Liven Up Your Lymph
It’s the Season to Manage Mucus & Liven Up Your Lymph
That’s a yucky topic, but one that we all experience because we live in a human body. This is the time of year that sinus symptoms show up, noses and eyes get runny or dry and we feel miserable. Nature’s seasonal changes may bring on some of those symptoms, but she also provides a few remedies as well.
There may be some confusion about the connection between lymph and mucus and each one’s purpose, so here are some simple descriptions and explanations to help you better understand your body:
• Lymph (limf), from Latin lympha, meaning, connected to water. Lymph is the transparent fluid (it may be a light straw color) that flows from intercellular spaces in the body into the lymphatic vessels. This fluid is about 95% water with plasma proteins and other chemical substances that help fight infection and disease.
• Mucus is the protective secretion found in the mucus membranes. It lubricates tissues in the gut, nose-throat & lungs. The protective properties make it difficult for bacteria to penetrate the body through the epithelium. Mucus helps keep the lining of the nose, throat, lungs, and intestinal tract moist while collecting bacteria or allergens before they reach your airways and cause symptoms.
With the climate changes that Fall/Autumn brings, we observe a drying in Nature. The sap in trees flows back to the roots system creating a dry condition that causes the leaves to gradually dry and fall from the branch. This drying condition may also be noticeable in your amazing body. When we breathe in the drier outdoor and indoor air (central heat or fireplace), our mucus membranes also dry out. This sends a signal to the “mucus-producers” to lubricate-moisturize-protect! Thus, we may experience excessive mucus production and the discomforts that process brings.
It’s a common reaction to reach for an antibiotic or antihistamine to relieve this mucus congestion. The experts suggest using Mucinex, an over-the-counter medication that relieves the pressure and dries up accumulated mucus. Some natural remedies you may also try include:
Using a humidifier. Moist air (especially near your bed) helps keep mucus thin and flowing
Drinking warm teas/juices that promote mucus flow (lemon, ginger, garlic, clear broth). During a mucus-y spell, drink warm water throughout the day helps keep your body well hydrated.
A warm salt-water gargle helps clear any mucus that may have accumulated in the back of your throat. Also, a few salt-water drops in each nostril (with head tilted back) helps clear nasal passages.
Applying Eucalyptus essential oil helps loosen the mucus so that it may be more easily coughed up. Using as a chest rub soothes the mucus membranes in the lungs and throat.
A very effective recipe for moving the lymph is one I’ve used for nearly 30-years. Citrus is an exceptional food to loosen phlegm in the body, especially grapefruit. Try this recipe the next time you feel congested.
Hot Drinks for Cold & Flu Symptoms
1 grapefruit, thoroughly wash the outer peel
1-qt. saucepan filled with 2-cups water, on medium heat
1-2 tsp. local unfiltered honey
Cut the grapefruit in quarters. Squeeze juice from each quarter into saucepan of warming water.
Place 2 of the quarters into saucepan and let simmer in grapefruit juice.
Simmer until thoroughly heated, but not boiling. Carefully pour hot juice into a hot container cup or mug. Add honey to taste and stir. Enjoy!
This recipe may be followed using fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”). Add a pinch of cayenne powder to the hot juice for additional Vitamin C.
*If you are taking prescription medications, be sure to check the food/drug interactions. Grapefruit does not mix well with some medications.
The grapefruit is a subtropical acid fruit with a highly alkaline reaction in the body. It is less acidic than lemons and is a good substitute when oranges cannot be tolerated. Grapefruits also contain less sugar than oranges.
Grapefruit is high in vitamins C and B1 and a good source of B2. It is also very rich in citric acids and their salts, and in potassium and calcium. The rind is high in Vitamin P (extracted by simmering) which is beneficial to healthy gums and teeth.
Being low in calories, it is a good drink on a reducing diet and also is an excellent aid to digestion. Grapefruit taken before bedtime can contribute to sound sleep. However, the overuse of any citric acid fruits will act as a powerful dissolver of the mucous membranes (accumulated) of the body. Eliminating toxic material too quickly may cause unpleasant irritation or discomfort.
Grapefruit juice acts as an excellent aid in reducing fevers from colds and flu. It also helps prevent hardening of body tissue, such as the liver and arteries and stone formations. (Foods That Heal, Dr. Bernard Jensen, 1988)
I hope these preventive tips help as you prepare your seasonal health defense strategies. Take care and always . . . Savor the Season.