Statistics indicate that five million Americans suffer from swollen lymph nodes at any point of time. Swollen lymph nodes are usually painful. In this article, we have listed 14 home remedies for swollen lymph nodes in neck. These natural treatments will help you reduce the swelling and pain associated with enlarged lymph nodes.
- 1 Lymph nodes and lymphatics
- 2 Where are lymph nodes in neck
- 3 What causes swollen lymph nodes in neck
- 4 Process and pathology
- 5 Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes in neck
- 6 How to get rid of swollen lymph nodes in neck
- 7 Herbal home remedies for swollen lymph nodes in neck
Lymph nodes and lymphatics
Lymphatic system is essentially a network of lymphatic vessels which connect with each other and traverse through the entire body. The lymphatic system consists of bean shaped lymph nodes which are present at frequent intervals throughout the system.
These glands are known to work as filters against bacteria and viruses. The primary function of lymph nodes is to first filter and attack these causative foreign organisms before actually destroying them.
In instances where the attacking organism load is high, the lymph nodes get inflamed and infected. Infected lymph nodes are best identified by the presence of pain and localized tenderness.
Where are lymph nodes in neck
Human body has 500-600 lymph nodes of which 300 are located in the neck region alone. Lymph nodes in the neck region or cervical lymph nodes as they are more commonly known are usually superficial. Thus they are invariably located just under the skin.
Structurally they are soft in consistency and round or oval in shape, however they are usually not visible to the naked eye and neither can they be felt on palpation. On the contrary in a state of infection or inflammation these lymph nodes become swollen and are tender to touch.
What causes swollen lymph nodes in neck
Some of the common causes of swollen lymph nodes are infections and immune system disorders in addition to cancers.
Common infections include:
- Systemic infections like measles
- Localized ear infections
- Strep throat or ‘sore throats’, as they are more commonly connoted (check out our detailed article about sore throat remedies)
- Wound infections like cellulitis
- HIV infections – this potentially potential virus can even cause AIDS in some
Altered immune mechanism
Conventionally the immune system of the human body fights and overcomes diseases in the human body. When the immune system disrupts, it is not uncommon for some typical conditions to surface such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Lupus is typically a long standing or chronic autoimmune disease which can simultaneously affect multiple sites within the body. It is relatively common for the heart, lungs, kidneys, joints and even the blood cells and the skin to be affected.
Conversely, rheumatoid arthritis is also a chronic inflammatory condition which predominantly affects the inner lining of the joint spaces.
Cancer and malignancy
One of the most dreaded conditions of contemporary times is cancer or malignancy. Studies have now validated the fact that although cancers are rare some patients may well return a diagnosis of lymphoma.
The condition usually originates in the lymphatic system which in turn has multiple lymph nodes distributed within the lymphatic channels.
On the contrary, when the blood forming tissues within the body turn cancerous it is not uncommon for your health care provider to diagnose the condition as‘Leukemia’.
Process and pathology
When the lymph nodes in the neck region are infected by bacterial infections, experts usually connote the condition as cervical lymphadenitis in medical terminology.
Lymph nodes are usually bean shaped structures which act as a ‘filter’ and can trap foreign material such as bacteria and virus, leading to an increase in size and tenderness of the affected glands.
The human lymphatic system is a network of organs, tissues, vessels and lymph nodes which are evenly distributed through the system.
Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes in neck
Swollen lymph nodes are an indicator that something is wrong with the body. Symptoms of swollen lymph glands include:
- Tender and painful lymph nodes
- Swollen nodes which may be the size of a kidney bean
- Signs suggestive of a upper respiratory tract infection, such as fever, runny nose and a sore throat usually associated with difficulty in swallowing
- Night Sweats
Although superficial swollen lymph nodes located just under the skin can be easily diagnosed based on these symptoms and medical history; deep swollen lymph nodes would require specialized tests like:
- CT Scans
CT scans or computerized tomography imaging studies are the gold standard when it comes to diagnosing swollen lymph glands which are located in a deeper plain.
A typical CT scan imaging technique can visualize the inside of the body and the nodes as the procedure is like slicing a loaf of bread and examining the slices.
How to get rid of swollen lymph nodes in neck
Observational studies in recent times have concluded that children are more prone to contracting this condition as compared to others. Thus, it is no surprise that patients and attendants all over the world prefer natural treatment options. Here are some of the more popular home remedies for swollen lymph nodes:
If you are looking for immediate relief from pain then the pick of options is a hot and wet compress. This is best achieved by dipping a clean cloth in hot water and wringing it out well.
The cloth is then applied locally over the affected area and experts advocate repeating the process several times a day for best results.
One of the most effective options is to gently massage the lymph nodes every day for a period of 15 minutes. This relatively simple remedy works on the concept of stimulating the lymph nodes so that the normal functioning is restored and the swelling subsides over a period of time.
Experts have surmised that lymph nodes begin to swell due to an accumulation of impurities in these nodes. When the nodes are massaged, it can reverse the blockage and hence the swelling of the nodes subside.
If you have been experiencing swollen lymph nodes in the region of the neck, rest assured that the lymph nodes are working against an infection. This over functioning of the lymph nodes leads to tender and swollen nodes, reversing the swelling could be initiated by adopting the right yoga postures.
The lymphatic system of the body works differently from the circulatory variant, the body lymphatic system does not possess a pump like the heart.
Hence, movement across the channels is facilitated by the contraction of the muscles rather than the pumping of the heart.
Relevant yoga postures are when the head is lower than the heart. This is only possible in instances where a position of inversion is adopted so that the head is closer to the ground while the feet point upwards in an inverted position.
The results are encouraging, yoga inversion continues to be a preferred option among people suffering from swollen lymph nodes in the neck region.
It is a distinct possibility that you may have tried it all from doctors to antibiotics; however those cervical lymph nodes continue to swell.
The preferred option is to hit the gym or simply go for a brisk walk five times a week for a minimal duration of thirty minutes. Alternatively, you may simply do some jumping jacks three times a day and watch those skeletal muscles contract. This results in quicker pumping of lymph through the lymphatic system and concurrently decreases the swelling in the region of the lymph nodes.
Herbal home remedies for swollen lymph nodes in neck
Echinacea is a popular herbal option which has proved to be particularly effective in control and treatment of swollen lymph nodes in the neck. This could be attributed to the fact that the herb is strongly anti inflammatory.
Concurrently, herbalists are of the opinion that it can boost the immune system in addition to detoxifying the blood.
Administration is relatively simple, the herb can be consumed as a capsule or may be added to juice for optimal results. The recommended dose for reversing lymph node swelling is 300 mg repeated thrice a day.
Honey and Tea
One of the more popular options is to drink a concoction of honey and hot tea. Honey helps subside the swelling while tea works as a local relaxant provided that the tea is consumed while hot.
This is a natural herb which needs little introduction. Studies have shown that garlic is a particularly strong anti inflammatory herb in addition to having strong antibacterial properties.
Thus, garlic is effective in reducing swelling in addition to reversing the process of inflammation, giving instant relief from pain. All that you would need to do is to simply consume a couple of garlic cloves everyday.
Alternatively, those who find it difficult to eat raw garlic, can even resort to swallowing six pills of garlic supplements everyday and the results are equally dramatic.
The association between honey and enlarged lymph nodes is conclusive. This is more than validated by the fact that a teaspoon of honey dissolved in a cup of water and consumed daily for a week can reverse the tenderness and inflammation.
All that you would need to do to reverse that painful condition is to simply use salt.
The process is simple, dissolve half a teaspoonful of salt in a cup of hot water and use the mix to gargle. The process may need to be repeated several times a day for optimal results.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV, as it is more commonly known, is one wonder option which has been used to reverse numerous medical conditions in the past. Those diagnosed with swollen lymph glands in the neck have found this unique concoction to be particularly effective.
ACV is strongly acidic and stimulates the body to produce ph buffers which neutralizes the acidic content and creates an alkaline environment. It also helps the immune system to reverse the swelling.
One tablespoonful of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of filtered water can work wonders. The mix is best consumed before breakfast every morning and repeated every four hours thereafter.
One of the oldest therapeutic wonders known to mankind, turmeric is particularly effective as an anti–inflammatory and analgesic spice. Experts are of the opinion that turmeric possesses antioxidant properties as well. Thus, it can reverse viral infections very quickly and reversing the swelling.
Sourced from mint leaves, the active ingredient in mint leaves is menthol. The ingredient is strongly antiviral and can reverse swelling within a quick time. The preferred mode of administration is in the form of a mint tea or alternatively can be consumed as a fresh juice extracted from mint leaves.
Cleavers or Goose Grass, as it is more commonly known, is a beneficial herb variant.
This therapeutic herb is known to reinforce and strengthen the working of the lymphatic system of the human body; thus helping detoxify the system.
Castor oil has been used to treat an array of diseases since times immemorial. Although, traditionally considered as a natural treatment option, castor oil is a pharmacological agent which is classified as an unsaturated omega 9 triglyceride fatty acid. Castor oil has proved to be particularly beneficial in detoxifying the immune system of the body.
Note: castor oil is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
These above mentioned remedies are effective in controlling and even reversing the swelling caused by swollen lymph glands. However, the treatment must be started early.
Swollen lymph nodes are not a disease in itself; rather they are a manifestation of an underlying condition.
Experts believe that natural options are successful in treating the underlying condition. Some herbal remedies may create side effects, always consult with your doctor before trying any herbal remedies.