The lymphatic system consists of lymph glands, or nodes that are found throughout your body, the small vessels called lymphatics that link them, and the spleen.
The structures of the lymphatic system are the spleen, thymus, appendix, tonsils, lymph nodes, lymph vessels and lymph fluid.
The lymph glands produce the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Lymphocytes recognize foreign cells, infectious agents, and other foreign substances, and participate in your body’s immune reaction against them. The glands also act as barriers to the spread of infection through the lymphatics, because they trap infectious agents. This is why the lymph glands often become swollen when you have an infection.
The spleen is a large, vascular lymphatic organ in the upper left part of the abdominal cavity near the stomach. Lymphocytes are made in the spleen or in the lymph glands, which are found in the neck, armpits, groin and many other parts of the body. The spleen and lymph glands, together with the channels and ducts connecting them, are called they lymphatic system. When red blood cells and platelets become old or defective they are filtered out of the bloodstream and broken down by the spleen, and also by the liver and lymph glands. The spleen was formerly regarded as the seat of certain emotions, ie., malice, spite, bad temper, melancholy, low spirits, whim or caprice.
Lymph nodes are lymphatic tissues embedded in the vessels. These nodes are found mostly in the groin, behind the knees, in the elbow, armpits and below the jaw line. The lymph nodes act as antibody factories to fight infections.
Lymph vessels are a network of passageways similar to veins that drain the lymph from the spaces between the cells; the vessels gradually grow larger until they empty into the bloodstream at the subclavian veins. These exits are called the left and right thoracic ducts and are located just below the collarbones. Movement of lymph is mostly uphill against gravity and depends on muscle action and breathing; valves prevent backflow of lymphatic fluid.
The lymph fluid is a clear fluid that bathes every cell and collects cellular wastes.
Walk to move lymph fluid
To support the lymphatic system
Foods: green leafy vegetables, watercress, celery, okra, apples
Herbs: blue violet tea (leaves), chaparral, burdock, Echinacea, blue flag, poke root, golden seal, cayenne, mullein, black walnut
Minerals: potassium, chlorine, sodium
Vitamins: A, C, B-Complex, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), biotin, folic acid
Essential Oils for the Immune System
Virtually all essential oils have bactericidal properties and by promoting the production of white blood cells, they can help prevent and treat infectious illness.
Bactericidal and antiviral agents for protection from colds, flu, etc: tea tree, cajeput, niaouli, basil, lavender, eucalyptus, bergamot, camphor, clove, rosemary
Febrifuge agents for reducing fever and temperature etc: angelica, basil, peppermint, thyme, sage, lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree
Sudorifics and diaphoretics for promoting sweating, eliminating toxins, etc: rosemary, thyme, hyssop, chamomile
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