One of the most painful conditions involving the foot is bunion [1].

It refers to a bony lump that develops at the big toe, forcing the joint to stick out [2].

The joint enlargement, misalignment and deformity often occur with inflammation of the tissues [3].

This condition causes various unpleasant symptoms such as soreness and swelling in the big toe joint, thickening of the skin, corns and calluses, difficulty in moving the toe, and persistent pain [4].

It can bring pain and discomfort, and affect your daily routine.

Fortunately, there are many home remedies that you can try to get rid of bunions.

1. Ginger

Dubbed as a “natural gold”, ginger has been consumed widely as a flavoring agent and medicinal herb since the ancient times [5].

It has been one of the preferred herbal remedies of many traditional healers.

This is not only because of its high potency, but also because it usually has no side effects, even after long term of use.

At present, its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects on the body have been confirmed several times in scientific research [6, 7, 8, 9].

It is also a proven antinociceptive, which means that it can block pain signals in the brain [8].

These properties make it a suitable treatment for painful and distressing conditions such as bunions.

Contributing to its mode of action is gingerol, the active chemical that can be found in ginger [6, 7].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 piece of ginger root
  • 5 drops of ginger oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Include ginger root in your daily diet.
  2. Combine ginger oil and olive oil.
  3. Use this oil mixture to massage affected area.
  4. Do this for 15 minutes everyday until pain is relieved.

2. Turmeric

Known for its wide range of medicinal properties, turmeric can be taken orally, applied topically, or used through inhalation [10].

Its active compound curcumin has been proven to have profound anti-inflammatory effects [10].

This is why, turmeric is commonly prescribed as remedy for many types of inflammation-related disorders, including arthritis.

A clinical trial conducted by American researchers in 2003 found that curcumin works by inhibiting the activities of molecules that trigger the body’s inflammatory process [10].

Another study done in the King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia reported that turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are beneficial for those suffering from arthritic conditions including bunions [11].

Amazingly, this remedy has been found to be more superior to indomethacin, a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug typically recommended for similar issues [11].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 glass of water
  • 2 drops of turmeric oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Stir turmeric in water.
  2. Drink the solution once a day for three to four weeks.
  3. Mix turmeric oil and olive oil.
  4. Apply a thin layer on your foot.
  5. Massage gently for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Repeat procedure twice a day for one week.

3. Chamomile Tea

In the ancient times, the Anglo Saxons believe that chamomile is “one of the nine sacred herbs” that God gave to humans [12].

And it’s probably due to the fact that chamomile can ward off and treat a wide range of ailments.

Today, chamomile tea prepared from chamomile flowers is typically used to treat a vast array of health problems [12].

It is also considered a helpful remedy for those complaining of bunions.

Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory effects on rats were assessed in a laboratory experiment, and positive results were obtained [12].

Rats that were induced with pain were observed to feel better and demonstrate reduction in inflammation after being administered with chamomile extract [12].

That’s not all, it can also help relieve pain with its analgesic properties [13, 14].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 chamomile tea bags

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil chamomile in water.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Drink the tea once a day for two to three weeks.
  4. Apply chamomile tea bags on swollen joint.
  5. Repeat everyday until swelling subsides.

4. Calendula

Also called marigold, calendula has been used in the United Kingdom as a medicinal herb for more than 30 years [15].

Various studies have been done to prove its beneficial effects on conditions involving the foot such as plantar verruca and bursa inflammation [15].

Many people also rely on this for alleviating bunions.

According to a report published in The Telegraph, calendula can reduce swelling by up to 25 percent and completely heal the pain in bunion patients within a three-month long treatment.

It is a recommended alternative to surgery, which is not only painful and takes longer time to recover, but is also very expensive.

If you’d like to get relief from bunions but would not want to resort to surgical procedure, this is the alternative that you should try.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of calendula petals
  • 1 cup of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a pot.
  2. Warm on low heat for three hours.
  3. Pour mixture in a glass jar.
  4. Apply a small amount of affected part of the foot.
  5. Massage using long gentle strokes for five to 10 minutes.
  6. Repeat three times a day for one to two weeks.

5. Epsom Salt

A popular folk remedy for countless ailments, Epsom salt can also be used to alleviate inflammation in the big toe.

According to Earth Clinic, Epsom salts also known as magnesium sulfide, is a compound made from oxygen, magnesium and sulfur.

Not only is it a good source of magnesium, it has also been used medically for treatment of minor ailments like muscle and joint paints or serious conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley, California recommends soaking bunions in a mixture of warm water and Epsom salts for pain and inflammation relief.

Although more studies should be done to validate the safety and efficacy of Epsom salt for this particular condition, you can go ahead and try it for yourself.

After all, many of those who have used this remedy attest that it works and even recommend its use to other people.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup of Epsom salt
  • 1/2 bucket of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Pour salt into water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Soak your foot in the solution.
  4. Massage gently for 15 minutes.
  5. Repeat everyday until condition improves.

6. Massage

Massage has always been believed to be beneficial in curbing countless health issues, most of which are related to muscular pains and soreness.

For those with bunions, massage can also help relieve pain and tone down inflammation.

As a study in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies reports, massage is an excellent remedy for numerous pain problems [16].

When you receive a massage, you’ll feel so much better afterwards.

It’s not only on the physical level, but you’ll also feel some improvement in your mood and emotional state.

This is great, since painful conditions such as bunions can make you feel stressed out and moody.

Take note that massage works even more effectively when combined with aromatherapy [17, 18].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of mustard oil
  • 2 drops of lavender oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Warm mustard oil in a pan.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Let it cool a little.
  4. Add lavender oil.
  5. Apply oil blend on the joint and massage gently for 15 minutes.
  6. Repeat four times a day.
  7. Do this everyday until inflammation is reduced.

7. Olive Oil

Some health experts recommend the use of olive oil for rheumatoid arthritis and other similar arthritic conditions [19, 20].

These findings, which show olive oil’s efficacy in reducing pain, stiffness and fatigue in the joints, suggest that it can also be a potential solution for bunions [19, 20].

Contributing to the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of olive oil are its phenolic compounds such as tyrosol and caffeic acid [21].

Oleocanthal, another potent phenol in olive oil, also plays a vital role in the alleviation of chronic inflammatory diseases including those related to joints [22].

Apart from using it to massage affected body parts, you can also consume it orally.

Loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, it can also work to improve your health from within.

Use it in your cooking, or drizzle olive oil on your salad or vegetables.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Warm olive oil in a pan.
  2. Smear olive oil on affected joint.
  3. Massage gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Repeat three times a day for two to three weeks.
  5. Make it a habit to include more olive oil in your diet as well.

8. Red Pepper

bunions-Red-PepperRed pepper belongs to the list of the five most effective chemopreventive foods [23].

Its anti-cancer activities are related to its anti-inflammatory properties, reports a 2006 study [23].

Reducing inflammation is also a key component in any bunion treatment.

This is why, red pepper with its proven anti-inflammatory mechanisms is considered a practical solution for this joint problem [24, 25].

Yes, topical application of something as spicy as red pepper may cause a bit of stinging pain.

But this gets more tolerable in time.

If you’re not comfortable with the stinging sensation it causes, you can reduce the amount of red pepper in the remedy and just increase it gradually once you get used to it.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine two ingredients.
  2. Massage sore joint with this mixture.
  3. Do this remedy for 15 minutes once a day for one week.

9. Castor Oil

Of the 7,500 species belonging to the plant family of Euphorbiaceae, castor has the highest medicinal value that can help you achieve a “disease-free healthy life” [26].

This plant has long been used as an antifungal, laxative, antioxidant, antibacterial and many more [26].

Indian researchers also confirm that castor is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce acute and chronic inflammation with its alkaloids, tannins, and flavonoids [27].

These active compounds work by preventing the molecules and enzymes that set off the body’s inflammatory response.

It can also relieve the pain caused by bunions with its antinociceptive properties [28].

This works by preventing pain signals from getting to your brain.

This way, even if you’re in pain, you will not know that you are because the signals that are supposed to inform your brain have been blocked by this remedy.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup of castor oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put castor oil in a pan over low heat.
  2. Warm it for a few minutes.
  3. Soak a cloth into the oil.
  4. Apply it onto the bunions.
  5. Wrap the foot with a dry cloth.
  6. Follow remedy twice a day for three to four weeks.

10. Ice

bunions-iceCold therapy has long been used for toning down inflammation such as bunions.

It is in fact one of the “conservative treatment measures” that should be immediately used at the first sign of the problem [29].

In a 2005 study published in the Clinical Chiropractic Journal, it was stated that ice treatment along with other conservative chiropractic measures significantly reduced the pain and discomfort caused by bunions [30].

Because this is a very simple and easy to use technique, there’s no excuse not to try it.

All you need is cold water, or a bowl of ice cubes that you probably have in your freezer.

What You’ll Need:

  • A bowl of ice cubes

Recommended Directions:

  1. Wrap ice cubes with cotton cloth.
  2. Gently press on bunions for five to 10 minutes.
  3. Use this remedy once or twice a day as needed.

11. Exercise

When you’re in pain, it can be difficult to engage in any form of physical activity.

Most likely, you’re going to avoid movements so as not to feel any pain.

Actually, pain should not prevent you from exercising.

In fact, those who suffer from bunions should still engage in suitable forms of exercises in order to strengthen the muscles.

This in turn will help alleviate the condition and improve mobility.

In a 2016 study featured in the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, it was confirmed that foot strengthening exercises can benefit people who complain of bunions [31].

Just make sure that you follow the recommended procedure, as strenuous exercises may aggravate the inflammation.

What You’ll Need:

  • 15 to 30 minutes of your time

Recommended Directions:

  1. Sit down on a chair.
  2. Put a tennis ball underneath your foot.
  3. Roll the ball using your foot.
  4. Do this exercise technique for 10 to 15 minutes a day.
  5. After this, stand up straight and stretch your toes for 10 to 15 seconds.
  6. Curl them under for another 10 to 15 seconds.
  7. Repeat this for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Do these exercises twice a day until pain and inflammation improves.

12. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is most popular for its ability to induce relaxation.

It’s for this reason that it’s often employed in relaxation techniques such as massage therapy and aromatherapy.

For your bunions, topical application and massage with lavender oil can help by toning down the pain and discomfort.

It can also soothe your senses and make you feel less stressed about it.

In research, lavender has been proven effective as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory [32, 33].

The active compounds in lavender responsible for these properties include linalyl acetate and linalool [33].

When administered in animal subjects, these compounds cause a great reduction in edema and pain.

These findings are enough to convince researchers that lavender oil can benefit many types of pain and inflammation-related disorders.

It’s also good to know that apart from being highly effective, lavender also doesn’t have any harmful side effects as long as it is not used in pure and undiluted form.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put the two oils in a bowl.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Apply on your bunions.
  4. Massage gently for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Wrap a cloth with lavender oil around your foot.
  6. Let it stay for at least half a day.
  7. Use this remedy every day until condition improves.

Alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by bunions using these potent natural remedies.

2 comments

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