The lymphatic system is complex, well organized and includes organs, nodes and vessels which have three main functions:
1) fluid balance;
2) fat absorption;
3) immunologic defense.
The lymphatic system doesn’t have a large pump to drive the liquids through its vessels, as the heart is for the circulatory system.
Instead, our body relies on its muscles to obtain fluid movement. Our diaphragm and chest, as well as the blood pumped throughout the body, facilitate this movement. In other words said, the body movement and exercises are the main way for purposeful movement of lymph. And the opposite – it is proven the sedentary lifestyle decreases the lymphatic flow with 94%.
When blood reaches the smallest vessel branches – the capillaries, liquid starts to be released and to enter all tissues in the organism. This liquid, called interstitial fluid, pours the cells with nutritional substances and gases, which absorb them and release waste products. 20% of this fluid is absorbed by the venous capillaries in order to combine with blood and to flow back to the heart, and other 10%, already called lymph, goes through the lymph vessels and is filtered by the lymph nodes before it is returned in the bloodstream at the end. If the lymphatic system doesn’t work properly, interstitial fluid accumulates in the tissues and the lymph is not properly filtrated and cleaned before returning to the bloodstream.
The so widely discussed recently detox regimes are exactly dietary regimens, providing purification and rest of the natural routes of excretion of toxic substances. The lymphatic system is one of the main factors for disposal of wastes from the body. Its proper function is essential for optimal health.
The way of detoxification actually begins in the gastrointestinal system and more precisely in the intestines. The ”lacteals” are part of the lymphatic system and pull the fat-soluble toxins from the intestinal wall. If the intestines are lazy or there is excessive counteracting mucus, the lymph and its white blood cells cannot provide immunity and detoxification. The highest concentration of lymph is found on the outer side of the intestinal wall, known as the lymphoid intestinal tissue. The membrane of the intestinal tract is constantly exposed to toxins and unwanted microbes, which may cause problems. Thus, the body has its own immune army, waiting in the lymphoid tissue exactly on the other side of the intestinal wall.
Liver is the next important organ in the process of detoxification. To stimulate it, a good ritual is to start the day with fresh lemon juice mixed with warm water. Much is known about the stimulating, antiseptic and alkalizing action of lemon, but less about its extreme effectiveness in stimulating the overloaded liver.
The next important organs for detox are the kidneys, of course. They filtrate up to seven liters of blood per hour and eliminate the useless and harmful substances with urine. Dandelion is another important additive, for example, facilitating their excretory function. You can put it in salads, or prepare herbal tea together with rosemary and nettles (four pinches of each in half a liter of water), which to drink throughout the day.
There is no place for meat, cheese, eggs, chocolate, alcohol, bread and milk in a detox regimen. These foods require more efforts from the body to be absorbed. To compensate, put more fruits and vegetables in the dishes, raw or steamed, fish, cereals, nuts and rice. Thanks to its high levels of potassium, rice stimulates the expulsion of toxins.
And last but not least, I’ll put the skin as a detox organ – exit for wastes, gathered in the blood. Exfoliate more often your skin, as before bathing rub your body for several minutes with hard brush or loofah. This will stimulate the peripheral circulation and will facilitate the excretion of toxins.
To purify the lymph, don’t forget to drink more water (at least a liter and half per day). Also try the birch or “cat’s whiskers” infusions (one glass a day) – these are two herbs, queens of detoxification. The first one, with diuretic and filtrating action, is recommended against water retention. The second one, called also “renal tea” helps in lowering the cholesterol.