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Natural Remedies for Enlarged Adenoids in Children

Adenoids are lymph tissues that sit between the nose and the back of the throat. They trap bacteria and viruses as a means of aiding immature immune systems. So the adenoids are crucial in helping babies and small children fight infections. But the adenoids themselves can become infected, inflamed and swollen – a condition known as "enlarged adenoids" that is common in children.

Signs of Enlarged Adenoids

shutterstock_170831594 Be on the lookout for the following symptoms in your child that indicate enlarged adenoids:
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Speaking with a nasal tone
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea


After diagnosing enlarged adenoids and determining the cause of the infection, many doctors will prescribe antibiotics to speed up the recovery process. However, antibiotics come with a variety of side effects, including:
  • Diarrhea
  • Diaper rash
  • Sun sensitivity rash
  • Vomiting
In some cases, parents opt to have their child's adenoids removed entirely in a process similar to tonsil removal. However, if your child is nearing the age of 5, the adenoids will soon begin shrinking on their own. Surgery can be costly and can expose your child to a number of risks. In light of how effective at-home remedies can be for treating enlarged adenoids, you may wish to discuss alternative treatments with your child's doctor.

Natural Remedies

Here are a few tried-and-true natural treatments for enlarged adenoids to discuss with your child's doctor.

#1 – Cod Liver Oil

shutterstock_282200969 A lot of kids – and adults – hate cod liver oil. I don't blame them — It isn't generally considered delicious. But it works. Cod liver oil contains a variety of nutrients (including selenium) that can boost lymphatic function and fight off infections. Children under the age of 12 should take the liquid form of selenium. While they may put up a fight about it, once they see the results I'm sure they won't complain.

#2 – Raw Honey

shutterstock_177470447 Honey is one of nature's miracle foods. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it the perfect solution for fighting off enlarged adenoids caused by an infection. It also tastes great, unlike our last solution. Feed your child a teaspoon of raw honey with 3 drops of lemon juice 3 times daily for relief of symptoms.

#3 – Garlic

shutterstock_329130548 (1) Right back to the strong-tasting stuff we go! Like honey, garlic is a potent antibiotic that is especially suited towards fighting infections. Garlic also contains the compound 1,2-DT, which has anti-inflammatory properties. For the purpose of treating enlarged adenoids, garlic is best consumed raw. Crush a clove and mix it with lemon and honey to help it go down. If your child is a fan of salad, you can also mix a healthy amount of garlic into a bowl.

#4 – Tea

shutterstock_358214093 There are several herbal teas that are effective for reducing inflammation and swelling in children. These include clove and ginger. To make ginger tea, take a quarter cup of fresh, grated ginger and add it to a teapot containing 4 cups of boiling water. Mix in 4 teaspoons of honey and serve. This should provide a few servings for your child. For clove tea, take 1 clove and add it to 1.5 cups of boiling water. Mix in honey to taste. Sources: Dr. Weil