How to Treat Swollen Lymph Nodes Using Natural Remedies

| Modified on Mar 04, 2023
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Swollen Lymph Nodes Natural Remedies

Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped glands connected by the lymph vessels. They carry lymph through the body, help dispose of waste and produce white blood cells to help fight infection. They are part of your immune system, like your spleen and tonsils.

Lymph nodes commonly become swollen with diseases like strep throat, mono, or mumps as your body produces extra white blood cells to fight the infection. Even a canker sore in the mouth can cause lymph nodes to swell.

Natural remedies can often be used to support the immune system, help fight infection, and encourage lymph flow. Apple cider vinegar, castor oil, and vitamin C are among the most effective home remedies for swollen lymph nodes.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is taken internally to reduce swelling in the lymph nodes. 1 – 3 teaspoons of raw and organic apple cider vinegar are added to a glass of water. This tonic is usually taken 1 – 3 times a day. The tonic helps to alkalize your body, putting it into better shape to fight infection. It also contains micro-nutrients that support your health.

Castor Oil

Castor oil is used externally for swollen lymph nodes. Massage the castor oil into the swollen lymph nodes twice daily, or more often as needed. If you have a particular area of swelling, you can apply heat after you apply the castor oil. A heating pad or warm rice sock can be used for this purpose.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint essential oil is a strong and stimulating oil. One or two drops can be applied to swollen lymph nodes twice a day. Some people find peppermint essential oil too strong to apply straight. In this case, add 5 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 teaspoon of castor oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.

Vitamin C

Extra vitamin C can be taken to help your immune system fight infection. 1,000 mg of vitamin c are taken 3-5 times a day. If you begin to get loose stools, cut back on the amount you take. The sodium ascorbate form of vitamin C is easier on the stomach than an ascorbic acid form of vitamin C.


If you take your hand and hold your fingertips together into a semi-circle, you can use the fingertips to “tap” your swollen lymph nodes, encouraging the lymph to move along and reduce swelling. Our readers report this is a surprisingly effective method to reduce swelling.


When your muscles contract, they help to move the lymph through your body. When you are sick, especially, you are not as likely to be moving around much. Light exercise, if you are up to it, can help to get the lymph moving.

Bouncing on a trampoline is a great way to stimulate the lymph system. Even sitting and bouncing will help the lymph to flow.

If simple home remedies do not resolve your swollen lymph node problem, or if you have other unusual symptoms, you should seek advice from a medical professional. Lymph nodes can also be swollen from more serious chronic health problems like lupus, HIV, and some cancers.

Continue reading below for tips from Earth Clinic readers who have tried different remedies for their swollen lymph nodes and reported back.

Do you have a natural remedy for swollen lymph nodes? Please send us some feedback!

Related Links:

Lymphedema Remedies
Mono Remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar

35 User Reviews
5 star (29) 
4 star (5) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Mimo792 (Morocco) on 12/07/2018
4 out of 5 stars

I moved to Morocco and the tiniest insect bit me and a couple of days later this huge ball grew on the front of my neck. I don't know what it is, could be a lymph node, a nodule or a thyroglossal cyst for all I know. Its basically soft, can be moved and goes up and down when I swallow.

Anyway so it has swollen seriously twice: the first time because of the bite and second time because I started smoking (work stress). Both times I panicked - doctors told me I'd probably need an operation.

Then I found earth clinic. I read about ACV and decided to do it. Small glass and just pour it in, don't really measure but probably between 2-4 table spoons.

IT WENT DOWN INSTANTLY BOTH TIMES. Before I drank it I also took a tea spoon of the mix, dipped my finger in it and rubbed it on the ball in my neck. It's now gone down at least 60% and its the second day. Same as what happened before, but before I didn't maintain it. I will maintain for a few weeks and let you know the outcome!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by John (Maryland) on 12/19/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I started to get sick on Saturday, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, painful to swallow. My wife started to get sick yesterday. Found your remedy and tried the apple cider vinegar remedy. I took 2 tablespoons in a large glass of water. Started to feel better about 2 hours later. My wife hates vinegar and took 2 Tylenol. I drank another glass of apple cider vinegar last night. Lymph nodes back to normal this morning, just a slight cold and i am taking vitamin c and zinc for that. Wife not improved.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Janet (Las Vegas) on 12/15/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Had swollen lymph nodes in my neck from a virus I caught over the weekend. Saw these posts about app cider vinegar. Last night I took 2 tablespoons in a small glass of water and drank it quickly. I can't do shots of ACV, ughh. This morning my lymph nodes were not as swollen. I repeated the tonic twice more, after breakfast and after lunch. Lymph glands back to normal tonight. I will keep it up for another few days. Fantastic.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jamie (Waco, Texas) on 12/04/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Maybe because of a tooth issue, I have 2 or 3 painful lymph nodes and horrible ache in my jaw. I've been taking nsaids, pain meds, pain cream, lidocaine. Found this online and thought why not? It was awful tasting. Didn't work instantly, but overnight the jaw pain is 95% better and nodes 90% better. Finally relief after almost a week of misery. I don't know how it helps, but it (ACV) did.

Replied by Amanda

Did you gargle with it?

EC: No, people usually drink 1 teaspoon up to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water for swollen lymph nodes.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sal (Uk) on 09/28/2015
4 out of 5 stars

Hi everyone,

I had a swollen node right under my collar bone about 2 years ago.My first reaction was to freak out and I thought of the worst. After going to doctors and getting all the tests done, they concluded that it was granular TB however, the last test which is an acid test they do to determine if it is TB was negative. but the doctors made me go through a whole 6 months of TB medication which was horrible for me.

I was very scared at that time and just did not read up much or did any research. The doctors also removed 3 nodes from my neck area.

Now two years later I have found another swollen node and I am freaking out again. After reading some of the things written on this website I took a shot of the ACV just plain concentrated. it felt like hell but to my surprise the node shrink in size.

it has not totally gone away but it has become smaller. And the pain around my neck has gotten better.

Please can someone tell me if you have also experienced this and what did you do and how long should I keep drinking ACV?

Any advice will be welcomed. I am scared!

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Sal,

When I was in my early 20s (I am 48 now) I had trouble with my swollen lymph nodes. I had no idea what to do for them and did nothing except go to a doctor once in a while. It was scary to me. I eventually had some lymph nodes removed and biopsied but all was fine.

I still get swollen lymph nodes, especially in the area where I had some removed. (Now the ones that are left have to work harder!!! ) Massaging castor oil with some peppermint essential oil (maybe 3 drops peppermint to 1 teaspoon castor oil) helps mine to feel better immediately.

Exercise is great for the lymph nodes, especially jumping on a rebounder (mini-trampoline). (Even just light bounces will be helpful.)

Drinking plenty of water will help your body to flush out toxins and will help your lymph system.

Consider some immune boosting supplements/herbs. (Astragalus root, vitamin C, garlic.)

See this page for ideas on improving your general health.

~Mama to Many~

Matix N Jayden's Nani

This is good info! Copy and paste to my plethora of notes. My girlfriend also recommended the light jumping on a trampoline. Castor oil and peppermint? Hmmm, I'll have to check that out!

Replied by Sal

Dear Mama,

Thank you for your reply.

After reading all the posts and doing some research online I feel a little better. I have been drinking some ACV and some hot tea to try and see if it would make a difference.

To my surprise, ACV does help for a while. The pain does go away but come back in a few hours.

Replied by Dawn
(Lake Elsinore, Ca)
5 out of 5 stars

I have had swollen nodes or cyst for about a week now. Been scared to death, had ultrasound done but no results yet. Anyways after reading your entries I decided to try the ACV and I swear my neck an hour later feels almost completely normal. I feel a little lump there almost like a pea or a bean but nothing like it was. I'm in amazement.

Replied by Monica
4 out of 5 stars

Hi, about a month ago I developed a swollen lymph infection and was prescribed 7 day antibiotic pill pack but it did not work. Then it went away however it moved to my front collar bone area and have a lump there. Yes, I was freaking out too because it is very different from other sicknesses. I tried Acupuncture 3 times and was told my lymphatic system is unbalanced and not functioning properly because all my lymph nodes in legs were affected as well and very painful to touch.

2 days ago I started hot apple cider vinegar w/local honey and I have noticed improvement. The lump went down a bit. I am hoping it lasts and never comes back but I have also been ordered by the doctor to completely change my diet as well and so I have. I cannot afford to be sick like that. I hope you are feeling better.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Cece (Tx) on 07/29/2015
4 out of 5 stars

Hello, my lymph nodes have been swollen for a few weeks. I saw that taking ACV could help them, and after taking 3 TB of it shot style the pain has already went down. I'm simply wondering how long will it take for my lymph nodes to completely unswell and to return to normal?

I'm also concerned because I hear ACV has a lot of great health benefits but causes weight loss? I don't want to lose weight but would love taking ACV for those benefits...but if it causes weight loss I'd prefer to avoid it after my lymph nodes unswell. Thanks!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Fran (Connecticut, US) on 10/30/2014
5 out of 5 stars

So glad I searched for remedies. Swollen lymph nodes went down and only started Apple Cider Vinegar today; thanks to all on this site so much. Had flu 2 weeks ago then nodes swelled this week. Thanks again no pain, swelling down I can swallow yay

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kristi (Hawaii) on 04/14/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I had a tonsillectomy this past October, and since then my lymph nodes on my throat and jaw have been more sensitive. I did find relief while drinking elderflower tea, but it can get a bit pricey and it only helps for so long. The pain was getting worse because of a sinus infection I was trying to kick. I got antibiotics but still, nodes were on and off again painful. Saw this blog, left work for 20 mins and bought some ACV. It has been about 30 mins since I took it, and I gotta say there is some improvement in my right side node. My left is still a bit sensitive, but not as sensitive as it was earlier. Will take another shot before class! Thanks to everyone who posted about it, I was hesitant until I read all the great responses. Mahalo

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Peter (New Orleans) on 08/11/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I'm not usually one to post on forums, but I was having some of the worst pains ever from my lymph nodes and throat. I'd been taking medicine that really just wasn't helping and decided to look up a natural remedy. I came across this page and went to the grocery, got some ACV, and came home and mixed a shot with a small glass of water. WOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW

Not only can I swallow again, but my lymph nodes are 1/2 the size they were before. The effects were almost instantaneous and gradually my symptoms have been decreasing. Thank you so much to whoever made this page.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lisa (Orlando, Fl) on 07/17/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have two stories. First, when I was 16 I had swollen glands at neck and groin for years. The Dr. had me return bi-weekly and be subjected to pelvic exams - then after 6 months of my objections - my parents could not longer get me to go after many missed visits - (Dr. recommended by Dad's sister, a nurse, so only Dr. considered). At the final visit - Dr. declared me a hypochondriac. Three years later, in college went to student health center with a female interning Dr. She immediately told me I had an inguinal hernia, and would have to get a referral for a surgeon from a Dr. Was brought back to same Dr. to get the referral - he didn't believe females could get inguinal hernias - pressed so deeply into my swollen gland that my eyes saw a curtain of black as my legs gave out with extreme pain - he let go at last second to check his medical books - came back after leaving me standing in an area with no chairs - about 15 or so minutes - and gave a referral. In this case swollen glands indicated an inguinal hernia.

Second story - 8 years after a hit and run rear-end crash - herniated discs - whiplash - pinched occipital nerve (discovered 2 years later after being unsuccessfully treated for "migraines" for 2 years) - still having symptoms of lethargy - weight gain - inability to walk without pain in knees, ankles and feet - growing pain in jaw and neck - hormonal induced swelling and pain in neck jaw and head area. Finally found an osteopath who does gentle adjustment - in one visit - imbalance in legs went away, including knee, ankle and most of hip, allowing me to work on painful callus that had formed on feet. So, I decided to go on a ketogenic diet to speed metabolism, knowing many toxins will be released, deciding not to take NSAIDS. Hormones came and horrible pain in side of head and neck. (no longer down to feet, just mid-back now). By the third day could no longer take it - Osteopath had mentioned lymph may be affected when jaw became affected - as this happened at 6 years with no further trauma - and said jaw pain is bodies last physical line of defense.

Now, recognizing and able to focus on upper pains, realized the lymph on left back of head was cause of the swelling, could not lean back on a chair, hours to get to sleep, neck and jaw pain too much to sleep on my preferred left side. I read this forum and took a spoon of ACV - with an ounce of water, and 3 days of pain - fighting myself not to take NSAIDS - and RELIEF! I read hot water throughout day also helps, and cut up fresh ginger in it to keep lymph circulating. Read sleeping on left side, or lying on left side for 10 minutes after meals - puts organs in natural position to move lymph and bile to help digestion and lymph flow.

I also took what essential oils I had: wintergreen, thyme and rosemary into some avacado oil, and rubbed into swollen glands and around neck. The ACV and oil worked immediately, and as the day went by the hot ginger tea seemed to give gentle relief. Last night I was able to sleep on my left side - first time in many years. Today, all but some sore swollen areas in the back of my neck and under throat, are gone, and discomfort is not considerable. Someone mentioned the ACV also will help jaw pain - my jaw clicked less than usual - though hormonally I usually have a few good days during this time period - and I will continue the ACV for the lymph and jaw. Was hesitant about taking my iodine lugols, but now am taking it without hesitation.

Thank-you, this forum saved me from spiralling back into a circle of pain, swelling, drug relief and weight gain. Now I can continue my ketosis diet, and rid my body of the fat stored toxins use the ACV and these methods to naturally allow my body to heal itself without unbearable discomfort to my mind and body.

Thanks so much people of this earthclinic forum!

Replied by Jenna
(Montreal Canada)

Dear person suffering from swollen lymph glands, please get tested for Epstein Barr virus. Please demand this specific test as doctors are cruel and misinformed. My son suffered exactly like you for four years and is now diagnosed with MS.

Also please see a neurologist and have an MRI and be sure to go for a TESLA 3 MRI. All of this followed the Boostrix vaccine.

Good luck my dear keep up with your regimen because his meds now will cost $1500 a month.

Replied by Rsw

Hi Jenna,

Have you looked into low dose naltrexone for the MS? It is an FDA approved, no side effects drug that is out of patent so very low cost, and is effective in stopping the progression of MS in about 85% of patients. Unlike the CRAB drugs or other MS drugs offered, it will modulate the immune system and do no harm. Here is the site:

This site will show a Yahoo LDN Group that has over 12,000 members, about half of whom use it for MS. They will answer any questions you may have. There is also a Facebook LDN site, and much additional info on the Internet. Best wishes.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Wendy (Coon Rapids, Mn, Usa) on 07/06/2013

My brother has had a swollen Lymph Node on his neck for a while, it is on his right side it looks like it might be getting smaller from the bottom up. But what would you guys suggest he uses, apple cider vinegar? I am in a powerwheel chair and it is so tough for us to get into the doctor for a visit, he doesn't drive. My friend who is an EMT suggests rest and possibly antibiotics, but yet again we cannot get into a doctor, and tried to get them to prescribe something over the phone but would not at all. He has no pain at all, just fighting a cold right now with body aches and pains and sore throat etc etc.

Replied by Happy
(Up The Creek In, Wv, Usa)

In reply to Wendy from Coon Rapids, to clear the lymph gland nodules in your brothers neck, and reduce the swelling there, and clear up his sore throat which is also being caused by the swollen lymph glands; then have your brother go out and pick some mullein leaves, and, or flowers; cut them up, put a hand-full in a quart jar, pour boiling water on them, let cool enuf to drink, and drink 3 cups per day for about 1 week, or longer. The lymph gland swelling should go down, and the sore throat cured.

2nd remedy- echinacea herb. herb, root, or tincture. Make a herb tea of then echinacea, or buy the tincture and take 20 drops three times per day, for 1 or 2 weeks. Can be taken at the same time as the mullein leaf and flower tea.

The swollen lymph glands in the neck [and elsewhere] used to be called "SCROFULA", in the 1700's & 1800's.

Replied by Vincent
(Longwood, Fl)

Why don't you try DMSO? There are a lot of discussions here on this forum for the use and application of DMSO.

Replied by Wendy
(Coon Rapids, Mn Usa)

Thanks I'll have him try this, the gland is like two inches in length right now, and about a inch wide, it is not growing at least, and doesnt look like a golf ball or anything like that, just looks puffy, and if he tightens his neck it is kinda ovalish in shape, hes tried to take pics, but they are always looking worse than it actually looks lolol. I cant help with pics due to being in a wheel chair, but will have him try these remedies. Thanks will update how its going :) Wendy

Replied by L
(West Point, Ny)

Do you drink this or apply as a compress?

Replied by Wendy
(Coon Rapids, Mn)

Well my brother still has the lymph node, it is still the same size but he's the type that expects over night results ugh and is stubborn. I thought I had saw a reply on here about massaging the lymph downward and that would help it shrink? as a reminder it is about an inch wide and oh I'd say about from bottom of jaw down maybe, MAYBE two inches. We went to a CVS minute clinic in August just to see what they said about anything homeopathic or whatnot and all they said is go to the doctor etc etc. Neither have insurance and his weight when this started was I think 173 on July 3rd and he's at 190 as of right now. Wendy

Replied by Rob
(Manhattan, US)

You could try painting the area with Lugols iodine...if it is irritating then rub a little rosemary oil on it (few drop essential, mixed with tablespoon of olive) ...or Thieves oil....though, I still agree it is a good idea to get to the doctor to see what is causing it....especially if it doesn't go away in the next week or more.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lee (Conway, Sc) on 06/12/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have swollen glands under my chin, neck and chest. I read these Apple Cider Vinegar postings and off I went to my local market. I got home and took two teaspoons of ACV and within one minute I felt relief. It is hard to believe, but this worked. I plan on taking some before bed and in the morning. Thanks to all who posted on this subject it saved me a trip to a walk in clinic which would have ended up costing me money, time and no doubt the doctor would have prescribed antibiotics.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Loretta (West Palm Beach, Fl) on 02/10/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Hi everybody, I have been addicted to this site for the last 3yrs and it's amazing how many health problems ACV really does cure, it's a miracle itself. My lymph nodes on my throat have flared up twice now in the last two weeks and I'm sure it's from smoking more than I usually do. I cured it the first time by boiling chopped up ginger and garlic and adding cayenne peppper. The stronger and more concentrated the tea the better if you ask me. I add tsb of agave honey to help it taste better and added virgin coconut oil and ACV after to the tea. It sounds like a crazy drink but I actually like it as I know it's going to fix me. After 1hr my pain had gone. I was so happy! I also tried it with white vinegar and raw coconut vinegar which was still effective. If you only have that in the kitchen still try it as it also eased my pain. I hope this helps someone else.

Thankyou Earthclinic, u changed my life! <3

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Davie (La, Ca) on 06/29/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I had a barium swallow and follow through procedure. Two days later I had a swollen lymph node and I tried the apple cider vinegar it worked quickly. I was highly impressed.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ley (Birmingham, Alabama, Usa) on 06/25/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, I've begun taking the apple cider vinegar for an infection that had moved into my lymph nodes. I had improvement after 60 seconds and the problem was solved completely within 3 days. (I'd had the infection for a year. ) I've continued taking it and even increased the dose - a capful in about an ounce of natural juice 3 or more times a day, sipping throughout the day. It's an enormous help with chronic pain and I'm hoping that it will end an issue with an ovarian cyst (??).

Quite grateful to Earth Clinic for the shared worldly knowledge. Thank you so very much for making this site available!