Lymph nodes, also known as lymph glands, are tiny, bean-shaped glands located in various parts of the body like the side of the neck, groin, and armpits. They are a part of the lymphatic system which help in filtering out the lymph fluid that flows throughout the body. They trap infectious germs, cancerous cells, and various unwanted foreign materials to protect the body from infections and diseases. An unexpected swelling in the lymph nodes suggests that the immune system is trying to fight off an infection. This condition can arise due to various forms of infection like common cold, influenza, tonsillitis, bronchitis, etc. In such cases, swelling is accompanied by pain and tenderness of the glands, a sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, etc.
Listed below are a few home remedies that are easy and provide instant relief from the pain and swelling.
Saline Water Gargle: Add one-fourth teaspoon of salt in one cup of water. Gargle with this solution several times a day till the swelling fades out.
Gentle Massage: Gently massage the affected area with the tip of your fingers in circular motions. Don't apply a lot of pressure as that might hurt. You might be apprehensive about this, but try it and you will feel the difference instantly. Massage improves blood circulation in the area and reduces the pain and swelling.
Warm and Cold Compression: The disorder, if diagnosed in children, can be cured with the help of alternating warm and cold compressions. For a warm compression, dampen a washcloth by soaking it in warm water. Place it on the affected area and let it stay for a few minutes. Once it dries up, dip another washcloth in a bowl of cold water and apply it on the same area for 15 minutes. Repeat at least 8 - 10 times.
Basil Leaves and Cinnamon: Pour 3 cups of water in a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons each, of basil leaves and cinnamon in it. Boil this concoction for about 10 minutes and then let it simmer for the next 10 minutes. Strain out the concoction and drink it in small sips. Drink it at least 3 times a day to get rid of the problem quickly.
Milk and Turmeric: Add a pinch of turmeric in one cup of milk and boil it. You may also add a pinch of pepper into the milk for better results. Drink it just before going to bed. Do this for three nights in a row to see quick and better results.
Lemon and Honey: Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice in a cup of lukewarm water and add 2 teaspoons of honey in it. Stir this mixture well and drink it. This will not only help you get rid of the swelling and pain, but will also help in bringing down the severity of the underlying infection.
Essential Oils: Lavender oil or tea tree oil are known to provide instant relief. In a bowl, boil one quart of water and add 2-3 drops of any of the two essential oils in it. Now, cover up your head with a towel, bring your face near the bowl, and inhale the steam through your nose and mouth for around 20 minutes.
These remedies should ideally improve the condition within 2-3 days. If not, then the infection could be quite severe and should be treated with a medical intervention. In case the swelling and pain increases and the condition worsens, don't neglect it and consult a health care professional immediately to avoid further complications.