30 Effective Ways to Reduce Swelling in the Feet and Ankles

swollen feetAre you one of them who feels disappointed because your feet does not fit into those beautiful pair of shoes which you had picked so aesthetically for the evening’s party? On the other hand, do your feet complain of swelling, aches and pains as an aftermath of flaunting those gorgeous pair, even after three days post the party?  Or do you very frequently exhibit signs of cutting short your party or a busy schedule just to run back to your haven, longing to only prop your feet, which looks quite puffed up and painful? If this is the case, then you are not alone. You are one among a majority of the human population that suffers from this condition. Though slightly debilitating, with little efforts on your part, you can overcome this gradually in no time. Hence, to make your precious pair of feet comfortable and happy, here are a few simple suggestions and tips using ingredients available straight off your kitchen shelves that can help reduce swelling and pain. However, before we explore the solutions for this condition, let us first examine a few basic facts and the root causes for the swelling.


Swelling in the Feet – Info

Swelling in the feet and ankles, commonly referred to, in medical terms as edema or peripheral edema, is a condition that causes abnormal pooling of fluid or water in the body tissues, predominantly the feet and ankles.


Causes for swelling of feet

The swelling, for most part, happens due to a number of reasons, most of which are not medical by nature. Nevertheless, in some instances this occurs as part of one of the symptoms of a medical condition.  Nonetheless, in a majority of them this happens owing to reasons that are very mundane and trivial. Therefore, to find a suitable solution, depending upon the cause you have to identify the root cause of this swelling.


Sedentary Lifestyle

Leading a sedentary lifestyle happen to be one of the major precursors of a multitude of diseases. Likewise, sitting or standing for prolonged periods, in addition to going on long journeys by road or air too produce swelling.


Being Obese

Obesity remains a major concern in the present world. This obviously is another reason for swelling occurring, especially in the lower extremities. This is so because your feet endure the weight of the entire body. Being obese or over weight makes it extremely difficult to do and as such swelling occurs due to the body’s struggle against gravity to circulate blood and fluids up the legs



An injury or a surgery carried out in the leg, feet or ankle is another aspect that leads to swelling of these parts.


Salt Intake

Excessive sodium content in your diet leads to build up of fluids causing swelling in your feet, ankles and legs.


Hormonal Disturbances

Owing to hormonal disturbances taking place in the body, women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) with symptoms of mood swings, anxiety depression and fluid buildup in the legs and feet. Apart from this, other conditions that involve disturbances in hormonal secretion like symptoms of menopause, which normally lead to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and other factors like taking birth control pills display signs of swelling.


During Pregnancy

Feet and ankle swelling is a very common occurrence for almost all women during pregnancy. However, it is more so with those suffering from preeclampsia, a serious condition wherein the person suffers from uncontrolled blood pressure and protein in the urine (proteinuria) that results in swelling.


Medical Conditions

In some cases, the symptoms of swollen feet and ankles indicate an underlying medical condition such as arthritis, hypertension, thyroid, varicose veins, venous insufficiency, heart, liver or renal diseases.


Prescription Drugs

Certain prescription medications recommended for treating high blood pressure, diabetes, along with other medications like corticosteroids and antidepressants are other factors that have side effects of swelling and fluid up as one of the key symptoms.


Home Remedies to Reduce Swelling of Feet

Here are a few natural remedies using ingredients available at home…

 Home remedies for swollen feet

1) Lemon Water

Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning helps relieve swelling. This effect is due to the anti-inflammatory compounds present in lemon combined with its ability to flush out excessive fluids and harmful toxins from the body.

2) Cabbage Bandage

Placing unwashed and chilled (not frozen ) cabbage leaves wiped clean with a soft towel, secured loosely with a cloth on the swollen areas prove beneficial. Cabbage enables water absorption and helps alleviate swelling within half an hours time.


3) Cucumber Water

Cucumber contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce puffiness.  Therefore, follow the same procedure as in the case of cabbage by substituting cucumbers for effectiveness. Besides this, drinking water immersed with two slices each of lemon and cucumber provides respite as both lemon and cucumber make natural anti-inflammatory agents.


4) Cinnamon Powder

Make a paste combining olive oil, milk, water, lemon juice and cinnamon powder. Mix these ingredients thoroughly and apply this on the swollen feet and ankles. Leave it overnight to alleviate pain and swelling.


5) Onion Juice

Onions, consisting of flavonoids make one of the best natural sources for reducing water retention. Due to their natural detoxifying compounds; they prevent the formation of kidney stones. Boil few onions in four cups of water. Add a pinch of salt to this finally while turning it off. Then cool, strain and drink the liquid, twice or thrice a day to get rid of fluid accumulated in the feet and ankles.


6) Parsley Tea

One of the most effective herbs accredited scientifically for treating fluid retention and swelling is parsley. Possessing natural diuretic tendencies, this herb helps cleanse the body of unwanted fluids, through the urine and prevents recurrences. Steep fresh/dried parsley leaves for about fifteen minutes in a litre of boiled water. Strain and drink the liquid as frequently as possible throughout the day to flush excess water from the body.  Another process recommended in Ayurveda is applying a paste of crushed fresh parsley leaves on the swelling twice a day for relief. (Read: Health benefits of parsley tea)


7) Ginger Tea

A natural diuretic, ginger offers anti-inflammatory effects that dissolves and expels the excessive sodium content from the body. Therefore chewing a small piece of ginger or drinking ginger tea twice or thrice a day proves beneficial. In addition, massaging the swollen regions by mixing ginger essential oil to any carrier oil facilitates healing and relief from pain and swelling.


8) Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds, possessing diuretic properties, have remained an effective antidote for treating various ailments down the ages. According to research, these seeds expel excessive sodium and water from the kidneys, which helps cut down systolic pressure, therefore making them one of the best options for treating swelling in the feet. Furthermore, they flush and relieve the body of unwanted toxins thus promoting optimal health. To relieve swelling feet a teaspoon of fennel seeds in boiling water for fifteen minutes, consume the water and chew the seeds, twice or thrice a day to eliminate retention.


9) Coriander Seeds

Another alternative remedy in the system of Ayurveda, for treating this painful condition is coriander seeds. With anti-inflammatory substances and ample amounts of potassium, these act as natural diuretics that help get rid of swelling and prevent recurrences.  Boil a cup of water with three teaspoons coriander seeds until the waters reduced to half its quantity. Cool this liquid strain and consume twice a day for better results.


10) Baking Powder

Apply a paste to the swollen areas by combining equal quantities of baking powder and the starch water obtained from cooking rice. These absorb water and eliminate swelling.


11) Dandelion Tea

According to a study published in the year 2009 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, dandelion helps neutralise the sodium and balance the fluids in the body. Steep a teaspoon of dried or fresh dandelion leaves in a cup of hot water. Once it reaches room temperature strain and consume the liquid twice daily to achieve positive results.


12) Apple Cider Vinegar

Make a foot soak by mixing apple cider vinegar to warm water. The same solution also works absolutely well as a wrap. Hence, soak a soft towel in this solution and wrap it around the feet  for quick relief.


13) Nettle Tea

Steep a teaspoon of dried nettle leaves or nettle root powder in a cup of boiling hot water for ten minutes and drink this tea thrice a day until the swelling subsides.


14) Barley Water

Drinking barley water as many times as possible proves effective for relieving the excessive fluids from the body.


15) Cranberry Juice

A rich source of minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium combined with the effectual diuretic properties, cranberry makes yet another popular remedy for swollen feet. Drinking a cup of unsweetened cranberry juice regularly alleviates swelling and eliminates fluid collected in the legs.


16) Tree tea oil

Mix tree tea oil with carrier oil and massage twice on the swollen areas continuously until the pain and swelling diminishes.


17) Flaxseeds Powder

This is another remedy for swollen feet recommended by Ayurveda. Mix half a teaspoon of powdered flaxseed to a glass of water twice daily for beneficial results.


18) Ice Pack

Wrap a couple of ice cubes/crushed ice in a towel and apply it over the affected area for relief.


19) Contrast Baths

Immerse the feet in a bucket of hot (bearable heat) water for fifteen minutes and immediately soak them in a bucket filled with cold water. Repeat this alternately. This promotes blood circulation and eases swelling.


20) Epsom Salt

Soak feet in half a tub of water combined with half a cup of Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) or common salt for fifteen minutes before retiring to bed. This improves circulation, relieves foot odour, alleviates pain and absorbs the fluids that cause swelling.


21) Tonic water

Tonic water constitutes a mixture of carbonated water mixed with quinine. Soaking the feet in tonic water when it remains at room temperature helps relax tired and swollen feet.


22) Elevate legs

Raise both feet above heart level while sitting or lying down and flex the ankles occasionally for the swelling to subside.


23) Swimming/ Exercise

Swimming or just floating in the pool, walking or cycling is another solution to decrease the swelling as it helps the blood flow freely in the body.


24) Magnesium Foods

Deficiencies in magnesium make the leg to swell. Hence, it is imperative to take a magnesium-enriched diet complete with green leafy vegetables’, cereals and nuts, dark chocolates, avocadoes, banana, fish and seeds.


25) Vitamin E foods

A diet rich in Vitamin E comprising of leafy greens, nuts, fish, seeds, meat and dairy helps relieve the swelling in the ankles feet and legs.


26) Stay Hydrated                                                    

Drinking eight to ten glasses of water every day helps enjoy optimal health. Moreover, water helps flush out excessive sodium content from the body, which is one of the chief contributors for this uncomfortable condition.


27) Foot Massage

A foot massage works wonders for swollen feet, and one of the most effective home remedies for swollen feet. Being on ones feet the whole day, or sitting in a place for long duration leads to poor blood circulation which in turn produces fluid retention in the legs. Therefore to alleviate swelling a gentle foot massage beginning from the foot to the legs up boosts circulation and reduces swelling.


28) Support Stockings

Doctors recommend Support stockings or compression hose to prevent swelling besides eliminating pain and swelling. This helps remove the pressure from the lower part of the legs and alleviates conditions like varicose veins, one of the main causes for swelling due to blood pooling. It is imperative to wear them especially during situations that require long standing or sitting which results in this painful condition.


29) Essential Oils 

Herbal oil extracts such as lavender, chamomile, lemon, eucalyptus or peppermint prove effective when combined with the bath. Most of these oils offer a multitude of benefits for health. For instance lavender and chamomile offer anti-inflammatory properties while peppermint and eucalyptus pacifies and soothes the pain offering respite from this condition.


30) Comfortable Shoes

A tight fitting uncomfortable pair of shoes may perhaps be another reason for swelling. Hence, changing to a comfortable pair of shoes with ample arch support helps avert this problem. Furthermore tying the shoelaces too tight could prove to a big culprit for the feet puffing up and causing pain.


Follow these simple at home, remedies and your happy feet will thank you for it!

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