Lymphatic System

One of the body’s major lines of defence against infection, this one-way system pulls fluids, plasma protein and other matter from the intercellular spaces into its capillaries, which are found virtually everywhere in the body. This lymph flows from the capillaries into progressively larger lymphatic vessels, passing periodically through small filters called lymph nodes – the familiar ‘glands’ that get swollen and tender when infection is present in the body. Their normal function is to neutralize and eliminate any poisons or infectious microbes. However, during acute infection they can become overworked, swollen and sore. If the lymphatic system isn’t functioning up to par, it may lose the battle and the nodes themselves become the centres of infection.

A sluggish lymphatic system that no longer effectively fulfils its function is possibly responsible for water retention. Down the road this might lead to an accumulation of toxins resulting in gout, arthritis, or even cancer, heart disease and other ‘degenerative’ diseases.

Recommended Action

Deep breathing and aerobic exercise, the best tonics for a sluggish lymphatic system, will help it to pump more effectively. Vigorous massage and bouncing on a rebounder can also stimulate it. Using a fomentation of 3 parts mullein and 1 part lobelia for swollen glands and drinking a tea of the same will often help. Most kidney teas will help take the stress off the lymphatic system when drunk cool to cold. Taken hot they can be used to actively cleanse the system.

Single Herbs: Mullein (specific for glands); Goldenseal, Echinacea, Myrrh Gum, Plantain (infection fighters).

Nutritional Supplements: Beta-carotene (20,000 IU, twice daily), Vitamin B6 (75 mg), Vitamin E (200-400 IU), Multivitamins and minerals, Multitissue salts (especially Nat. Mur.).