Ankles, feet, and legs are parts of the body that tend to swell more readily because in addition to supporting your weight, they’re also affected by factors like your diet, hormonal changes, and certain health disorders. Often, swelling in the ankles, feet and legs is caused by fluid retention throughout the body, which in turn causes the accumulation of toxins and waste that can worsen the inflammation.
There are many things that can influence swelling in your lower extremities. Among the common causes are pregnancy, being overweight, obesity, standing for long periods of time, and of course, an excess of fluid retained by the body. But sometimes you need to pay close attention to this kind of swelling, as it could also be a symptom of a more serious problem like liver disease, venous thrombosis, or an obstruction of the lymphatic system.
If your ankles, feet, and legs remain swollen for long periods of time, it’s very important that you consult your doctor to get to the root of the problem. In other cases where the swelling is short-term, the following natural remedies might be a big help in getting them to return to their normal size.
ExerciseAlthough swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs can be painful, not getting any physical activity will worsen the condition. Contrary to popular belief, exercise is one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate swelling in the lower extremities. When you exercise, it improves blood circulation and helps prevent problems like blood clots.
- Recommendation: Try taking up swimming: This is a low impact exercise that doesn’t involve putting additional pressure on the ankles, feet, and legs.
Improve your diet and reduce salt intake
Food is one of the major keys to good health, better circulation, and the prevention of diseases that affect the lower limbs. As most of you already know, consuming too much salt or sodium is one of the main causes of fluid retention and the accumulation of toxins in the body. It’s very important that you reduce your salt intake, which isn’t just coming from the white crystals you keep in the kitchen – plenty of other foods you buy in stores contain excessive amounts of sodium.
- Recommendation: There are many substitutes for salt that are available, as well as alternative food choices and recipes to reduce its impacts. Adopt a healthier diet to prevent becoming overweight and avoid obesity.
DandelionDandelion is a popular plant that’s known for being a powerful diuretic and detox agent. It can help fight fluid retention, which helps reduce the swelling you’re experiencing in your ankles, feet, and legs.
- Recommendation: Make a tea with dandelion and drink three cups of it a day. You can also apply the liquid directly to the affected area using a cloth or towel.
One of the more classic and excellent treatments for swelling in the lower extremities is Epsom salts. They help relax the limbs, reducing inflammation and stimulating good circulation to prevent diseases and other problems.
- Recommendation: Add one cup of Epsom salts to your bath water and soak in it for at least 15 minutes. If the swelling is only affecting your ankles and feet, you can also prepare the mixture in a bowl and soak the feet for 20 minutes.
Aloe veraThis plant has numerous benefits for the body, both inside and out. One of its most important properties, however, is its ability to fight inflammation and eliminate toxins, which can of course help fight fluid retention in the lower extremities.
- Recommendation: Scrape the gel from the leaf of a fresh aloe plant and consume two tablespoons in the morning on an empty stomach, mixed with either water or juice. Another option is to apply the fresh gel directly to the areas that are swollen.
Foot and leg massages can be very relaxing, stimulating circulation and helping to reduce fluid retention. Try using smooth, but firm, motions, always moving in the direction of your heart.
- Recommendation: Use essential oils to massage swollen limbs to get better results. Some essential oils that have anti-inflammatory properties include: