Home remedies for leg swelling

Updated April 17, 2017

Swelling in the legs may be caused by injury or medical conditions that result in a build-up of fluids in the extremities, called oedema. Reducing the swelling in order to maintain adequate circulation, and finding pain relief caused by such swelling, can be found through a variety of home methods and remedies.


Try the RICE method for relief of swollen legs: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. First off, get off the swollen leg and give it a rest. Apply an ice pack to the affected area, or reduce swelling by soaking an elastic bandage in ice water and then wrap the affected limb. This provides the ice and compression parts of this time-honoured home remedy. Next, elevate the limb above heart level. You can do this by lying down on the bed and propping the foot and ankle up on pillows.


Mix a salve of mustard oil seeds blended with water to offer relief of swelling and pain caused by oedema. Warm some mustard oil (available in Indian food stores and most natural health-food stores) and rub on affected area. Another method is to measure out 2 tsp of mustard seeds into about 1 cup of water and soak for about 30 minutes. Then, rub the solution onto the swollen limb. Another old-fashioned yet effective home remedy is to massage the affected area with apple cider vinegar to help remove excess fluid. As fluids seep out of the skin, gently blot with a clean, dry cloth. Another very effective (and relaxing) method to reduce swelling in the legs is an Ayurvedic massage treatment called Pada Abhyanga, a foot and leg massage that uses a variety of oils. It helps restore blood circulation, reduces swelling in the lower extremities and relieves pain or aching in the lower legs as well.

Support Stockings

Use support or compression stocking to help relieve oedema in the lower extremities. Compression stockings also help to improve circulation in the legs. Stockings can be worn during waking hours but should be removed at night while sleeping. You can purchase compression stockings at a medical supply store or pharmacy.

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About the Author

Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.