“Swollen feet normally occur at the time of pregnancy or due to foot/ankle injury or edema. Edema is basically swelling that is caused by fluid retention i.e. when excess fluid is trapped in the body’s tissues,” says Dr. Maninder Singh, Sr. Consultant Orthopedics, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC). It is uncomfortable and painful.
“Sometimes swelling can indicate a problem such as heart, liver, or kidney disease. If your ankles swell up in the evening, it could be due to right-sided heart failure,” says Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath.
Here are some ways to cope naturally with five home remedies for swollen feet –
1. Rock Salt to The Rescue
Dr. Ashutosh Gautam suggests, “Soak your feet in a bucket of lukewarm water with rock salt to get rid of inflammation.” Dr. Maninder Singh says, “Do not use hot water as it will cause the swelling to increase.”
2. Grapefruit Essential Oil
“According to many studies, grapefruit essential oil is a great way to reduce swelling,” says Dr. Ahuja. In a warm bath, add a few drops of grapefruit essential oil and just relax. You can also add it to a bucket of lukewarm water and soak your feet.
3. Cucumber and Lemon Water
“Increase your fluid intake to dilute the salt in your system. Instead of just drinking water to flush things out, add a few slices of cucumber and lemon to the water and enjoy,” says Dr. Gautam. Both these fruits have anti-inflammatory properties and will help you get rid of swollen feet.
4. Load Up On Watermelon
Dr. Ashutosh adds, “Snacking on fresh watermelon will help reduce swelling in your feet. Watermelon is a great diuretic as it contains 92% water and stimulates urination.”
5. Coriander Seeds
This is a popular Ayurvedic treatment for swollen feet. “Coriander seeds are anti-inflammatory in nature and reduce swelling,” says Dr. Ahuja. All you need to do is add 2 to 3 teaspoons of coriander seeds to a cup of water, and boil it until the quantity reduces by half. Then strain the solution, let it cool slightly and drink up. Repeat twice a day.
Other Additional Tips:
Massage Your Feet: “A foot massage creates pressure on the affected area and helps improve blood circulation, relax muscles, and encourages excess fluid drainage which results in reduced swelling. Tip: Gently massage the area for 5-10 minutes in an upward direction, rather than downward,” says Dr. Ashutosh Gautam.
Elevate Your Legs: When it comes to swollen feet, gravity is not your friend. “Elevate your legs on a pillow to relax your feet,” advises Dr. Maninder Singh. Try elevating your legs above the level of heart every chance you get. Even propping them slightly higher can make a big difference and reduce swelling.
Avoid Salty Foods: “Excess salt is a big contributor to swollen feet, so reduce your salt intake,” says Dr. Ashutosh.
Exercise: “Avoid sitting for long hours. Take short breaks and walk around a bit,” advises Dr. Manoj Ahuja, Fortis Hospital. Exercise can help improve blood circulation, lessen swelling and relieve pain.