There’s no way around it: swollen feet can be painful and unsightly. Whether from pregnancy, poor circulation, or simply being stuck on a long plane ride, it can be difficult to get your piggies back to normal. When that happens, most people are forced to wait for the swelling to go down, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
It might seem impossible to find options that really work for this common ailment, but chances are you already have everything you need in your own home. Here are 20 of the most popular cures for swollen feet that you can find right in your pantry!
1. Cabbage wrap: This might seem weird, but it works! Start by storing your cabbage leaves in the freezer. (They should be pliable, though.) Elevate your feet, wrap them in those leafy greens, and wait for a half-hour while the cabbage draws out excess fluid.
2. Dandelion: This plant works as a natural diuretic, which helps with any extra fluid in your body—such as in your feet. You can sip dandelion tea, or even create your own dandelion vinegar using apple cider vinegar.
3. Water: Simply drink a glass of water! Your body might be trying to retain water since it doesn’t have enough. Hydrating yourself with eight to 10 glasses a day helps release toxins from your body and prevent swelling.
4. Tonic water: Tonic water contains a natural anti-inflammatory called quinine (which also makes it glow under a black light). If you soak your feet in water that’s cold or room temperature, you can get the relief you need—plus that satisfying tingling sensation!
5. Compression socks: Sometimes swollen feet can be caused by chronic illnesses that result in an excess of fluid buildup. If this is the case with your feet, you might want to try compression socks, which apply pressure to your legs to help improve blood flow.
6. Eucalyptus bath: Pour a few drops of eucalyptus into a bath and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes. Try adding lavender or chamomile, which have anti-inflammatory properties. As a bonus, it’ll make your feet smell great.
7. Ice cubes or crushed ice: A cold compress may be the simplest solution to help treat pain and swelling. Press ice cubes or crushed ice against your feet with a wet towel, and soon enough you’ll start to feel better.
8. Magnesium: You may not have enough magnesium in your diet, which helps your blood circulation. Try eating more fish, seeds, avocados, and leafy green vegetables, or take a 200-milligram magnesium tablet twice a day.
9. Epsom salts: Fill a bathtub or shallow bucket with water and a few cups of Epsom salts, and let your feet soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Not only will this improve circulation and reduce swelling, but it can treat dry skin and odor.
10. Ginger: This wonder root can treat all kinds of different ailments. Because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can naturally be a great form of treatment for swollen feet.
11. Rice and baking powder paste: Boil rice along with two tablespoons of baking powder. Once cool, cover your feet in the resulting paste. Let it dry and check out the healing effect when you rinse it off!
12. Massage: These soothing treatments don’t just work out the kinks in your neck; the right form of massage can actually help improve the functioning of your lymphatic system, which should reduce swelling.
13. Lemon water: Drinking water can always help your body, particularly when the issue is swelling. If you add lemon—a natural diuretic—to the mix, you’re bound to cure that swelling even faster!
14. Yoga: While exercising might be the last thing on your mind when your feet and ankles feel tight and swollen, doing gentle stretches like those in yoga can actually help drain the fluid from your body.
15. Grapefruit essential oil: This stuff doesn’t just smell great, it’s also got—you guessed it—loads of anti-inflammatory properties! Massaging this oil into your legs and feet will help big time.
16. Elevation: Sometimes the most obvious solutions are also the best ones. Try lying on your bed or a floor mat with your legs up against the wall. This is especially helpful for pregnant women, who often suffer from swollen ankles and feet.
17. Swimming: This is another form of exercise that can help improve the function of your lymphatic system. It’s also a great and gentle form of exercise for beginners who aren’t very flexible yet.
18. Rose oil: This essential oil simply works wonders. It balances out your oil glands which can help straighten out your lymphatic system. Balanced lymphs mean less smelling. Plus, it smells nice!
19. Avoid caffeine: As much as you might love a nice cup of coffee to start your engine in the morning, the sad truth is that caffeine can dehydrate you and make you retain a lot of water. That’s not something you want when you’re swelling!
20. Quit smoking: There are roughly eight million different reasons why smoking is super bad for you. It can lead to heart disease, which can cause foot and leg swelling. Ditch the buds and stop the swelling. It’s that simple!