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
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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
Posted by Grant (Alabama) on 06/28/2015
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.
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Posted by Tim (Medicine Hat) on 10/25/2015
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.
Posted by Golden Angel (Austin, Tx, Usa) on 04/20/2013
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.
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Cedar Hill, Texas
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San Diego, CA
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Chevy Chase, Md
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Posted by Becky (California, USA) on 07/17/2015
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