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Swollen Ankles -- Causes and Cures
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Best Breakfast to Lower Blood Pressure

January 21, 2009, Last updated May 9, 2016

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Don't Use Comfrey Leaf to Treat Swollen Ankles .  Have
you tripped on a step or fallen awkwardly? One of the
reasons your ankle is swollen could be due to a sprain or a
bruise on the ankle as you twisted it out of place.  If you’ve
suffered a painful ankle sprain, comfrey leaf may help ease
the swelling.

Comfrey is a leafy plant that was often used for animal feed
but which may now have benefits for your swollen ankle.
The topical application of comfrey was shown to reduce
swelling and levels of pain, and increase levels of mobility in
142 people with acute ankle sprain. These results were
demonstrated in a 2004 study by Merck Selbstmedikation
GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany.

But there is a huge downside to comfrey. Despite comfrey
leaf's possible usefulness in treating swollen ankles, our
team of
Doctors and Registered Nurses would advise
against its use. Comfrey has been banned as a dietary
supplement in the US, Germany and other countries
because of potential liver problems and other serious
adverse reactions. (Read more about
side effects and
dangers of comfrey herb.)

Use Homeopathic Remedies to Treat Swollen Ankles from
Sports Injuries
.  Swollen ankles can also cause you pain
after overindulgence at the gym, or an injury sustained
during sports. A range of homeopathic herbs are suggested
to reduce the swelling and bruising associated with injuries
to the ankle caused by sport or exercise.

A 1988 study from Zell, Connert, Mau, et al entitled
“Treatment of acute sprains of the ankle joint. Double-blind
study assessing the effectiveness of a homeopathic
ointment preparation” found a combination homeopathic
ointment containing, amongst others, Arnica, Calendula,
Belladonna, Chamomilla, Echinacea, Millefolium and
Hypericum, improved the symptoms of ankle swelling in a
group of 69 people who had suffered sports injuries.

Dangers Of Deep Vein Thrombosis And Swollen Ankles

One reason for swollen ankles, especially if you have been
travelling long distances or remained lying or sitting for a
long period of time, is phlebitis – the inflammation of a vein
in the leg.

When phlebitis occurs in a deep vein, it is called
deep vein
thrombosis. If the inflammation occurs near the ankle, your
ankle will often swell. There may also be redness and a
feeling of warmth around the affected area. If you suspect
your swollen ankle is due to deep vein thrombosis you
should consult a doctor deep vein thrombosis can cause
serious health problems.

To prevent deep vein thrombosis you can try support
stockings or compression bandages. Vitamin E, when you
take it in high doses, is believed to have a blood-thinning
effect that can help prevent swollen ankles from deep vein
thrombosis. A 2007 study from the Brigham and Women's
Hospital, Boston showed that Vitamin E at a dose of 600 IU
a day helped to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Oxerutins Can Reduce Diabetes-Related Swollen Ankles

One of the unfortunate and painful side effects of diabetes
is the swelling of feet and ankles. According to the
American Diabetes Association, diabetes damages the small
blood vessels in the feet and ankles. This causes poor
circulation and affects the flow of blood to your feet.As a
result, you experience swelling and hardening of the ankle
and leg.

A 2002 study from Chieti University, San Valentino Vascular
Screening Project, Italy found oxerutins – types of
flavonoids synthesized from plants– helped treat ankle
swelling caused by diabetes.

A simple thing to stop is smoking – if you have diabetes
and you smoke, your arteries harden much more quickly,
so quit the habit, as well as keeping your cholesterol and
blood pressure under control.

Horse Chestnut May Help Reduce Swollen Ankles Caused by
Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is an annoying and painful condition
caused by blood pooling in the veins in the legs. This
stretches the walls of the vein and causes the valves to
collapse. When the valve cannot hold the weight of
excessive blood, they cause fluid to leak into the
surrounding tissue. Next stop, swollen ankles and legs.

Treatments for venous insufficiency include elevating the
legs, massaging the legs and ankles and exercising the feet
and legs.

But there is something else you should try ---horse

Horse chestnut is also reported to treat venous
insufficiency. A 1976 study by Neiss and Bohm entitled
“Demonstration of the effectiveness of the horse-chestnut-
seed extract in the varicose syndrome complex” looked at
212 individuals over 40 days on a treatment of either horse
chestnut or placebo. Horse chestnut
significantly reduced
ankle and leg swelling.

The active ingredient in horse chestnut is aescin, which
reduces fluid leaking from irritated and weakened blood
vessel walls.

The effectiveness of horse chestnut in treating swollen
ankles has been confirmed in other studies. Notably, a 1986
study by Lohr, Garanin, Jesau, et al. entitled “Anti-edemic
therapy in chronic venous insufficiency with tendency to
formation of edema” reached the same result. In that study
74 people taking horse chestnut experienced significant
reduction in swollen ankles.

And, a 1996 study from the Department of Internal
Medicine/Vascular Medicine, Affiliated Teaching Hospital,
University of Heidelberg , Germany found
horse chestnut
was just as effective as leg compression stockings for
treating people with swelling caused by chronic venous

The German university research studied 240 people over a
12-week period. Both horse chestnut and stockings were
better than placebo.

How should you use horse chestnut? Horse chestnut can be
taken orally as a tablet or used as a cream. If you use it as
a cream for your swollen ankles, apply it to the swollen
areas, gently stroking upwards in the direction toward your
heart. This helps to encourage the healing of your

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Comfrey leaves may help reduce
swollen ankles, new research shows.
But our team of
Doctors and
Registered Nurses advises you to
avoid this herb.
Read more to find
out why.