Natural Cures for Bunions

Last Modified on Oct 19, 2014

As much as we are on our feet, foot issues can be cause for a drastic change in pace and even schedule. You can consider bunions one of those “foot issues” that has the potential to alter your daily life if you let it. However, it is also a condition that you can often treat effectively with natural cures. Some of the home remedies for bunions include chamomile, calendula, and turmeric.

What Are Bunions?

Mayo Clinic defines a bunion as a “bony bump” that develops at the base of your big toe on the joint. Most often, the deformity forms as you big toe pushes against the toe next to it and forces the joint out of alignment. This misalignment also causes the joint of your big toe to get bigger and to protrude further out than it normally would. While bunions are most common on the joint of your big toe, smaller bunions or bunionettes can develop on your little toes.

Are There Any Natural Cures for Bunions?

While most bunions do not require medical treatment, a podiatrist or orthopedic foot specialist can help you if you have persistent pain, a visible mass on your joint, or decreased movement in your toe or foot. Otherwise, bunions generally respond well to natural, at home remedies. Chamomile, calendula, and turmeric are three of the most effective natural cures, but there are other options as well.

1. Chamomile

Research presented by suggests that a number of herbal remedies are effective for providing relief from bunion issues – one treatment being chamomile. This herbal remedy contains anti-inflammatory properties that help shrink the size of your bunion and relieve pain associated with the condition. Try drinking chamomile tea and applying used teabags directly to your bunion.

2. Calendula

Calendula is a treatment supported by Dr. James A. Duke, as it also has anti-inflammatory properties. You can often find calendula compounds or ointments in health food stores or nutrition shops. Apply the compound to your bunions 2 to 3 times daily for up to a week.

3. Turmeric

Dr. Weil suggests using turmeric or other hot spices for treating bunions. The capsaicin contained in turmeric helps reduce inflammation and reduces pain. Try drinking 1 teaspoon of turmeric dissolved in 8 ounces of water as a natural anti-inflammatory.

WebMD also suggests the importance of staying active, wearing comfortable shoes, and protecting bunions or sensitive areas with moleskin. Try any combination of these natural cures, or keep reading below to find out more about treating bunions naturally with tips from our readers!

Bunions -
Bunions: Home Treatment -
Diseases and Conditions: Bunions -
Herbs That Shrink Bunions -

Print Print

Most Popular Remedies:

Oil Massage6 YEAS

User Reviews

Bill's Protocol   0  0   

Posted by Bill (San Fernando, Philippines) on 03/28/2014

I had bunions on both feet for many years and it wasn't till I came to the Philippines that I got rid of them completely. I had two large bunions, one on the top of my big toe and one at the base -- on both feet.

Doctors seem to believe that bunions are caused genetically or by rubbing on the shoe. I think this is bunk. Bunions are caused by deep-seated subdermal fungal/bacterial infestations in these regions. I also had very hard and unusual callous build up all around the back of my heels. And when you think about it, a foot inside a shoe wearing socks etc is a prime region for sweat build up and infections.

What's more, when I came to the Philippines and wore simple sandals and flip-flops every day (not shoes) my bunions still did not improve.

The fastest way to get rid of bunions/hard skin build-up on the feet is to first shave these regions down to the normal skin if you can and then apply a disinfectant like iodine to get rid of any discreet fungal/bacterial infections sub-dermally.

I would also not recommend topical application of lugol's iodine alone. Only about 4%-8% of the iodine is absorbed into the skin this way. But if you use a 50-50 mix of one teaspoon of 70% DMSO(Dimethyl-sulfoxide) and one teaspoon lugol's iodine on the shaved bunion regions, you will get much faster results because of the penetrative and transdermal carrier abilities of DMSO. In other words DMSO carries much more iodine into the skin transdermally giving you faster and quicker outcomes. DMSO is also an anti-inflammatory and will reduce the pain. Result: All bunion pathogens killed with no more bunion formation thereafter.

Posted by Happy
Up The Creek In WVa, US
I have no experience treating foot calluses, [= bunions ?] but I found this nifty, simple, cure on at Vitamin A cure for bunions by Joyce from Tennessee. She quotes Dr. Jonathin Wright's research.

Coconut Oil   1  0   

Posted by Brian (Sth Aus, Australia) on 10/15/2013

[YEA]  Coconut Oil

Just over a week ago I began to limp from minor pain in my left foot. Closer inspection revealed a lump protruding at the base of my small toe about the size of a pea. I have never experienced this before but I googled ‘bunions' anyway and proceeded to tick every box for descriptions and matched every photo for the identification of a Tailor's Bunion.

Whether it really was a bunion will never be confirmed by a doctor because it's completely gone – no limp, no pain, no lump. But it sure is a strange place to get a pimple if that's all it was.

The only treatment I used on it was a 1 minute morning massage with a tiny bit of Coconut Oil and then putting a sock on immediately after, for 3 days. That was it. On the 4th day all was well again so I stopped treating it and haven't put a foot wrong since.


Learning To Stand And Walk Correctly   0  0   

Posted by Anon (Anon, Canada) on 05/14/2013

Hi, recently I've read that the way that a person walks and stands can be related to foot problems, including bunions. Many people have the habit of walking with their feet and toes turned outward, but they may not realize it. When a person walks that way, it's applying pressure to the wrong parts of your feet and this can lead to different issues over time.

It's best to walk and stand with your feet & toes facing straight ahead. It sounds simple enough, but it can be very easy to forget. A lot of people don't really think about what their feet are doing during the day, so it's a good idea to practice being more conscious of that area.
The comments about the oil massage on the bunions page are really interesting. Maybe improving the way one walks, combined with the oil massage could be helpful.

Calf stretches and massaging the bottoms of the feet (plantar fascia) are also a good idea. In addition, find out if your feet tend to over-pronate (a common problem), as this may also be related to bunions in some cases. There are foot exercises that can help with pronation as well. Also recommend searching for books about foot health (try doing a search on Amazon to get a general idea of what's out there).

Massage   1  0   

Posted by Nicole (Harmonsburg, Pa) on 10/18/2014

[YEA]  I have believed that massaging my bunions was one of the best things to do for them...I usually do it myself but I REALLY REALLY like it when my husband does it because he just seems to be able to grab them better and his hands are stronger than mine. The only problem is when I FINALLY get him to do it, he just does it for a couple of minutes or falls asleep..I massage his back and get it really good but he has no heart in it when it is my turn..What can I do to get the same passionate massages in return..HELP my bunions are killing me and I work in high heels for 5-6 hours every time I'm there!!! It's getting to the point that they hurt so bad ALL the time and just throb constantly!! I have to work tonight and I'm afraid that I am really going to destroy my feet if I keep on like this...I'm so screwed!!! :(

Posted by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe
Nicole, it seems obvious that your high heels are causing your bunions. Read a bit of Katy Bowman's blog over at Can you find a comfortable and fashionable shoe to work in?

Posted by Sian (London) on 07/29/2013

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  I have had a moderate bunion for three years on my right foot and the beginnings of one on my left.

I have been vigorously massaging my feet daily for 15 minutes for a few months and it has had an effect of reducing the inflammation in the toe joint. They are still red when I take my shoes off at the end of the day but they have definitely have improved and are not nearly quite as painful as before. I am going to stick with my foot massage and try adding Tagetes oil to my plain massage oil which is recommended for foot problems and there has been a lot of positive things said about this oil in recent years. I wear looser shoes now with a wider toe box - the tight, pointy shoes have all gone on Ebay. Also, one could try Pilates foot exercises to strengthen the feet.

I couldn't go as far to say massage can cure bunions as they are structural anomalies - extra bone has been formed on the toe joint, but it can bring great relief and stop the worsening of the condition.

Posted by Catherine
Wellington, New Zealand
58 Posts
Hi Sian, There is a little known therapy called "Foot Joint Mobilisation" which has great success with bunions, hammer toes etc. Google for a practitioner in your area.

Posted by Matthew (Middle Village, Ny) on 05/29/2013

I have had a Bunion on my right foot at the base of my big toe since I was a teen. It has never really caused me any pain but I'm wondering if I can now get rid of it without surgery. I have heard massaging the area helps to start the process. Any truth to this?

Oil Massage   5  0   

Posted by Jencia Barnswallow (Houston, Texas) on 06/19/2008

[YEA]  Oil Massage reduces bunion size.

My husband of 35 years had an extremely large bunion on his big toe.
It was so large the shape of his foot and toes were distorted and the skin so stretched and tight it looked as though it was about to split for a stretch mark.

Years ago when it became a problem, he learned his shoes were too small. Wearing looser shoes stopped the bunion growth and pain, but the size remained huge. The doctors suggested leaving it alone since the pain subsided. Still the distortion was pretty obvious and affected the way he walked. He also had huge very tough calluses.

Our friend suggested rubbing the toe and bunion area several times a day to increase circulation and blood flow to the area and encourage synovial fluid to move around the bones again. I set a timer nearby and began by placing a thick terry towel in my lap under his foot as I began rubbing his toe, bunion and lower foot along that side for 10 minutes every morning. A blister sometimes formed so I began to use a teaspoon of olive oil on his toe/bunion and massage while we talked or read. Occasionally, I would apply a little
more oil. We are usually reading during this time so the time goes quickly. The timer is helpful so you don't have to keep checking. When my fingers get tired, I use more of my palm to rub the area and then switch back to fingers again after a break. It is helpful to drink a lot of water before starting to get the body well hydrated which aids blood flow and movement of synovial fluid.

After a few days, I began rubbing up to 20 minutes and sometimes would do this twice a day, morning and evening depending on time availably.

We showed our friend again about a month later and he was shocked by the reduction in size and the looseness of the skin. I could literally pinch a half inch between my fingers by then, whereas before it was so tight, there was nothing at all because it was stretched so thin.

The increased blood flow encouraged by the massaging was moving synovial fluid and dissolving the outer layers of excess calcium of the bunion and it is literally being washed away.

We are in to the 2nd month now and it is already enough smaller he can wear a narrower shoe width again after 20 years.

We make a joke now that someday he will have such shapely feet again, that he might think about having skin reduction surgery because it really is quite similar to extreme weight loss leaving a lot of excess hanging skin. If not skin reduction surgery, then maybe a tiny little toe girdle? LOL

Posted by AMD
V Ville, CA
Now that is love....sweet.
Posted by Dianne
Kansas City, Missouri
[YEA]   Jencia Barnswallow's remedy for bunions worked great for me! I had a bunion about the size of a walnut, and just recently my big toe was starting to turn and lay over the toe next to it, and I could tell the bunion was getting larger. All my shoes were starting to hurt my foot at that spot.

I put a little drop of olive oil (just enough to massage easily)in my hand and gently rubbed all around the big toe, bunion and down that side of my foot. I did it 10 minutes or so, twice a day, while I read or watched TV. I drank a full glass of water first like Jencia suggested to help get the synovial fluid moving. After just two days, I could already tell that the bunion was smaller!! After one week, I am thrilled with the reduction I can see - I wish I had taken a before picture. I will keep doing it - maybe after a month or so I won't have to do it every day, perhaps once a week? I really massage well around the base of the big toe because it does seem to be turning upright (as in "normal")again,instead of laying on the next toe. Thank you so much, Jencia, I never would have known to try this if you had not taken the time to write. I visit this site daily and just love it!!

Posted by Ais
Dublin, Ireland
[YEA]   Hi,

I have had a relatively small bunion for some years now and have also found, despite being told that it is impossible to reduce the size of a bunion without surgery, that massage does make a noticeable difference!

Posted by Ari
Atlanta, Georgia
5 Posts
[YEA]   If you will add a little TURMERIC powder to the oil... Like say some Castor Oil you will be thrilled at how quick the pain will stop from the Bunion! I did it and couldn't stop testifying for a month!
Posted by Cynthia
Crockett, Ca, California
I just took a picture of my Bunion and have started the massage. I will let you know in a week how it looks... Thank you
Posted by Buniontreatment
San Luis Obispo, Ca
Hi there! Have you tried Bunion Booties? Most of the women in my family wear them and love them. You order them to fit your foot (tip: most of us size down) and can wear them 24/7. They are so comfortable we prefer wearing them to not wearing them. A few ladies in my family have had surgery and had such terrible experiences the rest of us will do anything to avoid surgery. Recently my aunt stumbled upon Bunion Booties and we are all wearing them now and loving it!

Good luck!

Posted by Sewfine
Naples, Fl
I am almost 70 yrs old and have a bunion on my right foot , large toe. It doesn't hurt a lot because I have learned what shoes to wear. (sneakers & sandals) My toe is bent and covering my next toe.... Kind of ugly... I am going to try this oil massage...... I will NOT get surgery..... I have heard too many horror stories about that! I will take a picture today and start messaging today.... I'll keep you updated. Thanks for this wonderful site. I recommend it a lot!
Posted by Idow
Naples, Fl
[YEA]   Thank you EarthClinic! I tried the massage (without oil), just manually moving the big toe both clockwise and counter clockwise..... and it worked!

I'm now able to wear my old high heel shoes, although I'm careful to take them off as soon as I get home.

The manipulation of the big toes have increased flexibility, reduced pain and decreased my bunions drastically. Sometimes I use coconut oil b/c it smells great, but most of the time I just massage while watching TV w/out oil. I also spread all my toes out a lot, now that I know the importance of stretching!

Remedies Needed   0  0   

Posted by Janikaye (Bloomington, Mn) on 08/27/2011

I THINK I have a bunion starting to form on the left side of my right foot. I have started massaging it daily with castor oil / turmeric, and I do think that helps with the pain. However... What I am wondering is what can I do to prevent the problem from getting worse? Since it's just beginning, maybe someone has a prevention idea. Bunions do run in our family and I am just starting to get one at age 57. Thanks for your help.

Posted by Diane
Surrey, B.c.
Standing on your toes and walking just on your toes gives instant pain relief. Spread the toes and put weight on the big toe area as you walk and feel the big toe moving in the opposite direction of the bunion. Stretching your big toe in the opposite direction of the bunion also gives relief. I heard of this some time ago and have a rather large bunion. Doing this daily keeps pain to minimum.
Posted by Dr Phoenix
Windham Ohio
Too much acid foods add to the issue if not a large portion of the formation of it. The bunion is on the side of the foot where the spleen channel flows from the inner edge of the hallux (big toe) sugar, alot of protein, coffee, nicotine, alcohol, refined foods, grief, anger, resentment also add to the problem. It is a result of long term imbalances, wrong food, over-consumption, combined with the emotions ate a biggy. Good luck

Posted by Candy (Fort Madison, Ia) on 08/07/2011

have read the bunion section but was wondering if anyone else has suggestions for bunions. I have one on the side of my small toe, and it is uncomfortable and I would like to do something before it gets worse.

thanks to anyone for suggestions.

Posted by Jfm (London, England) on 04/10/2011

Hello to everybody. I need some help and wonder if someone could point me in the right direction, please?

I have a 10 year old daughter who was born with bunions. As far as I know, nobody else in the family has them. As the years have passed, the bunions have increased in size and are now quite large. My daughter is at an age where she is very self-consious of them and they do, at times, cause her quite a bit of pain. I buy her sensible shoes that will not rub against the bunions. Is there anything I can use to get rid of them?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by Kaz
Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire
Hi, My daughter is just developing bunions, and is about to see a specialist. It looks like the bunions come due to a weakness in the foot structure. My daughter had pigeon toe when she was 4 or 5 and I was told to make her walk correct, but I believe she now has flat feet. I am at the beginning of this dilemma like you, and I am going to try massaging with oil, and taping her toe over at night. I also think that trainers with support, and wide (boys style shoes) for school will help. My other daughter who is 21 had feet problems, but she would only wear trainers and solid boyish loafers for school, and she is fine now, even though she has size 9 feet! I think if we adapt our girls feet by changing shoes and using home remedies we may have some results. I dont know whether the specialist will have any proper advice, but will go to see what they say! Good Luck and let me now how you are going on with your daughter, as a problem shared is a problem halved hahaha all the best Karen

Shark Cartilage or Tiger Balm   0  0   

Posted by Chuck (Cape Coral, Florida) on 03/01/2013

[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]  I developed a bunion more than twenty years ago. I heard shark cartilage could help so I started taking it. The bunion shrank and I never even considered having surgery as my friend, Sandy, did. More recentyly I have used Tiger Balm (red) on it with good success as well.

Posted by Chuck
Cape Coral, Florida, United States
4 Posts
What side effects were experienced?

Turmeric   3  0   

Posted by Maxine (London, England) on 10/12/2008

[YEA]  Having suffered from bunions for some time the pain was becoming unbearable. Looking for a cure on the internet I came across this site and my goodness rubbing my bunion with turmeric eased the pain straightaway. It can be messy but just use rubber glove and place towel under foot and rub away the pain. It is so soothing. I used about 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and massaged into my bunion until it was soothed. It really does work - thank you earth clinic for your wonderful site and to all the contributors, keep up the good work.

Posted by Christy
Nashville, Ga
I have a bad painful bunion, They want to do surgery but I don't want it. I've read about olive oil and tumeric- where can u buy that and is it all oils??
Posted by Cara L.
Los Angeles, Ca
Dear Christy,

Turmeric is a common spice used in curries. You can usually find it in the spice section of grocery stores. Sometimes though they only sell curry mixes. Indian grocers or international markets care turmeric in bulk.

Posted by Pamela (Charlotte, North Carolina) on 08/29/2008

[YEA]  Turmeric cure for bunion pain. Rub dried turmeric spice directly on the bunion for relief. You can also take turmeric pills internally to reduce inflammation but I have not tried that yet. It is a bit messy to rub it on so I do it over the bathroom sink and use a plastic glove so that my hand does not turn yellow. I need to reapply every few days to keep the pain away. It is an easy remedy. You can buy Turmeric cheaply in bulk at the health food stores or in the spice aisle of the grocery store.

Posted by Lisa
Ny, Ny
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   I had a bunion on my left foot that was making life miserable, when I came across this site. I tried the Turmeric cure listed here, and it was messy (!) but did reduce the bunion a bit. What has worked even better for me is doing the same massage technique with a drop or two of peppermint essential oil. Within an hour of this massage my bunion was greatly reduced, and i had much more mobility in the toes and foot. Peppermint stings, so test this out a little at a time, but for me it really helped!
Posted by Rosie
Austin, Texas
Olive oil massage for Bunion -- I've started massaging my big toe bunion and joints with olive oil, using a spacer to align toe, and wearing wider shoes. I notice that my bunion feels more irritated since I've started the massaging. Is that typical for those of you who've used this method? Also wondered if there's something that encourages the cartiledge buildup in the joint to reduce. It's been a challenge finding the right orthodic inserts (?), spacers and doodads to align the toes, and excercises to help rebuild my foot strength. I'm sure you can all relate. Thank you for this 'alternative' site and your generous sharing.
Posted by Sharon
New Orleans, La
I was in tears after massaging my bunion. It seemed to make the pain worse. I tried the turmeric rub, and had instant reducion in my pain level. I'm a believer for life. Thanks for this site, I will cx my cortisone injection scheduled for tomorrow. Sharon
Posted by Wanda
Santa Cruz, Ca, Usa
[YEA]   I have had an aunt and a niece who both correct their bunions using a combination of olive oil & turmeric (raw) massages, plus wearing a bunion splint at night & in the day when posible. The aunt's took longer but improved in weeks & both were almost gone in months (the girl's esp). Massage following techniques for stimulating blood flow and elongating muscles of feet 2 X day. Drink big glass of water before each massage. Exercise feet, esp skating, xcountry ski, beach walking, jogging. if u stick with it u will be amazed.
Posted by Tw
Victoria, B.C., Canada
where are the before and after pictures posted for these changes in bunion size?
Posted by Casey
Grand Rapids, Michigan
I almost married a woman because she would massage my bunion. It helps SO MUCH and provides SO MUCH relief; provide this massage and please a sufferer beyond belief!
Posted by Cam
Vancouver, Wa
I have read that you shouldnt apply any pressure to the bunion because that just causes it to grow quicker. Is this true? I also have a bunion that hasnt been bothering me until now. I cannot have surgery until im 21 but thats in 6 years and I dont like the effects of anesthesia or the sound of surgery in general so im just looking for an alternative...
Posted by Samigirl11
Knoxville, Tennessee
Thanks for the information everyone! I have always had bumps on the side of my feet by my big toe and just thought it was normal. Now the bumps are much bigger and very painful. Recently, I did notice that when I run longer than normal or run faster the bumps hurt really bad. My "bumps" are so big and the skin is stretched. I will take pictures of before and after and try the tumeric, olive oil rub and let you know. I am in so much pain that I had to stop my daily 3 to 6 mile running and go to the bike and weights. I wear heels only two times a week and flats and sneakers the rest of the time. Not sure why my feet are so prone to these massive eye sores. Thank you, S.A.M.


DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

Copyright © 2014 | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | About Us | Contact Us | Search