Painless swelling of the feet and ankle is a problem anyone can experience. However, it is more prevalent in older people.
In most cases, this kind of swelling is not a disease in itself but could be a symptom of an underlying issue. Abnormal accumulation of fluids is the most common cause of swollen feet and ankles. This fluid buildup, and the resultant swelling, is called edema.
There are several reasons why feet and ankle swelling can occur. These reasons include; nutritional deficiencies, being overweight, pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), aging, poor blood circulation, and lack of physical exercise. Also, an injury or surgery on the feet, ankle, or leg can cause swelling of the feet and ankles.
People who have diabetes, kidney disease, heart problems, or liver disease are more prone to have swollen feet and ankle issues.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with swollen feet and ankles;
- Opt for a low-salt diet as excess salt in the body could lead to fluid buildup.
- You could also wear compression stockings.
- If you are overweight or obese, lose the excess fat.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing around your thighs.
- You should include leg exercises in your exercise routine. Leg exercises help improve circulation.
- Avoid sitting for long hours. Take intermittent breaks and walk around a bit.
- You could place your legs on a pillow to raise them above your heart while lying down.
Below are various home remedies for swollen feet and ankles;
1. Use Tonic Water
If you have tonic water, in your home then you can use it for reducing your swelling. Tonic water is basically carbonated water, with quinine in it. The quinine plays the role of an anti-inflammatory substance and thus helps in reducing the swelling. For this remedy, take a tub or basin and pour an adequate amount of tonic water in it. Then, submerge your feet and ankles in it. Keep your feet and ankles soaked for 10-15 minutes. After that wash your feet with normal water.
2. Ice Pack
This is the most known way to reduce swelling. Putting an ice pack on the swollen leg helps reduce the swelling. In case you don’t have an ice pack at home, you can simply take 6-7 ice cubes and wrap it in a towel, or a cotton cloth, and put it on your swelling.
3. Epsom Salt
Using Epsom salt for reducing swollen feet is also very effective. Epsom salt contains hydrated magnesium sulfate which works well to reduce swelling. Moreover, Epsom salt is known for giving quick relief to swelling and soreness. The best way to use it is by mixing it with warm water. Take a tub, fill it halfway with warm water, and then add the salt to it, and wait till it dissolves. Once the salt has dissolved, put the affected foot into the tub and let it rest. Leave the affected foot in the tub for 10-15 minutes and repeat this process as and when necessary. Also, if there is no Epsom salt at your home, you can try the same method even with sea salt or normal salt.
4. Contrast Hydrotherapy
This is another simple yet useful method to reduce your swelling. The only thing needed to do this is water. Take two tubs; fill one with warm water and another with cold water. While warm water is good for maintaining blood circulation, cold water is known for reducing swelling. Once you have filled the tubs, put your leg into the warm water and keep it for 3-4 minutes. After that take it out and instantly put it into the cold water tub and keep it there for another 1 min. Continue this process for 15minutes, and you will soon see the result.
5. Baking Soda with Starch Water
Baking soda is another anti-inflammatory product. When you mix it with rice starch water, it turns into a paste. Applying this paste on your feet helps in reducing the swelling. The rice starch water is known for absorbing excess water from the feet, and also helps in maintaining blood circulation. For this remedy, take some rice starch water and mix some baking powder to it, until you get a paste-like consistency. Then apply the paste to your feet and ankles and leave it for 10-15 minutes. After that wash your leg and moisturize it. Keep repeating this process for a day or 2 to get rid of swelling completely.
6. Use Lemon
Lemon has so many benefits and among them includes its anti-inflammatory benefits. Take a teaspoon of lemon juice and add a teaspoon cinnamon powder as well as 1 teaspoon of olive oil to it, as both cinnamon and olive oil help in reducing swelling. Mix all these properly to get a paste. Apply the paste on your feet and leave it to absorb overnight. Wash off the next morning.
7. Cucumber Bandage
Just like Lemon, cucumber has some amazing properties. Cucumber helps in alleviating stiffness as well as alleviating edema. If you have a cucumber at your home, cut thin slices of it, and place them on the affected area. Tie them with a bandage. Keep the bandage for half an hour and remove it slowly thereafter.
Ginger, as a home remedy for swelling, can be used in 3 ways. Firstly, you can use ginger extract oil. Take the oil, mix it with some carrier oil (such as olive oil), or even take just the oil and massage it on the swollen feet. Secondly, you can consume ginger tea which is really helpful and will help in reducing the swollen feet. Thirdly, you can eat raw ginger slices. Though it is a bit tough, there are people who love eating ginger.
9. Barley Water
Barley helps in detoxifying the body and also helps in regulating the fluid content in our body. For this remedy, take some barley and boil it in water until the water turns slightly brownish. Once it attains this color, strain it and store it in the fridge. Drink at least a glass of this water daily, and in no time you will see good results.
10. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seed is also helpful in getting rid of excess fluid, thus reducing edema in the foot. Take 2-3 tablespoons of the seeds and boil it in water and after straining, drink the water. In case you don’t want to drink it, then grind the soaked seeds, and turn them into a paste. Apply the paste regularly on the affected feet and you will see some effective results.
11. Dandelion Tea
Consuming 2 cups of dandelion tea per day surely helps in reducing the swelling of the feet. Dandelion has antioxidant properties and helps in reducing all kinds of swelling. Just take some dandelion herb, say a teaspoon or so and boil it in water. Strain the water, and drink 2 cups of it daily. You’ll notice the positive effect gradually.
12. Parsley Tea
Boil 1 tablespoon of parsley, strain the water and drink it. Drink 2-3 glass daily to get rid of the swelling.
13. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has potent anti-inflammatory properties and thus provides quick relief. All you need is 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 3 cups of warm water and 3 cups of cold water and a towel. Put half a cup of vinegar into warm water and another half into the cold. Then soak the towel first in the warm water and wrap it on the foot, after 5mins do the same with the cold water. Continue this for at least 15mins and, if needed, repeat this remedy after an hour.
14. Essential Oils
If you have essential oils like eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, lemon oil, etc. at home, then mix 3-4 drops of each in half bucket of warm water and soak your feet in it for 15mins.
15. Grapefruit Oil
Take 4-5 drops of grapefruit oil and mix it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and massage it on the swollen part and leave it overnight. It would work overnight and reduce the swelling.
16. Foot Massage
Believe it or not, but a massage always works. If the right kind of massage is done, then it can be really helpful in reducing any swelling for massage increases blood circulation. Take some olive oil, and if not that, then some mustard oil and massage your feet as well as your ankle in an upward direction for 5 minutes. Do this at least 3-4 times a day, and you will soon feel the difference in your feet.
Let gravity work on you and your feet. Elevate the swollen foot by using pillows and keep it like that for an hour or so for the excess water to go down. The feet should be at a higher position than the heart.
18. Drinking Water
The swelling is mainly due to water accumulation, but that happens when the salt content in the body is high. Thus, to get rid of the excess salt from the body, drink as much water as possible. Water purifies the body, and the excess salt will then be washed out from the body in form of urine.
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