Home Remedy: Foot Care

During an average lifetime, your feet will carry you around the world three times—or at least an equivalent distance—so it’s important that you keep your feet in good shape.

Corns, calluses, bunions and ingrown toenails are not only unsightly and uncomfortable, but they can also make it difficult to buy shoes that fit. These problems are often preventable and many natural home remedies can ease them. By caring for hard working feet, walking and other forms of exercise remain pain free and pleasurable.

Herbal spray

Refresh tired feet with this traditional herbal mixture.

  • 2 drops rosemary oil
  • 10 drops peppermint oil
  • 10 drops lemon oil
  • 10 drops cypress oil
  • 1/2 cup 000 ml) witch hazel

Add all the ingredients to a spray bottle and shake vigorously. Spray the feet several times a day, as needed.

REGULAR care

• A weekly foot scrub removes scaly skin and makes feet smooth and supple. Mix together 3 teaspoons (15 ml) almond oil, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sea salt and 3 drops eucalyptus oil. Massage into your feet for a few minutes, then rinse them thoroughly. It’s a good idea to have a foot scrub before a pedicure.

• Calluses can be painful. To avoid them, remove hardened skin occasionally with a pumice stone, preferably after a shower or bath. To further soften a callus, tape a cotton ball soaked in vinegar to it overnight. After gently rubbing callused skin, massage with olive oil to keep the skin supple.

TIRED, stressed and sore feet

• A foot massage soothes aching feet. To make a simple massage oil, mix together 2 tablespoons (30 ml) almond oil and 3 drops of lavender oil and massage your feet using gentle, circular motions. Begin with the sole of the foot and proceed from the toes towards the heel. A massage brush or foot roller can also be used.

• To revive tired, swollen feet try an elderflower footbath. Boil two handfuls dried elderflowers in 1 quart (1 L) water with a handful of peppermint leaves. Cool, strain and pour the liquid into a small basin of warm water. Soak feet for 10 minutes.

• Another therapeutic footbath can be made by filling a bowl with warm water and adding a few drops of chamomile or lavender oil. Or add 1 quart (1 L) warm milk to a footbath. This will help to rehydrate cracked skin on your feet.

• To make some stimulating bath salts: Dissolve 2 teaspoons (10 ml) rosemary in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rubbing alcohol. Add 5 drops of spruce essential oil and 1 cup (250 g) sea salt and mix the ingredients well. Dissolve 2 tablespoons (30 ml) bath salts in about 2 quarts (2 L) warm water and soak the feet for 10 minutes. Store salts in a tightly closed container.

• A sand and sea salt scrub removes callused and scaly skin on the soles. To make it, mix 1 cup (250 g) fine sand, 5 teaspoons (25 ml) sea salt, about 3/4 cup (175 ml) olive oil and 2 drops each rosemary, peppermint and lemon oils. Rub into the soles of the feet with circular motions before rinsing with warm water and rubbing dry.

• Thin, brittle skin can be painful and, if left untreated, can lead to further problems. To make a soothing herbal oil, heat 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil, add 2 teaspoons (10 g) each fresh marigold and lavender flowers, and let steep for 3 minutes over low heat. Strain the cooled oil and wring out the flowers thoroughly. While still warm, apply a thin coat to the feet.

• To help swollen feet, try eating bananas. They are a natural source of potassium, which helps to relieve fluid retention.

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