ClickCease 10 Herbs for Lymphatic Drainage* – Dr. Morse's Herbal Health Club

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10 Herbs for Lymphatic Drainage*

10 Herbs for Lymphatic Drainage*


Doctor Morse refers to the lymphatic system as the sewer system of the body, emphasizing its role in waste removal and detoxification. Just as a city's sewer system recycles water and removes waste to maintain cleanliness, the lymphatic system recycles lymph fluid and removes toxins, cellular debris, and unwanted organisms to ensure tissue health and whole-body health. This recycling process is essential for maintaining a clean internal environment and supporting the body's immune defense mechanisms. 

There is a flow to this process, and for it to work properly, there cannot be any blockages. This is where diet and herbal support shine. To support the healthy flow and function of the lymphatic system, it is important to maintain an alkaline diet focused on incorporating lots of juicy fruits and vegetables. Traditional Herbalists also have found many helpful herbal allies to support this system, and they are included in all our Lymphatic Drainage formulas.* 

Let’s review the top 10 herbs for supporting healthy lymph, especially through the lens of drainage and elimination.* 

Lymphatic Herbs 

Mullein leaf’s soft hairs are a doctrine of signatures indicating how the plant gently sweeps through the lymphatic system. It is known by herbalists as a mucous modulator as it has both mucilaginous gum, which is hydrating in the presence of water or tightening in dry conditions, and some tannins. In the case of mullein, the saponin content helps to lift mucous from the lining of the respiratory tract to support expectoration. It has a special affinity for the digestive, lymphatic and respiratory systems. Mullein leaf is featured in Lymph Drainage Gentle Mover, Heal All Tea and Lung Detox.* 

Red Clover supports the health of the glands, especially lymph glands. The coumarin content binds to protein in the interstitial fluid and supports increased waste clearance by macrophages. Rather than moving the lymph, what the coumarin molecules seem to be doing is making it clearer, so that the fluid can be reabsorbed into systemic circulation more effectively. Find this gentle lymph mover in Lymph Drainage Gentle Mover, Chem/Metal Detox, and Blood Support. * 

Cleavers is a mineral rich herb that gently supports the healthy flow of lymphatic fluid throughout the body. Its benefits can be enjoyed by juicing the leaf and stem or making a fresh plant tisane. It is difficult to dry and store so it is best to take advantage of it while it is in abundance all around you. Doctor Morse loves working with cleavers, and you can find it many of his formulas including Adrenal Support, Kidneys & Bladder Hydrate & Kidneys & Bladder Daily.* 

Poke root (pokeweed) is a low dose herb that is for short term use only. It is rare and exciting to find pokeweed in a dietary supplement formula. Only experienced and skilled practitioners work with this plant due to its strength. This is just another reason Doctor Morse is such a unique formulator – he is not afraid to work with low dose herbs to support the body’s natural detoxification process on the deepest level possible. American pokeweed is a go-to for moving stubborn lymph when all other herbal remedies fall short. Poke supports the flow of all liquids in the body: blood, urine, lymph, bile and excrement are all stimulated by these herbs and obstacles move like boulders in a flash flood. Doctor Morse includes them in Lymph Drainage Gentle Mover, Lymph Drainage Moderate Mover and Lymph Drainage Super Mover to ensure the movement of lymphatic fluids.* 

The root, berries, and mature stalks of pokeweed are poisonous. That said, all parts of the plant have been used historically as food and medicine. How is this possible? It is all in how you prepare and DOSE this herb. The young shoots are eaten as salad, but only once they have been boiled multiple times. The boiled poke water is discarded, and they are re-boiled again and again (5-6 times total) using fresh water each time. This implies that at least some of the toxic phytochemicals in the young shoot are water soluble.*

Adjunct Herbs Supporting Immunity & Lymph 

Chickweed is a little herb with a powerful impact on whole body health. Its rich saponin content gives it an alterative function that seems to impact all detoxification channels in the body. The slimy demulcency of this herb indicates the presence of polysaccharides, allowing for lubrication of the GI tract giving it a gentle laxative action. For this reason, you will find chickweed in many of Doctor Morse’s formulas including Lymph Drainage Gentle Mover, Kidneys & Bladder Hydrate and Kidneys & Bladder DrainGI Loose & GI Daily. * 

Echinacea is an excellent herb to support lymphatic health because it is an immunomodulator and stimulant. When taken as a tonic herb daily, it can help to support immune strength and resilience, and when taken short term it gets the immune system fired up. It contains powerful alkamides which tingle in the mouth and may be a local irritant when they pass over the tonsils, a sensation that many traditional herbalists believe stimulates the immune response. Echinacea is in Doctor Morse’s Lymph Drainage Daily & Lymph Drainage Super Mover.* 

Chaparral is a resinous desert shrub that helps to support a threatened immune system. This herb is included in Lymph Drainage Daily and Lymph Drainage Moderate Mover as an adjunct herb to support immune activity in the lymph system.* 

Bayberry is a helpful lymphatic system herbs as they are strongly astringent. This tightening and toning quality astringes, drains, and awakens the interstitial fluid that surrounds the cells of our bones, cartilage and tissues. Bayberry is added to Lymph Drainage Daily and Lymph Drainage Moderate Mover* 

Plantain is a mineral rich herb with an edible leaf. The plant has both emollient (slimy/hydrating) and astringent (tannic/tightening) properties, giving it an amazing drawing action. The hydrating and tightening characteristics of plantain also make it a wonderful herb to help support the lining of the gut. Find plantain in Lymph Drainage Daily and Kidney Tea.* 

Other Lymphatic System Therapeutics 

As you can see, the lymphatic system is everywhere, and its proper flow and function are necessary to keep the body feeling good. Since the lymphatic system maintains fluid balance in the body, a stagnant lymphatic system can cause a buildup of fluids and pressure in the body’s tissues, leading to a slew of discomforts. Luckily, there are many traditional therapeutics available to support the healthy flow and function of lymph.  

As mentioned above, the lymphatic system doesn't have a pump, meaning that it must work against gravity to return to circulation. We can work with that! Light exercise will move both skeletal and smooth muscle throughout the body, which squeezes lymph vessels, moving lymph fluid from valve to valve. Taking a walk around the block, or dancing to your favorite tunes is enough to stimulate lymph flow.  

Keep the body’s waterways flowing with plenty of minerals and hydration. We generally recommend a diet abundant in fresh fruits, raw vegetables, and herbal teas as your primary means of hydration as they provide fluids to the body’s tissues as well as a balanced nutrient complex to support both lymph and kidney/blood homeostasis.  

You can support the return of both blood and lymph from the legs back to the heart by elevating the legs. An easy way to ‘drain’ the legs is to scoot your gluteus maximus up to a wall in your house, or even better, the wall of the sauna, and position your legs at a 90 degree angle up the wall. Rest here with a good book for 10 – 15 minutes for some good lymphatic (and blood) drainage. Bonus points if you massage or gua sha your legs with some lymphatic herbal oil. For some great lymphatic massage routines for the whole body, check out Massage by Heather. 

What is gua sha?? This ancient Chinese lymphatic massage tool is one of the oldest forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine ever recorded. The tool itself can be made of anything hard and flat with rounded edges: river rock, quartz, jade, and wood are some of the most commonly found materials used to make a gua sha tool. The gua sha is held at a 45-degree angle to the skin, and is gently pulled, promoting the movement of stagnant lymph towards the heart.* 


*FDA warning: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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