Treating and Preventing
Swollen Glands

Swollen Glands

There are a number of things that one can do to prevent the condition of swollen glands or lymph nodes or to help the body clear these things out a little faster when they do occur, including:

1.  Exercise. Exercise is the single most important thing we can do to keep our lymph circulating the way it should. When we are sedentary our lymph system is sluggish. Exercise increases lymph flow by 10 to 30%. When we exercise we create movement in the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. This compression and expansion helps increase the circulation of blood and lymph.

The skeletal muscles are also a major pump for lymphatic and venous flow (especially the legs), pushing fluids toward the heart. When the muscles contract they squeeze the lymphatic vessels and veins pushing the fluids forward. The one way valves then keep these fluids from flowing backwards.

Exercising will not only help prevent swollen glands but will also help clean out the glands when they are swollen. Often people try everything from doctors and antibiotics to natural remedies, when what needs to be happening is the lymph needs to move. The best way to make it move is to exercise.

  • Circles. One little exercise you can do when you have been sitting for a long time that will help get that blood and lymph moving is to stand tall with your legs slightly apart. Hold your arms straight out to the sides. Then make ten small circles in one direction with your arms, then reverse and do it ten times the other direction. Next do ten medium circles the sameway, both directions, and then - you guessed it - do ten big circles in each direction. That'll wake you up and get that lymph moving.
  • Jumping. Jumping is suppose to be great for stimulating the lymphatic system. Jumping jacks are my favorite. Every time I get up from the computer I do 20. I figure this will help stimulate things as well as remind my body that I am alive and to keep burning calories. Jumping on a mini trampoline is a good exercise to add to your daily routine.
  • Walking. A brisk walk is also a great activity to move the lymph. Actually, any exercise will work.
  • Rocking Chair. No seriously. The motion your legs make when rocking a chair pumps your legs - this pumps the lymph and veins and helps the lymph and blood move back upto your heart. It really does help keep the lymph moving!

Be sure to visit our other page on Swollen Lymph Nodes.

2. Herbal Remedies. To prevent swollen glands or to help return them to normal use herbal remedies. 

  • Burdock Root is an herb that has been used by herbalists for thousands of years. It is a blood cleanser that is considered a lymphatic herb, promoting the flow of lymph. You can drink it as a decoction (tea) by simmering one ounce of herb in a quart of water. It is a great herb that can be used even if you are not sick. It will help you stay well. As a great coffee substitute, drink up to four cups per day.
  • Red Root is also an herb which has traditionally been considered a lymphatic herb anda blood purifier. It works on a swollen spleen and a stagnant liver which come fromsitting around too much, eating too heavy of a diet, or from intestinal disorders or astagnant liver.
  • Red Root can be taken as a tincture (Mountain Rose Herbs sells it as a tincture) taking 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons three or four times a day according to Michael Moore, an herbalist. If you drink it as a decoction, however, he says you only need 1/8 to 1/4 cup but if you make it milder (2 Tablespoons of the root in one quart of water boiled for 20 minutes, then strained), drink 1 1/3 cups before each meal.
  • Chickweed.If you are lucky enough to live where Chickweed grows, pick it fresh, putit in a blender with a little water (to your taste), blend it up, and drink it. It is agreat blood purifier and it's light green taste is delicious. Or you can eat it in a salad. It's good.
  • 3.  Enhanced Nutrition. Again, like exercise, can we say it often enough?! Eat a well balanced diet high in fresh vegetables, organic when possible. Keep a proper balance of proteins,fats, and complex carbohydrates. Use olive oil or organic butter. Eating fruit every day will help keep your lymphatic system healthy and prevent swollen lymph nodes.

    4.  Chiropractor. Chiropractors work magic with swollen glands by stroking and massaging them in the line of flow. They call this "milking the glands". An adjustment will also make you feel a lot better at the same time.

    5.  Water. Don't forget how important water is. It helps everything flow better, thus preventing swollen glands, so please, drink lots of water.

    6.  Brushing. I love the brushing part - it feels so good. Dry brushing has been suggested to me but I always forget before hopping into the shower, so I was excited to learn that wet brushing in the shower works just as well. I always do that anyway.

    You need a stiff brush, I like mine with a long handle. After you have soaped up and rinsed off, take your brush and brush up from the feet to the chest and down from the neck to the chest.What you want is a nice brushing that will make your skin pink(not bloody!) just stimulated.  It may take you a while to work up to that if you haven't done it before.

    And brushing everywhere can take up to 10 minutes when you do it thoroughly. (You may even want to turn the water off for a bit.) Be sure that your last brush strokes are toward the heart, helping the lymph and veins push that fluid back where it needs to go. Do this. I promise it will make you feel great.

    7.  Lymphatic Massage. This is done to stimulate the general flow of lymph and drainage of lymphnodes. This can be done professionally or you can even do self massage if you prefer.

    8.  Breathing. Why do we breathe so shallow sometimes, or even hold our breath - even whileworking out?

    Breathing is an important part of circulating our blood and lymph, that is why the exercise instructor always tells us inhale and exhale. Breathing is relaxing. I learned this with my first pregnancy in a LaMaze class.

    Sit comfortably and just breath in and out slowly. Concentrate on your breath. Place your hand on your stomach and feel your breathing. This rhythmic expansion and contraction of the diaphragm helps pump blood and lymph. Just like exercise, only easier.

    For other information on swollen glands or lymph nodes be sure to visit our other page, "Swollen Lymph Nodes."

    Try these ideas - not just once though - make it part of your life. You will feel better because you did.

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    Be sure to visit our other page on Swollen Lymph Nodes.