What Oils To Use When Your Lymph Nodes Are Swollen
Written by: Kavata Kithome
As you may know, I am very inspired and motivated to experience and live my best and healthiest life. To achieve that, I feel that I have to not only watch what I eat and how I exercise, but also consistently do what is necessary to ensure that all aspects of my body are supported and taken care off.
Lately there has been a lot of talk about lymph nodes and lymph detox and draining.
This is because the lymphatic system is a key player in regulating the body’s immune system. It consists of a large network of tissues and organs that are responsible for ridding toxins; its primary job is to transport lymph, which is an infection-fighting fluid that circulates throughout the body. Lymphatic vessels connect to lymph nodes and this is where the lymph is filtered.
With approximately 600 lymph nodes in the human body, located in the tonsils, groin, spleen and armpits, it is very important to support and maintain your lymphatic system.
I remember as a child, anytime I was not feeling my best, my mother would always feel my neck where my tonsils were for swollenness. This is because swollen lymph nodes are a sign that your body is engaged in battle. When there’s an infection, lymph nodes swell as they work harder to filter out bacteria and viruses.
Unlike our circulatory system, lymph does not have a pump. It relies on the mindful movement of muscles and joints to avoid stagnation, which often leads to impaired immunity and pain. Swollen glands are common with colds, flu and autoimmune diseases, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live in discomfort.
Below are 6 essential oils to support lymphatic stimulation and drainage that can suppress swelling and bring relief:
1. Bay Laurel
Popular in ancient Rome, bay laurel was a symbol of wisdom and peace. It has a fruity and camphorous scent known for moving stuck energy as well as supporting lymphatic drainage and immunity. It is an antioxidant and antibacterial historically used to help aid infections.
How-To: Add 4 drops of bay laurel into an ounce of sweet almond or jojoba oil and rub on swollen lymph nodes.
Grapefruit oil has been found to be great for detoxifying and decongesting lymph and is especially cleansing. This oil is included in many cellulite creams and body scrubs; this is because grapefruit’s uplifting and citrusy aroma seems to inspire movement in the body and the mind. Grapefruit is a proven antibacterial and can reduce lymphedema when combined with gentle massage and lymph-stimulating exercises.
How-To: Dry brushing is an effective way to stimulate lymph movement and to continue reaping the benefits, make your own post-dry brush body oil. Add 15 drops of ruby grapefruit into 1 oz. of a skin-friendly carrier oil (like rosehip seed) and lather thoroughly. Then let the scents carry you away.
3. Guaiac Wood
My relationship with this oil is very young and I am still learning all the wonderful benefits it has to offer. However, I have learned that guaiac wood is very economical and has an incredibly long shelf-life, which can be up to eight years. It is a great go-to for remedying gout, edema and fluid retention. It is also a robust anti-inflammatory, thanks to its high guaiazulene chemical composition.
How-To: Give yourself a lymphatic massage by combining guaiac wood with its therapeutic and aromatic complement, cistus, into a carrier oil, like sesame or sunflower.
*Note: it is a viscous oil and will need heating to 110°F for easy use.
Similar to grapefruit, lemon is a must-have when looking to stimulate lymph movement. Lemon’s chemical composition is primarily monoterpenes, meaning it is a powerful antimicrobial and antibacterial.
How-To: For an at-home remedy, make lemon body scrub. Add 10 drops of lemon with a tablespoon of jojoba oil into an ounce of Himalayan salt. Use all over in the shower, giving particular attention to swollen areas.
Traditionally used as a lymphatic and circulatory decongestant, mastic is renowned for reducing edema and helping with spider and varicose veins. Due to high monoterpene (monoterpenes are a class of terpenes that consist of two isoprene units and have the molecular formula C10H16) chemical composition, mastic is known for being an impressive analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
How-To: Add 6 drops to an ounce of aloe vera gel and rub on affected areas. Feel free to blend mastic with other immune or respiratory supporting oils, like cedarwood. Rub gently on your lymph nodes.
6. Juniper Berry
A detoxifier that stimulates movement, juniper berry is similar to many other oils on this list as it relieves edema and stagnation. Juniper is a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial that tirelessly fights infections. An immune booster, juniper is also a great addition to DIY cleaning products.
How-To: Add 3 drops juniper (optional to add 2 drops black pepper and 2 drops geranium) into an ounce of sweet almond or avocado oil and rub on areas that need energy. For an added bonus after using the oil, I hang from my inversion table to further stimulate lymph movement and circulation.
The lymphatic system is one of the most important networks in the body. This is because it is key in keeping you running at ultimate and peak performance. Along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, the above mentioned are great ways to support your lymphatic system.
What do you do to keep your lymphatic system running? Share in the comments below and let’s capture and support our best lives.
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Kavata Kithome is an advocate for living your best life, full of health and longevity. While working closely with gym owners and personal trainers, she was able to sculpt a well-rounded view of fitness and understands how to incorporate it with a healthy balanced diet. She is a regular contributor to the One More Step Lifestyle brand.
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