1. Dr. John,

    I am quite certain I have lymph congestion, based on my symptoms. But I have so many food intolerances right now that I can’t take many herbs right now. I have been doing with the Amalaki and will re-start the Brahmi Brain and Neem slowly. But I know I can’t take the others and can’t tolerate high doses of any of them.

    So what do you think of even simpler, more “mechanical” lymph-decongesting approaches, such as using a rebounder and using an infrared sauna to detox. I feel like I need something to get me out of the starting gate when herbals are even too much for me right now.

    Thank you!

    • Definately get moving! Walk, brisk steps, stairs, jumping on toes 2 minutes etc, self massage all helps. If u don’t do that the herbs are less helpful, or somewhat a waste of money. The muscles pump the lymph. If u are sedentary then this is poss your problem.

  2. I have lymphedema and have tried (and still use) many different methods to help control it. It iw always the best after I complete The Colorado Cleanse, yet I have a hard time maintaining it afterwards. I look forward to trying this 6-step plan.

  3. Is there any safe cleanse that can be done while nursing? I’m also interested in the Lichen Sclerosis question that was asked above

    • Sorry I should of started with Hello John ?

      I saw you speak at INN, you were my favorite speaker.. I grew up on a farm and everything you spoke of really rang home to me.. We gathered nettles in the spring to cook, my Mom always said “they clean u out ” lol I remember thinking as you spoke I know this stuff, I had to come all the way to NY to hear what my parents always knew.. love listening to your pod casts .. Thanks

  4. I keep coming back to look at and read about this cleanse. While listening to possible symptoms of a clogged lymph system, I was laughing. Adrenal issues, YES, hormone imbalance, YES, digestive issues, YES, multiple and new food intolerances, YES, skin issues, YES… I’ll stop there. Oh, I forgot Candida!
    My question… when I do my candida cleanse (just tried another one with my naturopath) I turn cranky/moody, my skin breaks out and I become constipated. I workout 3x a week, drink lots of water, eat gluten free, dairy free, very limited sugar. Do you have results from people who are sensitive to cleanses and what happened? I really want to do this. I feel to my core that this is what I need. 10 years of intense stress didn’t help. That’s gone now thank goodness!

  5. Hello,

    I am having trouble understanding how the 6 step program works. Do I have to take 7 pills in the morning then 4 at night ? or is the steps weekly , monthly? I was reading some of the comments, one is worrying me from Janis, (I turn cranky/moody, my skin breaks out and I become constipated) I already having break out problems and digestive problems. I was hoping this would help me. Thank you Dorene

    • Hi Dorene. Thank you for the comment. For those who are more sensitive in nature it’s best to add these herbs one at a time every other day or so. Some people are comfortable beginning the entire regiment on day 1. It can be a transition to take so many capsules in one day. If you want to get a prescribed dosage and further understanding of the application of this protocol for you personally please learn about our consultations: https://lifespa.com/about-lifespa/ayurvedic-clinic/

  6. Hello. I just completed treatment for lymphoma. I am presently looking for ways to detox my body. Is detoxing the key to help prevent it from coming back?

    • Hi Emily,
      Do you mind me asking what the treatment for lymphoma you had? Interested as I was diagnosed at that time, but haven’t seen an oncologist. I am using all natural protocol right now. Hope things are going well for you.

  7. Hi there Dr John. I am considering the lymph detox because I am having some inflamation in my feet, I am also super stressed, and my blood pressure was a tad high. I just had blood work done for my yearly physical and everything came back fine but I do not feel well. I am 47, I have put on some weight around the middle (not normal for me), and I have a lot of headaches, sinus infections, and my right shoulder/shoulder blade is in constant pain and feels like it is retaining fluids. Along with all the supplemets mentioned here….what kind of foods I need to eat while on the detox? Thank you so much for all your work and time! Blessings.

  8. Hi Dr. John! I have just recently discovered LifeSpa, and you are the first doctor that I have heard that mentions the lymph system as the common factor for many of the symptoms that I have (I heard you on Isabella Wentz’s Thyroid Secret documentary – thank you!). I have Hashimotos and Adrenal Fatigue, but the one symptom that I have that nobody has been able to address is the fluid retention. I just had blood tests done this week and it is the first time that my liver markers (ALT, AST) have been elevated, which was a shock. I was considering doing the 4-day Home Cleanse, also looking at this lymphatic cleanse, but saw a statement in one of your articles regarding helping a sluggish liver as a first step before a cleanse. Is there a protocol or recommendation for helping the liver first before undertaking a cleanse? Thank you!

  9. Hi Dr John
    Seems my health has gone downhill in the past year.
    I have had a bad cold and severe cough 6 times in the last 6 months. Also have severe acid reflux and LPR. I have tried to give up grains.

    Will lymph cleanse program help?
    I enjoy all your wonderful information. Where do I begin?

  10. Hello, Dr. John!

    I’ve just discovered your website searching for something that helps me keep my health, cause I just seem to be losing it slowly.

    I have chronic lymphedema and need to use compression socks to help my Lymph system up.

    But lately, my legs are just swelling more and more after a day’s work.

    What would you recommend? I’m willing to try anything now, cause nothing I’ve tried so far is actually working.

    Thanks for sharing all you know.

    I’m glad I’ve found you!

  11. Hi,

    I decided to share my experience with the 6 step plan detox so other might can get idea and also to get a feed back from you guys.

    First, the package was sent very fast, and when I had a question through E-mail, I received an answer within few minutes. That a great customer service so thank you life spa.

    I started about 3 weeks ago. I choose to takes all the pills and the drops along with performing the oil massage in the shower, all at once.

    The first week. I had horrible nightmares and fears started to show up, I also couldn’t sleep well as I had to wake up multiple time to urinate. My mood was off balance and I got angry easily. very emotional week. I was very tired.

    The second week, the nightmares almost went away and my energy started to pick up. but, my forehead begin to breakout so bad like I am a teenager again. I also become more bloated, and felt heavy especially after meals. My appetite went down and I started to crave more fruits and light meal, quiet often I skip meals as I don’t feel much hunger. also, my anxiety level went of the chart.

    The third week, I feel more energetic I wake up early every day. My bloating is still there and my forehead filled with acne.

    I forsee a very good process and understand that both emotional and physical issue are part of releasing toxins in balancing our body.

    I must add that in additional taking all these pills, I work out every day. I also do yoga 20 minutes for balancing vata ( I found it on youtube ). I eat a whole beet or juice a whole beet every day. I dry brush my skin before every shower and as I mentioned I do the oil massage too.

    Thank you, wish everyone good health and a healthy mind.

    • The fear, nightmares, and polyuria is associate with the kidneys. It happened with my daughter! It sounds like this protocol can be powerful. Thank you for sharing. I just started yesterday.

  12. Hello! Thank you for this. I just beat SIBO but I still have digestive trouble, and I get extreme pain in my abdomen around the second half of my cycle. My visceral manipulation therapist believes the pain is from congested mesenteric lymph, and the evening after she told me, I read this! I’m going to do these herbs and get my body moving. I have a question, though: am I supposed to take the neem on an empty stomach along with the other herbs, or should I take it after breakfast/dinner (as the bottle recommends)?

    Also, I’m not sure if you can answer this on here, but I’ve read that rubia cordifolia is safe for kids, but can you recommend a dose for a 60 lb kid– or a way that I can calculate the dose on my own?

  13. I just completed a month of the six-step lymph cleanse, I reordered the products and I am going to go for another month. I feel great and I definitely notice a difference in my well-being. I am a Pitta and I have been a lot cooler this summer since I have been taking the lymph herbs. Thank you so much Dr. D and Life Spa!

  14. I’d like to know if it’s necessary to ingest all the herbs as capsules? Is it possible to purchase them whole and make teas or add them to food? I understand that if they are concentrated in the capsule then their effects will be different.

    • Hi Becky. Thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately we don’t sell our herbs in bulk / loose form. Often times clients will open up the capsules themselves and sprinkle it on to food or into tea. The Gentle Digest is a wonderful addition to most savory dishes. Hope this helps, be well.

  15. I have lymph cancer, I do infrared sauna, iMRS, enemas and lots of herbs, I walk 3 miles a day, rebound, dry brush and still after 3 months swelling in lymph in neck, but I saw the 6 step plan and thought this might help. My lymph is neck is congested and painful and have pain in stomach. Will the 6 step plan help for cancer of the lymph?

  16. I am feeling terrible, pressure all over my face, pain in the left mandíbula, brain fog, a lot of mucus with a whitish tongue, poor concentration. Did all types of tests, did not find anything. My conclusion is that it has to be the lymph. I just ordered the 6 steps and I am going for a lymph massage tomorrow.
    Any further recommendations.

    • Thanks for your question Angela.
      With the 6-step guide and lymphatic massage, you are well on your way to helping your lymph system. We are excited for your results!
      Be Well.

  17. I am interested in this kit but I don’t see where or how much it is for me to order it.
    Not sure if it is because I’m on my phone but if there is a link you can send to me I would appreciate it !

  18. Hi Life Spa,
    I just read Dr. Douillard’s article on the 6-step cleanse. I do not have any symptoms associated with lymph congestion and I was wondering if it would be beneficial to try just the lymph cleanse tincture to help keep everything healthy. I sleep well most nights, am vegan have great digestion and elimination, am very active, practice yoga, meditation and breath work every day also Qi gong and Tai Chi, I am blessed to be healthy and mobile. The tincture does interest me if you think it may be an added boost to keep the lymphatic system happy and healthy. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom

  19. HI! I’m new to the Ayurveda world and a little nervous about the lymphatic cleansing. I have moderate lymphedema due to lymphnode removal with breast cancer surgery. I’ve been told I have a drainage issue due to losing my lymphnodes. I’m currently undergoing manual drainage therapy, hydrotherapy, and wear compression sleeves day and night. I have not had much progress in reducing my fluid. I have not seen my elbow bone in three years! I’m exploring any additional help I can find. Lymphedema presented itself when I took a trip to Thailand for three weeks. Suspected low cabin pressure for that long trip and back. I was not diagnosed with lymphedema before my trip; therefore I did not have a compression sleeve at the time. Will the lymphatic cleansing help me? My doctors say that diet will not help me but I’m not convinced!

  20. WOW!!! I didn’t know what to do for swollen ankles and calves. Then I read LifeSpa article about lymph cleansing. I have followed this website for years and fully believe in Ayurveda – it works. Unfortunately for me as a senior on a fixed income, I can’t afford the expense of these wonderful programs, but had to do something about the swollen ankles. So I purchased 3 of the herbs in the lymph detox package. Whoa! The Lymph Clean was too strong and I had to cut back on the amount I used. Neem was great help. I’ve been a vegetarian for 30 years, so I didn’t feel like being too intense with the cleansing.
    VOILA!!! my ankles are almost back to normal and I don’t hurt when I walk. Life in good in God
    Jane L

  21. I am trying to find a good protocol to clean my lymph system and have bought the manjistha. I am very sensitive and a Vata type. I know red food is very good fo the lymph but with my food sensitivities I haven’t found a red food I can tolerate. I have now read some warnings that manjistha can aggravate Vata unless balanced correctly. Do you have any recommendations or thoughts on what I should look out for if I take it or what to take to balance it out?

  22. Negative Effects of Dicalcium Phosphate
    Negative Effects of Dicalcium Phosphate
    Dicalcium phosphate is a calcium supplement commonly found in prepared breakfast cereals, in pharmaceuticals as an inert ingredient to bind tablets, and in toothpastes. However, too much dicalcium phosphate, or dicalcium phosphate taken in conjunction with other medications, can have negative consequences. In addition, inhalation or skin exposure to the powdered form, if used as a reagent in a laboratory setting, for example, can be irritating.

    Effects on the Skin
    According to the Material Safety Data Sheet, the powdered form of dicalcium phosphate may irritate skin. Prolonged skin contact may lead to dry or chapped skin. People with an allergy to dicalcium phosphate could develop contact dermatitis, a specific allergic reaction characterized by redness, swelling or itching on skin areas that come into direct contact with an irritating substance. In severe cases, this allergic reaction may spread elsewhere, even to areas that have not been in direct contact with dicalcium phosphate.

    Inhallation Effects
    According to the Material Safety Data Sheet for powdered dicalcium phosphate, inhalation of the dust of dicalcium phosphate powders may irritate the lungs and nasal passages, causing coughing and sneezing.

    Gastrointestinal Effects
    According to evidence gathered by the National Library of Medication, National Institutes of Health, while calcium supplementation is often well-tolerated, high levels could upset the gastrointestinal system. Symptoms of gastrointestinal problems caused by dicalcium phosphate include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, stomach pain, thirst, dry mouth and increased urination.

    Exacerbation of Pre-Existing Conditions
    According to both the evidence gathered by the National Library of Medication, National Institutes of Health, and Pharmacy Health, ingestion of dicalcium phosphate could increase the severity of symptoms in people who are already experiencing problems with diarrhea, parathyroid disease, lung disease, kidney stones or other stomach-related problems. People experiencing any one of these symptoms should first consult a physician before taking dicalcium phosphate supplements.

    Interactions with Other Drugs
    According to Physics Forums as well as the National Library of Medication, National Institutes of Health, and Pharmacy Health, calcium phosphate may interact with a variety of other drugs. For example, gallium nitrate decreases the ability of calcium to be absorbed in the body. Calcium decreases the effectiveness of the anti-epileptic drug phenytoin, and the antibiotics quinolone and tetracycline by decreasing absorption of the drugs. Verapamil increases absorption of calcium. Therefore, taking a calcium supplement such as dicalcium phosphate in addition to verapamil may cause symptoms similar to calcium overdose, which can include kidney stones, fatigue, muscle weakness, nausea and vomiting, frequent urination, changes in heart rate, confusion, constipation or diarrhea, headaches and coma.


  24. Can you tell me why I might be getting reoccurring bouts of cellulitis? I have Lymphedema in my right hand and forearm due to a cyst removed/cleaned out on my shoulder. I am suffering from reoccurring rounds of cellulitis. It’s really scary. I’m only 40 years old and I have little kids! Everything I read about cellulitis is very scary. Many doctors I’ve seen seem to be at a total loss as how to help me (aside from emergency antibiotics) and why the infections keep happening. The only thing I can link the infections to is that fact that I’ve had pretty chronic athletes foot and severe toenail fungus for years. Do you think there is a correlation? Could my feet be the pathway for infection and it’s causing the Lymphedema in my arm to react? I don’t even have to have a cut on my arm or hand for the infection to happen. I’m really desperate to get the correct help!!

  25. Hi. I am supporting a friend who developed lymphedema in her arm 15 years after breast cancer/mastectomy. Her situation is very similar to one of your other readers (Jane on Feb.6)
    I understand a consultation is the best course of action, but I’m wondering your thoughts regarding doing the lymph cleanse without a consultation first. (I am reluctant to send along your list of herbs and the cleanse information, given the cause of her lymphedema.) Are there potential negative side effects?
    Thank you for any assistance you can provide,

  26. I have lymphedema in my stomach and left leg. I am not very mobile and am on Coumadin. Would any of these products interfere with my coumadin? Would it be beneficial for someone like me who is in such a bad state health wise?

  27. Is sweating a way in which the lymphatic system drains? I now it doesn’t have a natural pump like the blood vessels and usually you get lymph to move through muscle contraction. The reason I ask is due to long hours of sitting at work my legs swell I know it’s due to lymph congestion. Is sweating a symptom or a solution? If sweating At 2 am is the body detoxing by the circadian clock? I have the understanding if a person is sweating like that it is because the blood is compromised and the heart muscle is struggling to pump because of high cholesterol. Can you clear this up for me? Skin brushing in the morning,noon and night removes muscle fatigue, soreness and extreme stiffness for me. I am also seeing improvement of the spider veins in my leg. Which are the veins that assist in removing waste correct?

  28. I don’t take many other supplements but I do regularly take a fish oil, vitamin C and D and I just wonder is there any reason I should stop or change my supplement program during a lymph cleanse like this? Thank you

  29. Hi Dr John

    This time when I have started the lymph detox I have had severe intestinal disturbances – gas and severe loose bowels. I stopped and settled things down, but on restarting the same thing happened. This has never been an issue before. Please advise

    • Hi Sian,

      Please stop everything again and then once better, restart each herb one at a time every 3 days so you can determine which herb is the culprit and from there understand which part of the lymph is aggravated.

      Be Well,
      Dr. John

  30. Hello – my Chiro suggested your videos as I am having cysts inland pain in
    my breast tissue and sternum pain. I have had digestive issues for years. I take a lot of supplements. Are there any contraindications to be aware of while I take these other immune supporting and anti inflammatory supplements?

  31. amazing information thank you!
    I was wondering if this is a safe protocol for a breastfeeding mama?
    thank you in advance!

    • Hello Eliza,

      We would recommend speaking with your doctor first for best protocol with breastfeeding.


      LifeSpa Staff

  32. I started taking manjista, neem and brahmi for a few days as suggested and began experiencing an increase in premature heartbeats (I have a tendency toward these). Just wondering if this is a possible consequence and if so, which herb(s) you think might be causing this?

    • Hi Diane,

      Please call our office for assistance with this. You may want to make a consultation to discuss!


      LifeSpa Staff

  33. Is this program designed to take all 6 herbs/products at a time? For those of us who have never done an herbal cleanse, is there a smaller combo you recommend, and for what duration of time? I have psoriasis and am hoping that cleansing my lymphatic system will help. Thank you.

    • Hi Janelle,

      Thank you for your interest in LifeSpa! We do recommend taking all the supplements together for the lymph cleanse for best results.


      LifeSpa Staff


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