15 Home Remedies for Swollen Glands

home remedies for swollen glands

A major sign that you are coming down with a common cold, the flu or a serious infection of some sort is swollen glands. Swollen glands are typically an indication that your immune system is hard at work or even overworked fighting off infection. You can provide the necessary support for your lymph function using one or more of the 15 home remedies for swollen glands to bring relief.

Keep in mind that these are not all-inclusive cures, chronically swollen glands or glands that remain swollen for an extended period of time could be an indication of a more serious condition for which you will need the advice and treatment of a health care professional.

1. Honey

honey syrup

What could be simpler or sweeter among the home remedies for swollen glands than honey? Honey contains anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce swelling, but it also contains some natural antibiotic compounds that can help support their function of fighting off infection.

What to Do

  • Dissolve 2 tsp of raw honey in a glass of warm water or tea along with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Drink this twice daily for a week.

2. Warm Compress

Cold pack

Just as simple, but not as sweet, when it comes to home remedies for swollen glands is a warm compress. This is an age-old remedy for swollen glands because the increased temperature increases blood circulation. That increased circulation encourages the reduction of swelling as well as pain.

What to Do

  • Soak a clean washcloth or rag in hot water, and then wring out the excess water.
  • Place the warm cloth over the affected area for 5 minutes or until the cloth cools.
  • Repeat this a few times during each session.
  • Repeat this remedy several times a day until you get relief.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar next to apples on table

Among the top home remedies for swollen glands is apple cider vinegar. ACV helps to maintain an alkaline pH balance in your body, which creates an inhospitable environment for pathogens. In addition, ACV can help reduce inflammation.

What to Do

  • You can add apple cider vinegar in equal parts to the hot water of the warm compress remedy above.
  • Or, mix 1 Tbsp of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water, add a little raw honey and drink this remedy twice per day.

4. Massage

young woman getting a massage

Massage is another of the effective home remedies for swollen glands which is pretty simple and is age old. Massage reduces inflammation by helping to stimulate blood circulation in the swollen glands and reduces the accumulation of toxins and impurities that build up.

What to Do

  • Using the tips of your fingers, gently massage each of the swollen glands for 3 to five minutes.
  • Repeat this remedy 2 to 3 times per day until your condition improves.

5. Garlic

garlic cloves on table

One of the most powerful herbs in your pantry is garlic, and it is a leader among home remedies for swollen glands. Garlic has natural antibiotic properties to help fight infection, but it is also loaded with antioxidants to give your immune system a jolt as well. In addition to those two characteristics, garlic is also anti-inflammatory.

What to Do

  • Peel, thoroughly chew and swallow a garlic clove three times per day.
  • You can also use garlic oil when you massage your swollen glands in the remedy above.
  • Taking a garlic supplement is another option to consider.

6. Salt Water

Salt in water

Another of the most readily available home remedies for swollen glands is salt water. Gargling with salt water is very effective at reducing the swelling and inflammation of the glands in your throat as well as bringing some relief to the pain.

What to Do

  • Dissolve ½ tsp of salt in 1 cup of warm water.
  • Gargle this solution in small portions at a time for 10 to 15 seconds and spit it out until you have used up all of it.
  • Repeat this remedy 2 to 3 times daily for a week.

7. Castor Oil

castor oil on a table

Though castor is no longer a common staple in most households, it should be, especially when it is needed for home remedies for swollen glands. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of castor oil can help to reduce swelling as well as speed up the removal of toxins for improved lymph system flow. That is not to mention the boost it can give your immune system.

What to Do

  • Gently massage cold-pressed castor oil into the swollen area for about 5 minutes.
  • Place a warm compress over the area for another 5 minutes to help it absorb.
  • Repeat this remedy twice a day for a week.

8. Cleavers

Cleavers upclose

Cleavers might not be all that common in most households either, but it too is among the most effective home remedies for swollen glands. Sometimes called by one of its different names, goosegrass or stickyweed, cleavers stimulate the stimulation of the lymphatic system as well as help to reduce inflammation.

What to Do

  • Place 2 tsp of cleavers in 1 cup of boiling water, cover and allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
  • Strain out the tea and drink it 2 to 3 times daily until the swelling subsides.

9. Turmeric

turmeric and ginger

One of the most powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds among herbs and medications is turmeric. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is among the very best home remedies for swollen glands because it is as potent as any anti-inflammatory medication you can take, but it doesn’t have the same damaging side effects.

What to Do

  • Mix enough honey into 1 Tbsp of turmeric to create a paste.
  • Apply the mixture to the affected areas and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
  • Also, stir 1 tsp of turmeric and a dash of black pepper (without it, your body will not absorb the curcumin) into a glass of warm milk. Stir continuously while you drink this solution as the turmeric will not dissolve.
  • Repeat either or both of these remedies twice daily.

10. Echinacea

Another of the top home remedies for swollen glands is Echinacea. This herb contains potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that can bring relief to swollen glands as well as give them a great deal of support to fight off infection.

What to Do

  • Place 1 to 2 tsp of dried Echinacea flowers or 1 prepared tea bag in a mug.
  • Pour boiling water over the flowers, cover the mug and allow the tea to steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Strain or remove the tea bag, add a tsp of honey, if you like, and drink this tea a couple of times per day for a week.

11. Colloidal Silver

Colloidal Silver

Another less common item found in many households which ought to be there is colloidal silver. Among the many benefits of colloidal silver are its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its powerful antibiotic and immune boosting characteristics, making it an excellent addition to any list of home remedies for swollen glands.

What to Do

  • Consume a single drop of colloidal silver daily in any of the above remedies that are taken internally to add potency to them.
  • You can also add 3 to 4 drops in a neti pot or to saline solution.

NOTE: Do not take this remedy internally for more than 14 consecutive days.

12. Vitamin C

vitamin C concept art


Vitamin C can also be added to our list of home remedies for swollen glands, because of its antioxidant properties. Vitamin C is known to help prevent or support a stressed immune system for which one of the symptoms is swollen lymph glands.

What to Do

  • Load up on a supplement of 4,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily if you are an adult.
  • In addition, consume foods like pineapple, kale, grapefruit, bell peppers, oranges and papayas.

13. Oregano Oil

oregano oil in bottle

An essential oil which is proven among the effective home remedies for swollen glands is oregano oil. Oregano oil is a powerful alternative to fight off antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains as well as viral and fungal infections. This oil is superior to antibiotic solutions because it does not have harmful side effects and does not damage beneficial bacteria in the gut.

What to Do

  • Add 2 to 3 drops of this oil into the teas we have already discussed or just add them to 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and consume it.
  • Repeat either of these remedies 2 times daily.

14. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

A wonder from down under, tea tree oil is also among the most powerful home remedies for swollen glands. Tea tree oil has antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which will bring much needed relief to your swollen glands. The great thing about this oil is that it has both a quick effect and a longer-lasting slow-release effect to continuous relief.

What to Do

  • Mix 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil into 1 Tbsp or coconut or olive oil.
  • Use this as massage oil and rub it into the affected glands.
  • Repeat this remedy 2 to 3 times daily.

15. Astragalus

Astragalus plant closeup

Those more familiar with traditional Chinese medicine will recognize astragalus root as another of the most potent home remedies for swollen glands. Viral infections like mono as well as other conditions caused by bacteria and fungus don’t stand a chance against the potent antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects of astragalus.
You can take astragalus as a tincture or capsule, or buy it dried and add it to hot water.

What to Do

  • Place a handful of dried astragalus root into 1 quart of boiling water.
  • Reduce heat and allow let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Strain out the tea and drink 1 cup of this tea twice daily.

Wrapping Up

Swollen glands can be an indicator that your body is working overtime at fighting off an infection or are exhausted. Provide the support your immune system and lymph nodes need by utilizing one or several of our 15 home remedies for swollen glands and give them some relief. Don’t forget to add any additional remedies, success stories, comments or questions in the space provided below.