A bunion forms when the big toe points in the direction of the second toe, causing a bump in the bone. For some, bunions can be excruciatingly painful and, for others, barely noticeable. Although surgery is the only method of entirely amending a bunion, there are several all-natural remedies that can help alleviate the pain and size of the growth.
The spice turmeric is used not only in culinary recipes, but has also long been used for its natural healing properties. Turmeric has the ability to desensitise nerve endings around the inflamed area of the bunion. Take a 400mg capsule of turmeric three times daily; this is a standard dosage to ease bunion pain.
Similarly, several types of hot red peppers contain an element that lessens the pain associated with inflammation. Capsicum is the component in red peppers that gives them their hot, spicy flavour. Remove one end of the pepper, and massage the other end directly onto the bunion. There are also several medicated ointments that contain capsicum, including Capzasin-P and Zostrix.
For a more relaxing alternative remedy, try soaking your bunion in a bath of Epsom salts. Epsom salts have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, and also relieve tension in the joint and promote greater mobility. Soak your afflicted foot in hot water mixed with 2 tbsp of Epsom salts for approximately 15 minutes at a time.
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that breaks up proteins, which is highly beneficial as an anti-inflammatory agent. You can eat large quantities of pineapple to obtain bromelain, but it may be more convenient to buy bromelain supplements. Take 250 to 750mg three times a day to provide your body with a generous dose of this important enzyme.
For quick pain relief, tiger balm is an excellent analgesic option. Created in the late 19th century by a Chinese herbalist, tiger balm contains cajuput oil, camphor, clove oil, menthol and mint oil. This combination can lessen pain and reduce inflammation when rubbed onto the bunion.
Acupuncture and Massage
The presence of bunions may suggest a misalignment in the "meridians" of the body, which are used as a "road map" in acupuncture treatments. Extremely fine acupuncture needles inserted along the spleen/pancreas meridian can help clear the energy block around the bunion and encourage healing in the affected area.
Massaging a bunion with a small amount of olive oil has shown impressive results in reducing both pain levels and the size of the growth. Gently rub the area for 20 minutes twice a day to loosen the skin and stimulate greater blood flow.