This post outlines several natural remedies to help alleviate the inflammation and pain of bunions.
Epsom Salts Foot Bath. Soak your feet in a bowl of hot water with a couple tablespoons of Epsom Salts and soak for 10-15 minutes. It will soothe the pain, reduce inflammation, and reduce any stiffness in the joint. As a bonus, Epsom Salts help eliminate odours! More information on Epsom Salts can be found in The Wonder of Epsom Salts Baths post. You could also try taking alternating hot and cold foot baths (with or without the Epsom salts) as the contrasting temperatures can help relieve pain and speed up healing.
Iodine. I read in several books and websites that Iodine can be beneficial for bunions. I’ve never tried this but will definitely be giving it a go. I believe you can get an iodine cream which can be applied, or normal iodine can be combined with castor oil and massaged over the toe joint. Edgar Cayce, a renowned healer in his time, always advocated the use of castor oil packs in relieving pain and discomfort in the body. Castor oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Massage and Reflexology. Both Massage and Reflexology can be very beneficial if you are suffering from bunions. They can help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain in the area.
Homeopathy. This is one complementary therapy which I know very little about, but I have heard that the Sulphur homeopathic remedy can be beneficial for bunions.
Acupuncture. As mentioned in another post, Bunions can be indicative of an imbalance along the spleen/pancreas meridian. Acupuncture points are situated along the meridian lines throughout the body and are stimulated using Acupuncture needles to help remove any blockages and restore the normal flow of chi around these energy channels. Apart from treating with needles, there are two other techniques in Acupuncture to help with bunions – the first is Zheng gu shui which is an ointment which warms the joint and helps to break up calcium deposits like which are found in bunions; and the second is Moxa. I do not know much about these remedies so if this sounds like something you would be interested in trying, please consult with a qualified Acupuncturist.
Essential Oils. Chamomile, eucalyptus, cajuput, peppermint, ginger, cypress and juniper essential oils are recommended for helping various joint problems due to their analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Plai is also extremely good for joint pain.
Arnica and Calendula. Arnica and Calendula have been used medicinally for centuries. They both have anti-inflammatory properties so may help reduce the pain and inflammation around the toe joint. They can be purchased in cream form, as a salve or tincture, and as carrier oils.
Tiger Balm. Tiger Balm contains menthol, camphor, cajuput, clove, demontholised mint, and cassia – all of which are excellent for pain relief and inflammation. I’d recommend using the red version for bunions as it is a stronger pain reliever than the white version. More information on Tiger Balm can be found in The Wonder of Tiger Balm post.
More information about bunions can be found in the Bunions from a Reflexology Point of View post.