The lymphatic system is often associated with cancer, so I thought it would be good to alert my readers to some TLC (tender loving care) methods that may prevent some of the more serious disorders that come with toxic lymph glands.
The importance of keeping the lymph glands healthy applies to just about all of us: men and women, the young, the middle aged, and the elderly. Yes, anyone can develop cancerous cells! Without going into a deeper scientific understanding of this complex system, let’s nevertheless get a better grip on why it’s important to learn the basics. I also want to discuss some outstanding herbs, whole food supplements, and herbal recipes that will provide a gentle and continual method to keep the system healthy in the long term.
Understanding the lymphatic system is like trying to understand the immune system, which I discuss at length in my blog post “Healing the Immune System.” When visualizing the lymph system, you may imagine that it looks like a hollow tube that runs down our sides, under our arms, and past the breast area. However, at this point our brain seems to go blank, and we think to ourselves, “Huh? And then what?” To be fair, that mental visual is to some extent correct. Nevertheless, the lymphatic system is much more than a long, hollow tube running down the sides of our bodies!
Where and What Are My Lymph Glands?
“The lymphatic system is a system of capillaries, vessels, nodes, and other organs that transport a fluid called lymph from the tissues as it returns to the bloodstream. The lymphatic tissue of these organs filters and cleans the lymph of any debris, abnormal cells, or pathogens. The lymphatic system also transports fatty acids from the intestines to the circulatory system.”Personal note: We can therefore see from the diagram in the link above that the lymphatic system is a network of capillaries, blood vessels, and lymph nodes running throughout the entire body! Yes, our precious lymphatic system is an intricate part of the immune system. As such, it’s worthy of some very special care.
—Excerpt from InnerBody.com
Major Sites of Lymph Tissue
- Lymph nodes: Lymph nodes are bean-sized collections of lymphocytes and other immune system cells throughout the body, including inside the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. They are connected by a system of lymphatic vessels.
- Spleen: The spleen is an organ under the lower ribs on the left side of the body. The spleen makes lymphocytes and other immune system cells. It also stores healthy blood cells and filters out damaged blood cells, bacteria, and cell waste.
- Bone marrow: The bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside certain bones. This is where new blood cells (including some lymphocytes) are made.
- Thymus: The thymus is a small organ behind the upper part of the breastbone and in front of the heart. It’s important in the development of T lymphocytes.
- Adenoids and tonsils: These are collections of lymph tissue in the back of the throat. They help make antibodies against germs that are breathed in or swallowed.
- Digestive tract: The stomach, intestines, and many other organs also have lymph tissue.
—The above bullet list is excerpted from Cancer.org.
What Causes Swollen Lymph Nodes?Lymph nodes often swell in one location, particularly when an injury, infection, tumor, or other condition develops nearby. Identifying which lymph nodes are swollen can help you address the problem.
- The glands on either side of the neck, under the jaw, or behind the ears commonly swell when you have a cold or sore throat. Glands can also swell following an injury, such as a cut or bite, near the gland or when a tumor or infection occurs in the mouth, head, or neck.
- Glands in the armpit (axillary lymph nodes) may swell from an injury or infection to the arm or hand. A rare cause of axillary swelling may be breast cancer or lymphoma.
- The lymph nodes in the groin (femoral or inguinal lymph nodes) may swell from an injury or infection in the foot, leg, groin, or genitals. In rare cases, testicular cancer, lymphoma, or melanoma may cause a lump in this area.
- Glands above the collarbone (supraclavicular lymph nodes) may swell from an infection or tumor in the areas of the lungs, breasts, neck, or abdomen
—The above bullet list is excerpted from WebMD.com.
Could Your Bra Be Killing You?
“Over and over, C.J. McDaniel has observed stagnant lymph vessels, re-routing lymph, lymph enlargement and swollen glands in her patients at exactly the areas where bra elastic tightens and squeezes. She says, ‘Without a doubt, we do see breast lymph congestion and connective tissue restrictions exactly where the bra line hits and above and below the breast including the armpits. Bras cross major lymph vessel pathways and may act like a tourniquet.’ This is especially true for large-breasted women, whose breasts are large enough to put considerable strain on the straps and bands, causing breast pain. It’s even more true for those women choosing to wear thin strapped bras and underwires.
“Breast tissue has poor lymph flow to begin with because the muscle is under the gland instead of on top of it. Why should you care? Well, the lymph system is designed to keep the body’s fluids in balance and evacuate toxins, proteins, and excess fluid from the extra-cellular spaces. In addition to trash collection, the lymph system transports hormones and immune cells throughout the body. It’s a vital piece of your immune system. And much of the lymph system is located in and around the chest and armpits (axillas).”