This week of my New Year, New You Detox we’re going to focus on one of the most important, yet overlooked systems in the body-the lymphatic system. If you haven’t been following the detox which is based on my best-selling book, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, it’s not to late to join in and start detoxing. Here’s the overview with links to the articles you may have missed (or want to review):
While the lymphatic system may be the most overlooked system in your body, its powerful cleansing abilities can mean the difference between health and sickness. It is a complex network of fluid-filled nodes, glands, and tubes that bathe our cells and carry the body’s “sewage” away from the tissues and neutralize it. It includes the spleen, tonsils, and thymus gland and plays an important role in boosting immunity, lessening pain and inflammation, and an overall sense of lightness and health.
Some experts estimate that 80 percent of women may have sluggish lymphatic systems. A recent study found that women with cellulite showed lymphatic system deficiencies.
Here are some of the signs that the lymphatic system may be overloaded:
Cellulite or fatty deposits
Aches and pains
Overweight or obese
Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, lupus, or other chronic immune system disorder
Experiencing 2 or more cold or flu viruses yearly
Breast or lymphatic cancer
This week, I will share ways to detoxify the lymphatic system, supporting it in its important cleansing role in the body.
If you’ve been following along with the New Year, New You Detox, continue with the cranberry-water drink you started last week. Follow the dietary and lifestyle suggestions below.
For this week’s lymphatic cleansing tea:
Make a blend of dried herbs: 1 part echinacea, 2 parts cleavers, and 1 part peppermint leaves. Mix and store in a glass container. Put one teaspoon of the dried herbal mixture in a tea ball or strainer. Pour 1 cup boiling water over it and infuse for ten minutes before drinking. Drink 3 cups per day. Eat at least 1 organic apple per day. Consult an herbalist or natural medicine specialist before combining two or more herbs or if you’re taking any medications or suffer from any serious health conditions. Avoid using herbs while pregnant or lactating and avoid long-term use of any herb without first consulting a qualified professional.
Additionally, here are some lymphatic cleansing suggestions:
1. Breathe deeply. The lymph system has 3 times more fluid than blood in the body, yet no heart-type organ to pump it. One of the main ways it moves is through breathing deeply. Breathe in that sweet smell of healing oxygen.
2. Get moving. Exercise also ensures the lymph system flows properly. The best kind is rebounding on a mini-trampoline, which can dramatically improve lymph flow, but stretching and aerobic exercise also works well.
3. Drink plenty of water. Without adequate water, lymph fluid cannot flow properly. To help ensure the water is readily absorbed by your cells, I frequently add some fresh lemon juice or Cellfood oxygen+nutrient drops to pure water.
4. Give your body a break from sugar and sugary drinks.
5. Eat more raw fruit on an empty stomach. The enzymes and acids in fruit are powerful lymph cleansers. Eat them on an empty stomach for best digestion and maximum lymph-cleansing benefits. Most fruits are digested within 30 minutes or so and are quick to start helping you feel better.
6. Eat plenty of green vegetables to get adequate chlorophyll to help purify your blood and lymph.
7. Eat raw, unsalted nuts and seeds to power up your lymph with adequate fatty acids. They include: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
8. Drink pure, unsweetened cranberry juice. Cranberries and cranberry juice emulsifies stubborn fat in the lymphatic system. Dilute it about 4:1 water to cranberry juice. Alternatively, if you prefer a sweeter juice, dilute one part cranberry juice with two parts unsweetened apple juice and two parts water.
9. Dry skin brush before showering. Use a natural bristle brush. Brush your skin in circular motions upward from the feet to the torso and from the fingers to the chest. You want to work in the same direction as your lymph flows–toward the heart.
10. Alternate hot and cold showers for several minutes. The heat dilates the blood vessels and the cold causes them to contract. Avoid this type of therapy if you have a heart or blood pressure condition or if you are pregnant. Don’t follow this step if you have a heart condition.
Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook. Adapted from The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. Information is provided for educational purposes only. Always consult your physician before making dietary or lifestyle changes.