Common foods and household objects can help your sore feet to feel better fast. Here are a few home remedies you can try.
Home Remedies from the Cupboard
Carbonated water. Soaking your feet in sugarless carbonated water can be refreshing.
Epsom salts. For plain old tired feet, put 2 tablespoons Epsom salts into a basin of warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Epsom salts can be drying, so moisturize your feet afterwards.
Flour. This simple paste may speed up the healing of a sprain or strain: gardenia, flour, and wine. Mix and apply.
Foods. For bloated, uncomfortable feet, here are some foods that can help balance your fluid levels: bananas, which are high in potassium that helps relieve fluid retention, and coffee or tea, both of which are diuretics. (See also "Home Remedies from the Refrigerator.")
Olive oil. Use as a massage oil for tired feet.
Postum. Got cold feet? Brew up a cup of Postum, add a pinch of cayenne pepper, and drink. Your toes will feel toasty warm fast. This is also good for cold hands.
Vinegar. To soothe tendinitis, sprains, strains, and general foot aches, alternate hot and cold vinegar wraps. First, heat equal amounts of vinegar and water. Soak a towel in the mixture, wring it out, and wrap it around your foot. Leave it wrapped for five minutes. Then mix equal parts vinegar and cold water and follow the same procedure. Repeat this entire sequence three times.
Home Remedies from the Faucet
Water. Sometimes plain old water is the best cure of all. If you have varicose veins in your feet or ankles, this remedy will alleviate the ache and may even slow down the development of varicose veins. Dip your feet in hot water – but not hot enough to burn! -- for 2 minutes, then in cold for 15 seconds. Repeat, and continue alternating hot and cold for 15 minutes.
Home Remedies from the Freezer
Ice. An ice pack will reduce the inflammation of tendonitis. You can use a bag of ice or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a thin towel.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Asparagus. For swollen feet, look in the veggie drawer for that nice, fresh asparagus you bought. Steam and eat. Asparagus acts as a natural diuretic, which flushes the excess fluid out of your system.
Foods. For bloated, uncomfortable feet, here are some foods that can help balance your fluid levels: poultry and fresh fish, both of which are low in sodium, and yogurt, which can reduce histamine-producing bacteria. Histamine causes fluid retention.
Home Remedies from the Spice Rack
Cayenne pepper. To warm cold feet, sprinkle a little cayenne pepper in your socks. Cayenne peppers have a chemical called capsaicin that warms, and it also relieves pain. However, this can be irritating to the skin after awhile, so carry some spare socks in case you need to change.
Cinnamon. Cure those cold feet with some nice hot cinnamon tea. Stir a gram of powdered cinnamon into a glass of hot water and steep for 15 minutes. Drink three times a day.
Sage. Take a handful of sage leaves and rub them in your palm. (This is called bruising, and it releases the herb's curative chemicals.) Put them in a saucepan with 2/3 cup cider vinegar. Boil, then simmer for five minutes. After removing from the heat, soak a cloth in the solution and apply it to a sprain or sore foot, as hot as tolerable.
More Do's and Don'ts
- Don't stand too long, and don't stand on hard surfaces if you can avoid it. Foot pain is often muscle fatigue from standing. Take frequent breaks. Sit down and elevate your feet for ten minutes.
- Don't ignore foot pain, tired legs, aching knees, lower-back problems, or sore hips. They could all be symptoms of serious conditions.
- Maintain your ideal weight. The more weight you put on those puppies, the more they'll cause you pain.
Foot pain might be common, but that doesn't mean you have to suffer with it. Take care of your feet, and they'll take care of you.Visit these links to learn more about home remedies for foot ailments:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- Read Home Remedies for Back Pain to learn about home remedies that will help your aching back.
- If you're dealing with a serious case of foot funk, learn how to banish the odor in Home Remedies for Foot Odor.
- Learn how to stop the uncomfortable itching and burning of athlete's foot in Home Remedies for Athlete's Foot.
- Learn how to use natural home remedies to ease the discomfort of corns and calluses in Home Remedies for Calluses and Corns.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:Ivan Oransky, M.D., is the deputy editor of The Scientist. He is author or co-author of four books, including The Common Symptom Answer Guide, and has written for publications including the Boston Globe, The Lancet, and USA Today. He holds appointments as a clinical assistant professor of medicine and as adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.