Blocked Lymphatic System

Signs of a Blocked Lymphatic System and 10 Methods to Cleanse it

A significant part of being healthy is to ensure that any toxins that enter our system are effectively discovered by the body and expelled in a safe manner. There are several systems, organs, and glands in place to make sure this occurs, but unfortunately, they can become blocked and badly affected, to the point of complete dysfunction. One of these systems that assists in the removal of toxins is the lymphatic system.

Purpose of the lymphatic system and indications that it is blocked

The lymphatic system is a sophisticated drainage system consisting of glands, lymph nodes, the spleen, thymus gland, and tonsils. Its role is to cleanse our cells by absorbing surplus fluids, fats, and toxins from our tissues and transferring them into the bloodstream where they can eventually be filtered out by the liver and kidneys.

Unfortunately, due to our toxic burden, nutritional deficiencies, and relative inactivity, this system has become progressively polluted. If you suffer from any of the following, it could be an indication that your lymphatic system is blocked and requires a serious cleanse:

  • Skin conditions
  • Arthritis
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Excess weight or cellulite
  • Headaches / Migraines
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sinus infections
  • Digestive disorders

If you present with any of these conditions, you will want to strongly consider incorporating the following 10 methods to cleanse your lymphatic system:


If you have a compromised lymphatic system, the best strategy is to slowly and consistently introduce exercise. As you get more energy you can incorporate more vigorous and intense exercise.

One of the easiest, safest, and most productive exercises you can incorporate is rebounding. This is the simple act of lightly bouncing up and down on a “mini trampoline”, which is the perfect movement for stimulating lymph flow, and toning other cleansing body organs as well.

Cleanse Lymphatic System Naturally

In additional body work, consider alternative treatments that can get the lymphatic system flowing.

A lymphatic drainage massage is one particular way to cleanse your lymph system. A skilled practitioner will stimulate circulation and drain fat, fluids, toxins, and other waste products away from your cells for proper elimination.

Acupuncture, an ancient and effective TCM treatment, also helps open up pathways (meridians) in your body to encourage lymph flow and help detoxify the body.

An infrared sauna is also an excellent and simple option, as perspiration can help release the toxic burden on your lymphatic system and allow it to work more effectively.

Hot and cold showers

Hot and cold showers have merit when it comes to benefiting the lymphatic system. Hot water helps dilate the blood vessels, while cold water contracts them, creating a “pump” action that helps force fluid which may be stagnant in the system.

Since your lymph system has no central pump of its own, this therapy and others which stimulate this kind of action are excellent solutions to resume proper flow.

Caution is advised when using this therapy if you have a heart condition or are pregnant.

Dry brushing

Using a natural bristle brush, brush your dry skin in a circular motion before showering. Begin with your feet and move towards the torso, and do the same from your fingers to your upper body. You want to flow in the same direction as your lymph circulates, towards the heart.

This stimulates the lymphatic system into action, and helps open up the pores for easier toxin removal (a hot and cold shower after dry brushing would be ideal).

Drink adequate amounts of clean water

Drink your water! Be sure to properly source your water, so that you’re not actively adding to your toxic burden by ingesting easily absorbed toxins such as fluoride, chlorine, VOC’s, and more.

Purchase a good filtration system, or get spring water from an approved source, free from these types of contaminants. You’ll be able to safely consume up to half your body weight in ounces of water each day (160 lbs = 80 ounces of water). As an added benefit, add a little lemon juice to your water.

It’s important to not wear tight clothing that can cut off proper circulation within the lymphatic system. This can cause blockages to occur and toxins to build up in different areas of the body.

Areas of particular importance where this may occur is bras for women that may be too tight in the axillary lymph node area (armpit area), and in the inguinal lymph node area (groin) where tight fitting underwear could cause a problem over time.

Avoid restrictive clothing

It’s fine to wear something snug-fitting from time to time, but do so in moderation and avoid wearing a bra as much as possible.

Deep breathing

Another method of “pumping” lymph comes from deep breathing. Since our bodies have 3x more lymph fluid than blood, this exercise becomes increasingly important in order to get the toxins into the bloodstream so they can be detoxified by your liver and kidneys.

Inhale deeply, and exhale smoothly to facilitate this process.

Eat foods that promote lymph flow

Eating a clean, nutrient rich, and mainly raw food diet rooted in produce is the first step to promoting healthy lymph flow. Foods for cleansing the lymphatic system include:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Low sugar fruits
  • Garlic
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Seaweed
  • Algae
  • Chia
  • Avocados
  • Cranberries
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Almonds

These types of foods will help provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, EFA’s, and enzymes to efficiently cleanse your lymphatic system.

Avoid foods, personal care products, and environments that cause lymph stagnation

Half the battle of cleansing your system is providing it with enough power to do so, and this can’t be accomplished if you continue to pollute your body with a variety of toxins.

Avoid personal care products loaded with parabens, petroleum, and phthalates, and staying out of heavily polluted areas by opting for more oxygen rich environments.

Furthermore, avoiding the following foods is critical to improving your lymphatic health:

  • Sugar
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Conventional dairy
  • Conventionally raised meat
  • Refined grains
  • Processed foods
  • Soy
  • Preservatives and additives (MSG, colors, etc)
  • Table salt
  • Baked goods

Take herbs that stimulate lymph flow

Herbs are great natural stimulators, and when used correctly can be very useful for kickstarting your lymphatic system.

Some great herbs to consider for teas, juices, and more include:

  • Echinacea
  • Astragalus
  • Goldenseal
  • Wild indigo root
  • Red clover
  • Pokeroot
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro

As with most chronic conditions, a multi-faceted approach is an effective method for cleaning any system, including the lymphatic system. Be sure to implement these 10 methods for a much more comprehensive cleanse, and enjoy the increased health that comes with rejuvenating a blocked lymphatic system.


“Signs of a Clogged Lymphatic System and 10 Ways to Cleanse It” Derek Henry, Retrieved 24 Mar 2017. <>

Image Source: | c/o Jez Timms