By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
December 21, 2012
- What you need to know about the lymphatic system
- The simple 4-step lymph cleanse
- How to eat, drink, be merry… and stay healthy
You can’t make it down an aisle of the grocery store without being reminded of your “heart health.” With the diabetes epidemic in full swing, you also hear plenty about your blood sugar. And, of course, if you had a dime for every ad you saw about how to lose, gain or maintain your weight… you’d be rich.
But when was the last time you thought about your lymphatic system? For that matter, how much do you even know about your lymphatic system?
If you’re like most people, the answer is probably… not often, and not much. Most people know that when cancer is found in lymph nodes, it’s a bad sign. Some people know that swelling and inflammation within the lymph system is a problem. Unless you’ve had lymph system problems, or know someone who has, that’s probably about it!
The truth is, the lymphatic system is one of the most overlooked systems in the body. Which is unfortunate, considering the important role it plays in your health.
Today, I’d like to encourage you to take some steps to safeguard the health of your lymphatic system, long before it becomes a problem. You might be surprised that this busy holiday season is one of the best times of year to pay attention to your lymphatic system.
And also, I want you to know how easy – and important – it is to cleanse and refresh this important part of your overall waste management and purification system…
The lymph nodes in your abdomen, neck and underarms are part of a complex network of glands, ducts, vessels and fluid that make up your lymphatic system. It works tandem to your digestive system to clear toxins and waste out of your body. Your spleen, thymus, and tonsils are all part of this system.
The best analogy for this system is that of an air filter or water filter. When clean and clear, these filters can remove harmful toxins. When clogged, they are useless – sometimes even dangerous.
The lymphatic system is the filtration system for fluids, like blood, and also, for your cells. Along with removing toxins, this network distributes nutrients throughout your body. And, as you might imagine, it is a critical element of your immune system.
Because we aren’t nearly as savvy about our lymphatic health as we are, say, about our heart health… we are constantly compromising its ability to work properly.
We use deodorant, which clogs important pores and reduces our ability to release toxins through sweat. We tend towards dehydration, which robs the system of the fluid it needs to flush out toxins. We eat too many processed foods that cause swelling and fluid retention and clogs the system.
Historically – and sometimes today – doctors are quick to simply remove parts of the lymph system if they are acting up. Tonsils, lymph nodes, and even the spleen, have been surgically removed before taking the time and steps necessary to resolve or prevent such a radical response.
It’s time we paid a little more respect to the unsung hero of our health…
If you eat more fresh vegetables and organic foods than processed foods, regularly exercise, and drink enough fluids – you’re already ahead of the game. These are the three top things you can do to support your lymphatic system.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to change the filter every once in a while, in addition to good maintenance!
At least once a year – and preferably 2-3 times – a little extra TLC can dramatically improve the efficiency and function of your lymphatic system. And a healthier lymphatic system means improved immunity to colds and flu, a faster response when cell health is at stake, less inflammation and swelling throughout the body, and improved organ function and better nutrition for your overall system.
Cleansing the lymph system takes a couple of weeks, but it’s very simple to do. Here are the steps:
1.) Drink enough fluids: Be sure to increase your fluid intake – and make sure water is purified – during the entire cleanse.
2.) Add more raw fruits and green vegetables: The enzymes and acids in raw fruit helps cleanse the lymph system, especially when eaten on an empty stomach. And the chlorophyll in green vegetables is loaded with vitamins and minerals that’ll assist in lymph cleansing and nutrient delivery.
3.) Add herbs: Take 500 mg. of astragalus 3-4 times a day, and 300 mg. of echinacea every day for two weeks. These herbs help to cleanse the system of toxins, and reduce swelling and inflammation.
4.) Exercise: Be sure to increase both your aerobic exercise, and your deep breathing – during the two weeks of your cleanse. Pumping the lymph with fresh oxygen, and moving out toxins with movement and sweat will ensure a successful cleanse.
Now, you know why the two herbs that detox your lymph are more commonly known as immune boosters!
Last, you might wonder why I’m telling you about this now – of all times – during the busiest time of year, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s…
The holidays are notorious for packing on extra pounds, eating too many sweets and over-processed foods, not getting enough exercise, enduring too much stress – all during the height of cold and flu season.
Then, we wonder why we end up sick in bed during the most festive time of the year!
By taking on a lymphatic cleanse during this busy season, you’ll be supporting your immune system, counter-balancing all the holiday bad habits, and ensuring you start the New Year off right – ready to tackle whatever health resolutions you have in mind for the year ahead.
And speaking of the holidays, be sure to check out the last issue, where I revealed a gift choice for that special someone that you’ll want to add to your shopping list. It’s a bit of a trick gift. It seems like you are giving them something luxurious, maybe even romantic… but secretly, you will be giving them a healthier lymphatic system, wrapped in a bow.