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How Your Lymphatic System Supports Your Immune System

By Jodi Cohen

A small, dark blue bottle labeled "Vibrant Blue Oils, Lymph" with a black cap is nestled among vibrant, fluffy, purple chrysanthemums. The flowers create a soft and colorful frame around the essential oil bottle.

Your lymphatic system is a key part of your immune system, protecting your body from harmful micro-organisms and toxins that may contribute to illness by helping to eliminate metabolic waste, toxins and infections from the cells and tissues of your body via the lymphatic fluid.

Your lymphatic system produces and releases lymphocytes (white blood cells) and other immune cells that monitor and then destroy the foreign invaders — such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi — that may enter your body.


Organs of Your Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, vessels and organs that permeate every part of the body, working together as the body’s septic system to eliminate toxins and infections and other waste from every cell in your body via a colorless, watery fluid called lymph.    It draws fluid from the cells and carries it through a series of lymphatic ducts and nodes and organs to eliminate threats to your immune system.

Lymphatic drainage can be enhanced with the application of stimulatory essential oils over the following organs related to your lymphatic system:

Lymph Nodes

Your lymph nodes are small bean-shaped tissues found along the lymphatic vessels that act as filters for your immune system, trapping germs and activating the creation of special antibodies in the blood. For this reason, swollen lymph nodes are a sign that the immune system is active and fighting infection.

The lymphatic system also helps carry nutrients, oxygen, hormones and other healing substances into every cell. Unfortunately, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump and lymphatic fluid can accumulate and stagnate (learn more about the Lymphatic System here).  This stagnation can be due to an overload of acidity, animal protein, gluten, infection, toxins or adhesions of the connective tissue, such as scars.

To support lymphatic drainage and movement, generously apply Vibrant Blue Oils Lymph™ around the sides of the neck, under the left clavicle, in the arm pits, and the groin.  For more tips to improve lymphatic function, read this article.


Your spleen is your largest lymphatic organ and a key player in our immune response, detecting pathogens in the blood and producing white blood cells to fight infections.  Located on the left side of your upper abdomen, beneath your diaphragm and above your stomach, your spleen helps fight certain bacteria, like those that cause infection and disease. Your spleen serves as a reservoir for blood, filtering and purifying the blood and lymph fluid that flow through it.

Supporting the spleen helps you support your immune system and fight infections. You can support the spleen and assist with the distribution of healthy blood cells by applying 2- 3 drops of Spleen Support™ blend over the spleen (left side of the body, under breast) or around the earlobes.


Your thymus gland, located behind the breastbone above the heart, plays an important role in the immune system, maturing infection-fighting white blood cells made in the bone marrow – known as thymus cell lymphocytes or T cells. Among other tasks, these cells coordinate the processes of the innate and adaptive immune systems. T cells move through the body and constantly monitor the surfaces of all cells for immune threats.

Stimulating the thymus by gently tapping on the gland (thymus thumping) or using Thymus™ essential oils is thought to increase the release of white blood cells. To stimulate immune function against infections, viruses and bacteria, apply 2-3 drops on the thymus (on breastbone at third rib) in a clockwise motion for 30 seconds and then stimulate the thymus by gently tapping.


Your tonsils are the gatekeepers to your lymphatic system and an important part of the immune system. The tonsils contain a lot of white blood cells, which are responsible for killing germs.  Located on the side of the throat, your tonsils are your body’s first line of defense against foreign invaders.  The tonsils help stop germs entering the body through the mouth or the nose, trapping pathogens from the food you eat and the air you breathe.

Bone Marrow

Bone marrow is a soft, sponge-like tissue found inside the bones where immune system cells – like white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets – are produced and multiply.   Mast cells – a type of white blood cell found in your tissues and organs – also reside in the bone marrow.

Peyer’s Patches

80% of the immune system resides in the gut, specifically in an area of the ileum known as Peyer’s patches. Peyer’s patches are small masses of lymphatic tissue in the mucous membrane that lines your small intestine.  They monitor, analyze and respond to the intestinal bacteria in the small intestine to prevent the growth of harmful pathogens. If a dangerous pathogen presents, the Peyer’s patches trigger an immune response – producing antibodies and alerting the immune system to launch a full body immune response to the pathogen before it can spread beyond the intestines.

The mucosal lining of the small intestine plays a key role in maintaining healthy gut flora and optimal immune function. The mucosal lining contains several immune antibodies known as immunoglobulins (sIgA, IgA, IgG and IgM). These immune cells live directly beneath the mucous membranes, where they prevent bacteria and viruses from attaching. These cells detect foreign substances and then mark and destroy them. They also save information about the substances in order to be able to react more quickly the next time.

Healthy gut flora helps to support the immune functions in the epithelial cells, like maintaining physical and chemical barriers and making the gut more acidic and hostile to invading bacteria. Healthy flora also compete with potential pathogens for space and food. If your healthy gut bacteria are already using all the resources available, there’s nothing left to feed the bad guys. They also help to support proper digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients and modulate the inflammatory immune response and neutralize toxic substances.

To help balance and heal the intestinal mucosal lining, apply Vibrant Blue Oils Intestinal Mucosa™ blend in a clockwise around the belly button 2 – 3 x daily. This helps restore the integrity of the mucosal lining to restore optimal balance of healthy intestinal flora.


Your appendix is a pouch of lymphatic tissue that is attached at the end of the large intestine (cecum), located in the lower-right area of the abdomen that can destroy bacteria before it breaches the intestine wall during absorption. Located in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen of the human body, near the right hip, the appendix is also believed to store probiotics or beneficial gut bacteria that helps repopulate your gut with good bacteria after an infection has cleared.

It is believed that lymphatic tissue in the appendix protects a sample of beneficial gut bacteria when certain diseases wipe them out from elsewhere in the GI tract. Once the immune system has rid the body of the infection, the bacteria emerge from the appendix and re-colonize the gut.


How Essential Oils Support Lymph and Immunity

Research has shown that essential oils help us fight infection with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.

Essential oils provide the key components of the plants’ immune systems.  They help the plants grow, thrive, evolve, and adapt to their surroundings. For example, they protect plants from bacterial and viral infections, heal injuries, repel unwanted predators and other environmental damage and help deliver nutrients to the cells. This makes them “essential” for a plant as they help the plants survive.

Essential oils play a similar role in the human body, perhaps due to our shared chemistry.  Both essential oils and humans are made from three primary elements – carbon, hydrogen and oxygen – which make essential oils highly compatible with human biochemistry.

Essential oils can be used to help the lymphatic system work optimally and efficiently. They are easily absorbed and assimilated by the lymphatic system and help to enhance movement or flow of fluid to relieve sluggish and stagnate lymph. Unfortunately, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump and lymphatic fluid can accumulate and stagnate (learn more about the Lymphatic System here).

Your lymphatic system supports the immune response by both bringing nutrients to and helping to clear toxins and waste from every cell in the body.  It works as the body’s septic system, removing and destroying the byproducts and wastes created from metabolizing nutrients, including dead blood cells, pathogens, toxins, excess fluid, and waste products from the cells and the interstitial spaces between the cells.  Just like the drains in your home, the lymphatic system can get congested and stagnant, and toxins can build up. Lymph stagnation, when the fluid isn’t flowing, can impede the body’s ability to mount an immune response.

Lymphatic drainage can be enhanced with the application of stimulatory essential oils that can be topically applied to congested lymph nodes in any area of the body or over the lymphatic organs.

Lymph™ blend helps keep lymph flowing to move toxins out of the body. To enhance lymphatic flow and drainage, liberally apply 2 to 3 drops of Lymph™ over the lymphatic organs and key lymph nodes located under the arms, and around inguinal ligament (bikini line area—think where your leg creases when you lift it) to ensure optimal drainage and health.


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.