Open your mouth wide, and you will see two small tissue masses on either side of the back of your throat. These are your ‘tonsils‘. Further back in the throat (near the nasal passages) and just above the tonsils lay a pair of glands known as the adenoids.
These glands are quite important as they help protect the body against bacterial and viral infections. They play a key role in filtering lymphatic fluid and trapping germs that pass through the nose and mouth. However, like tonsils, adenoids are also vulnerable to infection as they are a part of the continuously functioning lymphatic system.
When the adenoids become infected, they get inflamed and swollen, leading to a health problem known as ‘adenoiditis’.
Generally, adenoiditis does not occur in adults. In fact, the adenoids begin shrinking naturally by the age of 5 and virtually disappear by the time a person reaches his teens. Thus, adenoiditis is a condition that primarily affects children.
A few common causes associated with this condition are:
Some common symptoms of adenoiditis are:
Proper diagnosis of the problem is important. So, see your doctor if you suspect your child has adenoiditis. In many cases, antibiotic medication or even surgery is suggested for treatment.
However, before opting for a surgery or antibiotics that may lead to a variety of side effects, you can try some natural remedies to reduce the size of the adenoids.
Here are a few safe and natural home remedies to help your child suffering from enlarged adenoids.
Perhaps the most effective remedy for enlarged adenoids in children is salt water gargle.
While the warm water has a soothing effect on the sore throat, the salt helps kill the infection-causing microbes. In addition, the salt helps relieve pain and bring down the swelling.
Another good remedy for this condition is cod liver oil.
It contains several nutrients, such as selenium, that support effective lymphatic flow. Moreover, the essential fats present in cod oil are effective in reducing inflammation. Thus, it helps in shrinking the adenoids.
A 2010 study published in Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology notes that daily supplementation of lemon-flavored cod liver oil and a multivitamin-mineral supplement for children can help reduce upper respiratory tract infections in children over time.
Also, the vitamin (A and D) and omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil offer anti-inflammatory and anti-infection benefits.
Cod liver oil is available as a supplement or liquid. The liquid form is most suitable for children under age 12.
You can give about 1 teaspoon of cod liver oil to your child (aged 1 year or more) daily. You may also consult your doctor regarding the right dosage and the best way to give cod liver oil to your child.
The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic have strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help deal with enlarged adenoids.
The compounds can combat and destroy pathogenic or disease-producing bacteria. They also play a role in controlling and reversing the inflammatory process in the body.
For the treatment of this condition, garlic should be taken raw.
Ginger is another effective remedy for respiratory infections in both children and adults, thanks to its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
When consumed daily, honey helps heal enlarged adenoids very quickly.
Honey is an effective anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent, which can help reduce the symptoms, such as coughing.
Steam inhalation is also beneficial for children with enlarged adenoids. It helps relieve the nasal congestion caused by swollen adenoid glands that often lead to snoring or noisy breathing.
Basil is another very effective home remedy for adenoiditis, due to its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Also, its healing nature and soothing property help reduce swelling and pain as well as speed up the healing process.
Turmeric contains curcumin that has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
This therapeutic herb can bring down the swelling of enlarged adenoids. It also helps reduce pain and facilitates healing.
Keeping your child well hydrated is very important while treating enlarged adenoids.
Fluids can ease a sore throat and prevent dehydration. Also, adequate hydration is good for the immune system. Water helps ensure that all your cells and organs, including the adenoids, function properly.
Apart from fresh water, encourage your child to keep sipping some coconut water, cold lemon water, homemade broth, warm milk, or fruit juice throughout the day.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for a growing child. This water-soluble vitamin supports the immune system and helps ensure quick recovery from infections such as adenoiditis.
A diet rich in vitamin C helps your child’s body fight the infection.
Some vitamin C-rich foods that you can give your child to eat are bell peppers, kale, broccoli, strawberries, lemons, grapefruits, kiwis, pineapples, blackberries, tomatoes, spinach, swiss chard, and oranges.
Echinacea is also a safe and effective home remedy for enlarged adenoids in children. This herb is a natural booster of the immune system and particularly affects the lymphatic system in a positive way.
For decades, this ingredient has been used in treating several diseases and health issues, including infections and colds. It is available in various forms, such as liquid and capsules. Below mentioned is the recommeded dosage for Echinacea supplements. However, consult your doctor for correct dosage before starting with the supplements yourself.
For Children 2 to 4 years: 1 Tablet 1 to 2 times daily.
For Children 4 to 12 years: 1 Tablet 2 to 3 times daily.
For Children over 12 years: 2 Tablet 3 to 4 times daily.
For best results, use echinacea as soon as you notice the symptoms. Continue using this remedy for at least 7 to 10 days.
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