6 Natural Remedies for Swollen Feet and Ankles
Having swollen feet and ankles is quite common. According to a study from the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care in Cologne, Germany, it’s usually caused by bad circulation, liver problems, or cardiovascular issues.
The accumulation of fluid in this area is called edema. In conjunction with doctor-prescribed treatment, there are natural remedies you can try to alleviate the symptoms.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best natural remedies for this common affliction.
What causes swollen feet and ankles?
This problem can also occasionally extend to your legs and thighs. The causes of swollen feet and ankles include:
- The development of a blood clot in the leg (a thrombus).
- Old age.
- A leg infection.
- Spending too many hours sitting or standing
- Eating too much salt, as described in this study.
- Not drinking enough water
- Your menstrual cycle
- Taking birth control or estrogen supplements
- Heart or liver failure, like in the case of acute alcoholic hepatitis in this study from the medical team at the University of Texas.
- Kidney problems
As you can see, there are all kinds of things that can cause swollen feet and ankles. That’s why it’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis from a professional.
Read more: Why did you have 2 periods in one month?
Home remedies for swollen feet and ankles
Aside from being aesthetically unpleasant or just plain annoying, edema is a health problem that you need to deal with. Luckily, there are some natural treatments that can help reduce problems with swollen feet and ankles. However, remember to get your doctor’s approval before you try any treatment.
Check out these homemade alternatives:
Sage and rosemary soak
Soaking your feet with soothing ingredients is great for when you get home after being out all day, or sitting and standing for a long time at work.
According to a study from the Center for Medication Research and Development in Cuba (CIDEM – Spanish acronym), sage has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. Rosemary, in addition to helping prevent inflammation, is a great antioxidant.
Doing this for just 15 minutes a day will help you rest better and avoid the pain of pressure caused by inflammation.
- 5 tablespoons of sage (50 g).
- 5 tablespoons of rosemary (50 g).
- 2 cups of warm water (500 ml).
- Heat the water and pour it into a suitable container (both feet have to be able to fit).
- Add the sage and rosemary, and stir well.
- Place your feet in the bath and soak them until the water cools (about 15 minutes).
This is the most popular remedy for those who people with swollen feet and ankles. According to a research study from the Chilean Society of Infectious Diseases, salt has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. The great thing is that you can do this soak while watching television, reading on the couch, or talking about your day with your family.
- 3 and 1/2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt (40 g)
- 2 cups of warm water (500 ml)
- 2 cups of cold water (500 ml)
- Heat the water and pour it into a suitable container.
- Add half the salt and stir it until it dissolves.
- Add some of the cold water so that the temperature is comfortable for your feet.
- Soak for about 10 minutes.
- Dry your feet and toss out the water.
- Pour the remaining cold water into the container and add the remaining salt.
- Soak your feet for at least three more minutes.
- This contrast between hot and cold water boosts circulation in your feet and ankles, helping reduce inflammation. Cold water is also a good natural pain-reliever.
Mint has a lot of great properties: it’s refreshing and anti-inflammatory thanks to its polyphenol content. That’s what makes so good for dealing with swollen feet and ankles.
- 3 tablespoons of fresh mint leaves (30 g)
- 1 liter of water
- Heat the water and add the mint leaves when it comes to a boil.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes, remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.
- Pour this mixture into a container and when it’s cool enough, soak your feet in it.
- Continue soaking for 15 minutes or until the water cools.
Not only that, but there’s no scientific evidence to support its use for edema, but if you want to risk it, here’s the recipe:
- 2 tablespoons of horsetail (20 g)
- 1 liter of water
- Add the water and horsetail to a saucepan.
- Boil for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, let it steep while covered, and then strain out the liquid.
- Drink this tea throughout the day. If you like, you can sweeten it with honey.
Cinnamon and clove massage
According to studies from the Bangalore Medical College, cinnamon has important anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Cloves, for their part, contain eugenol, which is known to have sedative properties.
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil (32 g)
- Crush the cloves and the cinnamon stick using a mortar until you have a fine powder.
- Add the spices to a saucepan along with the olive oil. Stir well.
- Heat over low heat for one minute (you can also heat for two minutes in the microwave, making sure you use an appropriate container).
- Allow the mixture to cool and use it to massage the affected area.
- Make circular motions from the bottom up, and don’t rinse.
- Put on socks (wool is best) so that the oil absorbs well and doesn’t stain your sheets.
- Remove the socks in the morning and rinse with warm water.
- Repeat this every night for one week.
See also Incredible benefits of honey and cinnamon
According to a study from the Medical University of Camaguey, this is an herb you should have on hand due to its many properties (especially anti-inflammatory). You can use the essential oil or make a tea to massage the affected area.
- 2 tablespoons of chamomile flowers (20 g)
- 2 cups of water (500 ml)
- Heat the water and add the chamomile flowers.
- When it comes to a boil, allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and wait for it to cool.
- Strain the water and pour it slowly over the legs.
- Perform a circular massage from the feet to your knees.
These are all simple to prepare, and the ingredients are mostly common household items, so what are you waiting for? After all, taking care of your body is crucial if you want to enjoy good health.
Don’t forget that if the pain and swelling don’t go away, you need to see a doctor.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Lavilla Royo, F. J. (2011). Protocolo diagnóstico de los edemas. Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-5412(11)70107-X
- Aslangul, E. (2013). Edemas. EMC – Podología. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1762-827X(12)64006-1
- Mirpuri-Mirpuri, P. G., Mar Álvarez-Cordovés, M. Del, & García-Santana, M. S. (2014). Paciente con edemas. FMC Formacion Medica Continuada En Atencion Primaria. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1134-2072(14)70725-X