It is very common for a swelling to appear somewhere in the body. If it doesn’t hurt very much or doesn’t really bother you, it is more likely to be an inflamed lymph node. A lymph node is an oval-shaped organ or gland of the lymphatic system. They are present throughout the body and its main function is the production of lymphocytes, which help defend the body against harmful microorganisms and foreign particles. They do this by filtering the lymphatic fluid as it flows through them, and then destroying bacteria, viruses and other foreign particles with the help of white blood cells that are stored in them. Therefore, lymph nodes form an important part of the body’s immune system.
Although the exact number of lymph nodes varies from individual to individual, there are approximately 500 to 700 of them in the body.
Why Do Lymph Nodes Swell?
Lymph nodes block viruses, bacteria, abnormal cells or diseased cells that pass through the lymphatic channels. When the individual suffers from an infection or disease, the lymph nodes pick up bacteria and viruses. This leads to the nodes swelling in the affected area. Swollen lymph nodes are a sure sign that the lymphatic system is working to rid the body of responsible agents.
Common Locations of Swollen Lymph Nodes:
Lymph nodes can be found throughout the body. They are found under the skin in many areas such as the armpits, on both sides of the neck and groin, under the jaw, above the clavicle, etc. 3 the armpit glands are known as axillary lymph nodes. It is likely that an injury or infection in the arm or hand is the cause of the swelling of these nodes. Cysts and irritation caused by shaving can also cause swollen lymph nodes in the armpits. A rare cause may be breast cancer or lymphoma.
“When the glands on both sides of the neck, under the jaw or behind the ears swell, the culprit is usually a cold or a sore throat”.
An injury can be another cause of swollen lymph nodes in the neck. A tumor or infection in the mouth, throat or neck can also cause swollen lymph nodes. The femoral or inguinal lymph nodes are located in the groin. These nodes can swell in case of an injury or infection in the groin, genitals, foot or leg. Several types of cancer can also lead to tumors in this area. The nodes above the clavicle are known as the supraclavicular lymph nodes. An infection or tumor in the lung, breast, abdomen or neck area can cause inflammation of these lymph nodes.
How to Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes?
Swollen lymph nodes usually become smaller without any treatment. In some cases, however, doctors may suggest that they be controlled. If the nodule has become inflamed due to an infection, antibiotics or antiviral medications may be prescribed to fight the infection. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed. In case the cause of the lymph node inflammation is cancer, the cancer will have to be treated so that the nodes return to their normal size. Although chemotherapy may be necessary in some situations, some cases may also require removal of the affected gland or lymph node. Although antibiotics and antivirals reduce infections and reduce the size of swollen lymph nodes, the results may take up to four weeks to appear. In addition, the glands do not always have to decrease to their normal size.
10 Simple Home Remedies to Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes:
There are a variety of natural remedies to treat swollen lymph nodes effectively and without side effects. However, if there is no improvement in your condition even after a month, consult a doctor. Here are some effective (proven) natural cures for swollen lymph nodes.
1. Hot Compress:
A hot compress is an ancient remedy to reduce swollen lymph nodes. When a hot compress is applied to the affected area, the temperature helps increase circulation and blood flow. This will give you great relief from pain and swelling. Studies also show a connection between heat and inactivation of viruses that cause swollen lymph nodes.
- Dip a cloth in hot water and drain excess water.
- Place this warm cloth on the affected areas for up to 10 minutes.
- Repeat several times a day until the swelling disappears.
- You can also wash the inflamed area with warm water a few times a day.
Another natural remedy is a massage. It is believed that massage of the lymph nodes or the area around the nodes helps. A good massage will stimulate the nodes, reduce the accumulation of impurities in the nodes by draining them and help reduce inflammation. While you can choose to hire a professional to give you massages, it is very easy to do it yourself.
- Use the fingertips to gently massage the lymph nodes.
- Continue to massage the area for about five minutes.
- Repeat two or three times a day to get the best results.
For those suffering from swollen lymph nodes in the neck caused by a cold or a sore throat, a saltwater gargle will give immediate relief. Magnesium salts, or Epsom salts as they are more commonly known, have excellent anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
- Drink a cup of warm water.
- Add half a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Mix well.
- Use this solution to gargle.
- Repeat two or three times a day to get the best results.
The garlic has always been one of the most important medicines in traditional methods of treatment or herbal remedies. Studies have shown that garlic has antibacterial, antithrombotic, antioxidant, immunomodulatory and antidiabetic actions. These properties will certainly help reduce swollen lymph nodes, as well as clean and heal the lymphatic system.
- Eat 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves or a garlic supplement every day for a week.
- Massage the swollen area for five minutes with garlic oil. Repeat three times a day.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Another effective natural remedy for swollen lymph nodes is apple cider vinegar. It is believed to be a miraculous cure; vinegar helps create an alkaline environment in the body. It also keeps the pH levels in the body at an optimal level. Studies show that vinegar has oxidative stress elimination effects and that it also increases the levels of antioxidant enzymes and vitamins in the body. In addition, its antibacterial and antioxidant properties help fight any infection that may be causing swollen lymph nodes.
- Mix 1 cup of unfiltered raw vinegar with 1 cup of water.
- Soak a wipe in the solution and apply it to the inflamed area.
- After 5 minutes, rinse it with warm water and pat it dry.
- Repeat at least twice a day.
Alternatively, you can opt for the following method:
- Drink a glass of water.
- Mix 1 tablespoon raw and unfiltered vinegar in it.
- Add some raw honey.
- Stir well.
- Drink twice a day
The honey is an excellent wound healing cup. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce the pain and inflammation of the affected lymph nodes. Its antibacterial properties, meanwhile, can help fight the infection that is causing swollen lymph nodes.
- Drink 1 cup of water.
- Add 2 teaspoons raw honey.
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice into it.
- Mix it well and drink it twice a day for a week.
Alternatively, you can:
- Apply some raw honey on the inflamed area.
- Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Repeat 3 times a day until the swelling subsides.
Another known herbal remedy that has stood the test of time is turmeric. Rich in antioxidants and a highly effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent, turmeric is a safe remedy to treat swollen lymph nodes. Since it has also been proven to be effective in fighting infections, turmeric can definitely help reduce swollen enlarged lymph nodes.
- Take 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder.
- Add enough honey to make a paste.
- Apply to the swollen area.
- After 10 minutes rinse with warm water.
- Do this twice a day for about a week.
- Drink a glass of warm turmeric milk twice a day.
8. Peppermint Oil:
As anyone who has chewed gum knows, peppermint has a cooling effect unlike any other. Not only in the mouth, mint also provides the same cooling effect on the skin. Therefore, topical application of peppermint oil can cool the skin in the affected area, as well as increase blood flow to the area. Apart from this, peppermint is also a powerful analgesic or analgesic. It is also rich in various nutrients and minerals such as manganese, folate, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, etc. and it is a potent antimicrobial. Therefore, the application of peppermint oil on the swollen area will help kill the infection that causes the bacteria, as well as provide a calming effect to the area.
- Take a few drops of peppermint oil.
- Apply to the affected area.
- Gently massage the area for five minutes.
- Do this twice a day until the swelling subsides.
9. Barbasco Leaves:
Barbasco leaves and flowers have long been used for traditional medicinal treatments. While barbasco leaves have been popular in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, whooping cough, cold, fever, flu, pneumonia, etc., research also shows that the plant is a worm that is quite effective in fighting helminths, viruses and bacteria. This means that the plant can cope with infections that are causing swollen lymph nodes. For a natural cure for a sore throat and subsequent swollen lymph nodes, do the following:
- Chop some barbasco leaves.
- Put it in a jar.
- Pour 1 cup of boiling water into the jar.
- Close the bottle and let it stand for a few minutes.
- Once cooled, drink the tea.
- Drink 3 cups daily for a week.
10. Panax Ginseng:
Chinese ginseng or panax ginseng is able to improve immune function and liver function. It is also effective as an anti-fatigue, anti-diabetic, anti-stress and analgesic agent. These properties of ginseng are derived from its roots. It is also believed that ginseng helps treat the common cold and the flu. Ginseng is available in the form of powder, syrup or capsules.
- Take 400 mg of ginseng every day for a week.
- Consult your doctor before starting this dose.