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10 Natural Remedies for Swollen Feet and Ankles

10 Natural Remedies for Swollen Feet and Ankles

Are you coping with swelling? Check out some of these natural solutions to help relieve swollen feet and ankles!


Swelling in your feet and ankles is called edema, and there are a lot of things that can cause the problem, from high blood pressure to pregnancy. What’s happening is your body is having trouble fighting gravity to move blood and fluids back up your legs, so your ankles, feet, and even your legs can begin to swell.

Edema on its own is not harmful, but it is uncomfortable. If you are seeing one foot or leg swelling a lot more than the other, or your face is swelling, you do want to call your doctor, because the cause could be a blood clot, and you don’t want to wait to address that problem.

That uncomfortable swelling is not actually a disorder, just a symptom, and the best way to treat it is to treat the root cause. If you’re swelling because of pregnancy, it should go down not long after you deliver. Talk to your doctor to see what could be causing your swelling.

Whatever the reason, these remedies can help give you some relief while you sort out the cause of your edema.

Main Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by DioBurto

shoulder stand

10 Natural Remedies for Swollen Feet and Ankles


1. Try a magnesium supplement

Magnesium deficiency can contribute to edema, and taking a supplement can help give you some relief. Most of the recommendations I’ve seen are for 200mg twice a day, but if you’re pregnant you’ll want to talk to your doctor about that first. The RDA for magnesium is 350mg per day, and your doctor might not want you taking an extra 400mg, since you’re also probably getting magnesium in your prenatal vitamin and your diet.

At six months pregnant, I started taking 250mg of magnesium in the evenings, and the difference in my swelling was dramatic without changing anything else.

2. Do a Little Yoga

Exercise can help improve your circulation, and yoga is a great way to get moving and really focus on that circulatory system. Check out these yoga poses to improve circulation to get you going!

Of course, you’ll want to talk to your doctor before starting up with yoga, especially if you haven’t been doing it before. If you’re totally new to yoga, I highly recommend taking a class. A yoga instructor can not only help you overcome any hesitations you have about yoga, but she or he will make sure you are doing the poses properly and might even be able to suggest additional postures to help with your edema! Once you have a swing of how the poses feel, you can practice at home.

Related: 5 Best Prenatal Yoga Poses

3. Soak in Tonic Water

This one might sound a little odd, but soaking in room temperature – or cold, if it’s not too uncomfortable – tonic water can help with swelling. The quinine and the bubbles can help reduce inflammation, and frankly just soaking your poor, swollen feet feels great!

4. Grab Some Grapefruit Essential Oil

A warm bath can also help with swelling, and you can give that water a boost with a few drops of grapefruit essential oil! You can also just fill a bucket with nice, warm water to soak in.

If baths aren’t your thing, you can also mix a few drops of grapefruit oil with a carrier oil like olive or sweet almond oil and give yourself a little foot and leg massage. As you rub your feet, ankles, and calves, focus your pressure upward, rather than downward or in a circular motion.

5. Do a Salt Water Soak

Adding a healthy dose of Epsom salts to the tub is another way to boost that bath. Like the grapefruit oil, you can also just use a bucket, if you’re only having swelling in your feet and ankles. If your calves are swollen, too, a bath is probably your best bet.

Epsom salts are like magic for swelling. Even before I was pregnant, I took occasional salt baths after super long runs to help my muscles relax.

See: A Refreshing Treatment for Tired Feet

 

massage

6. Treat Yourself to a Massage

A massage therapist can do wonders for swollen feet and ankles! Don’t be shy about mentioning the problem when you get to your appointment, so she or he can focus on getting things moving in your lower extremities.

If you are pregnant, I’d recommending finding a therapist who specializes in prenatal massage. A prenatal massage therapist will be much more knowledgeable about how to make you comfortable. Seriously, I have never had so many pillows around me in my life, but all of that really does help make it a more beneficial experience.

7. Get Some Support Hose

Support hose or compression gear can prevent swelling, especially from being on your feet. You can find compression socks that come knee- or thigh-high or full-on compression stockings. These suckers are hard to get on, because they’re meant to be pretty tight on your legs, but they can really make a difference.

I have read a lot of great experiences with compression socks, but I’ve found that they start out feeling amazing, and after about four hours they start to make my feet cramp. You can find footless compression stockings, so if you experience the same problem, that might be a good solution for you.

8. Elevate Those Feet

Gravity is not your friend when it comes to edema, so elevate your feet every chance you get! When you’re relaxing in the evening, prop your legs up on some pillows. Ideally, you want your feet above your heart. Take THAT, gravity!

If you work a day job, try to find a way to prop your feet up under your desk. Even elevating a bit can make a big difference in your swelling as the day goes on.

9. Make a Splash

Swimming or even floating in water can help with swollen feet and ankles. The pressure from the water can help get things moving in your legs, and floating gives your circulatory system a break from gravity’s constant pull. If you don’t have a pool, check out local gyms to see what they offer.

10. Drink Up!

Excess salt is a big contributor to swelling, and upping your fluid intake can help dilute the salt in your system. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day to flush things out. Even better? Try making cucumber-lemon water! Just drop a couple of cucumber and lemon slices in your glass, and enjoy! Both of these fruits have anti-inflammatory properties, so if gives that water an extra swelling-fighting punch!

Have you guys found any natural remedies that help with swollen feet and ankles? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments!

Related:
5 Best Prenatal Yoga Poses
3 Strange Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Sources:

  • http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/natural-remedies-for-swollen-feet.html
  • http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/third-trimester/qa/swollen-feet-and-ankles-during-pregnancy.aspx?MsdVisit=1
  • http://www.progressivehealth.com/magensium-fluid-retention.htm?gclid=CJvflYb5wLQCFSOnPAodKQQA3Q

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo via Witches Fall Cottages

Read more: Conditions, Diet & Nutrition, Fitness, General Health, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, High Blood Pressure, Natural Remedies, Obstetrics, Women's Health, , , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

392 comments

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12:31AM PDT on Sep 30, 2014

Thanks for sharing:)

10:13PM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

Thank you for suggestions in article and in comments. Ice packs can give relief short term. A daily foot soak and gentle massage also help.

8:35PM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

Elevate those swollen feet, that's the best thing you can do...Put them 'up' at every opportunity!

7:25PM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

Sitting a lot seems to cause swollen feet also. I sit for hours while doing my 'political' mails. And my feet swell because of sitting so long at a time. So I'm teaching my self to get up and walk for a few minutes.

6:27PM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

Thanks for this post. Lots of helpful information. : )

5:56PM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

My DIL delivered twins last week and her feet are still very swollen. I will pass these ideas on to her asap! Thanks for sharing this article, Becky.

5:48PM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

Interesting. Jacklyn is correct--your plants need magnesium too! Thanks.

3:07PM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

make gentle rubbing cold (real) cloudy acv into the skin from the knees to the ankles a habit, don´t get tired of it, won´t take more than one minute...Not only swollen feet are a thing of the past, but your skin at all gets so smooth like marble or a mirror...I rub acv into arms, chest, belly too...the problem today is that we give up tomorrow " if no result today " ...Tablets soothe pain, sure, but they don´t keep it from recurring whilst acv keeps pain at bay usually for keeps...
(the following maybe off topic, sorry if so, but as I´m in the habit of always mentioning how important, water, herbal teas, liquid in general, are, --remember--: without enough water, juice, teas etc, NOTHING HAPPENS , as without water we don´t absorb more than one third of the minerals contained in the food we ingest, --so we need water & co-- to convey the minerals to there where they´re needed, or they " go unsung " during the daily morning session...the more liquid, the more minerals, the better we feel, goes for all parts of the body, swollen feet too...thanks

11:56AM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

Thx for posting!

10:35AM PDT on Sep 29, 2014

Good to know, especially if you have a job that requires standing most or all of the day.

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Wise advice. Thanks Ann.

I have have and never would do any of the above. Of course, I don't rob stores, abuse children or d…

Thank you for this very useful and informative article. I love coconut oil. I use coconut oil s…

some great ideas but would be hard to know where to start :)

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