Swollen Lymph Glands

The lymphatic glands (lymph nodes) are found in the throat area at the side of the neck, down the sternum, groin and armpits. The lymphatic fluid which circulates around the body collects wastes from the immune and digestive systems and delivers them to the bowels and kidneys for elimination. If the lymph nodes become congested this is due to an immune compromised condition, infection, inflammation or congestion.


The following are some conditions which will contribute to the problem of swollen lymph glands and are worth investigating with your Healthcare practitioner:

  • allergies (wheat and dairy)
  • recent antibiotic use
  • sinusitis
  • Candida
  • inner ear infection/ blocked ears/ infection/ glue ear
  • sore throat/ tonsillitis
  • upper respiratory infection
  • low immunity


  • Herbal teas such as fenugreek and rosehip, licorice, echinacea, ginger and Manuka honey may help to ease congestion and also provide the body with Vitamin C
  • Ensure that you keep properly hydrated (at least two litres of fluid/ day) as dehydration will slow down your recovery and reduce the amount of metabolic wastes excreted via the kidneys
  • Eat simple alkalising foods such as chicken soup, miso soup, vegetable juices and steamed green leafy vegetables. These meal ideas will lighten the load on the digestive system and leave more energy reserves for the immune system, encourage liver detoxification, reduce acid and provide the body with anti-oxidants
  • Include Manuka honey in warm water as it is a demulcent (soothing) for the respiratory tract and is also an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial to improve immune resistance
  • Reduce acid forming foods that contribute to mucus congestion such as dairy foods, sugar and wheat. Naturopathic philosophy considers that alkalising the body is one of the most important practices for revitalising your health. Our diets tend to be mostly acid forming. The only alkaline foods are fresh fruit and vegetables, and a couple of different grains (millet, buckwheat). All ‘alive’ growing foods like sprouts and soaked grains and seeds are alkaline forming also
  • Eat plenty of ginger, chillies and horseradish in your diet as these will act as a decongestant as well as help to open up the sinus cavities


  • Massage the swollen lymph glands with a carrier oil (Sweet Almond or Jojoba) with Eucalyptus or Oregano oil to help facilitate the flow of wastes and reduce stagnation of the area
  • It is very important to keep warm and keep cold wind (the invading pathogen) away from the kidneys as damp and cold conditions affect the lymphatic system
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep so that your body recovers properly
  • If you are also experiencing sinusitis use a neti pot with warm salty water to flush the sinus cavities, ease any sinus pressure and reduce lymphatic congestion to the Eustachian tube
  • If you are experiencing ear congestion then consider using ear candles to help gently massage the ear canal and drawn out the congestive wastes


  • Homeopathic remedies for congestion are: Rhus Tox, Nux Vomica, Pulsatilla, Sulphur. Please see a Homeopath if you would like to further investigate the specific remedy for you
  • Tissue salts such as Kali Sulph, Nat. Mur and Kali Mur are specific minerals to improve immunity and reduce lymphatic congestion
  • Herbs such as Mullein, Fenugreek, Ginger, Echinacea, Andrographis, Licorice, Poke Root, Sarsparilla, Golden Seal and Olive Leaf help to restore immune function, build white blood cells, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, reduce fever and congestion, reduce the symptoms associated with a cold, cough or flu and also provide anti-oxidants to the immune and lymphatic system to cleanse the body of impurities.
  • A supplement of Vitamin C, Selenium and Zinc as these are important antioxidants for the health of the immune system and to reduce the amount of lymphatic wastes produced
  • Cod liver oil is a remedy which is recommended because it has concentrated amounts of Vitamins A & D which help the immune system to be less sensitive in allergic conditions