Your body has approximately 600 lymph nodes integrated into the lymphatic system whose primary purpose is directly connected to your immune system. Lymph nodes work as mini filters, collecting various immune system cells that have encountered a pathogen. They charge your system for attack and defense.
Chances are you have experienced a “swollen lymph-node,” a slightly raised, tended nodule under the skin (usually in the neck/jaw area). This condition is termed lymphadenitis and is the initial sign your body is fighting a bacterial/viral infection somewhere.
Before running to your MD for a prescription (usually an antibacterial that can lead to resistant strains or digestive issues) or popping OTC pain pills (which can lead to further digestive issues) lets take a dive into natural therapies for swollen lymph nodes (while understanding that they are the body’s warning sign that deeper issue exists).
Garlic is loaded with specific antibacterial compounds, like allicin, which is why garlic has been used for thousands of years to naturally treat infections. Lightly crush and swallow 2-3 cloves daily and watch the cause disappear and the swelling of the nodes decrease.
This non-toxic metal can be taken directly and it works by attaching to the bacterial membranes and preventing oxygen exchange. Best of all, its actions are specific to bacterial membranes, so your others cells are spared!
Essential Oil of Oregano
Oregano oil has an intensely antimicrobial effect, even against several antibiotic resistant strains, making it the ideal go-to natural immune booster. Frontiers in Microbiology published a study in 2016 showing the oil is also highly antiviral and antibacterial. To take internally, simply mix 3-5 drops with coconut oil and swallow daily.
This root is used in traditional Chinese medicine for everything from viral ailments
to mood disorders because of its incredible history. Astragalus reduces swollen lymph nodes that are related to viral infection specifically. Astragalus can be added as dried leaves to tea, via a tincture extract or in capsule form.
Recall that swollen lymph nodes indicate an underlying infection, so taking a mega-dose of vitamin C can be extremely helpful as vitamin C improves an already stressed immune system. Several studies show people with low Vitamin C levels are more prone to lymphadenitis. Adults can consume up to 4 grams (4000mg), in a single serving which can be achieved by eating pineapple, kale, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya or simply taking a whole food Vitamin C (note, ascorbic acid is the synthetic form of Vitamin C. Whole vitamin C will have the entire fruit complex and bioflavonoids).
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains fermented acetic acid which has the ability to destroy pathogenic bacteria, yet, at the same time, nourish healthy bacteria. You can simply consume an apple cider vinegar tonic daily to enhance lymphatic draining as long term prevention. To reduce local lymphadenitis, soak a washcloth tip or cotton ball in ACV and apply directly to the inflamed lymph node for 10-15 min.
If you haven’t heard of the health benefits of this honey, you must be living under a rock! Research is suggesting that MH has a low pH and high fructose content that inhibits microbes in the body. This honey is being copied a lot so look for genuine UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) that is usually 10 or higher or one that is imported by a company based out of New Zealand.
Rebounding Your Lymph
Rebounding (jumping up and down for 5 minutes) on a mini- trampoline is yet another cost effective, powerful and easy means of flushing your lymphatic system while also stimulating your immune system.
Make Your Own Lymph Cleansing Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
- 1 glass of water
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp Manuka Honey
- 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
Simply mix all ingredients together and serve room temperature or cooled.