Swelling, or Edema can occur for several reasons ranging from inactivity, poor circulation, pregnancy or obesity. Swelling occurs when there is a buildup of fluids in the tissues. There are several home remedies for swollen feet that can be used to help alleviate pain and discomfort. However, it is important to remember that the swelling is often a symptom of a larger problem and reducing swelling is a treatment for a symptom only. That being said, swelling can often be uncomfortable and can make it difficult to walk. Utilizing at home remedies for swollen feet can help to quickly and cheaply alleviate these symptoms allowing you to focus on treating the cause.
Home remedies for swollen feet are accessible and offer fast relief!
1. Contrast Hydrotherapy
Contrast Hydrotherapy is a swollen feet home remedy that reduces swelling by encouraging circulation. Robert Vignoli, a massage therapist explains that because the bodies lymph system does not contain a “pump” like the circulatory system does, fluid can pool in certain areas, like the feet. This type of hydrotherapy encourages lymph nodes to dilate and contract, which moves any fluids and reduces inflammation.
- Fill 2 large containers (storage bins, bowls) with hot and cold water, respectively.
- Make sure that the temperature of the water in the bowls is between 100 and 111 degrees for the hot one, and 50 and 61 degrees for the cold one.
- Place your feet in the hot water for 45 minutes, and then the cold for 1-2 minutes. Alternate this process 5 times, ending in the hot water.
Parsley is known to be a natural diuretic, which means it helps the body get rid of any excess water and salts. Because water and salts can lead to foot swelling, ingesting parsley can assist in swelling reduction. Conveniently, parsley is a herb that can be grown indoors for year-round, convenient use. Because it is a diuretic which will increase urine output, it wouldn’t be a great idea to utilize parsley right before you go to bed, or else you may be in the bathroom all night!
- Chop 1/4 cup of parsley (green leaves, stems and roots included.)
- Boil 2 quarts of water.
- Place the chopped parsley in an infusion basket and add it to the water.
- Let the tea steep for 5-7 minutes, then add honey and lemon juice to taste.
- Strain the water and consume the drink throughout the day.
Massaging the feet is one of the swollen feet home remedies that can both effective and relaxing! Focused pressure on the affected areas can help to increase circulation. The result is soothed muscles and decreased fluids. For a more pleasant massage you can use relaxing essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus mixed into the olive oil.
- Warm olive oil and rub into the skin.
- Massage your feet using upward motions, without applying a lot of pressure.
- Keep massaging for at least 15 minutes.
- Repeat several times a day, especially after taking a warm bath.
The addition of cucumber to your home remedies for swollen feet can help in at least two ways. First, it is very low in calories, which will help you to fill up fast with fewer calories leading to weight loss. Second, cucumbers are a diuretic, which will help your body rid itself of excess fluids contributing to swelling. Again, because it is a diuretic try to avoid it before bed.
- Slice a whole cucumber and add the slices to 2 quarts of water.
- Drink the entire 2 quarts throughout the day.
5. Epsom Salt
Soaking swollen feet in a water bath including Epsom Salt helps reduce swelling due to the presence of magnesium. Like other home remedies for swollen feet, magnesium is a supplement that can be taken both internally or used externally. Livestrong.com explains that inflammation usually causes a decrease of magnesium in the body. When feet are soaked in magnesium-rich Epsom Salt, the magnesium is absorbed and helps to fight the inflammation. While ingesting magnesium supplements is an option, soaking feet in Epsom Salts is the most effective way to reintroduce magnesium into the body. Keep in mind that if you take Epsom Salts orally they have a laxative effect.
- Let the warm water run in your tub.
- Add 2 cups of Epsom salts to the warm bath.
- Soak your entire body for at least 15 minutes.
- Repeat daily before going to bed.
- Soak a towel in the same mixture and then apply it to your feet as a quicker method.
6. Ginger Tea
Ginger is one of the most easily accessible home remedies for swollen feet. This root is a natural diuretic that can be used both externally and internally. Ginger is recognized for centuries as a natural anti-inflammatory, being often used in Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern medicine. Recently, athletes starting using it for its ability to soothe sore or inflamed muscles. When applied topically, Ginger penetrates the skin and suppresses the production of nitric oxide, a free radical responsible for swelling.
- Peel and grate 1 tbsp. of fresh ginger.
- Boil 2 cups of filtered water.
- Add the grated ginger to the boiling water and let the mix rest for 10 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp of honey or pure maple syrup and the juice of half a lemon.
- Drink throughout the day.
7. Dandelion Tea
After realizing the potential for healing held in the leaf of a dandelion, one may start to view it less as a yard pest. Dandelion is a plant that has several applications that make for one of the more effective home remedies for swollen feet. Herbalists have realized the medicinal value of the dandelion for centuries, especially its natural diuretic abilities. The dandelion can be picked and used as another green in a salad, made into a salve, or brewed in a tea. Another medicinal quality of the dandelion is that it can lower blood sugar, so it should be used by diabetics very carefully.
- Pick several handfuls of small, young dandelion leaves.
- Rinse, and let the leaves dry out in a warm room away from direct sunlight. Turn occasionally.
- Store in a sealed jar.
- Use 1 teaspoon of dandelion per glass of tea. If desired, add some mint to help with the taste.
- Drink dandelion tea 2-3 times daily.
8. Lemon Water
Lemon is very effective at removing excess fluid from swollen feet. Although it seems counter-intuitive to treat water with water, drinking several glasses of lemon infused water daily can be very beneficial in treating swelling.
- Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a glass container, and store in a fridge.
- Use 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a glass of water several times daily.
- Add a bit of honey to help with the taste.
9. Baking Soda
Not just useful for cleaning or cooking, baking soda is also an effective remedy for swollen feet. The sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, helps to regulate the body’s PH levels reducing swelling.
- Add one cup of baking soda to a tub of cooler water.
- Soak feet for 10-30 minutes.
10. Tonic water
Originally believed to be the cure for “jungle fever”, tonic water is an effective anti-inflammatory and can be very beneficial when used to reduce swelling. Tonic water is a commercially manufactured water that has a small amount of quinine included. Quinine is extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree and has been used to treat a variety of ailments since the 17th century. Today, we can use its anti-inflammatory properties to help with everyday ailments such as foot swelling.
- Fill a small tub or bowl with enough tonic water to cover the feet.
- Soak feet in room temperature tonic water.
11. Foot Elevation
Keeping swollen feet elevated can help lymph nodes and tissue drain excess fluid that has contributed to swelling. According to the Vein Institute of New Jersey, everyday activities like sitting and standing put a lot of pressure on veins and fluid buildup can occur. Elevating the legs can relieve a lot of that pressure, giving your feet a much-needed break and reducing the swelling.
- Elevate your legs to at least above your hips, but not higher than your heart while sitting.
- Keep feet lower than your heart.
- Keep elevated for 45-60 minutes.
12. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another kitchen staple, apple cider vinegar can also help reduce swelling. And while you are utilizing its ability to reduce swelling, you can also use it to treat acne, heartburn, sunburn, diarrhea and even infections. Apple cider vinegar costs only a few dollars but has a multitude of healing properties, being also recommended for treating toenail fungus.
- Find two tubs large enough to soak feet in.
- Fill 1 tub with 1/2 warm water, 1/2 apple cider vinegar.
- Fill 1 tub with 1/2 cold water, 1/2 apple cider vinegar.
- Soak the towels in the warm and cold mixtures, and alternate wrapping the feet in each towel for several minutes.
- Repeat several times.
As you can see, there are several home remedies for swollen feet. If you suffer from swollen feet, try one or more of these to find some relief. It is very easy to use several of these remedies in combination, such as drinking dandelion tea while sitting with elevated legs. If your symptoms last more than a week, please consult with a doctor to ensure that your swollen feet are not the symptom of a larger, more complex issue.