So many skin problems can be traced back to poor lymphatic function. This complex network of nodes, vessels and immune cells is responsible for distributing and draining lymph fluid throughout the body. Waste from cellular metabolism and toxins from the bloodstream are extruded into lymph fluid for removal. A build-up of toxins and metabolic waste can typically occur in a lymphatic system that is overworked and congested. This results in an increased risk of inflammation and reduced immune function.
The lymphatic system lies just below the skin and this directly influences the skin’s capacity to act as an organ of elimination. A congested lymphatic system puts an increased burden on the skin, as it tries to deal with this build-up, contributing to inflammation, poor complexion and other skin problems.
Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system has no pump. It requires the action of surrounding skeletal muscle to keep things moving. In other words, exercise is vital for healthy lymph and skin. Dry skin brushing, deep breathing exercises, massage and a clean, vegetable-based diet can all contribute to improved lymphatic and skin health.
From a herbal and nutritional medicine perspective, we have some important therapeutic choices. A well considered formula that addresses all channels of elimination, including lymph, lungs, liver, gut and kidneys offers tremendous scope for improving skin health. Herbs such as burdock, echinacea, cleavers, poke root and yellow dock as well as nutrients including zinc and vitamin A, in the right balance, can be highly effective treatments.
In this infographic we take a closer look at these therapeutic agents and their roles in improving detoxification and skin health.
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