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Natural treatments for salivary gland infections

This type of infection is affecting the glands that are producing saliva. Saliva is working to keep the mouth clean. Also it breaks down food and aids digestion. Also it washes away the food particles and bacteria. It can help to control the amount of good and bad bacteria in your mouth. The salivary gland infection can be caused by viruses or bacteria. This type of infection is common and it can return in some people. We have three pairs of major salivary glands – parotid glands; submandibular glands; sublingual glands. Mumps is viral infection which is often affecting the salivary glands.

There are rare cases when mumps are causing salivary gland infections because nowadays people are getting MMR vaccine. The bacterial infection can be caused by a chronic illness; smoking; low amounts of water in the body, most often while in the hospital; poor cleanliness in the mouth (oral hygiene); blockage from salivary duct stones. In the most cases, salivary glands go away on their own or they are cured with treatment. In some cases, salivary gland infection can return. Complications caused by this condition are not so common but if they happen, then they can be some of the following: spread of infection (Ludwig’s angina, cellulitis); infection returns; abscess of salivary gland. You need to talk with your doctor if you suffer from salivary gland infections before you start using some of the below mentioned home remedies.

Home remedies for salivary gland infections

Home remedies for salivary gland infections

Lemon: You should keep your body hydrated because this will make easier for you to produce saliva and this in turn will help to clear the infection and blockage. When you have sour taste in your mouth, then it attracts your saliva to flow. This is a reason why you should keep something in your mouth which will give you sour taste.

You should drop a lemon wedge or two into glass full of water because in this way you will double the benefit. One of the best home remedies for salivary gland infections is the plain water with lemon. You should not drink sugary beverages, like lemonade, because this is bad for your dental and overall health. You should take sour candies and keep them in your mouth. They can cause the saliva production to increase. You should not use versions with sugar because they can worsen your condition. You should cut a lemon into wedges and suck them one at a time throughout the day. This is natural and sour home remedy for you. You should let the sour candies to slowly dissolve in your mouth. You should not chew or eat them. You should let them to melt in your mouth on their own. [1,2]

Poke: Poke is also known as Phytolacca Americana. This is a perennial herb which is native to North America. Herbalists are using berries and roots of poke as a natural treatment for mumps, tonsillitis, mastitis and rheumatism. It is rich in lectins, lignans and saponins which are possessing anti – inflammatory and antiviral properties. It is recommended as effective home remedy for conditions associated with swollen salivary glands and viral infections, such as orchitis and mumps. You need to take this home remedy in the recommended amount because if you take it in high doses, then it can be potent emetic.

Eat more and chew well: You should eat healthy diet and you should eat more frequently if you suffer from salivary gland infection. It can help you to increase your immunity and it can increase the saliva production. You should eat more fruits and vegetables and you should chew them well. You should take at least twenty minutes to finish each of your two main meals – lunch and dinner. You should not increase the amount of your daily food intake. You should chew it more so the entire process of completing your usual meal is twenty minutes. Your eating should be pleasurable activity and not just need. You should not rush while you are eating. You should relax, chew and take time. When you are eating, then you will produce more saliva. This will cause the salivary ducts to open which will eliminate swelling and pain. [3]

Warm compress: You should soak a cloth in warm water and then hold it against your skin outside the spot where your infected salivary gland is located. You should hold it until the cloth cools. You can repeat it as much as wanted unless your doctor has said you how many times per day you should use it. This home remedy can give you temporary pain relief and it can reduce the swelling. In the most cases, the salivary gland infection is happening in the glands in the back of your mouth, so you should hold the warm compress just beneath your ear.

Oranges: Oranges are rich in Vitamin C which is a reason why it can be used as a home remedy for salivary gland infections. You should eat oranges and not drink orange juice because drinking orange juice will not be as effective as producing saliva while eating oranges.

Cleavers: It is also known as Galium aparine. This is a small perennial herb which has clinging leaves and tiny yellow flowers. This home remedy is used in the traditional medicine as a natural treatment for enlarged glands and urinary tract infections [4]. It is rich in iridoid glycosides, flavonoids and tannins and it posses anti – inflammatory properties. This home remedy is used as a lymph system cleanser and it is very effective as a home remedy for swollen glands anywhere in the body. It can help to people who have mumps and it can drain the infected salivary gland. This natural cure has anti – inflammatory properties which will give you a relief from the pain caused by salivary gland infections. This home remedy has sedative effect so this is a reason why you should never combine it with other sleep aids.

Do not smoke or chew tobacco: If you smoke or chew tobacco, then you should stop doing it as soon as possible. If you never have done it, then do not start it. When you are using tobacco, then this is putting bacteria and toxins in your mouth and this could lead to salivary gland infection. Also it is known that using tobacco can increase the risk of developing cancer in one or more salivary glands. Chewing tobacco can cause salivary gland infection but also salivary gland cancer. You need to talk with your doctor about the best way to quit smoking.

Practice good oral hygiene: You should know that there is no way to completely prevent the salivary gland infection but you can reduce your chances through proper dental care. You need to brush your teeth at least 2 times per day and floss regularly. Also you should regular dental checkups once or twice per year. [5]

Massage: You should apply gentle pressure and move your first two fingers in a circular motion on your skin outside the infected gland, such as beneath one of your ears. You can do this massage as much as you want. When you are massaging the affected area, then it can help you to get a relief from the pain and swelling and it can help to clear the salivary duct blockage.

Drink lot of water: You should drink a lot of water because the more your drink the water, the more saliva you will be able to produce. When you are hydrated, then you will have less chances of getting salivary gland infection. It is known fact that the best way to stay hydrated is to drink plain water. You should not drink sugary beverages because they are bad for your teeth and overall health. Also you should avoid caffeine and alcohol because they work to dehydrate you. [6]

Willow: It is also known as Salix spp. This is a deciduous tree which has a long history of use as an herbal analgesic. Its bark has salicortin which metabolizes to salicylic acid in the liver. These effects are similar to the aspirin which is synthetic form of salicylic acid. There are some studies in which are shown that this natural cure inhibits COX-2 that is an enzyme involved in the inflammatory response of body and it will not cause stomach upset. This home remedy can reduce the inflammation and it will give you a relief from the pain in your throat that is caused by swollen and infected salivary glands.

Salt water: You should add half a teaspoon of table salt to eight ounces of lukewarm water. You should take sips of the water, swish them around in your mouth for several seconds each and then spit them out. You should not swallow the water. You should do this natural treatment three times per day or as much as your doctor has said. This home remedy can help to clear away the infection and it can give you a relief from the pain.


[1] Christou A, Papastavrou E, Merkouris A, et al. Clinical studies of nonpharmacological methods to minimize salivary gland damage after radioiodine therapy of differentiated thyroid carcinoma: Systematic review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016;2016:6795076.

[2] Murugesh J, Annigeri RG, Raheel SA, et al. Effect of yogurt and pH equivalent lemon juice on salivary flow rate in healthy volunteers – An experimental crossover study. Interventional Medicine and Applied Science. 2015;7(4):147–51.

[3] Gavião MBD, der Bilt AV. Salivary secretion and chewing: stimulatory effects from artificial and natural foods. Journal of Applied Oral Science. 2004;12(2).

[4] Robinson N. Some UTI remedies validated by research. Veterinary Practice News. 2009. Retrieved

[5] Dodds M, Roland S, Edgar M, Thornhill M. Saliva A review of its role in maintaining oral health and preventing dental disease. BDJ Team. 2015.

[6] Ship JA. Diagnosing, managing, and preventing salivary gland disorders. Oral Disease. 2002;78-89.

Ramesh Kumar
Ramesh Kumar
Dr. Ramesh kumar, BAMS is naturopathy doctor who is well versed with health benefits of all fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants


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