Bunion is a term for those big bumps next to our large toe on our foot, and they are actually a sign of inflammation in the joint. Whether it’s from a lifetime of wearing high heels or simply from walking, bunions are never pleasant nor comfortable.
Years of motion and pressure on the joint forces the big toe to bend toward the others, which causes an often-painful lump on the joint. Why this happens to your big toe in particular is because it carries the majority of your weight while walking.
You may also have bunions if you have arthritis, and women are more likely to develop them than men.
The symptoms and signs of bunions include:
- Restricted movement of the big toe
- Pain whether mild or severe
- Calluses or corns in the same area
- Thickening skin layers at the base of the big toe
- Soreness, redness, or swelling around the joint of the big toe
- A swollen bump on the outside of the big toe’s base
If you have a bunion, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a podiatrist who can advise.
But in the meantime, you could try one or some of these below natural remedies to reduce the size of the bunion – without surgery.
1. Maintain a normal weight
This goes without saying but if you are overweight, these extra kilos could be contributing to your bunion issue as the more pressure, the more it will hurt.
2. Olive oil
Warm some olive oil and massage the bunion, toes and lower foot for 15 minutes twice a day to enhance circulation and increases the blood flow to the foot and toes. Moving the fluid will make the joints easier to move and help to decalcify the bunion.
It sounds like a no brainer but ice is great for reducing swelling on your bunion especially if you’re waiting for a podiatrist appointment. Apply ice for 10 minutes several times a day.
4. Castor Oil
Castor oil is full of anti-inflammatory properties which are very effective in reducing the swelling and diminishing the pain of bunions. Dip a thin cotton cloth into warmed oil and wrap it around the bunion. Cover so the heat stimulates the flow of blood to the area and relieves soreness.
5. Epsom salts
Epsom salt contains magnesium sulphate which minimises inflammation and pain. If your bunion is causing discomfort, simply dissolve half a cup of Epsom salt into a small tub of hot water and soak your foot into it for 20 minutes, twice a day. You can also massage your bunion whilst it is soaking.
6. Bay leaves
Bay leaves contain anti-inflammatory and healing properties that have been used for thousands of years. To harness these benefits and relieve your bunions. pour 300ml water over a tablespoon of crushed bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Leave this in a thermos overnight then strain the liquid and take sips during the day. You should notice some improvement in your joints after 10 days.
Otherwise, to use bay leaves in another way, finely crush 5 large leaves and pour into 100ml of methylated spirits. Leave for a week and strain, then apply topically to your bunions.
7. Toe stretches
Stretching out your toes can help mobilised and offset foot pain. To stretch your toes, point your toes straight ahead for 5 seconds and then curl them under for 5 seconds. Repeat these stretches 10 times, three times a day.
Turmeric contains capsaicin which can help to relieve inflammation and reduce pain as well. To see benefits of this remedy, dissolve one teaspoon of turmeric in glass of water and drink. If you don’t like the taste, you can topically apply turmeric to your bunions and leave overnight.