After long hours of sitting down, you may witness some swelling on your feet. Though it is usually painless, it can be a worry if you don’t know its cause. The swelling of the feet, also called peripheral edema, is a condition resulting from a buildup of fluid in the leg tissues. When fluid leaks from your blood vessels, it accumulates in the tissues surrounding the capillaries. The fluid leaks from your vessels when the heart has a hard time pumping blood against gravity from your feet.
There are several OTC drugs meant to deal with this condition. However, most people have found them to be ineffective. Hence, there is a shift towards home remedies for swollen legs and feet. Here are some home remedies for swollen feet worth considering.
1. Ice Therapy
Ice therapy is one of the most popular home remedies for swollen feet. It is the first thing that comes to mind once you experience any swelling. Luckily for this case, it works as a great swollen feet remedy. Ice or cold compress constricts the blood vessels in your feet hence increasing the pressure of flow to clear off the blood pool on your feet.
• Ice cubes
Wrap several pieces of ice cubes in a towel and use it to massage the swollen area gently. Do it for ten to fifteen minutes. An alternative way is by giving the swollen foot an ice bath. Put some ice cubes in a tub and dip your feet in the cold water for three to five minutes. Perform this procedure a few moments at a time. This swollen feet remedy will guarantee you results a few hours after its application.
2. Contrast Hydrotherapy
Among the home remedies for swollen feet on this list, contrast hydrotherapy is one of the most effective. It involves using both cold and warm water where the former reduces inflammation or swelling while the latter increases the rate of blood circulation.
• Cold water
• Warm water
• 2 tubs
Fill two containers with cold water and warm water respectively. First, soak your feet in the tub with warm water for three to four minutes. Follow this step immediately by dipping your feet in the cold water for a minute. Continue with this alternation for approximately twenty minutes to finish the procedure. Perform this procedure severally every day until your swollen feet subsides.
3. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is an essential ingredient in homemade remedies for swollen feet, pain, and muscle fatigue. It works by extracting the toxins from the blood and reducing fluid retention in the tissues. Besides that, Epsom salt improves blood circulation rate. After long hours of travel and walking it will rejuvenate your sore muscles leaving them nourished and fresh.
• A handful of Epsom salt
• Warm water
Fill a tub with warm water then season it with a handful of Epsom. Make sure it mixes thoroughly then soak your feet in the solution for fifteen to twenty minutes. You can also dip your whole body in the tab for an overall relief. Your condition will subside in just a few hours after using this home remedy for swollen feet.
4. Dandelion Leaves
Dandelion is used as a home remedy for swollen feet due to its diuretic property. Consequently, it helps your body in the metabolism of excess fluid. A 2009 study revealed that dandelion has diuretic properties which are necessary for regulating body water retention. It has also gained a wide application in balancing the body electrolytes such as sodium. All these aspects make it one of the regularly applied home remedies for swollen feet.
• A handful of fresh/dried dandelion leaves
• A cup of hot water
• Pestle and mortar
Crush the dandelion leaves in the mortar to a fine powder or paste. Take a teaspoon of dandelion powder (if you used dry leaves) or paste (from the fresh leaves) and mix it in a cup of hot water. Cover the cup and let it steep for five minutes. Strain the mixture and drink the resultant solution two to three times every day. It is an excellent remedy for swollen feet which will guarantee relief in a few days.
5. Lemon Water
Lemon water is an important home remedy for swollen feet as well as other body parts. When consumed, it flushes out extra fluid and toxins in the tissues that cause these swellings. In addition to that, lemon is a strong anti-inflammatory agent. It also doubles as a hydrating agent for the body.
• Fresh lemon
• A cup of warm water
• Raw honey
Squeeze the fresh lemon into an empty cup to extract the juice. Add two tablespoons of the extracted juice into a cup of warm water and mix it. You can add raw honey as a sweetener. Drink the solution a couple of times every day as a quick remedy for swollen feet.
6. Poultice/Wrap for Swollen Ankles and Feet
Several natural ingredients exist in your kitchen which can be used as makeshift home remedies for swollen feet and ankles. For instance, cabbage leaves and cucumber are ingredients of interest for this homemade treatment. You can save some of these ingredients to make a poultice or wrap to eradicate ankle and feet tenderness.
• Cabbage leaves
• Thin cloth
There are two ways of doing this. In the first procedure, slice the cucumber and put it on the swollen ankle or feet. Secure the slices in place by wrapping a thin piece of cloth around the area.
Alternatively, you can use cabbage leaves. First, put the leaves in the freezer for some minutes. Patch the cold cabbage leaf on the swollen area and maintain it in place by wrapping a thin cloth around it. Elevate your legs for about thirty minutes to complete the procedure. Use either of the two home remedies for swollen feet and ankles twice daily to treat your peripheral edema.
Onions also make great home remedies for swollen feet and ankles. Though it is not popular for most people, it is one the most efficient treatments for swelling on the ankle, sprains and muscle tenderness. Onions have been used medically to extract unhealthy toxins from body tissues. They also have anti-inflammatory aspects that make them possible swollen feet remedies.
• A bulb of onion
• Two to three teaspoons of sea salt
• A thin cloth
Shred or crush the onion bulb into a thick paste. Mix the crushed onion with a small amount of sea salt. Spread the thin cloth and smear the resultant paste over it evenly. Fold the piece of fabric then wrap it around the tender or swollen ankle. Keep this onion wrap intact by tying a towel around it. Leave it for several hours, remove the onion poultice and rinse the leg with warm water. The inflammation will reduce in a couple of hours after the procedure.
8. Essential Oils
Essential oils such as castor and coconut oils have been used for ages as home remedies for swollen legs and feet due to their healing properties. These oils contain medium-chain fatty acids that have remarkable antibiotic effects. The ricinoleic acid from castor oil has analgesic properties that can be a remedy for swollen feet.
• Five tablespoons of castor oil or coconut oil
• A pan
• A bowl
• A thin cloth
• Clip tape
• A bottle of warm water
Heat some castor oil in the pan. Let it cool to a relatively warm temperature then pour it into the bowl. Dip the piece of cloth in the warm oil and wrap it around the swollen leg or ankle. To secure the poultice, add another thin cloth wrapping onto the oiled one and clip it. Place the bottle of warm water next to the area. Heat from the bottle is necessary to facilitate the permeation of oil through the skin. Coconut oil can take the place of castor oil if you don’t have the latter.
Besides being a diuretic supplement, ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. These two features make ginger one of the most sought after home remedies for swollen feet. It has functional constituents that dilute sodium which usually enhances water retention causing feet swelling. You can use ginger as a home remedy for swollen feet in two ways. Either massage ginger oil into the skin or make ginger tea.
• Raw ginger
• Lemon (optional)
• Raw honey
• Two cups of hot water
Cut raw ginger into slices and add them to a bowl containing two cups of hot water. Add some drops of lemon juice and raw honey to taste. Strain the mixture to extract two servings of ginger tea. Take it from time to time every day to relieve your swollen ankles and feet. This mix beats OTC remedies for swollen feet regarding its availability and effectiveness.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has high contents of potassium. Potassium is a vital element in reducing fluid retention in the body tissues. As a result, apple cider vinegar is one of the dependable home remedies for swollen feet.
• A Quarter cup of fresh, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
• Quarter cup of water
• A piece of cloth
Dilute apple cider vinegar with water in a bowl. Soak a piece of cloth in this mixture then wring it to release excess fluid. You can either use the wet towel as a poultice or compress it gently in the affected area for about 10 minutes. Perform this procedure for a couple of days until you witness a recognizable change.
11. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds are popular Ayurvedic home remedies for swollen feet. Their reputation comes from their anti-inflammatory nature as well as their ability to enhance blood circulation within the body. Thus, there will be neither formation of blood pools in your feet nor cases of inflammation.
• Two to three teaspoons of coriander seeds
• A cup of water
Pour the coriander seeds into the cup of water then boil the mixture until the quantity of water reduces by half. Strain the mixture, let the resulting solution cool then drink it twice daily. You will be relieved in a few hours.
12. Massage with Grapefruit Oil
A good massage after long hours of sitting down is one of the simplest and most efficient home remedies for swollen feet. You can season it with diluted grapefruit oil which will get rid of excess fluid accumulations in the tissues of the affected area.
• Diluted grapefruit oil
Rub a small amount of grapefruit oil in the affected area gently and then massage it for approximately five minutes.
You can utilize any of these home remedies for swollen legs and feet to realize an improvement in just a couple of days. The ingredients used are readily available, and the procedures outlined here are simple to follow. It is also imperative that you integrate the home remedies for swollen feet of your choice with a healthy diet and consistent exercise as a prevention measure. And if you are experiencing discomfort in your feet but aren’t sure swelling is to blame, you can also take a look at our 12 home remedies for gout.