01 Feb Cleansing The Lymphatic System
“Spring is a time to cleanse and renew. Using herbs and essential oils to decongest, detoxify and purify is the best way to give your body a reboot.” ~Tara Grodjesk
The lymphatic system is the body’s largest circulatory system; its main job is to “drain” waste and toxins from every cell and organ in the body. But it’s unique in that it serves more than one function — it’s also a nutrient delivery system and the home of the immune system. Congested lymph could compromise immune response! Physical movement and exercise drain the lymph system during the day; at night it drains from the subtle brain and central nervous system.
For thousands of years, Ayurveda has linked the lymphatic system to optimal health and longevity and emphasized the importance of detoxifying it. It’s the first body system to be evaluated for most illnesses.
CAUSES OF LYMPHATIC CONGESTION
According to Ayurvedic Physician, Dr. John Douillard, the major causes are:
- Stress which creates free radicals and an acidic environment
- Digestive imbalances which irritate intestinal villi
- A deficiency in Iodine which supports the lymph at the cellular level
- Lack of exercise
- Environmental toxins
- Our unhealthy Western diet
All of us probably experience one or more of the above, so it’s important to pay attention to the red flags offered by our bodies that warn us of a congested lymphatic system.
RED FLAGS OF A CONGESTED LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
A congested lymph system often goes unnoticed and untreated, but here are just a few of the ways a poorly functioning lymph system will manifest in your body:
- Rings get tight on fingers
- Soreness and/or stiffness in the morning
- Bloating/weight gain/extra belly fat
- Dry and/or itchy skin
- Holding on to water
- Breast swelling or soreness with each cycle
- Brain fog
- Cold hands and feet
- Mild Headaches
- Low immunity
WAYS TO CLEANSE A CONGESTED LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
Lymphatic Massage, A Lost Art – Lymphatic massage was a traditional modality that was once part of most spa programs, but very few spas are offering it today. We’d like to suggest that we revive it! Massage employing specific lymphatic techniques (or even traditional massage) and using oils such as Grapefruit, Cypress, Fennel or our own TARA Detoxifying Blend, will support lymph drainage, ease water retention and provide gentle detoxification.
Herbs And Vitamins – Dr. Douillard recommends adding Vitamin D as well as the Ayurvedic herbs Manjistha, Ashwagandha and Turmeric to assist lymphatic cleansing and to boost the immune system.
Diet – Eat red foods such as berries, cherries, pomegranate, cranberries and especially beets, all of which are natural lymph moving and detoxifying agents. According to Dr. Douillard, “A fresh beet every day is your lymph’s best friend!”
Lymph Detox Plans – Are you ready to add a Lymph Cleanse to your spring detox routine? On his website, lifespa.com, Dr. Douillard offers 3 lymph cleansing/detox plans: a 4-day Short Home Cleanse, the 2-week Colorado Cleanse and a more focused 6-Step, 1-3 month Lymph Detox Plan.