Decongesting the Lymphatics

This is page 4 of a four-part article.

Lymphatics 2.jpgLymph drains waste material away from tissues and passes it through a series of lymph nodes that help break down waste materials. One can think of these lymph nodes as tiny sewage treatment plants that purify the lymphatic fluid before returning it to the circulation. When the lymphatic system becomes congested, lymph nodes swell and lymphatic drainage becomes sluggish. This contributes to dull, chronic pains and increased problems with infections. It also causes tissues to become more “swampy” or toxic.

The tonsils and appendix are lymphatic tissue and were once thought to be useless organs. We now know that they are part of our lymphatic-immune system and play a vital role in helping the body fight infection. They become overwhelmed when they are overloaded with waste materials so that they become inflamed and irritated themselves.

Tonsillitis and appendicitis are not the only disorders related to an overburdened and congested lymphatic system. Most sore throats involve congested lymphatics, which is why you can feel the swollen lymph nodes in your throat when it is sore. Earaches, too, have their roots in lymphatic congestion, as it is the congested lymph system that creates the swelling that closes off the Eustachian tubes.

Even asthma can be connected with lymphatic congestion. When asthma has its roots in allergic responses (a history of hayfever and allergies), then it is the swelling of the bronchials that constricts the airways and creates the shortness of breath.

Mucus and saliva are created using lymphatic fluid as a base, so mucus problems in the respiratory system and pH imbalances in the saliva always reveal problems with the lymphatics. Clearly, draining toxins from lymphatic fluid and decongesting the lymph is a critical part of recovering from many illnesses. So, what do we need to keep our lymphatic system clear?

The first-—and most important—step in clearing lymphatics is to remove foods from the diet that tend to congest them. Dairy foods are the worst offender. Why? Because milk is essentially condensed lymphatic fluid. Think about it. Breast tissue is largely lymphatic tissue and what the breast does is to take the lymph (the liquid portion of the blood containing dissolved nutrients) and concentrate it into a food for a baby animal. So, when you're taking concentrated cow lymph into your body it is little wonder that your lymphatics tend to be clogged. Dairy allergies are probably the biggest offenders in most causes of chronic respiratory congestion, sore throats, earaches and tonsillitis.

I remember having my tonsils removed when I was little. My throat was very sore afterwards, so what did they feed me? Ice cream! Dairy probably contributed to my tonsillitis in the first place, so let's just congest the lymphatics further so we can transfer the problem somewhere else.Ice Cream 2.jpg

Other allergy-causing foods may also be culprits. Wheat is another big one. Many children have quit having earaches the moment wheat and dairy (the not-so-fabulous bread and milk staple) are eliminated from their diets.

Because of their ability to move lymph, the previously discussed pain relief techniques can also be applied to many disease conditions. I have personally relieved many a sore throat or earache by application of lymphatic-draining massage. Generally, I do a very gentle and very slow massage stroke over the affected area moving towards the heart.

For example, in the case of a sore throat, I start at the top of the throat and let my fingers very slowing and gently glide down the sides of the throat to the base of the neck. For an earache, I start below the ear and move down the side of the neck. Increasing lymphatic flow causes fluid and protein to move away from the inflamed area so that fresh lymph, loaded with oxygen and nutrients needed for tissue repair, can replace it.

This lymphatic massage can be greatly enhanced by topical application of herbs that increase drainage and blood flow to the area. I have used all of the following successfully: a mixture of lobelia and capsicum extracts, a mixture of lobelia and Tei Fu essential oils, Tei Fu essential oils or lotion alone and garlic oil.

I have also custom blended mixtures of herbs like lobelia, capsicum, prickly ash, black cohosh and blue vervain and dilutions of essential oils like tea tree, eucalyptus, clove, thyme, lavender and others, in olive oil. All of them have worked, but quite honestly, the mixture of lobelia and capsicum is still my favorite—simple, but very effective.

Internally, there are a number of herbs that can increase lymphatic drainage. My favorite lymphatic herbs are mullein, lobelia, echinacea, red root, cleavers, plantain and calendula. Lymphomax, IN-X, Lymph Clear and Lymphatic Drainage Formula are all useful combinations for improving lymphatic drainage.

The implications of this information on the lymphatics are far reaching and I certainly haven't covered them all in this article. To get the complete story, check out my Fundamentals of Natural Healing course, available on this website. You may also want to read The Golden Seven Plus One.