Mother Earth Living

Body & Soul: How to Take Care of Your Feet

Pamper your feet with these natural at-home spa treatments for your hard-working tootsies.
By Janice Cox
August/September 2001

Abraham Lincoln once said, “If my feet hurt, I can’t think.”
Photo courtesy Wariatka/Fotolia
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Going barefoot is one of the simple joys of warm weather. Beach sand, grassy fields and warm garden earth all feel better between bare toes. But early in the spring season, your feet may show signs of their winter spent in hiding. Don’t wrap them up in closed-toe shoes. Instead, learn how to take care of your feet with a simple at-home regimen.

Natural Recipes to Pamper Your Feet

Australian Foot Spray Recipe
Calendula Foot Powder Recipe
Alfalfa Mint Foot Bath Recipe
Summer Foot Cream Recipe
Pumice Foot Scrub Recipe 

Try These Editor-Recommended Foot Care Products 

Even though it’s beneficial, not many of us find time for regular foot care. Pampering your feet will not only make them look better, but it will also make you feel better. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “If my feet hurt, I can’t think.” And achy feet are a common problem: According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, eight out of 10 American adults will suffer from some type of foot problem in their lives. Simple home recipes can both treat and prevent many of these common foot problems. Click on the links above for some easy recipes and ideas for healthy, happy feet.

Herbs for Foot Baths

There are several herbs that make excellent tonic foot baths. Use at least 1/2 cup fresh or 2 tablespoons dried herbs.

Horsetail: Excellent for tired feet and will help reduce perspiration.
Lavender: Creates a refreshing tonic for tired feet.
Lovage: A strong natural deodorant, it’s a perfect match for confined feet.
Marjoram: Soothing to tired and weary foot muscles.
Peppermint: Energizing and cooling for hot, tired feet.
Thyme: Cleansing and refreshing for overworked feet.

Tip: Menthol is the compound in peppermint that makes it so attractive for foot-care products. The analgesic properties in menthol are one reason for this. Another is the ability of menthol to trigger a cooling sensation (without affecting the temperature of the skin), which it does by stimulating sensors in the skin that detect coolness.

How to Store Your Homemade Foot Care Products

Keep products in clean containers in a cool, dark, dry spot. They will usually last until used up. Use clean hands or spoon out creams—you do not want to introduce any bacteria to your creams. If something looks bad or smells bad, it is safer to throw it out and make a new batch. Dry products and alcohol-based products have very long shelf lives. However, products made with fresh foods are more delicate and should be refrigerated. 


Janice Cox is the author of Natural Beauty at Home (Henry Holt, 2002) and co-author of EcoBeauty (Ten Speed Press, 2009).  








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