The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials to keep you healthy. Its primary function is to transport lymph fluid throughout the body — fluid containing white blood cells that fight infection. The lymph system is a vital part of the immune system. If you find yourself constantly feeling sick or tired, it may be a sign that your lymphatic system needs a cleansing! Follow these 10 steps to improve a sluggish lymph system.

1. Exercise

Regular exercise stimulates the circulation of blood flow in the body and keeps the lymph system flowing smoothly. Jumping on a trampoline or jumping rope is believed to be especially beneficial for massaging the lymph system.

2. Drink Lemon Water

Lymph is made up of about 95% water, so drinking plenty of water is essential to keeping things running smoothly. Without adequate water, lymphatic fluid cannot flow properly, causing congestion or dehydration. Lemon adds an alkaline property to water which helps supply the body with minerals.

3. Eat the Right Foods

Avoid processed foods. Artificial sweeteners, sugar and preservatives put a strain on your lymphatic system and can lead to congestion. Natural foods full of vitamins and minerals will help cleanse your body. Fruits, vegetables, flaxseed oil, spirulina, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts and avocados are healthy food sources that provide important vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and other essential nutrients to keep the lymph flowing properly.

4. Try Dry Brushing

Dry brushing your skin can improve lymph flow and give the lymphatic system a boost. Before taking a shower, dry brush your skin with long strokes in an upward motion for about 5 minutes.

5. Drink Herbal Teas

Many herbs have a long history of use as natural medicine. Herbs such as echinacea, goldenseal, red clover, pokeroot, astragalus and wild indigo root can be used to combat illness and keep the body healthy. If you are pregnant or on any medication, consult a physician before consuming an herbal tea.

6. Wear Loose Clothing

Wearing tight clothing for long periods of time can slow down lymph flow and cause blockages. Make sure to wear loose clothing or clothing that fits properly so your body has room to breathe.

7. Alternate Shower Water

Alternating shower water temperature from hot to cold for several minutes has a beneficial effect on your blood flow and lymph flow. The heat causes vessels to dilate while the cold makes them contract. This therapy is not recommended for pregnant women, or for those struggling with a heart or blood pressure condition.

8. Avoid Beauty Products Containing Chemicals

Most lotions, soaps, creams, sunscreens, deodorants, perfumes and other popular beauty products contain harmful chemicals that can seep through the skin into the lymphatic system. Always opt for natural, organic products that are free of chemicals or questionable ingredients. You can also make your own safe, chemical-free versions at home.

9. Deep Breathing

As simple as it sounds, deep breathing exercises can stimulate lymph flow to avoid a build up of toxins in the body. Keep fresh air and plenty of oxygen moving to your cells.

10. Alternative Therapies

Acupuncture can effectively stimulate blood flow, as well as a lymph drainage that stimulates circulation to remove toxins from the cells. Saunas or steam baths can also help the body release toxins through sweat and cleanse your system.

 h/t: family health freedom network