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Natural remedies for mild edema in the feet, ankles, and legs

There are steps you can take at home to help relieve swelling in your lower extremities.

By Cheryl E PrestonPublished 4 years ago 4 min read
Swollen ankle


The following information is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any medical condition. If you are under the care of a healthcare professional please follow any advise he or she may have given you and discuss alternative methods before you try them. If you have severe swelling please consult your doctor or go to the emergency room. This article is for informational purposes only. Please do your own research in order to determine the right course of action for yourself. Natural cures and home remedies are not an exact science and what works for one individual may not benefit someone else.

Swollen feet, ankles, and legs can be uncomfortable as well as painful. You may find it difficult to walk and also not be able to wear your shoes. This will affect your ability to move through your home and hinder your ability to drive. If the swelling is mild you might not even notice it for a while. Edema in the feet, ankles and or legs can result from a number of sources. This condition may be the result of a physical injury, or certain pre-existing medical conditions. If you find that you have occasional swelling in your lower extremities there are a few things you can do at home that may offer relief. If these natural remedies make a difference, you might want to implement them on a regular basis as a manner of prevention.

Visits to the doctor, ER, and hospital stays, along with prescription drugs are all expensive. No one desires to spend extra money if they don't have to. Any time you can keep yourself from having to see a professional it is a blessing. This is why, home remedies and natural cures can be beneficial in the situations where they work. Some of the recommendations for relieving excess fluid are things that benefit other areas related to health as well. Keep this in mind and you may remedy more than one issue that you are dealing with.

Decrease salt intake

We all know that too much salt retains fluid and can raise blood pressure. Perhaps you even cut back on or cut out added salt in your diet. Over time, perhaps your good intentions went by the wayside and you have gravitated back to your previous unhealthy diet. One of the first things you should consider at the first sign of swelling is your sodium intake. This is a friendly reminder that the salt in your diet may be responsible for swelling in your feet, ankles or lower legs. Begin again to cut out added salt in your meals and cut out or at least cut back on salty snacks.

Be mindful of fluid intake

It is recommended that we drink eight glasses of water each day and the Mayo Clinic says that the H2O will help to flush excess salt from your body. The combination of drinking water, along with restricting sodium intake should make a big difference where swelling is concerned.

Elevate your feet

Raising the foot of your bed, higher than the head keeps your feet elevated above your heart which will help reduce fluid. If you are unable to raise the foot of your bed, put pillows under your feet at night while you sleep. If you can, elevate your feet during the daytime. This will help keep fluid from pooling in your ankle area. Keeping feet elevated is highly recommended for reducing edema.

Keep moving

Move your body as much as possible because walking and exercising will also keep fluid from building up. When you are sitting or lying in bed, tap your feet or move your legs around as much as you can. A good motto to have regarding fluid retention is: “Move it and lose it.” Most studies indicate that walking at least 20 minutes outside of your home is beneficial for good health so try to make time for a stroll.

Foot soak for swollen feet

Alternate warm and cold water foot soak

Water therapy is a soothing method of dealing with excess fluid. Warm water improves circulation, while cold water reduces swelling. Alternating the two will be beneficial as you should see almost immediate results. In order to get started you will need to fill two foot tubs, one with warm and the other with cold water. Soak your feet for a few minutes in each one. This should also help you to feel relaxed.

Massage therapy

If you can afford a professional massage then by all means do so. Those who have been properly trained will safely give your leg area the pampering that is needed to move the excess fluid. If you have swelling because of medical issues check with your doctor to see if self massage is safe. If so, according to the Mayo Clinic, you or someone else can apply light pressure and move upward away from the feet towards the heart in firm strokes. This helps to get rid of the excess fluid so it is not causing you pain and discomfort.

Pay attention

Be sure to keep a close eye on your foot area. If you don’t see improvement or the swelling increases please contact your health care provider. Should these suggestions work for you, continue to monitor your ankles and lower legs. Do a check each night before bed or anytime your lower leg area may feel tight. If you are prone to your lower extremities retaining fluid, please keep in mind that standing or sitting for two long. For this reason, be mindful of sitting or standing for too long.


About the Creator

Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a widow who enjoys writing about current events, soap spoilers and baby boomer nostalgia. Tips are greatly appreciated.

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