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Salivary Duct Stone Remedies

Last Modified on May 23, 2016

Salivary gland stones, caused by a buildup of calcium or minerals in the salivary glands or ducts can be mildly to severely uncomfortable and can cause inflammation, swelling and infection. Natural remedies for salivary gland stones focus on dissolving the stones as well as reducing pain and infection. Some of these remedies (like apple cider vinegar and lemon juice) you may already have in your kitchen cabinet! All remedies are relatively inexpensive, readily available and much cheaper than surgery!

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Salivary Stones

  • Internally - Apple cider vinegar is a simple and inexpensive tonic for a variety of ills. It helps to alkalize the body. Apple cider vinegar has also helped many with calcium deposits. To use it internally, use 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a tall glass of water sipped through the day.
  • Externally - Apple cider vinegar can be used on the skin as a poultice. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water on a cloth and hold on the face nearest the site of the salivary stones for 20 minutes once or twice a day. It is best to use raw and organic apple cider vinegar.

Lemon for Salivary Stones

  • Internally - The juice of one fresh lemon can be added to a glass of water and consumed each morning. This is a great detoxifying drink and also helps to alkalize the body. 
  • Topically - Grant from California, an Earth Clinic contributor, shared that his wife "massaged lemon (or orange) essential oil on the gum around the salivary stone each day to help dissolve stones and help prevent future stones." While she was using the essential oil straight, this is too strong for some. Diluting the essential oil in some coconut oil would be a way to make this remedy less irritating for those who may be sensitive to the oils straight.

Castor Oil for Salivary Stones

Castor Oil has wonderful healing properties and is also helpful for pain relief. Castor oil can be poured onto a cloth and held against the pained and swollen area for 20 minutes once or twice a day. Another option would be to massage castor oil into the pained and swollen area at bedtime. (Do sleep on an old pillowcase as it may leave grease stains!)

Borax for Salivary Stones

Surprisingly, borax (sodium tetraborate) is a natural remedy for calcium deposits. The typical dose for men is 1/4 teaspoon of borax in 1 liter of water, consumed over the course of a day. This is done four days in a row with three days off, indefinitely. For women, the dose is 1/8 teaspoon of borax in 1 liter of water, consumed over the course of the day for four days in a row with three days off, indefinitely. If digestive distress should occur, reduce the amount. Results may take longer to see but even at 1/16th of a teaspoon in a liter of water 4 days a week over several months can eliminate calcium deposits.

Vitamin Supplements for Salivary Stones

Magnesium is important for proper calcium balance in the body. Magnesium deficiency is a common problem. If the body has too much calcium and cannot get rid it it, calcium deposits, in the form of stones, results. Magnesium can be taken as a supplement. Epsom salt baths also provide the body with magnesium as it absorbs through the skin.

Epsom salt can also be used as a poultice for the salivary stones. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of epsom salt in 1/3 cup of warm water. Soak a cloth in it and hold it against the face where it will be closest to the stones for 20 minutes daily. This should also help with any pain or inflammation.

Herbs for Salivary Stones

There are a number of lithotrophic herbs that can be used for salivary stones. Lithotrophic herbs help to break up and dissolve stones. Chanca piedra is often called, "Stone Breaker" because of this property. Dandelion, gravel root and hydrangea are other lithothophic herbs. Herbs can be taken as teas, in capsules or in tincutures. Many companies make combination formulas for dissolving stones that have several lithotrophic herbs in them. They should be taken according to manufacturer's directions.

What Can I do for Infected Salivary Stones?

  • Oregano essential oil can be used to help with infections cause by salivary stones. Oregano oil can be bought in a capsule or supplement form and taken internally. 1 drop of oregano essential oil can also be added to 1 teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil and swished in the mouth (this is also known as oil pulling) for 10-20 minutes for oral infections. Spit the oil out after swishing.
  • Turmeric is another wonderful herb that helps with pain, inflammation and infection. 1 teaspoon of turmeric can be mixed in milk, almond milk, or soy milk and taken twice a day. Alternately 4 capsules can be taken twice a day. Turmeric should always be taken with plenty of water to avoid constipation.

Scroll down to read how Earth Clinic contributors have dealt with their salivary stones. Have you tried any natural remedies for salivary stones? Please share your story with us!

Remedies for Salivary Duct Stones

The Popularity of Salivary Duct Stones Remedies - Full List

Alphabetical Popularity Recent Post
Lemon or Orange Essential Oil32016-05-09
Oregano Oil12013-04-20

Lemon or Orange Essential Oil  

5 star (3) 

Posted by Mama To Many Donate
(Tennessee, Usa) on 05/09/2016

5 out of 5 stars

Over the weekend I was having pain under my tongue and the glands were swelling under the jaw bone on the same side of my face. At first I thought it was a canker sore, and was applying baking soda to the sore spot and massaging the swollen gland with castor oil.

Then I realized that the little gland under my tongue had a very white "thing" in it, in addition to the redness and swelling. It did not look like puss and it did not look like a canker sore. I had heard of salivary duct stones and after some research realized that was probably what it was.

Of course, the first place to check for remedies was Earth Clinic. I had orange and lemon essential oils on hand, which were two oils with positive results. I used a q-tip to apply straight orange essential oil to the swollen salivary duct, right where the "stone" was. I did this every few hours. It wasn't seeming to cause any change so I switched to lemon essential oil. I applied it before bed and again when I got up in the morning. A couple of hours later, I applied the lemon oil again, while I was massaging the gland with the q-tip, out popped the little stone! It was perhaps just 1 mm, like a large grain of sand. But hard as a rock. For as small as it was it was causing an awful lot of trouble!

It was not long before the gland in my neck felt better and the swelling was almost completely gone.

For the record, the lemon essential oil was not a high end oil. It was a "Now" oil and it wasn't organic. (I usually try to get organic essential oils, but I keep this around for cleaning and don't bother with organic for that usually.) I was using it straight but a very small amount (much less than a drop) on a q-tip each time. It did not irritate my mouth at all or even taste strong.

I was tickled that this simple remedy helped so quickly.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Jana
Texas, Usa
Thank you for sharing your experience, Mama to Many. I think I have a blocked salivary gland as well, but if I put any thing in my mouth it causes much pain in the area within a few minutes. The pain is more or less depending on the different foods and drinks. Did this happen to you any with food and drink? I guess the lemon essential oil didn't cause any pain for you?
Replied by Mama To Many Donate

Dear Jana,

Sorry to take a while to respond; I have been out of town!

Yes, I found that eating certain foods make the pain worse (sour foods seemed to be the worst) and eating in general was painful.

I was afraid that the essential oils would be irritating, especially citrus ones, but they did not bother me at all.

Crushing an aspirin between two spoons and then applying some of the aspirin powder to the pained area before eating can help make eating more comfortable.

I hope you feel better soon!

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Grant (Alabama) on 06/28/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My wife has chronic salivary stones. They get very painful when she eats and frequently reduce her to tears. The doctors she went to see had no good solutions. Reading about these kind of home remedies, I suggested that she try rubbing lemon or orange essential oil onto the gum surrounding the gland in her mouth. She does this once a day and it helps to dissolve the stones to keep them from building up. When she remembers to do it daily, she has no more symptoms. When she gets complacent, the painful stones come back. It is a miracle for her and has greatly improved her life. She had been ready to risk surgery with possible facial paralysis to stop the pain. But now we found a natural remedy to control the problem.

Replied by Kim
5 out of 5 stars

I had a stone the size of a unshelled pistachio nut. After reading about rubbing lemon essential oil on it, I took a que tip and dipped it in the oil and put it on the gland under my tongue , within a couple hours the oil simply drew the stone out. It was absolutely incredible and a relief from pain . Totally amazed and impressed.

Did you use the pure oil undiluted? I have been told not to use it undiluted. Just wondering.
Replied by Chris
Lakeland, Fl
I have a salivary stone and was told the same. The reason that was given by "The Vitamin Shop" was that the oil undiluted may cause tissue irritation. I am still curious as to how much to use and how often though. I really don't want to have it surgically removed.


5 star (1) 

Posted by Tim (Medicine Hat) on 10/25/2015
5 out of 5 stars

The submandibular gland has plugged on and off since being a teenager - painful. The gland was successfully removed at age 35, the stone was round and the size of the Canadian loonie. After surgery, I noticed that heart burn and stomach acid became more of an issue.

The saliva gland on my left side began plugging on and off causing some pain (in my 40's). Again was told to have surgery to remove the stone(s). I started taking magnesium gycinate 3 x daily (1 x before bed) each dose of 200mg to 400mg(mostly 400mg). The magnesium and massaging the gland daily has kept the gland open. If I slack off on taking magnesium the gland issues comes back, along with muscle aches. I also take 200mcg K2 daily with multi-vit & minerals. I do take some Iodine a couple months of the year - not regular. Going to research the iodine. Thanks for all the information on this issue.


Oregano Oil  

4 star (1) 

Posted by Golden Angel (Austin, Tx, Usa) on 04/20/2013
4 out of 5 stars

I have blocked Salivary glands. I use wild oregano oil to keep the infection and swelling down, and I came to this site to see what I could do to get the blockage removed in the meantime.

Wild oregano oil is a strong natural antibiotic and will kill all the nasty bacteria and whatnot in your mouth. I brush with it daily.

Replied by Lissa
Alberta, Canada
Hi, there! I was told by my physician that I have a stone(s) blocking my submandibular salivary glands. It swells up when it eat, is very painful, and not to mention, very cosmetically disturbing. Who wants to go around looking like they have golf balls hanging from their double chin? :P When I came upon this page, I was excited as it seems no other webpage has posted anything really, regarding home remedies that would seem affective. My question is what do I do with the ingredients listed above? Do I ingest them? Let them sit in my mouth? Further clarification would be much appreciated!
Replied by Dave Donate

Fountain Inn, Sc
Which ingredients are you talking about Lissa...suggestions off the remedies section of EC?

Sounds like an infection to me.

Replied by Nanowriter
Hotspot, Texas
Lissa, try looking up iodine and parotid stones. Iodine is a classic treatment for these stones, but what amount should be used I don't know, but some research should tell you.
Replied by Teaberry
Cedar Hill, Texas
How do you use the home remedies listed for treating Salivary Gland Stones? The article listed the products to use, but did not mention how to use them for treating the problem.
Replied by Ning
Missouri, US
Hi there, I have the same problem, it started in october and I tried every essential oils that I can think of. Mine is swelling on my left side, sometimes I can feel a pinch but not really painful, I've been taking 5000 mg of pure vitamin C crystals , zinc 50 mg, selenium 200 mg, I hope it will shrink, I have a doc appt on monday january 5 and hope he can give some prescription For it. Good luck everyone...Ning
Replied by Tommymac
San Diego, CA
From Jonathan V. Wright at the Tahoma Clinic: Here is the link to the site and the article from which the quote below was taken:

Quote: "Although it's not a common condition, from time to time someone will come to my office at Tahoma Clinic inquiring about alternatives to surgery for "parotid duct stone". These are "stones" which can form in the saliva-carrying duct(s) from the major salivary glands ("parotid" glands, located at the "angle of the jaw"). 3 to 4 drops of SSKI (Potassium Iodide) taken in water daily will almost always dissolve parotid duct stones within four to eight months."

Replied by Irene
Chevy Chase, Md
Iodine sounds like a good idea or maybe seaweed. Don't forget to eat 1 or 2 brazil nuts with any iodine so you get selenium to protect. Also I think Vitamin K-2 may channel calcium correctly. Google Chris Kresser and kidney stones. It's worth a try.
Replied by Mark
Folks, the new surgery is a tiny tube they stick in and get out the blockage. Seems to me the best way to go if you have insurance. I'm planning to do that asap.
Replied by Sheri
Does one use these remedies as a mouthwash or do they literally digest it? My daughter has these same symptoms yet has been through 2 doctors, one ear nose n throat doctor and a dentist and now am told to go to an orthodontist surgeon cause they "think " it may be a stone in her salivary gland but is not sure because the xrays didn't pick anything up. I am at my wit's end!
Replied by Katy
Pharmaceutical Grade Hydrogen Peroxide, Dilute it and let it sit in your mouth (Under Your tonge). I am so excited, I have been trying to figure out what has been wrong with my chin for almost a year and a half. Literally, I am watching the redness, swelling, and horrible seemingly permanent acne disappear. I could cry I am so happy, and relieved, I have been to 5 doctors, I thought I had Coutaneous Candida (Which is related to a Auto-immunw desease), or Psyrosis, or HIV, I have been a Vegan Paleo MASTER for the last two months... and all I need to do was make my own home made mouthwash. I think I'll take some Benodite Clay, both Orally, and let it sit in my Mouth for awhile, then to be extra safe, I'll do some Oil Pulling. (FYI: Oil of Oregano (Diluted!! ), ACV, Tea Tree, and Magnesium Oil Spray always worked to clear up spots and helped with Swelling....but never fixed the problem Antibiotics never worked. Oh and Always, a healthy Diet! Garlic is a great antibiotic!!! ) Good Luck
Replied by Anne-Marie
There is another way of getting rid of these stones. As far as I understood they can also grind them with ultrasound waves (like they do with kidneystones etc.)


1 star (1) 

Posted by Becky (California, USA) on 07/17/2015
1 out of 5 stars

I recently had that "tiny tube" surgery someone mentioned and IT DIDNT WORK. My stone is 4mm and is creating blockage. Recovery from the surgery sucked, I was on a liquid diet for two weeks because I had stitches in my mouth. The doctors want me to now go in for another surgery and get my whole saliva gland removed. I am going to try all these home remedies prior to going in for another surgery because the last one didn't do one thing except created more pain.

Replied by Faith Lightfoot
Sydney, Australia
I had a squamous cell carcinoma removed surgically over 2 years ago. About 12 stitches in lower lip. Now healed but has left me with blocked saliva gland, as well as smaller lip. Doctor says I have the blocked gland for life. It gives pain when I eat, and looks like I have a constant cold sore. It is a result of surgery.