You’ve probably heard the term lymph nodes – there are more than 700 of them spread across the body. Besides protecting you from viruses and bacteria, the lymph nodes can trap and destroy cancer cells and remove fluid and waste products from the spaces between cells.

If your lymphatic system gets attacked, the fluid can build-up and cause numerous problems. This is why the nodes swell when you’re sick, getting blocked with waste products and white blood cells.

The lymph’s motion depends on the motions of your muscles, which is why it’s important to be active and explains the fact that people with sedentary lifestyle have a weak immune system.

How to improve lymphatic drainage

As the lymphatic system is vital for our health, it’s important to make sure that the lymph is moving properly throughout the body. Here’s how you can improve this:

  1. Keep moving

As we already said, your movement is responsible for the movement of the lymph. The best way to boost the lymph’s movement through the body is by exercising. Even a light exercise like walking counts as your muscles’ movement is vital for pushing the lymph throughout the body. Rebounding (on a mini trampoline) is another great way to boost the fluid’s movement and the reason for this lies in the moment free of gravity when you’re on the top of the bounce, when the lymphatic vessels are open and allow the fluid to move upward.

If you don’t have a trampoline, bounce on your toes.

  1. Regular massage

A massage can stimulate the fluid’s flow in capillaries under your skin. Lymphatic massage can be done by certified therapists, but you can try doing it yourself by using gentle pressure on your skin and stretching it in the direction of your heart away from your lymph nodes. This will make the fluid move and improve the detoxification process.

  1. Castor oil

Edgar Cayce is a well-known healer who claims that castor oil can clean the lymphatic system and keep it moving properly. Willian McGarrey, a physician from Phoenix and author of the book “The Oil That Heals”, also says that “when used properly, castor oil packs improve the function of your thymus gland and other components of your immune system.”

According to his book, “in two separate studies patients using abdominal castor oil packs had significant increases in lymphocyte production compared to placebo packs.” Scientists are aware of the fact that an unhealthy lymphatic system leads to sickness. As Dr. Mercola says “lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease.”

When absorbed through the skin, castor oil increases the lymphocyte count, ultimately improving the time it takes for the lymphocytes to clean toxins from your body and recover. According to a 1999 study published in the Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, topical application of castor oil can stimulate the lymphatic system and increase the lymphocyte count.

If you decide to use this treatment, put the castor oil pack on the lower abdomen and liver area.

  1. Inversion table

This is a great way to boost the fluid’s movement – it’s essentially a padded table that allows you to lie upside down while being strapped in by your feet. This will decompress your joints and stimulate both the lymphatic and circulatory system.

Doing this regularly will allow the blood and oxygen reach all your tissues, effectively removing toxic waste from the muscles. Inversion works thanks to gravity, which pulls the fluid through the body.

  1. Supplements\Herbs

There are many supplements and herbs which can help with lymph drainage.

Red clover

Red clover can reduce the swollen nodes and treat chronic and acute lymphatic congestion. Like with any other herbs, it works best when combined with other herbs with complementary actions.

Red clover works great with cleavers, horsetail, Prunella vlugaris, stinging nettle, and Echinacea.


This herb can help your body flush out toxins, decrease congestion, reduce the swelling of the lymph nodes and stimulate the lymphatic flow.


This herb can get deeply into body parts where toxins accumulated, where it binds with them and neutralizes their effects.

Manjistha can also remove toxins from the blood and clean your lymphatic system, liver, kidneys and other organs.


This herb can reduce the congestion and swelling and it works best when combined with Echinacea.

Bupleurum and rehmannia

These two herbs are often used in Chinese medicine to treat lymphatic conditions and maintain a proper running lymphatic system by removing toxins from the tissues.

Spanish black radish

According to a study, the Spanish black radish can induce the body’s detoxification enzymes and ensure proper function of the liver and gallbladder. It can also promote better digestion, detoxifying the body through lymph nodes connected to your gut.

  1. Enzymes

Using enzymes is a great way to improve lymphatic drainage and ensure proper lymphatic function. Enzymes are used by the body to break down food and accelerate numerous metabolic processes. They are also crucial in assisting your body in removal of toxic-waste build-up in the lymph and blood.

Enzymes between meals will help your body digest and break down any debris and toxins in the circulatory and lymph systems, improving the lymph flow, and they can also “ease the burden of allergy-like compounds, freeing the immune fractions traveling in the lymph system for other work,” according to an article in the Chalkboard Magazine.

  1. Dry skin brushing

The skin is the body’s largest organ, and brushing it with a dry, soft brush towards your heart can increase the blood flow and circulation, effectively helping your lymphatic system flush out toxins.