February 22, 2019

Inflammation is a natural response of the body when it becomes injured. Swelling occurs because cells send a signal that there is something going on in a specific area. Inflammation or swelling lets larger white blood cells attack pathogens and dead tissue. The body then begins the process of healing through regenerating or repairing cells. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. They are often helpful to alleviate swelling feet. They work by stimulating the lymphatic nodes to drain which help eliminate extra fluids from the body.


What causes swollen feet?

Edema is the medical term for the collection of fluid under the skin. Retaining excess fluids causes the appearance of being swollen and larger than normal. Sometimes swelling causes pain and a host of other symptoms such as sore jointsand weight fluctuations. Some causes of edema, or swelling, include:

  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time causes fluids to accumulate in the lower legs, feet, and ankles.
  • Hot weather can lead to unusual swelling.
  • Pregnancy leads to swollen hands and feet.
  • Women often experience more swelling of feet and hands during PMS and menstruation.
  • Some medications can cause swelling.
  • Eating foods with too much salt.

If you have experienced inflammation or swelling over a long period of time, or it started suddenly, then you should discuss it with your primary care medical professional. Oftentimes, swelling is caused by underlying conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, liver failure, heart failure, varicose veins, or hypertension. However, using essential oils for swelling feet may be a natural and safe remedy to provide some relief, and support and encourage healing. Unlike many pharmaceutical products, they are natural and have no unpleasant side effects. Many oils have anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for providing some relief from pain and swelling.

How to Use Essential Oils for Swelling Feet

There are a number of ways essential oils can benefit swollen feet. Some of the main ways to use essential oils for relief include:

  • Foot baths
  • Massage therapy
  • Direct Application of an oil or oil blends

Foot Bath Application for Relieving Swollen Feet

Wintergreen Foot Bath

You may not have heard as much about wintergreen essential oil, but it can be a potent remedy for easing swelling feet and sore ankles. It’s a natural pain reliever and is often used to relieve muscle pain, headaches, and ankle pain. It can be combined with several other oils to treat swollen ankles. Combine wintergreen EO with peppermint, geranium, lemongrass, lavender, and cypress.


  • Fill a medium sized tub with warm water.
  • Place two to three drops of wintergreen essential oil in the tub. You don’t need much since wintergreen is potent.
  • Add five to nine drops of lavender, cypress, geranium, peppermint, or lemongrass to the water.
  • Stir the water and oils then soak your feet for about 10 minutes, or until the water cools.
  • Repeat two or three times a day.

Chamomile EO Foot Bath

Chamomile has numerous medicinal benefits including reducing inflammation, soothing nerves and relieving pain. One study conducted in 2011 discovered it can also help reduce external swelling. There are multiple varieties of chamomile, but for soaking your feet you want to use German chamomile essential oil. It contains a compound called azulene that is effective at relieving swelling. It’s easy to use:

  • Fill a foot tub with warm water.
  • Add five to 10 drops of chamomile essential oil and stir.
  • Soak your feet for about 10 minutes or until the water cools.
  • Do this two to four times a day every day.

Massage Therapy and Essential Oils for Swelling Feet Relief

Individual application of an essential oil is beneficial, however, combining some of them can help achieve better and faster results. Properties in the oils complement one another and form a mixture that is purely therapeutic and healing. When applying oils to the skin, remember to dilute them with a carrier oil. This makes them safer and protects the skin from becoming damaged. Here are some mixtures to help relieve swollen feet and ankles.

Eucalyptus, Peppermint, & Lemon Essential Oils

This mixture is good for reducing swelling but also good for relieving pain. All three of these oils are analgesic and anti-inflammatory in nature. Peppermint EO is often used to treat arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Eucalyptus EO eases inflammation, swelling, and pain. And lemon EO is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory essential oils. To make a powerful blend follow these directions:

  • Place 1 ounce, or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small jar.
  • Add two to three drops of each lemon, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils and mix well.
  • Dab the mixture on affected areas and gently massage it for five to seven minutes.
  • Use the oil mixture two or three times a day.

Lemongrass, Grapefruit, and Cypress Essential Oils

All three of these essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties. They work quickly and can bring relief in as little as a few minutes. To make this massage oil follow the directions above substituting lemongrass, cypress, and grapefruit essential oils.


Individual Application of Essential Oils

Sometimes, there isn’t time to make a foot bath or a massage blend. You can apply individual oils to swollen feet and ankles for relief. Remember to use a carrier oil to mix with essential oils before applying them topically. Any carrier oil will be sufficient including olive oil, sunflower oil, fractionated coconut oil, or other suitable oil.

Some of the best anti-inflammatory oils to use include: chamomile, thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, juniper, or tea tree oils. To use follow these directions:

  • Add 10 to 12 drops of any of the anti-inflammatory essential oils with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil and mix well.
  • Once the oils are mixed, gently massage it into the affected area. Continue massaging the area for a few minutes.
  • Repeat this process two or three times a day.





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