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11 Home Remedies For Cold Feet: Oil Massage, Ginger Tea, Gotu Kola And More

Cold feet can be due to several factors such as anaemia, hypothyroidism, cold temperature, diabetes, vitamin deficiency, acute stress, smoking, high cholesterol and medications.. It can affect people of all age groups.

Cold feet usually happens when the body restricts blood flow to extremities like feet, hands and nose, which results in decreased oxygen supply to these parts thus, giving a sensation of cold along with other symptoms like numbness, tingling and prickling pain.

Home remedies may help provide quick relief from the aforementioned symptoms. Also, if you observe frequent coldness in the feet, it is better to consult a medical expert.


1. Oil massage

Oil massage has been used in traditional therapy for ages. According to a study, topical application of certain oils such as mustard oil, olive oil, sesame oil and sunflower seed oil may provide comfort. This is due to the anti-inflammatory property of the oils that promotes repair of the skin barrier and blood supply to the area. [1]

What to do: Take a bit of sesame oil or mustard oil or olive oil and then warm it. Apply the oil on the feet and then massage gently for about 5-10 minutes and thenputon cotton socks. Do this before going to bed every day as it may help in keeping the feet warm.


2. Hot and cold-water hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is a process in which water (in any of its forms like water, ice, steam) is used externally to treat various ailments. Immersion of feet in both warm and cold water affects the cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems. Warm water promotes the blood flow while cold water helps in pain reduction associated with the condition. [2]

What to do: Take a bucket of cold water and a bucket of hot water. Soak your feet alternately in both the buckets for about 10-15 minutes. Pat dry and wear socks. Do this once a day.


3. Clothes to warm up the feet

Cold temperature is mainly responsible for cold feet; therefore, protecting the feet and hands from the effect of cold is the primary way to reduce injury due to extreme cold. If your profession evolves around staying in cold environments such as meat packing, wear special protective gears.

What to do: Avoid wearing tight-fitting shoes and clothes and cover the feet always with socks and slippers.


4. Ginger tea

Ginger is widely known for its hyperthermic effect. The polyphenols in the ginger act as a natural ingredient and help improve blood circulation and warms the body, including the feet. Ginger helps improve the peripheral circulation that promotes the process of heat generation, thus reducing sensitivity to cold. [3]

What to do: Prepare ginger tea by taking around two-three pieces of ginger, adding them to boiling water, straining the mixture and drink it.


5. Foods rich in iron, folate and vitamin B12

All the three vital nutrients: iron, folate and vitamin B12, are significantly needed by the body for the production of red blood cells (iron), transportation of oxygen to body parts (vitamin B12) and improving blood flow (folate). This is because anaemia and vitamin deficiency are the prominent causes of cold feet.

What to do: Consume foods rich in iron, folate and vitamin B12. They include dates, legumes, spinach, meats, apple, olives, dried apricots and beetroots.


6. Footbaths with Epsom salt bath

Magnesium has a great role in pain management and enhancing the neuronal properties of the central nervous system (CNS). Diabetes neuropathy can cause dysfunction of the CNS characterised by cold sensation, numbness and tingling in the feet. Epsom salt bath may help improve the blood circulation and combat cold feet problem. [4]

Also, people with diabetes are advised to carry footbath process carefully as they may accidentally burn themselves during warm water dip due to no sensation in the area.

What to do: Take around two-three teaspoons of Epsom salt and add it to a bucket of warm water. Soak the feet in the water for around 10 minutes. Pat dry and wear socks.


7. Exercise

Foot exercises like walking with heels and then with the toes alternately and rotating the feet clockwise and then anti-clockwise may help improve the blood circulation and warm the feet. In a study, it was found that step exercise tends to increase the foot temperature by 6-degree Celcius compared to ergometer exercise. Therefore, exercising regularly is a must to keep feet warm, especially during the winters. [5]

What to do: Perform the aforementioned feet exercises regularly.


8. Gotu kola

Gotu kola is a great herb for improving blood circulation and reducing swelling. It has anti-diabetic, neuro protecting, wound healing and anti-stress properties, all of which are responsible for cold feet. This herbal medication contains flavonoids, tannins, polyphenols and volatile oils which can be effective in treating cold feet and its related symptoms. [6]

What to do: Massage the feet with creams that contain Gotu kola extract. You can also take the herb by mouth only after consulting a medical expert.


9. Cayenne pepper spread

Capsaicin in cayenne pepper has the potential to decrease inflammatory cytokines and promote vasodilation. For cold feet mainly associated with diabetes and high cholesterol, cayenne pepper spread can be a great way to provide warmth to the feet, relieve pain and improve the blood circulation in the body. [7]

What to do: Sprinkle about half a teaspoon of crushed cayenne pepper in your gloves and socks and wear them.


10. Heating pads

Heat therapy is a faster way to relieve coldness and pain. Warming the feet with heating pads before bedtime may help improve sleep quality by controlling the cool environment and ultimately, easing coldness of the feet. It is similar to footbaths. Heating pads help soothe sore muscles, improve the circulation and provide warmth to the feet. [8]

What to do: Place a heating pad or hot water bottle at the foot. Avoid using the device in damaged skin and don't fall asleep with heating pads on.


11. Essential oils

Essential oils are more than just a pleasant scent. Some essential oils like rosemary oil and lemongrass oil are effective in improving the blood circulation, reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system. All these contribute to treat the underlying conditions such as diabetic neuropathy which can be the cause of cold feet. [9]

Story first published: Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 12:15 [IST]
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