Swelling, or edema, of your feet is usually the result of water retention and fluid buildup in your tissues. It occurs frequently as a natural part of aging, as the blood vessels lose some of their elasticity, and during pregnancy. It can also be a sign of more serious health conditions, including varicose veins, congestive heart failure and diabetes. Treatment typically consists of diuretics, which facilitate the excretion of excess fluid through urination. Some herbs act as natural diuretics, however, talk to your doctor before using any herbs to relieve foot swelling.
Dandelion, the bane of gardeners everywhere, actually possesses some properties that are beneficial to your health. Along with being loaded with vitamins, including vitamins C, D, A and B complex, its leaves are also used for their natural diuretic properties. Dandelion can be used to treat foot swelling associated with high blood pressure and liver problems. Because dandelion leaves are also high in potassium, the University of Maryland Medical Center states your levels of potassium will not decrease as they could with the use of conventional diuretic medications. You cannot take dandelion with some anti-psychotics, antibiotics, antacids or if you have gall bladder disease.
The long threads of corn silk are harvested from inside the corn husks before the plant is fertilized via pollination. Corn silk appears to stimulate loss of excess fluid from the feet through urination. Corn silk is another natural diuretic that is also rich in potassium and is used to treat water retention caused by edema. Because potassium is replaced as it is lost through urination, there is less risk of developing irregular heartbeat and muscle cramping due to low potassium levels. An herbal tea can made using corn silk that is fresh or dried. You may also take an extract, capsule or tincture.
The leaves, roots and seeds of parsley, or Petroselinum crispum, are used as a flavoring for food and as a medicinal herb. Parsley contains plenty of beneficial nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. Due to their natural diuretic properties, an herbal tea made from parsley seeds can be used to treat swelling of the feet caused by water retention. Although not backed up by evidence from clinical studies, parsley appears to promote the removal of excess fluid via urination. Do not use parsley if you are pregnant or taking lithium.
Cleavers, an herb also known as burweed and lady's bedstraw, has been used for centuries as a natural diuretic. Cleavers gets its name from the sticky hook-like hairs on its leaves, which are used along with its flowers and stems as an herbal remedy. Cleavers is used as a natural diuretic to promote the loss of excess fluid to reduce swelling. According to Applied Health Solutions, cleavers lowers blood pressure and should only be used under a doctor's supervision, especially if you have heart or kidney disease. Do not take cleavers with other diuretics, diabetic medications, corticosteroids or blood thinners.