A swollen feet, or medically called as peripheral edema, could be caused by obesity, injury, sodium-rich diet, and underlying health issues. It’s important to identify the underlying cause to effectively reduce the swelling. You could also use the following home remedies for swollen feet and ankles in conjunction with medical treatment.
Natural home remedies for swollen feet and ankles
For instance, you have pineapple. It’s rich in bromelain, which is an enzyme that’s used for treating various illnesses, like swelling (inflammation). Even The Commission E accepts bromelain as a remedy for inflammation and swelling, especially after surgery.
(The Commission E is a highly trusted group created by the German government and composed of pharmacists, doctors, researchers, and toxicologists.)
Other natural diuretic foods are lettuce, lemon, asparagus, cabbage, spinach, ginger, garlic, beets, and pumpkin.
Ideally, your salt intake should be between 0.1 gm and 0.2 gm per 100 grams daily. When you limit your salt intake, it also prevents fluid retention. But before you start a low-sodium diet, make sure to inform your doctor.
Some foods that are low in sodium content are olive oil, potatoes, unsalted nuts, rice, meat (e.g. skinless chicken), and spices. Some foods that are high in sodium content are pretzels, canned foods, processed meats (e.g. bacon and smoked meats), cheese (hard and blue varieties), and most breakfast cereals.
Being overweight or obese is another causative factor of swollen feet; because it leads to a poor blood circulation. Lack of physical activity, cardiac complications (e.g. heart failure), and lymphatic fluid overload (lymphedema) are obesity-related health conditions that contribute to edema. Thus, it’s important to lose weight and treat the root cause.
Herbal and Natural Remedies
1. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Edema occurs when your body’s sodium-potassium balance is disrupted. If you lack potassium, this causes an inward flow of fluids into the cells, thus causing edema. To treat potassium deficiency, you can use potassium-rich organic apple cider vinegar.
How to use:
- Mix organic apple cider vinegar and warm water, and then soak a small towel in the mixture. Enfold your swollen feet with the soaked towel for a couple of minutes. Repeat the process, but this time use cold water.
- Mix 240 mL of water and 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar. Take this twice daily.
Two examples of these flavonoids that prevent water retention are Coumarin—don’t mistake it for Coumadin, an anti-clotting drug—and Hydroxyethylrutoside.
In one study, results showed that taking 400 mg daily of Coumarin helps relieve edema among lymphedema sufferers. You can find this flavonoid in apricots, lavender, cinnamon, licorice, and strawberries.
As for Hydroxyethylrutoside, a double-blind study showed that it causes significant reduction in ankle and foot edema after 6 months of therapy. Dosages used by researchers were 1 gram/day divided into 4 doses (UK), 900 mg/day divided into 3 doses (Belgium), and 1,200 mg/day divided into 4 doses (The Netherlands).
These are just a few home remedies for swollen legs and feet you could consider. Remember, talk to your doctor first before using any of the following (or other alternative home treatments).