How to Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes help your body fight off bacteria, viruses and other causes of illnesses. When your body is fighting with infections, your lymph nodes will swell. You can find swollen nodes in the neck, under the chin, in the groin and in your armpits. In rare cases, your lymph nodes swell due to cancer. In other cases, your swollen lymph nodes will respond well to warm compresses. Even if you do not do anything, the swelling will become normal over time. You may need treatment depending on what causes lymphadenitis. Keep reading to learn more about causes and understand how to treat swollen lymph nodes.

How to Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes by Home Remedies

You can accelerate recovery by making use of some home remedies. Here are some simple ways to treat swollen lymph nodes.

1. Warm Compresses

You can apply warm compresses on swollen areas to help them become normal. This works because heat improves blood circulation that reduces pain and swelling. Simply take a washcloth and soak it in hot water. Wring it well and place it on your swollen nodes for 10 minutes. Repeat a few times for better results.

2. Massage

Massaging the lymph nodes gently will also help improve circulation and reduce swelling. It also helps you get rid of any impurities accumulated in the nodes. Simply use your fingers to massage the nodes for 5 minutes or so. You can even see a professional to get a lymph drainage massage.

3. Salt Water Gargle

Gargling with saltwater will help get rid of inflammation and swelling in the nodes. It is especially beneficial if your lymph nodes are swollen due to any infection in the throat. Just add half teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and use it for gargling. Repeat a couple of times a day for relief.

4. Garlic

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, garlic helps get rid of swelling in the lymph nodes. Regular use of garlic also helps cleanse your system and promote healing. Just include a couple of raw garlic cloves in your cooking to see its benefits. You may even benefit from massaging the swollen lymph nodes using garlic oil.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Regular use of apple cider vinegar creates an alkaline environment in your body and plays a role in maintaining a healthy pH level required for dealing with infections. Take some water and add equal amount of unfiltered apple cider vinegar to it. Dip a washcloth in this solution and place it on your swollen nodes for relief.

6. Castor Oil

Castor oil works mainly because it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It works great to reduce swelling by improving the flow of lymph. It effectively eliminates toxins to reduce pain. It also boosts your immune system. All you have to do is apply some castor oil on your swollen nodes for 5 minutes. Finish the process by applying a warm compress for another 10 minutes. Do it at least twice a day for a week.

7. Turmeric

This therapeutic herb is nothing less than a blessing for anyone interested in learning how to treat swollen lymph nodes.It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that work great to reduce pain and swelling. It facilitates healing and eliminates infections. To use it properly, just mix a tablespoon of turmeric powder with some honey to make a paste. Apply this paste on your swollen nodes and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse it off using warm water. Repeat at least twice a day for a week.

8. Echinacea

With its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, Echinacea purifies the blood and helps you get rid of any bacterial or viral infections that may be causing any swelling or pain. You can use Echinacea in many ways. You can get Echinacea ointment and apply it a couple of times to reduce swelling. Alternatively, drink several cups of Echinacea tea for a week to get rid of pain and swelling. However, you need to avoid it if you are already dealing with an autoimmune disorder.

9. OTC Pain Relievers

Taking OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen may also help reduce fever and pain. You should not give your child aspirin because it may increase the risk for Reye's syndrome which affects the liver, blood and brain of a child.

When to See a Doctor

You usually find some relief through simple home remedies, but you sometimes need to see a doctor in certain situations. Go talk to your doctor if you have swollen lymph nodes with other symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, high fever, night sweats, redness on the affected area and weight loss. You should also call your doctor if you notice size of your swollen nodes becoming larger than an inch or so.

How to Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes Medically

If you have swollen nodes because of a viral infection, it will resolve on its own after the infection goes away. You do not need to take any antibiotics either. Depending on the underlying cause, you may have to try other treatment options.

1. Treating Infection

Taking antibiotics is the first option to treat a bacterial infection. You will need a different treatment if your swollen nodes are due to an HIV infection.

2. Treating Immune Disorder

You need to treat underlying conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus if they are causing your lymph nodes to swell.

3. Treating Cancer

You need treatment for cancer if your swollen nodes are caused by a tumor. The treatment may involve radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy, depending on the type of cancer you have. 

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