Lymph: An Unsung Hero
Lymphatic Rosary: This is something I see often in people with blue eyes. In iridology terms, lymphatic rosary is a collection of lymphatic tophi scattered around the humoral zone of the iris.. in other words - white, fluffy, cloud-like features in the outer area of the iris.
Although features of the iris may not be manifesting as symptoms in someone at the time, it simply means that person can be susceptible to certain conditions or already have a family history within the pass three generations. It is something to be aware of and something we want to prevent from developing.
A lymphatic structured iris is typically someone with blue eyes and certain features of the iris that comprise of whitened fibres and lymphatic tophi and/or rosary present.
What does it mean?
This person is likely to see conditions related to the immune system. These can include an over reactive immune system, allergies and/or autoimmune conditions. In their later years they can see a build up of systemic inflammation, especially around joints and muscles with the potential of arthritic manifestations.
They may often experience periods of excess mucous, hay-fever or respiratory issues. These issues are usually exacerbated by too much wheat, dairy and sugar. Warm environments help to alleviate these symptoms.
What is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system is made up of lymph nodes, nodules, the thymus gland, spleen and bone marrow. It is extremely important within the immune system as it acts by protecting ourselves against invasion by foreign microbes or abnormal replication of cells.
Think of it as border security… everyday things are flowing smoothly while lymph and its team are checking IDs, scanning for foreign bodies and pulling them aside with a team of armed patrol waiting. This is your lymphatic system: Working behind the scenes to make sure you stay safe.
The spleen is the major port for border security. Here, blood is filtered, “checked” and dealt with accordingly when needed. Whether that be capture and destroy at site, or call for troops to attack at another location. A spleen rupture resulting in the removal of the lymphatic organ is known to cause a compromised immune system.
With a name like “Seat of Courage” - described by the Roman anatomist Galen, the thymus gland is a base camp for T-cells… a group of lymphocytes also known as ‘Natural Killer Cells’. These are as essential to your immune function as soldiers are to an Army.
The Bone Marrow
This is the birthing centre for both T and B lymphocytes. T cells head off to base camp (ie. the thymus - hence the term “T-Cell”), whereas B cells, considered the intelligence department of the Army continue to mature in the Bone marrow (hence “B-cell”).
Supporting the Lymphatic System
Ideally, this unsung hero of highly trained special agents can perform their tasks undisturbed, with optimal support. However, factors like age, stress, immunocompromised conditions or nutritional deficiencies can hinder its function.
Specific nutrients required for optimal lymphatic function include:
B complex - especially vitamin B6, B9 and B12
Vitamin A & beta-carotene
Essential Fatty Acids (such as fish, raw nuts and avocado)
There are lifestyle tips you can also incorporate into your routine to boost your lymphatic system circulation and encourage healthy development of your defence system:
1. Dry Brushing: Prior to your morning shower, use a firm natural bristled brush to stroke your skin upward towards your heart. As the lymphatic system doesn’t contain a pump like the heart does, upwards strokes help to stimulate lymphatic fluid from tissues and promote continued circulation.
2. Cold Shower: Finish your shower with an invigorating wake-up! Spend 1-3mins under cold water before getting out. This causes blood vessels to rapidly constrict, causing forced flow of blood and lymph around in circulation.
3. Movement: Daily movement including at least 30mins of brisk walking, yoga or pilates. This encourages lymphatic fluid stored within muscle and tissue to enter into circulation.
4. Massage: Treat yourself to a specific lymphatic drainage massage, or gently massage the muscle to encourage lymphatic movement. Lymphatic drainage massage works but gently applying pressure to certain lymph nodes to promote release and flow of any stagnated clusters.
5. Sweat: Use sauna, hot bath or vigorous exercise 2-3 times a week to promote seat and the release of wastes from the skin. Lymphatic fluid contains wastes that have been filtered from the blood. As the skin is an elimination channel, encourage opening and drainage to help remove these wastes via sweat.
6. Food as Medicine: Eat more green leafy vegetables rich in nutrients required for optimal lymphatic support. Avoid refined, processed foods and sugar including dairy and wheat - these act as a burden on the system and produce more waste to filter through and eliminate. Drink at least 2L of filtered water daily… Water is essential for lymphatic flow and circulation.
Is This You or Someone you Know?
Other than experiencing frequent infections that may indicate your immune or lymphatic system is under functioning, a physical sign of lymphatic stagnation is the retention of fluid… swollen legs and feet in particular. If this is you, get moving, increase lymphatic circulation and make a booking for a naturopathic consultation that includes iridology to find out what else you can do to improve your lymphatic flow.
Share, and take care x