Brain fog is real. I see many women who struggle to think clearly or retain information.
But what is the cause?
As usual, there can be many causes such as the changing levels of estrogen and progesterone during menopause or pregnancy, lack or sleep, head pain or pressure.
But one primary cause of Brain fog that is little talked about is Lymphatic congestion.
Your lymphatic system is the largest circulatory system of you body. It is more vast than your circulatory system of your blood.
Your lymphatics system is It is made up of channels, ducts, nodes and organs. A part of your immune system, it produces white blood cells to protect your body from bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.
It also maintains fluid levels; absorbs fats and proteins from your digestive tract. And it is very important in your body’s ability to detox and remove cellular waste.
The fluid that moves through your lymphatic channels is called lymph.
Unlike blood your lymph does not move on its own accord. It has no pump, your heart, that your circulatory system has. To keep your lymph moving you have to move! Exercise, massage, dry skin brushing all help to move your lymph through muscular contraction and pressure.
So, how does this relate to your brain fog?
It was only in 2015, that the brain was included in the lymphatic system. Before then it was thought that the brain and nervous system had no lymph!
The newly named glymphatics that surround your brain will drain over a kilo of toxins from your brain each year!
Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) moves up and down your spine and around your brain. Science has discovered that the CSF drains into the lymphatic system via several subtle pathways of lymphatic vessels that connect to the cranium and spine. (1.)
According to Ayurveda, lymph is called Rasa. It the sap of the body that helps to keep you nourished and well.
How your digestion is working directly impacts the quality of your lymph, or Rasa.
Ayurveda says that the quality of your rasa impacts how you feel emotionally and mentally and it the first building block to creating good hormones.
Modern medicine say that your lymphatic system starts in your gut with the little lacteals, tiny vessels inside the villi of your intestinal walls that collect your nutrients after digestion and send them into both your blood and lymphatic system to nourish your body.
Ayurveda believes that lymph starts earlier than that.
On sighting, smelling or tasting food your body releases Sara both from your mouth and upper digestive tract. This is the beginning of digestion and the formation of pre-lymph fluid. This fluid is affect biochemically by our moods and stress.
One very good reason to follow the Ayurvedic advice of not eating when emotional or stressed. This will lead to poor digestion and disturb your lymph.
When your lymph is clean and clear, you mind is also clear and has more clarity, ability to think and retain information.
When digestion is poor, little particles of poorly digested food sneaks into your lymph (and blood stream). Over time this creates inflammation, clogs the lymphatic channels, and will make you feel lethargic and foggy.
Ayurveda calls poorly digested food Ama.
If poor digestion continues, first the lymphatic system around the digestive organs absorb the toxins creating local irritation and inflammation of the intestines.
Slowly, the whole lymphatic system becomes congested and unable to function well, support immunity and cleanse the body and brain.
Eventually, the fluid around the brain and its ability to cleanse the brain and drain away toxins is impaired. This leads to brain fog and a greater chance of dementia and mental decline.
Ayurvedic texts state that Ama in the lymphatic channels cause – cellulite, low self-esteem, a foggy mind with lessened ability to take in and retain information.
Here are three ways to keep your lymph and brain healthy:
Keep your digestion working optimally;
and, regularly cleansing your body will keep your lymph healthy and your brain functioning well!
The simple practice of sipping hot water frequently cleanses your lymphatic system. Ama is sticky and heavy and greasy. Drinking hot water will help to dissolve the ama and support your lymphatic system in removing this gunk!
It is not the quantity of water that makes the difference. In fact too much water can be an issue too! It is the warmth and frequency of sipping, not gulping, water that makes all the difference: ideally every 15mins!
If you would like to learn more about how to cleanse your lymphatic system check out my online group Conscious Living Cleanse and Reset. We start mid-April!