Lymph nodes, also known as lymph glands, are bean-shaped structures that filter the lymphatic fluid, the fluid circulating through your lymphatic system. These nodes actually serve as storage areas for white blood cells, allowing them to stop bacteria, viruses, dead cells and others from getting to your other body parts.
The fact is lymph nodes are scattered throughout your body. However, some are easier to locate than the rest because they are situated close to the skin. Some lymph nodes that can be easily detected include those that are under the jaw, either side of the neck, in the armpits, above the collarbone, and either side of the groin.
Your lymph nodes may get swollen and it’s perfectly normal. Such is a sign that your lymphatic system is springing into action, saving you from further harm. Your lymph nodes end up swollen when you are battling an illness or infection, as well as when you’re stressed. Some of the common reasons for the swelling of the lymph nodes are:
- Ear infection
- Sore throat
- Infected tooth
- Wound infection
Basically, lymph nodes near the site of the problem such as an infection or injury are the ones that become swollen. For instance, lymph nodes in your neck may end up swollen if you are suffering from a cold. There are also some very serious conditions that can cause the lymph nodes to get swollen, such as HIV, autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Swollen lymph nodes tend to go away on their own as the culprit behind their swelling gets resolved. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or anti-viral drugs in order to deal with the root cause of the problem. Also, you may be given painkillers because lymph nodes that are swollen tend to cause discomfort.
Aside from the treatment provided by your doctor, there are also a few home remedies that can help you manage the symptoms associated withy swollen lymph nodes. Here are some of the ones that you may try:
Apply Warm Compress
Grab a small washcloth and dip it in hot water. Wring out the excess. Fold neatly and place over the affected lymph nodes. The heat will help improve blood circulation, thus reducing both inflammation and pain. You may apply warm compress several times daily until the swelling is gone.
Provide Gentle Massage
Using your fingertips, gently massage the swollen lymph nodes using circular motions or by lightly pressing on the area repeatedly. Doing this stimulates the lymph nodes, causing the filtering process they need to perform to be hastened. You may also look for a professional offering lymph drainage massages.
Peel 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and swallow them whole one by one. You may also consume foods that contain lots of garlic. The said herb possesses amazing antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. That is why taking garlic can be beneficial for someone whose lymph nodes are swollen.
Apply or Take Honey
Gently massage some honey over the affected area. This will help in reducing the inflammation, thanks to the massaging action as well as the anti-inflammatory properties of honey. You may also take a glass of lemon juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey to help in managing the infection that could be causing the swelling of your lymph nodes.
Drink Milk with Turmeric
There are numerous spices on the planet that is very good at easing inflammation, and one of the most popular one is turmeric. Take advantage of the anti-inflammatory properties of this spice by mixing a teaspoon of it in a glass of warm milk. Similarly, you may sprinkle turmeric on your soup or stew.