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The Willow Journal

3 Tips for Lymphatic Health

3 Tips for Lymphatic Health

In a culture where we are so concerned with beauty, immune health & mental performance, you would think that lymphatic health would be more commonly discussed. Our lymphatic health contributes to glowing radiant skin, proper detoxification, immune system function, brain health, fat absorption and so much more! 

In fact, our lymphatic system is the largest circulatory system in the body. The job of the lymphatic system is to clear out waste products from the extracellular fluid in every nook and cranny of our body. The catch 22 when it comes to our lymphatic system, is that it doesn’t have its own pumping mechanism.

This means that our lymphatic system is completely reliant on our lifestyle factors that allow it to manually clear and detoxify waste.

Things like exercise, hydration, massage, diet, deep breathing and lymphatic herbs support the function of our lymphatic system.

Some signs of stagnant lymph:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Water retention/edema
  • Frequent colds/flus
  • Bloating after meals without gas present
  • Acne (especially cystic)
  • Headaches
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Longstanding fatigue after cold/flu/infection
  • Dull skin tone
  • Joint pain
  • Breast tenderness


How to support lymphatic health:

1) Movement

Movement is a fundamental need of the lymphatic system. Moving your body pumps your lymphatic system and allows it to do its job properly in moving extracellular fluid, detoxifying waste, fighting infection and so much more. Exercise often offers the benefit of deep breathing as well as mechanically moving lymph by engaging your skeletal muscles. This could be anything that feels best for you, but can be as simple as going for a walk, jumping in place every hour when working at your desk or dancing.

Some of our favorite forms of movement for lymphatic support:

  • Going for a walk or a hike (brisk is best, where your arms are swinging and you are breathing a little bit quicker!)
  • Jumping on the trampoline, jump rope or jumping in place
  • Wiggling/shaking
  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Strength training/weight lifting
  • Running/mountain biking

2) Cellular Hydration

Our lymphatic system is comprised of 96% water, and the 4% cellular waste that it eliminates. When we are dehydrated, the lymphatic system can become sluggish, and congested. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to go out and chug a bunch of water.

In order for our cells to absorb the water that we are drinking, it is imperative that this water contains minerals and electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium. We need these substrate transport systems (minerals/electrolytes) to allow cells to let in the water we are drinking.

This means, drinking water and staying hydrated helps to support the lymphatic system, but we want to make sure it contains minerals and electrolytes. Shoot for consuming at least 1/2 of your weight in oz of mineral rich hydrating beverages daily!

Some of our favorite ways to include minerals/electrolytes to promote lymphatic health:

  • Adding a pinch of high quality mineral salt such as Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt to water
  • Trace Mineral Drops
  • LMNT (we sell in the shop)
  • Coconut water
  • Mineral rich herbal infusions (oatstraw, nettle, marshmallow, red clover, raspberry leaf)
  • Nourish-mint Tea
  • Mineral rich tincture drops added to water: Nutri-Mix

3) Lymphatic Herbs

Luckily, we have a treasure trove of amazing lymphatic herbs that help to promote the clearance of the extracellular fluid by doing one or many of the following:

  • Stimulating immune cells that process viruses/bacteria/pathogens in the lymphatic system
  • Assisting in the absorption, assimilation & clearance of fats
  • Supporting the drainage of toxic waste build up in lymph and blood
  • Gentle diuretics that drain excess lymphatic fluid
  • Stimulating circulation/moving blood/fluids

Here are some of our favorite lymphatic herbs:

  • Echinacea
  • Calendula
  • Red Root
  • Cleavers
  • Red Clover
  • Violet
  • Burdock
  • Dandelion
  • Poke root (low dose use only, in formula)

Lymph Tonic

Our Lymph Tonic is a tried and true formula for addressing stagnant lymph. It contains Echinacea, Red Root, Burdock & Poke Root. These herbs powerfully stimulate lymphatic clearance by supporting the immune system, draining toxic waste build up, stimulating circulation and much more. We have seen this formula be helpful for anything from edema & swollen lymph nodes to acne & pms symptoms. 

Purchase Lymph Tonic here! 

Learn More

If you want to learn more about other powerful tools for supporting lymphatic health, such as lymphatic self massage techniques, dietary suggestions & more detail on lymphatic herbs, join us for our upcoming class, Lymphatics: Herbs for Immunity, Beauty & Flow!

Because of the interest in our Herbal Education Class Series from our extended community all across the country, we wanted to open up access to folks in person or online. We will be recording the audio of all of our classes, so that this information is more available to everyone!

If you live in Durango and can make the event, we highly recommend attending in person because you will get to try all of the herbs we discuss and have an deep learning experience with likeminded community. 

The in person class will be held on Wednesday, June 28th from 6:15-7:30 PM at Dancing Willow Herbs. *Audio recording released the day after the live event!

Limited space available, save your spot here!