Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Herbal Foot Refresher & De-Stressor

Hello Everyone!  It's the official first day of summer as I write this - my favorite season!  For me, the body part that needs the most tender loving care this time of year is my feet.  Can you relate?  I'm on them a heck of a lot . . .  between gardening, mowing the lawn, walking for exercise, hiking up local trails, and going barefoot . . . they get their share of abuse.  I guess my biggest complaint is that my feet just plain ache by the end of the day.  I'm sure you have days when you've been on yours all day and just want to prop them up and "take a load off" cuz' your "dogs are barking"!  Am I right?

Well, today's blog and recipe is just the ticket . . . it's about how to refresh and rejuvenate your tired, aching feet and put a bit of spring back in your step . . . leaving you footloose and fancy-free!  The recipe comes from page 94 of one of my earlier authored books, "Natural Foot Care: Herbal Treatments, Massage, And Exercises For Healthy Feet" (Storey Publishing), published way back in 1998.  It's an oldie but a goodie!  Everyone has feet and they always need attention - so the content of this book is still quite relevant - for sure.

As a professional foot reflexologist, I see many clients, that for a variety of reasons, have chronically achy feet, and for remedial care, I always suggest purchasing several pair of shoes with a wide toe box, so toes can freely wiggle (shoes that are too small make feet hurt), and that they try the combined foot soak and exercise treatment that follows.  Those two suggestions alone go a long way towards making your entire body feel better!  Please "treat your feet" on a regular basis . . . comfortable feet make a comfortable you!





 Foot Refresher & De-Stressor

This combined exercise and herbal foot soak or "foot tea" is designed to relax tired, aching feet, relieve toe cramps, and strengthen weak foot muscles that support the plantar fascia that runs the length of the bottom of your foot from the heel to the ball of the foot. This treatment is also good if you suffer from hammertoes and pain in the ball of your foot.  Deodorizes and freshens smelly feet, too!  Feels fabulous when done at the end of a long day.

What You Need:

- Plastic foot tub or decent size dish pan
- 40-60 medium-size marbles - the more the better
- Large towel
- 4 tablespoons dried peppermint, yarrow, or sage
- 2 tablespoons dried wintergreen (or substitute more peppermint, if unavailable)
   (If you don't have any loose herbs handy, no worries, simply use a few peppermint or chamomile tea bags that you might have in your cabinet)
- 1 piece of cheesecloth
- 5 to 10 drops lavender, peppermint, rosemary, or eucalyptus essential oil
- 1/2 cup sea salt, baking soda, or Epsom salts 

Directions:

1.  Place the foot tub with the marbles in it in front of a comfortable chair. 

2.  Boil enough water to fill the foot tub to above ankle height - about 1.5 - 2 gallons.

3.  Remove pan from heat and add the dried herbs of choice loosely tied in cheesecloth.  Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Remove the herbs. (You can add the spent herbs to your compost pile.)

4.  Fill the foot tub with the hot tea, and add the essential oil, and the sea salt, baking soda, or Epsom salts.  Swish the ingredients around to dissolve the salt/soda and blend in essential oil.

To Use:

1.  Place your feet in the tub and roll them around on the marbles.

2.  Pick up and release marbles with your toes, grasping marbles tightly, squeezing your toes, then releasing.  Do this for 10 to 15 minutes.

3.  Dry feet roughly with towel.

4.  Slather with a thick moisturizer and put on socks.

5.  Now . . . don't you have "Happy Feet"??  

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and content adapted from her book, Natural Foot Care (Storey Publishing, c1998). The material is provided for informational or educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your healthcare professional or physician.