Dr. Gerry Lemole is a cardiothoracic surgeon as well as Dr. Oz’s father-in-law. On the Doctor Oz show, Dr. Lemole stated his belief that the lymphatic system is the key to longevity and that a healthy lymphatic system can fight off 80% of chronic diseases, like cancer, heart disease and arthritis. This is because they clean the toxins from your body and they boost your immune system so your body can resist the things that may cause cancer, heart disease or auto-immune disorders.
Imagine your body is a house with an intricate system of pipes and faucets and valves and a certain level of pressure keeps the water flowing and available to the kitchen and bathroom, etc. As you use the water to wash dishes, shower and do laundry, another system – drain pipes – remove the dirty water out to the sewer or septic tank so your house doesn’t flood. The lymphatic system are those drain pipes. As your blood travels through your body [in arteries and veins], water and other fluids leak through the vessel walls into the tissues. This is normal. Your body – like the house – needs another set of pipes to dispose of that fluid and water so your tissues don’t swell with extra water. The lymphatic system drains that extra fluid AND helps to remove toxins from your tissues.
Dr. Lemole recommends a diet that dilates the lymphatic system. Just like the pipes in your house – and your solid waste system – your lymphatic system can become clogged if you eat fatty and processed foods that are full of toxins. He recommends:
Dr. Lemole also recommends keeping meat consumption to a minimum – especially red meat. If you do eat meat, choose lean cuts that are rich in omega-3s. Find Dr. Lemole’s lymphatic health recipes here.
In addition. Dr. Lemole recommends supplements that fight stress in the body including alpha-lipoic acid. This helps with lymphatic drainage, prevents oxidative stress and promotes heart health. Also good for the nervous system. It’s a strong anti-oxidant. He recommends 600 mg daily.
Another supplement he recommends is 120 mg daily of CoQ10 which is an energizer and stops oxidative stress. Especially helpful if you are on statins or beta blockers. If you’re over 50, production of CoQ10 decreases as well as high stress situation. Not only is it an anti-oxidant, it’s also an energizer and creates energy in your cells. It can ward off heart disease, cancer, fibromyalgia and gingivitis.
Probiotics are very important. They are the normal, healthy bacteria that you should have in your body but because of the anti-biotics we take, the food we eat and our diet, we get unhealthy bacteria in our gut. Not only do probiotics help with digestion, they can help you lose weight. They’ve done studies that show that healthy bacteria in the gut can help you lose weight.
He likes Echinacea to boost your immune system and help ward off colds. He recommends 500 mg three times a day for one week. He also likes red clover tea – one cup per day. It is a diuretic. It contains anti-oxidants that help to metabolize lymphatic-clogging toxins and further purify your body. It improves lymphatic drainage and kidney and liver function – both organs that clear toxins from your system. Green tea is also good for lymph flow and it has flavonoids.
Lymph doesn’t have a pump like the heart, so you need deep breathing, exercise or massage to get it flowing. He recommends self massage with arnica gel. It helps to promote circulation of sore muscles, and also helps to flush out the lymphatics. You want to get the lymph up into the thoracic valve so the liver can process it. One of the best places to massage arnic gel is your neck. Place the gel on your fingers and on either side of the neck and rub in a downward motion toward the upper back.
These are easy, healthful tips that can help improve the functioning of your lymphatic system. Just as with the plumbing in your house, keeping your internal plumbing in top shape will go a long way towards a healthy, vital life.