10 Home Remedies for Swollen Feet
There can be many causes for swollen feet, ankles and legs. Most of the time it’s nothing serious and shouldn’t cause you any worries, especially if you’ve recently done a lot of walking and standing recently. When swollen feet and ankles stay swollen for a longer period of time, and/or are followed by other symptoms, it is a good time to see a doctor.
Reasons for swollen feet/ankles/legs:
- Complications with pregnancy often result in swelling of the feet/ankles/legs
- Injury – The most common foot injury that causes foot swelling is a sprained ankle
- Lymphedema is when lymphatic fluids collect in the tissue of your feet and legs. This is an indication that you may have complications with lymph vessels
- Another common problem is when blood doesn’t move up the veins of your legs adequately, this is called venous insufficiency
- Blood clot
- Liver, heart or kidney problems/disease
- Side effects from medication. There are many drugs that may cause your feet/ankles/legs to swell
In most cases, swollen feet aren’t something to be worried about, but it’s important not to ignore any serious symptoms that may accompany swollen feet. Here is when you should see your doctor:
- If you are having a hard time walking or putting any weight on your foot/feet
- If you have any indication of an infection such as tenderness, warmth, redness or if you have a fever over 37.8’C (100’F)
- If you’re a diabetic and have any open wounds that don’t seem to be healing quickly enough
- If you have a wound that won’t close and is discharging pus
- If you have strong/severe pain and swelling
If you think you can handle it on your own and there is no need to see a doctor, there are many natural and healthy ways to deal with swollen feet. Here are 10 home remedies for swollen feet:
#1 – Physical fitness Keeping yourself in good shape is one of the best ways to avoid swollen feet in the future. Getting the proper amount of cardiovascular exercise helps just about every organ of your body function more efficiently, including your heart and circulation. Combined with a healthy diet, it can also help prevent diabetes from developing.
This may not be a home remedy per se, but if you experience swollen feet often, you may want to consider taking up some sort of physical activity that will help improve your level of fitness to prevent swollen feet in the future.
#2 – Epsom salts Epsom salt is one of the most common remedies for swollen feet. Epsom salts are full of magnesium sulfate crystals that help relieve muscle soreness, and it works very quickly as well.
Fill half a bucket or basin with warm water and dissolve two cups of epsom salt. Soak your feet for ten to fifteen minutes in the solution and repeat two times per day, and before going to bed.
#3 – Tonic water Usually enjoyed with gin and lime, this unlikely remedy also works well for relieving swollen feet. Tonic water contains quinine, a substance once used for curing malaria. It’s an effective remedy when it comes to reducing swelling as well.
Fill a bucket or basin with enough tonic water to cover your swollen feet, and soak for ten to fifteen minutes. The tonic water should be at room temperature. Make sure to rinse your feet afterwards and repeat two to three times per day.
#4 – Baking soda Baking soda is a great remedy because it’s very effective, and most of us have it available at home already. Baking soda has many medicinal uses, but it’s great at helping with swollen feet due to its anti-inflammatory properties. If combined with rice water, it helps absorb the excess fluids that have built up in your feet.
Boil rice until it’s almost cooked, and then drain the water into a bucket or basin. Mix baking soda with the rice water to make a thick paste and apply it over the swollen areas of your feet. Let it absorb for around fifteen minutes and then rinse off. You can do this two to three times per day until the swelling subsides.
#5 – Essential oil mix The combination of eucalyptus, peppermint and lemon oil makes an effective remedy for swollen feet. An added benefit of this mixture is the soothing and relaxing effect as a result of the aroma.
Mix three to four drops of each oil into a bucket or basin of warm water, and mix well. Soak your feet for around fifteen minutes. You can do this one to two times per day until the swelling subsides.
#6 – Lemon/olive oil/cinnamon Lemon is often used for reducing swelling due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon possesses similar anti-inflammatory properties, and the olive oil is great at softening and nourishing the skin.
Mix one teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, half of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, one teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of milk. You should get a thick paste-like substance. Apply this paste on to the swollen parts of your feet and let it soak in for at least an hour. This is a good remedy to leave on overnight.
#7 – Apple cider vinegar Apple cider vinegar is used as a remedy for many ailments, and it can also provide quick relief for swollen feet. The vinegar absorbs quickly into your skin and helps get rid of the excess fluid build-up. It also helps the swelling go down and relax stiff muscles.
Mix half of a cup of ACV in a bucket or basin of warm water, and soak your feet for about half an hour. You can repeat this two to three times per day.
#8 – Barley Water Barley water is an effective way of getting the toxins that have built up over time because of fluid build-up/retention, and can help bring down the swelling in the feet. This is a remedy best used with one of the soaking methods listed above.
Boil barley until the water becomes a light brown colour, strain and cool the water down to room temperature. Drink two to three glasses per day.
#9 – Coriander seeds Coriander seeds are a natural diuretic, meaning it helps flush excess fluids out of your body. One of the reasons we get swollen feet is due to an excess build-up of fluid in that area. This is a great way of reducing the swelling in your feet.
Boil three tablespoons of coriander seeds in one cup of water. Keep boiling until the water level has reduced by half and then strain and cool the liquid down to room temperature and drink. Repeat this two to three times per day until the swelling subsides.
#10 – Ice Cooling a swollen area of your body is perhaps one of the best known methods to bring that swelling down. Cold helps alter blood flow, and that helps reduce swelling and pain.
Place an ice pack on the swollen area of your feet and keep it applied for around ten minutes. A cold compress works as well. You can repeat this several times per day until the swelling subsides.
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Swollen Feet References and Swollen Feet Information
- Web MD: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/swollen-ankles-and-feet#1
- Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/foot-pain/basics/when-to-see-doctor/sym-20050792
- Home Remedies (Book): https://books.google.co.in/books?id=9F1gBgAAQBAJ&pg=PT76&dq=epsom+salt+skin+benefits&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpjNigtqnMAhXWA44KHS19BjYQ6AEIIDAB#v=onepage&q=epsom%20salt%20skin%20benefits&f=false
- Advanced Natural Products (Book): https://books.google.co.in/books?id=jmhNxuXOg60C&pg=PA107&dq=quinine+anti-inflammatory&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiS6fL6l-TPAhWLjlQKHSFCDA0Q6AEIKDAC#v=onepage&q=quinine%20anti-inflammatory&f=false
- Encyclopedia of Family Health (Book): https://books.google.co.in/books?id=14umOowYuhMC&pg=PA618&dq=baking+soda+anti-inflammatory&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj8osfm3ujPAhXCsI8KHZjyBmUQ6AEINjAD#v=onepage&q=baking%20soda%20anti-inflammatory&f=false
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671226/
- Pub Med: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16435583/
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Health Benefits and Precautions (Book): https://books.google.co.in/books?id=hweYCwAAQBAJ&pg=SA8-PA5&dq=apple+cider+vinegar+reduces+swelling&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6spaiiozPAhUL-mMKHULzADAQ6AEIMzAA#v=onepage&q=apple%20cider%20vinegar%20reduces%20swelling&f=false
- The Natural Health Dictionary (Book): https://books.google.co.in/books?id=ucLyBwAAQBAJ&pg=PT276&dq=barley+water+edema&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizoenqg-nPAhUdT48KHWlmCLMQ6AEIUzAJ#v=onepage&q=barley%20water%20edema&f=false
- Phytotherapies (Book): https://books.google.co.in/books?id=63JuCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA175&dq=coriander+seeds+for+edema&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwim7-LchenPAhUKp48KHbH1CgcQ6AEINDAA#v=onepage&q=coriander%20seeds%20for%20edema&f=false
- University of Rochester Medical Centre: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4483