Herbs for The Lymphatic System

A sluggish lymphatic system is a precondition for chronic inflammation that evolves into serious health conditions, including cancer. Along with the consumption of an alkaline diet, the following herbs for the lymphatic system will help you detoxify your body and reverse chronic inflammation.

The lymphatic system carries the body’s waste from all cells and tissues to the kidneys for elimination. The lymph system works alongside the blood network to circulate waste throughout the body, but unlike blood, it doesn’t have a pump to keep it moving and circulating.

This is why light exercise, as well as astringent chemistry found in foods and herbs, will help move the lymphatic system, keeping the body’s terrain pH alkaline and disease-free.

The health of the lymphatic system is contingent on the health of the body, and keeping the terrain alkaline – meaning the lymphatic fluid stays approximately at the 7.3-7.45 pH levels – means that parasites, bad bacteria, and fungus will not be able to thrive and proliferate. 

Naturopath Annie Hill, describes the function of the lymphatic system as the following: 

“So the lymph is sometimes referred to as the sewer system of the body. The lymph actually runs right alongside the cardiovascular system. And it’s meant to, in all of the little capillary beds in the interstitial spaces and in every single organ, it actually connects in with the blood and it helps clear and cleanse the blood.


The fluid of the lymph system is made up of water and different dissolved substances like electrolytes, proteins, and white blood cells. And it’s meant to be basically a whole pickup system in the body. That’s why people usually refer to it as the sewer system; it’s like where all the rain water goes down in through the sewer grate. And it sorts through everything and picks up anything extra from the roadways.” –Lymphatic Mastery Summit, 2021


This rain sewer system analogy is perfect for the lymphatic system, since it describes how immense the whole network really is and how our input can help clean the roadways so that they can better serve the whole system. 


What Are The Major Symptoms of a Sluggish Lymphatic System?


The lymphatic system can become sluggish for many reasons. Some of those are constitutional and occur due to genetic body weaknesses that make circulation and kidney filtration more difficult. However, most symptoms of an underperforming lymphatic system are caused by diet and lifestyle.

If you have weaker kidneys, immunity, or glandular function, your lymphatic system will require additional help to circulate its waste throughout the body. An alkaline diet, hydration with pure water, and my favorite – coconut water, lymphatic herbs, light exercise, dry brushing, and gentle massage – are all wonderful ways to improve lymphatic function.

Think of it this way: your lymph system needs a pump to be able to circulate damaging waste from the body more quickly and efficiently. The chemistry from food and herbs as well as a more active lifestyle can serve as that pump!

So, which signs should you look for to know that your lymphatic system needs more help? Here are some major health symptoms that point to lymphatic stagnation:

  • Fluid retention, especially in extremities such as fingers, ankles, and feet
  • Low immunity and compromised immunity
  • Frequent colds and flu
  • Skin issues such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis
  • Swollen glands 
  • In women, sore breasts during menstruation 
  • Cellulite
  • Allergies
  • Bloating and digestive issues
  • Frequent infections
  • Puffiness under the eyes and face
  • Cancer
  • Spleen and thymus problems
  • Pain, aches, and swelling


11 Essential Herbs for The Lymphatic System


11 Essential Herbs for The Lymphatic System
Photo by Jan Van Der Wolf from Pexels


This herb is known to heal many chronic ailments and to shrink tumors by interacting with cancer pathways; it is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and reverses chronic inflammation.



Cleavers is an anti-inflammatory and diuretic known to flush excess waste out of the body; it is known to reduce inflammation of the lymph glands and to shrink cysts.


Red Root

Red root is a warming herb known to stimulate the lymph system and accelerate healing and regeneration; it is known to reduce inflammation in the liver and the spleen.


Burdock Root

Burdock root is an excellent detoxifier for the lymph system, blood, and skin; it is a lymph system strengthener that is particularly helpful for eczema, psoriasis, acne, and other skin conditions.


Devil’s Claw

Devil’s claw is used for lymphatic drainage and cleansing of the lymph nodes and vessels; it is especially helpful for lymphedema, swelling, and muscle/joint pain.



Echinacea is perfect for colds and flu, since it drains and cleanses mucus and the lymphatic system; it lowers inflammation, boosts the performance of the immune system, and heals infections.



Calendula is known as an herbal panacea and is known to relieve many health conditions; it reduces pain and inflammation and is used to treat swollen lymph nodes.



Like calendula, stinging nettle is known as an all-body health tonic; it promotes the release of acids from joints, strengthens the immune system, and reduces inflammation.



Dandelion is one of the most potent toxin removers, helping the lymph system eliminate waste from the body; it is likewise a blood and liver cleanser and strengthens the glandular system.


Prickly Ash

Prickly ash supports healthy lymph and blood circulation in the body and promotes natural detoxification; it alleviates joint pain and gastrointestinal issues, and kills off bad bacteria and parasites.


Plantain Leaf

Plantain is a common week and is a powerful healer; it draws out heat internally and externally, enhances wound healing, and is a remedy for colds and coughs.


Tips for Choosing the Most Quality Herbs for the Lymphatic System


Unless you have access to your own organic herbs from your backyard or the mountains/woods, finding the best quality herbs may seem daunting.

In general, herbs are often processed very differently depending on the source of production and the company. The source is always important, which shows if the herbs were grown in the wild and if they are organic. The manner of processing is also highly important, since drying, storage, and transport of herbs can have a profound impact on the final levels of quality and medicinal effects of the products.

In fact, due to the rise in demand for herbal medicine in the last handful of decades, many practices of adulteration and chemical processing of herbs have skyrocketed in the industry. And most likely, the consumers are not aware of this, leaving them vulnerable to products that don’t offer healing benefits and which can even cause adverse effects.

This is why it is important to understand the quality parameters available on the market and choose herbs that meet the highest growing, harvest, sourcing, processing, and delivery standards.


Here’s what to look for to ensure you get the best herbal products on the market:

1) The best medicinal plants should be wild-crafted and organically grown without any adulterants; if purchasing products in the US, look for the USDA-certified label that will ensure the products are free from pesticides, additives, and chemicals.

2) Ideally, plants should be harvested at their growing peak; leaves are harvested during the spring, flowers when they just open up (summer), and roots in the fall. Check with the manufacturer to discern the time of their harvest season.

3) Purchase herbs from a reputable company with a personal passion for health and the environment (they commit to sustainable harvesting methods); many companies simply buy imported herbs from other countries in bulk (most likely to lowest quality herbs) and resell them at higher prices under an appealing branding; you can ensure a company’s standards are top-notch if its products have been independently tested by a consumer quality control regulator.

4) Quality herbs should always match the plant’s aesthetics, aroma, texture, and taste; if they don’t, the plant has most likely been contaminated by chemical processing.

5) Buy locally whenever possible; local production ensures freshness and greater potency, and having a closer relationship with the distributor ensures that you have more knowledge and insight into over-harvesting and processing methods.


Where to Purchase Quality Herbs


In order to ensure that you are consuming the very best health benefits of these herbs, my advice is to always buy organic herbs from a trustworthy business or a distributor. Since many shops buy from an outsourced bulk distributor that could use chemicals to cost-effectively process herbs, buying organic is a must in terms of quality!


And if you would like a personal recommendation, one of my favorite herbal stores is Starwest Botanicals, which is the oldest, largest, and all-organic herbal store in the US! They are industry leaders committed to environmental sustainability and organic herb production and have some of the highest quality controls that they conduct in-house with their control laboratory.

*Starwest Botanicals is the herbal store of my preference and is my affiliate partner. You won't be charged anything by purchasing herbs through the link on my website, but a small part of the proceeds of your purchase will help the growth of my small business. Thank you!


Final Thoughts


Inevitably, improving the health of the lymph system comes down to multiple lifestyle changes, including getting more exercise and movement, sweating, sauna treatments, eating an alkaline diet, and supporting your body with the most effective herbs for the lymphatic system.

I am so grateful to lymphatic herbs for helping me on my eczema-healing journey years ago! Tinctures, medicinal teas, and consuming herbs in salads were my go-to medicines during this healing process and they had a profound effect on helping me treat my chronic eczema naturally.

Remember, health is a holistic state that requires multiple changes to our daily lives that help our bodies thrive. And if you’re looking to learn what it takes to fully reverse chronic inflammation and heal disease naturally, you can check out my free guide to help you navigate the detoxification process and pitfalls.

About the Author

Anesa is the founder of and the chief integrative health practitioner at Red Grape Wisdom, with a mission to teach the public the truth about health and the principles of wellness that trace their roots back to our human origins and our connection to the cosmic and natural law. 

Anesa is the author of How to Detox Your Body Naturally and Safely, and her expertise lies in natural health diagnostics, holistic detoxification, and healing support. She uses many unique modalities to help others heal naturally and thrive such as naturopathy, medical astrology, iridology, and Eastern traditional herbal medicine.