Cleavers: An Herb for Lymphatic Health
-by Christie Fischer
Lymphatics: A word that most people have heard of but it still conjures up a few “I’m not really sure what it is…” type of thoughts.
Your lymphatic — or lymphoid — system plays a key part in your health and immune system, so it’s a pretty good idea that you’re informed about it! Better yet, there’s also this magical herb called “cleavers” that can do wonders for your your lymphatic health. … Well, okay, it’s not magical — it’s pure science, really.
The Lymphoid System
Wikipedia explains it as the part of the immune system comprising a network of conduits called lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph unidirectionally toward the heart. Lymphoid tissue is found in many organs, particularly the lymph nodes, and in the lymphoid follicles associated with the digestive system such as the tonsils. The system also includes all the structures dedicated to the circulation and production of lymphocytes — a type of agranular white blood cell in the vertebrate immune system — which includes the spleen, thymus, bone marrow and the lymphoid tissue associated with the digestive system.
In essence it is the body’s mechanism to wash your tissues of toxins, passing them back into the bloodstream to be cleansed by the liver and kidneys. When it is backed up and the lymph is thickened with waste and debris, and a lack of water, you’re likely to feel tired, sick, sore, sluggish, and depressed. Sound like anyone you’ve known before?
Poor Lymphatic Health Conditions
When a muscle or organ system has not been functioning properly, it can become sluggish and congested with accumulated lymph.
Common problems that crop up due to poor lymph circulation include tonsillitis, swollen glands, and even cellulite (that’ll get you moving)! We’ve all been to the doctor and had our glands poked and prodded only to yelp “Ouch, yes that does hurt!” – Well it’s because of poor lymph flow. Fluids slowly build up, waste and debris slowly builds up, and nasty bacteria and viruses accumulate.
So what do you do?
Cleavers for Lymphatic Health
Also known as Clivers, Goosegrass, Stickyweed and (get this) Sticky-willy, Cleavers is an herb that has been used for centuries and considered one of the best tonics to help drain out the lymphatic system (says Richo Cech in his book “Making Plant Medicine“).
Cleavers has what we call ‘lymphagogue action’ – put simply, it stimulates the activity of your lymphatic system and organs so they can do their job properly. Cleavers also has alterative properties, which means it helps to cleanse and nourish the blood. A perfect combination! Stimulating activity to throw all the nasties out into the bloodstream, and then cleansing the blood thereafter. Double whammy!!
To take Cleavers by itself, Richo Cech recommends taking 30 to 60 drops of cleavers tincture daily. Alternatively it can be mixed with other dried or liquid herbs that also help in lymphatic health.
Cleansing your lymphatic system of any sticky muck that might be floating around can result in a cleaner body that functions better, and in turn, a corresponding improvement in your health.
Now who wouldn’t want that?
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