Your lymph system touches nearly every tissue and system in your body. It functions in immune response and carries blood plasma back to your heart. When the lymph system cannot flow freely due to buildup of toxins you may expereince impared immune function, have more difficulty fighting infection and be at higher risk for autoimmune diseases and cancer. Cleanse your lymph system periodically with herbs to keep your whole body healthy.
Your lympahtic system is responsible for carrying lymph--blood plasma--back to your heart to put it back into circulation in the blood. It also transports immune-response cells such as white blood cells to the site in the body where they are needed. If you experience frequent colds or other infections it may be because your lymph system is clogged with toxins. In cases of cancerous tumors, an unhealthy lymph system may lead to mestasasis--spread of cancer to other areas--as the lymph will not be able to clean the cancerous cells out. A compromised or overworked lymph system may manifest in swelling. For example, you may have experienced swollen lymph glands on the sides of your throat well when you have a cold or other infection.
Cleanse your lymphatic system with diaphoretic and bitter herbs, according to "The Yoga of Herbs," a handbook describing ayurvedic and common herbs from ayurvedic perspective. Diaphoretics are herbs that induce sweating. When you sweat, you release toxins from the lymph through your skin. Bitter herbs—such as parsley, yarrow and yellow dock—help remove built-up waste and tone the system. Although these herbs are effective for cleansing, do not to use them to excess and use with caution when your body is depleted since they also have a slightly depleting effect on your tissues and overall strength.
The best herbs for a lymph cleanse are echinacea, golden seal, yarrow, yellow dock and ephedra, says the "Yoga of Herbs." Echinacea and golden seal are strong natural antibiotics for cleaning the lymphatic system. Yarrow is diaphoretic, cleansing, drying and treats a variety of infections. Yellow dock is alterative and cleanses the blood and lymph. Ephedra is the strongest cleanser, but use it with caution and under a physician's care, since it can be harmful to tissues.
Golden seal powder is good for short-term use—such as when cleansing your lymph system due to an acute infection. According to "The Yoga of Herbs," 500 mg per day will help resolve the infection. Echinacea is better for long-term use as it is less damaging to your tissues. "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies" recommends 1/2 cup per day of a decoction of echinacea combined with licorice root for regular lymph cleansing. For gentle cleansing, you may drink 3 or more cups per day of yarrow infusion or 1 cup of yellow dock infusion.
According to "The Yoga of Herbs," garlic is a powerful lymphatic cleanser, but extensive use may aggravate the blood, so only use occasionally and not for an extended time. You may take it as an infusion, oil or powder or juice one clove in a vegetable juicer. Cilantro is an excellent cleanser and removes heavy metal built up in the body. It is most effective when juiced in a vegetable juicer. Combining cilantro and garlic with lemon juice will make them more palatable and add important anti-microbial action.
According to "The Yoga of Herbs," ephedra is one of the most powerful cleansers. However, it is also a strong stimulant and taxing on the body, especially the nervous system. Use it with caution. Consult a healthcare professional before embarking on any type of alternative treatment for a medical condition.
- Lymphomation: Understanding the Lymphatic System
- "Yoga of Herbs"; David Frawley and Vasant Lad; 2001
- "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies"; Norman Shealy; 2002