All-natural ways to care for your feet

By caring for your hard-working feet, you make sure that walking and other forms of exercise remain pain-free and pleasurable.

All-natural ways to care for your feet

Our feet carry us throughout life. In fact, during an average lifetime, most people will walk the equivalent of the world's circumference three times. Your tender tootsies have earned a reward. Footbaths, scrubs and lotions keep your feet healthy, looking good and feeling great.

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 preventable, and many natural home remedies can ease them.

Regular care

  • Treat your feet with a nurturing foot lotion used daily. To make the lotion, bring 250 millilitres (one cup) of milk, a handful of peppermint leaves and 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) of rosemary needles to a boil. Let steep for 15 minutes, then cool and strain. Mix three drops of peppermint oil into the herbal milk and pour into a sealable bottle. Rub your feet with this lotion morning and evening — it will keep in the refrigerator for about four weeks.
  • To make a weekly foot scrub that will remove scaly skin and make your feet smooth and supple again, mix together 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of almond oil, five millilitres (one teaspoon) of sea salt and three drops of eucalyptus oil. Massage into your feet for a few minutes, then rinse them thoroughly. It's a good idea to do 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 your foot overnight.) After gently filing down the callused skin, massage olive oil into your feet to keep the skin supple.

Perfect pedicure

  1. Take a 10-minute footbath with warm water and a few drops of the essential oil of your choice.
  2. Gently remove callused skin. A pumice stone, which has been used for skin care since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, works well for this, or use a special callus plane from a specialty store.
  3. If necessary, soften your cuticles with a little olive oil and push them back with a cuticle stick.
  4. Trim your nails. Always cut or file them straight across to keep them from becoming ingrown and painful.

Foot conditioning

Your feet are like any other parts of your body — they require regular exercise. Walking barefoot is one way to stimulate circulation and toughen your feet.

  • To strengthen your feet, spread some marbles out on the floor and roll your feet back and forth on them. Then try to grasp the marbles with your toes.
  • Wearing properly-fitting shoes at all times is crucial.

Herbal wash recipe

This remedy is for painful feet.

What you need:

  • 20 g (2/3 oz) mugwort
  • 20 g (2/3 oz) chamomile
  • 20 g (2/3 oz) peppermint
  • 20 g (2/3 oz)  linden blossoms
  • 1 litre (1 quart) cold water

    Pour the cold water over the herbs, heat to boiling, then boil for 15 minutes. Cool to lukewarm and strain. Wash your feet with the herbal liquid.

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