Swollen feet and ankles are a common problem today caused by a myriad of reasons. The most common causes of swollen feet are lifestyle related and include: standing or sitting for long, being overweight and Edema, a result of the accumulation of fluids in the tissues of the feet. Other causes include pregnancy complications, excess salt intake, injury, diseases, blood clots, and infections. Here are some amazing natural remedies for swollen feet and ankles that you can use to relieve the condition at home.
1. Epsom salt
Epsom salt provides the body with magnesium and sulfate when used in a foot soak. Magnesium deficiency is a known cause of Edema and therefore adding more magnesium in the blood will help take care of the problem.
A foot soak in Epsom salt also relaxes the muscles and increase blood circulation. Increasing blood circulation helps to eliminate the excess liquids in the foot relieving the swelling. To make an Epsom salt soak, add about a cup full of the salt into a basin with water, ankle-depth full.
Ensure that the salt dissolves completely in the water, then soak your feet in the mixture for 20-30 minutes.
2. Magnesium supplements
Magnesium supplements can be added in the required amounts to boost magnesium levels in the body. Magnesium helps to maintain the normal blood pressure and maintain a steady heart rhythm. This ensures that the body is able to get blood from the legs to the heart sufficiently, reducing the excess fluids in the feet.
The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is about 350 mg for women and 400 for men. It varies slightly with the age in both sexes. You should not, however, add more than 350mg/day of magnesium supplements as too much can be toxic.
Magnesium can also be added by eating magnesium rich foods like green leafy vegetables like kales and spinach, beans, nuts, and cereals.
Consult with your doctor before using the supplements.
3. Drinking enough water
Drinking water is important for maintaining overall body health. Water helps to relieve swollen feet and ankles in two ways. When you do not take enough water, the body starts to retain the water it needs which can cause swelling of the feet. In this case, taking enough water allows the body to stop retaining water which takes the swelling away.
Water retention could also be because of hormones, lifestyle, and heart problems.In the other scenario, excess salts in the body cause swelling. Taking enough water while reducing the salt intake helps to regulate the salts in the body. When the levels fall to the required levels, then the constant swelling of feet and ankles goes away.
The recommended intake is usually 8-10 glasses every day. Adding a few slices of lemons in the water will give you more benefits and make it tastier for you.
4. Natural Diuretics
These are products that enable the body to excrete excess fluids and salts. There are natural foods and extracts which have been proven to have this effect. Getting rid of the excess fluid in the body will help get rid of the swelling.
The diuretics work by stimulating the kidneys to excrete salts, that is sodium from the body. Excretion of the salts will also mean that water will be excreted as this happens in form of urine.
The most common natural diuretics available include; parsley, dandelion, hawthorn, green and black tea, juniper, horsetail, hibiscus, pineapple, garlic, onions, asparagus, beets, leeks, and pumpkins. For plants that are easily edible like parsley then incorporating them in the diet is easy. For the others, you will require to get them as extracts.
Since the use of diuretics may cause loss of potassium from the body, then you should also increase the intake of potassium-rich foods. These include bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, and Oranges.
5. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil is an essential oil got from the peppermint plant. It is used for many purposes including cooking. In reducing swelling the peppermint oil is used in a foot soak or as a massage oil. The oil works because it has anti-inflammatory characteristics which help to relieve the swollen feet and ankles.
To use as a massage oil, it is important to mix the peppermint oil with a carrier oil and other essential oils for the best benefits. A good example is a mixture or peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and lemon.
When used in a foot bath, add a few drops of peppermint oil in a basin with water and soak your feet in the water for 30 minutes.
The warmth caused on the skin by the oil helps to relieve pain and relax the muscles causing dilation of blood vessels. This will eventually increase blood flow, thereby reducing the swelling.
6. Yoga / gentle exercises
Yoga is a gentle exercise regime which can be done even when in pain. There are many yoga poses which will help to increase blood flow and to elevate the feet. Elevating the feet helps the blood to flow down to the heart from the feet. Swelling of the feet is prevalent than any other body parts because of the effect of gravity.
Getting blood from the feet to the heart is against gravity which is hard. Doing yoga will put you in positions where the feet are above the rest of the body helping in blood flow.
Posses like shoulder stand, Pigeon, warrior II and downward dog are perfect for blood circulation. Avoid exercises that put a lot of pressure on the swollen feet. This could become painful.
It is important you ensure that your feet are properly taken care of every day. Do not subject your feet to excess pressure or inactivity. Well-fitted and comfortable shoes help to free the muscles of the feet so that the veins are able to sufficiently move blood back up to the heart. Check out this guide to find the right footwear for your feet: http://shoestracker.com/best-shoes-for-standing-all-day
What remedies have worked for you before? Tell us in the comments section below what remedies you have used before, and do not forget to share this list with others.