Supplements to Improve Lymphatic Drainage

Lymph leg drainage massage with hands in a beauty salon
Lymphatic drainage performed by a professional masseuse. (Image: PalcicAlbert/iStock/Getty Images)

Certain dietary supplements may be helpful in improving your lymphatic drainage. According to the KidsHealth website, the lymphatic system is an extensive drainage network made up of lymphatic vessels that transport lymph, a clear, watery fluid, throughout your body. Your lymphatic system helps balance your body's fluid levels and wards off infection. Before taking dietary supplements to improve your lymphatic drainage, talk with your doctor about possible side effects, proper dosage and potential drug interactions.

Burdock

Burdock, also known as Arctium lappa, is an herbal supplement that may be helpful in improving your lymphatic drainage. According to the University of Michigan Health System, burdock, a member of the Aster family, is an alterative, or a blood and lymph purifier, that has been used to help treat numerous conditions, including colds, sore throat, tonsillitis, painful joints, psoriasis and eczema. Burdock is a biennial thistle native to certain parts of Europe and Asia, has an initially sweet taste with a bitter aftertaste and possesses cooling tendencies. The root of the plant is used for medicinal purposes. Ed Smith, an herbalist and author of the book "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth," states that burdock encourages the elimination of metabolic waste products from your body and enhances your immune system function. Supplements containing large doses of burdock may cause kidney and lower back discomfort.

Queen's Root

Dr. Sharol Tilgner, a naturopathic physician and author of the book "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth," states that queen's root, also known as Stillingia sylvatica, is an alterative and lymphagogue, or a substance that supports the organs of your lymphatic system and stimulates your lymph system's activity. Queen's root, a member of the Spurge family, has been used to help treat a congested lymphatic system, swollen lymph nodes, tonsillitis, laryngitis, croup, mastitis and chronic rheumatism. Queen's root, notes Tilgner, encourages the secretory activity of your mucous membranes and elimination of metabolic waste products. Queen's root is a perennial plant native to North America, has an acrid taste and possesses stimulating tendencies. Practitioners of botanical medicine use the fresh root of the plant medicinally. If you are pregnant, cautions Tilgner, avoid taking supplements containing queen's root.

Wild Indigo

Wild indigo, a member of the Legume family, is an herbaceous perennial plant native to North America. Wild indigo, also known as Baptisia tinctoria, has an acrid and astringent taste, possesses cooling tendencies, and has multiple bushy stems that can grow to a maximum height of 3 feet. The fresh root of the wild indigo plant is used to help improve your lymphatic flow. According to Smith, wild indigo is a stimulating, antiseptic alterative that primarily affects your glandular and lymphatic systems. Tilgner notes that wild indigo is an antimicrobial, immune system modulator and lymphagogue that activates your macrophages and boosts your interleukin-1 production. Interleukin-1 is a group of three polypeptides that help regulate your body's immune and inflammatory responses. Wild indigo may be helpful in treating lymphatic congestion, tonsillitis, cellulitis, amebic dysentery and septic conditions of the blood. If you are pregnant, avoid taking supplements containing wild indigo.

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