Natural Remedies for Enlarged Adenoids in Children

| Modified on Oct 15, 2023
Enlarged Adenoids Natural Remedies

Children with enlarged adenoids often face surgery, but did you know natural remedies can be effective? Infections and genetics can enlarge adenoids, but treatments like coconut oil, garlic, and vitamin C offer non-surgical relief, reducing inflammation and possibly avoiding surgery.

Natural Remedies for Children's Enlarged Adenoids

1. Coconut Oil

Recognized for its antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, coconut oil can combat adenoid inflammation and infections. A teaspoon given 1-3 times daily is recommended for children.

2. Colloidal Silver

Ideal for older children who can gargle, two teaspoons of colloidal silver helps target adenoid infections. Alternatively, nebulizing colloidal silver accesses the nasal cavity effectively. Check out this video for more details.

3. Liposomal Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports the immune system, fights infection, and reduces inflammation. Liposomal vitamin C allows the body to use a higher amount of the vitamin C without digestive distress. Liposomal C is not tricky to make at home. Sodium ascorbate can also be used to dose children with vitamin C if enough vitamin C is given. Dosing information for children can be found on this page.

4. Cod Liver Oil

Cold liver oil contains an essential complex of nutrients, including selenium. These nutrients support effective lymphatic flow and reduce infection. The essential fats in the oil also help reduce inflammation. Look for a cod liver oil supplement for kids over 12 or liquid for those under as they will absorb it better in liquid form.

5. Garlic

Garlic contains several important compounds, including allicin. These compounds work together to make garlic an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compound. Garlic helps reduce inflammation and infection in the adenoids. A standard dose for a child is one smashed clove of garlic mixed with lemon juice and honey taken 1-3 times daily.

6. Echinacea

Echinacea is a natural immune support. Echinacea it helps boost the immune system and cleanse the lymphatic system, which in turn eliminates infection of the adenoids. Echinacea can be found in capsule and liquid form at most health food stores.

7. Honey

Honey is an effective anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. When taken daily, honey helps reduce enlarged adenoids and can even treat symptoms, including pain and soreness. Add a few drops of lemon juice to a teaspoon of honey and give it to your child by mouth 2 to 3 times daily. Honey should not be given to children under a year of age. Raw and local honey sold in glass jars is the best form of honey to use.

8. Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sugar that is effective against strep.1 Strep is a bacterial infection that often causes strep throat. Even when there is no active case of strep throat or evidence of infection, the strep bacteria may cause the inflamed adenoids. (It was common practice to remove the tonsils and adenoids of children with reoccurring strep throat infections.) A xylitol mouthwash can be used to get xylitol into the back of the throat to kill bacteria.

9. Dietary Changes

Sugar and processed foods contribute to inflammation and should be kept to a minimum. Dairy is a common culprit in children's ear congestion and inflammation of tonsils and adenoids. Avoiding dairy for a few weeks should help to see if dairy is the cause of the swollen adenoids.

What Are Adenoids?

Adenoids are lymphatic tissues located at the back of the nasal cavity, just above the roof of the mouth. They act as filters, capturing germs entering through the nose and mouth. Moreover, adenoids produce antibodies vital in combating infections. One distinctive feature of adenoids compared to tonsils is their location; they aren't visible when a child opens their mouth. This makes it challenging to discern potential issues linked to adenoids without specialized examination.

Complications From Enlarged Adenoids

Although some children naturally possess larger adenoids, the predominant cause for enlargement is due to infections and subsequent inflammation. Adenoids, in their role as germ filters, can sometimes become infected, leading to inflammation known as adenoiditis.

The symptoms of adenoiditis vary in intensity. Common indications include a sore throat, nasal congestion, swollen glands, ear discomfort, and recurrent ear infections. Additional signs may be mouth breathing, nasal voice quality, sleep disturbances, pronounced snoring, and even instances of sleep apnea.

Opting for natural remedies can potentially alleviate enlarged adenoids, eliminating the need for surgical intervention and promoting holistic health.

Do you have a personal natural solution for adenoid inflammation? We'd love your insights! Please keep reading to discover effective remedies shared by our readers!


4 User Reviews
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Posted by Joi (Decatur, Ga) on 10/01/2011

My daughter has adenoids that are partially blocking the back of her nasal passages, and it was causing sleep apnea. I tried many natural treatments with no lasting effect. I took her to an ENT that suggested surgery. Her pediatrician suggested trying steroid nasal spray and allergy testing.

She seems to have allergies: dark circles, stuffy nose, itchiness, red eyes. We tested her and she came up with zero reaction to a large panel of allergens.

We tried the nasal spray and it seems to help, but her adenoid is still huge, and the allergist did xrays and also suggested surgery.

Any ideas to help shrink the adenoid naturally?

Replied by Maria
(Gippsland, Australia)

Hi Joi, The adenoids are part of the lymphatic system. Their main function is to filter the system and prevent it from any infection. Cod Liver Oil (if your child is under 12 then they need the liquid as they absorb it better this way), garlic and hot lemon and honey (better if local and raw) drinks are what our Grandparents used with success. I would also add a teaspoon or two of ginger juice or pre-steeped ginger to the lemon honey drink for its anti-inflamitory actions. Vit C and zinc are important for immunity. Echinacea and Astragalus are good for the lymph system and I do beleive you need to also work on the lymph for this condition.

It would also pay to check if you have any hidden mold in your environment. If you have carpet lay on it with your nose to it and smell. I have read of a few people who have had success with the removal of carpets when all else had failed. Don't know any personally as the few I know of personally used the cod liver oil, garlic oil capsules (usually squeezed out and not swallowed) and the lemon/honey drink. All the best.

Replied by Joi
(Decatur, Ga)

Thank you, Maria. We do have mold in our house, but it is systemic (in the drywall) and we cannot begin to tear our house apart to erradicate it.

I noticed a sinus polyp in her nose today. I gave her some ACV to drink, and dabbed the polyp with TT oil. and will do some cold liver tomorrow.

I will help her to strengthen the immune system, lower the inflamation, and hopefully it will work this time!

Replied by Maria
(Gippsland, Australia)

Hi Joi, I would like to encourage you to seek some professional advice (if you have the finances that is) to deal with what is causing the mold. You may not have a damp course to stop the rising damp or even have an unseen simple leak into the wall. The reason why I want to encourage you to check it out is because we are still recovering from living in a house that had mold. It was unseen at first then became obvious. My husband has nearly recovered but I am now still a ways off. As my blood pressure was so high (220/120 became normal) I went onto blood pressure meds, big mistake, just to live there. Now a few years later am still recovering from the side effects of the meds. Now I use natural remedies for blood pressure issues which happens occasionally. Even family and friends would have sinus problems or get a cold when they stayed with us in that house. It turned out to be a leak into a wall cavity that caused the problem.

If you are unable to fix the mold issue try at least to have your windows open as much as possible (hard I know when your next season is winter). The herb Tulsi, Holy Basil, taken as a tea will also be a help for you all. Add ginger and lemon peel to it sometimes. I'm sure you already know to use tea tree oil diluted but though I'd mention it anyway. The other thing that helped us was some support for our liver. All the best as I know this is not an easy time to go through.

Replied by Janitza
(New York, US)

Hi Joi,

Did you have any success with your daughter's adenoids? My toddler has sleep apnea and snores because of his adenoids and I'm avoiding the surgery discussion like the plague. Help!!!

Replied by Charity
(Faithville , Us)

I had mine out, I still snore if I eat a poor diet, or when under stress. Msm with vit c, help. I use 2050 mg .Magnesium is the muscle mineral. Charcoal capsules at bed have helped detox. People get tonsil stones and bacteria build up and causes a lot of health issues in the mouth . Oil pulling might help , some children are doing it with good results for their oral health. Some families have more tonsil issues than others . My brother an I had tonsils cut out the same day , my adenoids had to go. I had terrible ear problems after the proceedure for three months and lost 1/4 of my body weight. The other three siblings did not have to get theirs out. Whole family snores loud.

Our kids all snore and one got infected tonsils out, still snores. Our grand daughter had to get her infected tonsils out . Both had yrs of high fevers before getting them out and are healthier now.

Replied by Jackie

My 6yr old son has had 4 surgical procedures to fix clogged tear ducts to no success. He also has enlarged adenoids. His Pediatritian has done a range of tests including cancer. Thankfully all negative and they have decided that enlarged is his "normal". He suffered from chronic eye/sinus infections. I stopped all antibiotic as it only masked the symptoms. He now gets local raw organic honey and immune & echinacea. He is not completely healed yet, but definitely much better.



my baby daughter had clogged tear ducts for months and a mom in my breastfeeding support group mentioned putting breastmilk in her eye with the clogged duct. I tried it for three days and it completely cleared up the clog. We haven't had a single issue since. I'm not sure where you could get breastmilk but if you know someone it could be worth a try!

Good luck and god bless.

Replied by Brenda
(Wakefield. Ri)

The dr wants to remove adenoids from a 3 year old. He won't sleep through the night and said his adenoids are causing the problem. Any natural remedies would be appreciated.

Mama to Many

Dear Brenda,

I would try taking him off dairy, sugar and processed foods for one month. Then reevaluate.

~Mama to Many~


Colloidal silver: For children that are old enough to gargle, 2 teaspoons of colloidal silver can be gargled to get colloidal silver in contact with the adenoids to kill infection. Alternatively colloidal silver can be nebulized or sprayed to get colloidal silver into the back of the nasal cavity. I always add a few drops of lugol's iodine 2% to my CS throat spray.

Coconut Oil

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Posted by Lisa (West Sussex) on 02/28/2018

I figured...that substances penetrate through the skin. My daughter is 3 and a half and been suffering with a a thick bacterial build up in one sinus area since may 2016...I have been spreading coconut oil over her nose as she has a developmental delay. She was fine before May 2016, I believe. She had a flu, type illness that left her with a thick, clear mucus slime in her right nostril and as a result of this problem seemed to develop horrifying sleep apnea since then until last week. I'm here as I wanted to see if anyone else had realised the benefits of coconut oil regarding sinus and congestion. I used it and realised that her nose was excreting more mucus and the sinus areas, on her cheeks were red areas that started to show. I want to scream that it works! I knew it! My daughter does not understand to blow her nose. No sleep apnea, no humidifiers or near death multiple times whilst sleeping. Amazing. Truly If only I'd known soon. Our Creator is the best. And the medics didn't know, suggest extracting adenoids, tonsils and steroids spray. Left for nearly two years to suffer as she has. Sorry for mistakes I cannot get back to check..It works. Spread over sinus areas on face a few times per day and I will keep giving a spoonful per day. :)

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Lisa,

Thank you so much for sharing this remedy! Topical coconut oil worked for a sinus issue for me, too. I wouldn't have thought to try it had I not just seen your post.

Last week I woke up with pain in the bridge of my nose. It felt like I had been hit in the nose by a baseball, but I hadn't had any impact to it that I could think of and no bruising. My nose felt a little swollen though. At the same time, I had the feeling that something was in the nasal cavity. I wondered if a polyp could spring up over night? Blowing the nose did not clear the feeling, neither was blowing as productive as usual.

First I tried castor oil, frankincense and tea tree topically. Colloidal silver internally. Then I saw your post. I began to massage coconut oil onto my face over the sinuses and my nose. I did this at least twice a day and sometimes three.

In about 4 days the pain, inflammation and feeling of something in my nose stopped.

Sometimes people find that coconut oil dries out the face. This was not the case for me. It left my skin soft.

Thanks again, Lisa!

~Mama to Many~

Colloidal Silver

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Posted by East Coast Mom (East Coast) on 02/25/2018

Well I am on earth clinic looking for natural remedies for my daughter's fever, between waiting for ACV, egg whites and potatoes to decrease the temperature, I've been reading the website. My heart hurts for us moms because I was in the same boat with my little one. from birth until about 3.5 my little girl adenoids were so enlarged her pediatrician was suggesting surgery. I am a heath care professional and did not want to come off as hippy dippy, so I attempted to go the antibiotics and steroid route. I wanted to know that I had at least tried all of her MD's options before even discussing surgery.

Well one month of antibiotics and steroids the nasal drainage cleared up for about 1 week and then returned in all its snotty glory. Also at that time I was on a journey to slowly discovering natural products that actually worked and had recently began using colloidal silver as an immune boosting supplement. She had an upper respiratory infection that did not want to clear up and I read that you could use a nebulizer for those types of infections. Well it cleared it right up, so I wondered if it would work if I used a nasal squirt bottle and spray it directly into her nasal passage.

Well less then one week later her drainage dried up, no more runny nose and her adenoids shrunk back to normal size. Her doctor was amazed but I am happy to report 1.5 years later she has not has a recurrence of the drainage. Its gone. I now use it at first sign of sneezing and we as a family take it internally and topically also. Rashes, ringworms rashes, all gone with the application of the colloidal silver. it one of my current natural tools against illness. between colloidal silver, ozonated water, the ultimate zapper, ionic footbaths, anything to create an alkaline body PH and etc. I just wanted to share something that worked for me in hopes it would work for others as well.

Here is to no adenoid surgeries for our babies.

All the best.

Replied by Lorena

Thank you soooo much for sharing! When you used the nebulizer for her did you dilute the colloidal silver? And how much and how often did you use it and how long did it take to get results? Also where did you get it from? My daughter is 4.5 and het allergist, ENT and primary doctor are all pressuring to do surgery to take her adenoids out and I want to go a natural route. Please let me know I have tried a few things but not this! Thanks in advance :)

Replied by Mandy
(Charleston, SC)

How did you use it as a nasal spray? Or was it a specific product you used? Very intrigued by that part of your testimony! We have a chronically stuffed child with larger adenoids. I would love to address naturally vs surgery!

Dietary Changes

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5 star (1) 

Posted by Shirley (Ma) on 12/29/2017

Regarding children with enlarged adenoids:

I worked as a school nurse for 8 years and found consistently when we removed milk from a child's diet all their swollen tonsils, adenoids, and earaches resolved. When the child resumed drinking milk all inflammation symptoms came back. Replace cow milk with another milk derivative, ie; soy, rice, almond, cashew milk or eliminate all together. If removing dairy resolves symptoms, notify the school and nurse student is dairy sensitive. Wishing you health!

Honey, Ginger, Lemon

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Posted by Arun (Sydney) on 02/04/2016


I will share with you both side of the stories here.


My son had Adenoids and snoring problem with recurrent ear infection since he was 2 years old, we managed symptoms until he was 5 and then finally decided to bite the bullet and agreed removing adenoids (not tonsils as they were ok) and grommets on both ears, ever since he is sleeping perfectly. So In hindsight we thought it was a good decision to opt for surgery but, recently we found another cure for adenoids while have to deal with the same problem now for our daughter who is only 17 months old.

My daughter started developing snoring and ear infections so often that we had to get her admitted into children's hospital and did sleep study , although sleep study didn't show much of a problem sleep physicians suggested to take adenoids out because of her recurrent ear infection. We were absolutely distressed.

Eventually my mum suggested to try traditional medicine which we did not try for our son.

The medicine is Honey, Ginger juice (few drops) and Lemon Juice (few drops), but a good quality organic honey, take nearly a tea spoonful and then add 3-4 drops of freshly squeezed ginger juice ( the best way to get juice out of ginger is to grate them finely and then squeeze them) and also add 3-4 drops of lemon juice, mix them and give it to your kid twice a day morning and evening before going to bed.

It did wonder for Evani and she has now stopped snoring all together, last week after stopping the honey for about a week and have been away on holidays, she had runny nose and snoring again and we started with the medicine and after 2 days she stopped snoring and no fever and runny nose.

I hope this remedy works for your kids as well.

Thanks, Arun

Replied by Sumaira

Hi! Hope everything is great at your end.thanks for sharing this 4 years son also suffering this problem n I want to ask how long I should use this remedy? Plzzzzz reply.tia

Replied by Lilly
(Newburgh, Ny)

How long did you use this remedy for? In the mornings after the breakfast or on empty stomach? Thank you.

Replied by Lamya

Great! My 5 year old has this problem. How much should I give each day? Is the quantity for two dosages for one day?

Replied by Laxmi

Thank you for the post above, Arun. It's really nice that people like you are willing to share such info. My 2.5 year old son snores, has some nasal polyps and I suspected swollen adenoids. You remedy seems to be helping It's the 3rd day today and snoring is greatly reduced. I can still hear some noisy breathing. But not as much as in the previous days. Can I please ask, do you give this honey ginger lemon mix everyday? Thank you again Laxmi

Replied by Innocent
(Lagos Nigeria)

My daughter is 15 months and she had adenoid which result to noisy and sometimes difficult breathing... though she has a PDA issue.... do you advise I administer the honey, ginger and lemon solution to her instead of opting for surgery. Can this solution cure in totality the adenoid. Thanks waiting for your response.


@Innocent: Please, I will like to know if you tried this remedy and how it worked out for you.

Replied by Sree
(Plainsboro, Nj)

My 6 year old daughter is also having adenoids issue. There are many organic honey brands available in the market. Which is the one you used for your kids? Hope this helps my daughter.

Replied by Vikram

Thanks for the remedy and happy that it worked for you. I have a daughter 4 months old and she is suffering from enlarged adenoids. I am not sure if this remedy can be used on 4 month baby as I have read that honey for infants is not safe as it contains some botulinum component which is not good for infants. Has anybody tried or heard about trying this remedy on infants and is it safe?

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Vikram,

Honey should not be given to infants under a year old. Perhaps you could use the ginger juice and lemon juice in water instead of honey. The ginger and lemon alone may be enough to cure the issue.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Arunachalam

Thanks for this information. How long does it take for snoring and noisy breathing to stop when tbese remedies are taken? I'm giving it to my 3 year boy. Conditions are now better but not fully recovered. Can you please suggest?


Replied by Mama To Many

Wow, if it is helping, I would keep at it and see if the condition completely resolves, even if it takes a few months.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Lamya

Thank you! Can I ask about the dosage for each kid? How much of the mixture they took?

Replied by Lamya

Thank you! Can I ask about the dosage for each kid? How much of the mixture they took?

Replied by Naefiya
(Pallikkaranai, India)

No, your point that Infants under the age of 1 shouldn't take Honey is wrong, because elders give Honey to below 1 year olds everyday because intake of Honey, everyday by Infants who hadn't yet began to talk, will help them in begining to talk basic words earlier than other children who don't intake honey.

Replied by Shadreck
(Blantyre Malawi)

Thanks for this whole thing, l was pondering whether to go for surgical with my two year old girl but was scared & don't have a clue to non surgical remedies. Thanks

Multiple Remedies

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Posted by Naturemama (Boston, Ma) on 11/30/2017

Hi there,

My 7 year old daughter has had very swollen adenoids for 1-2 years now. They don't give her any problems, such as sore throat or sleep issues, however I suspect her immune system is working to clear something and I would like to give her some targeted help. I suspect Candida and she is gluten and dairy free and we limit sugar as she has a history of stomach pain with gluten (no celiac). She takes Olive Leaf extract, Monolauren and an excellent probiotic. We have done many other remedies in the past including homeopathic lymphatic drainage remedies, and nothing has reduced the swelling. She also suffers from bad breath. I really want to help her! Do you have any other suggestions?

Many thanks,

Concerned MOM

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

MOM, read up on activated charcoal.

Replied by Holly
(Toronto, Canada)

Hi Concerned MOM,

It can be so disheartening when a child isn't well especially when it's swollen adenoids for 1-2 years.

I'm concerned about the duration as adenoids are known to predominantly protect the child from infection as they act as a filter and are the first line of defense which traps the invading bacteria and virus.During the process, adenoids then may become swollen.In instances where the adenoids continue to stay enlarged and refuse to return to their original size, the condition is known as swollen or enlarged adenoids ( like you've stated ).

These swollen glands then develop deeper crypts and pockets which can trap and house infecting germs like bacteria and virus for a long time, leading to further increase in size of the adenoid glands.

Some of the more commonly trapped organisms which can cause infection are entero virus and H Pylori.

Most likely why she is experiencing bad breath at this time as well.

My suggestions to you are first of all, get a warm wet face cloth and apply it to her jaw area, neck and collar bone area ( use two face cloths if you need to ). This will loosen everything up.

After about 5 mins ask her to sit up and cup your hands and gently tap beginning at jaw joint below ears making your way all over jaw bone, down the sides of her neck then make your way down to her collar bone area.

Stay in each area for at least 10 taps and make sure you start from the top and always make your way down as this will help to stimulate and drain her lymphatic area.

Repeat this as often as possible and if she's interested you could explain to her how to do it herself.

A mini trampoline would also be fantastic for her to get the lymphatic area draining.
Sipping on warm clear broths would also help with the enlarged adenoids.
Gargling with warm water and 1/8 tsp. pink himalayan sea salt few times a day, especially at night before bad would help kill bacteria but make sure you supervise her and that she doesn't swallow any.
If she's unable or unwilling to gargle then you could always put a pinch in the warm clear broth for her to sip and pink himalayan sea salt is great for killing bacteria.
I would also suggest a good full spectrum plant based enzyme at least a few times a day on an empty stomach especially before bed, as this also really helps to clear up the lymphatic system.

I wish her a speedy recovery, much love and light. Holly