Natural Remedies for Swollen Lymph Nodes in Children

| Modified on May 24, 2023
Add New Post Comments

Swollen lymph nodes in children can be caused by a variety of different issues. Lymph nodes commonly swell in response to some sort of infection. Natural remedies that fight the infection will often reduce the swelling of the lymph nodes. There are also specific home treatments you can used to decrease the swelling, improve the function and reduce the pain of swollen lymph nodes.

The lymphatic system has pathways all through the body with specific “nodes.” The lymph system brings white blood cells to sites of infection and remove toxins and waste from body. This is why often the nodes are swollen near the site of an infection; there is extra work for the lymphatic system to accomplish at that location. A sore throat can cause the lymph nodes in the neck to swell. An ear infection can cause swollen nodes near the ear. Insect bites can make the nodes closest to the bite to become enlarged. Lymph nodes can also swell in response to diseases like mono, cat scratch fever, and Lyme disease. If lymph nodes do not reduce in size when an acute infection is over, or do not respond to natural remedies, seek a medical opinion to rule out a more serious cause of swollen lymph nodes.

Treating swollen lymph nodes combines remedies to address the underlying cause of the swollen lymph nodes and remedies to maximize function of the lymph system and minimizing the discomfort of the pain and swelling.

Using natural means to support the immune system will fight underlying infection causing the swollen lymph nodes, bringing relief to the infection and the inflamed nodes.

Vitamin C

The body needs extra vitamin C when sick. Unfortunately most children’s vitamin C supplements contain artificial color and sweetener. It is not hard to make a vitamin C drink for your child that is inexpensive and tasty.

  • 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid
  • 1/16 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 ounces water
  • Melt honey in 1 ounce warm water.
  • Add remaining 2 ounces of water plus the ascorbic acid and baking soda.
  • This will give you about 600 mg of vitamin C.

This can be taken several times a day. If a child gets loose stools from too much vitamin C, cut back the amount of vitamin C given in a dose.


Elderberry syrup is available in most pharmacies and larger grocery stores. It is a tasty immune building supplement.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural antiviral. It has helped many to heal from even serious viral illnesses that can cause swollen lymph nodes like mono. For children ½ to 1 teaspoon can be given several times a day. It is easy to spread on toast or a cracker. You can also make an antiviral fudge for super easy dosing!

Antiviral Fudge Recipe

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil (soft)
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 T. raw cacao powder
  • Mix together.
  • Lightly sprinkle the top with sea salt, if desired
  • Pour/Spread into an 8x8 pan lined with wax paper.
  • Refrigerate for an hour.
  • Cut into 24 squares.
  • Each square has about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in it.


If weather allows, 10-15 minutes in the sun a couple of times a day will allow the body to make vitamin D, which supports the immune system.

Healing Baths

A warm baking soda or Epsom salt bath can help to alkalize the body, which allows each system to work at is best.

Castor Oil

Castor oil can be applied topically to the lymph node. Gently massage a few drops into the swollen nodes several times a day. This can reduce pain and swelling.


Alternating warm and cool applications to any spot that is swollen can help to reduce the swelling. Use two wash clothes and one bowl of warm (not hot!) water and one with cool (not cold!) water. Alternate warm and cool to the site of swelling, beginning and ending with cool.

  1. Cool cloth for 20-30 seconds
  2. Warm cloth for 15-20 seconds
  3. Cool cloth for 20-30 seconds
  4. Warm cloth for 15-20 seconds
  5. Cool cloth for 20-30 seconds
  6. Warm cloth for 15-20 seconds
  7. Cool cloth for 20-30 seconds

Hydrotherapy can be used several times a day.

If swollen lymph nodes do not begin to respond to treatment in a day or two, if a child seems to be getting sicker instead of better overall, or if there is severe fever, vomiting or diarrhea, consult a medical professional.

Additional Pages of Interest:

See these pages for more ideas on treating acute health issues that can cause swollen lymph nodes.

Ear Infection Remedies for Children

Insect Bites

Sore Throat Remedies


Cough Remedies for Children

Lavender Essential Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jacqueline (Memphis, Tennessee) on 01/23/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I have swollen parotid glands (between ear and jaw) the ones affected by the mumps, that give you that chipmunk look. I first noticed it 6-18 month's ago, but didn't pay much attention to it. They're getting bigger and feel more pressure and they've actually changed the shape of my face!

I've read the posts about treatment for SUBDIBULAR salivary glands, but not PAROTID salivary glands. I feel that I could use the same treatments, with the exception of actually placing essential oil on the stones themselves, as they are located more inside the jaw near the ears, as opposed to under the tongue. NOTE: I had minor surgery to remove a stone from a salivary gland about 40 years ago, back when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I would get a knot under the right side of my chin whenever I ate spicy foods. I didn't think it could possibly be related until I read some posts here on Earth Clinic.

If you're still reading this Very Long post, I would greatly appreciate suggestions on how to treat these swollen PAROTID glands.

Replied by Marcy
(South Berwick, Maine)

Hi Jacqueline,

I've been dealing with what you've described in your post for years! I have tested positive for Lyme disease and a host of co infections. It has actually changed the texture of my skin as well . No one knows what is going on which is par for the course! Good luck to you and if you have any luck please share!

Nascent Iodine and Frankincense Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Survivor (USA) on 05/01/2023
5 out of 5 stars

I am a cancer survivor and recently had a respiratory virus. I have had a swollen lymph node for over a month and I have been worried about it. My doctor ordered scans but I'm nervous about getting radiation.

I have tried many of the remedies but nothing was working, including rebounding and lymphatic massage. Heat did reduce the swelling slightly, but not completely.

Last night, I dropped on some nascent iodine and frankincense oil. Today, the lymph node was noticeably smaller, so I put more on this evening. I can barely even feel it now.

Replied by RY

I tried frankincense essential oil to no avail. My guess it that it was the iodine or combination thereof. I will apply these for a few days ... maybe? Thanks for the post.