A bunion is a painful deformity of the joint of the big toe, caused in the first place by wearing ill-fitting shoes that progressively push the toe joint out of alignment. Essential oils can be used to relieve the pain, and sometimes to reduce the amount of tender swelling around the joint, but they will be useless unless other physical measures are also included. The most important of these is obviously to change permanently to more appropriately shaped shoes, avoid tight fitting socks, stockings or tights, and to go barefoot as much as possible. The toe should also be padded and strapped in the daytime to keep it as straight as possible, and some people advocate splinting at night, or at any time when shoes are not being worn.

If the joint is inflamed, very gently massage with one of the anti-inflammatory oils such as Camomile or Melissa may help; otherwise choose an analgesic oil to reduce the pain. Lavender, Marjoram and Peppermint have all been found to give relief by various people. While massaging, gently rotate and manipulate the big toe as much as possible without causing too much pain. Give the patient cream containing one or more of these oils (Lavender with Peppermint is a very good combination) to use several times a day between treatments.

This combination of measures may eventually cure a not-too-prominent bunion, but a severe deformity may need surgery to straighten the toe

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