Foot irritation and pain are common problems. Our feet take a lot of abuse every day as we work, play, shop or exercise. A soothing foot bath at the end of the day is a way to pamper those hardworking feet. Foot bath solutions can help sooth away those aches, pains, and irritation, or help in the treatment of dry skin, callouses, or fungal infections.
Herbal Foot Bath
A soothing herbal foot bath can soothe and refresh tired, achy feet. A cup of baking soda or a couple of tablespoons of Epsom or sea salts dissolved in hot water makes a good base for a herbal foot bath, to which any combination of herbs can be added. Spa Index recommends using 1/2 cup lavender flowers and 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage for tired feet.
Brigitte Mars suggests chamomile flowers and catnip for swollen, achy feet and a little peppermint to stimulate tired feet or refresh hot ones. Dried herbs can be placed in a cloth bag, then steeped in a few cups of boiling water to make an herbal solution. Once the solution has cooled to a tolerable temperature for foot soaking, add it to your baking soda, Epsom or sea salt foot bath, grab a good book, and soak away the stress of the day.
Aromatherapy Foot Bath
Aromatherapy foot baths can sooth and refresh the feet, as well as offer all-over relaxation. These are simple to concoct at home using the same base ingredients as the herbal soak: baking soda, sea salt or Epsom salts dissolved in hot water. Add a few drops of essential oil, and you have a relaxing and moisturizing aromatherapy foot bath. Essential oils that are commonly used to sooth the feet are lavender, almond, sandalwood, peppermint, chamomile and spearmint. These can be used in any combination you like to sooth and refresh your tired feet.
According to Simple Aromatherapy recipes, a foot bath with 12 drops of lavender essential oil, three drops of rose geranium essential oil, and a handful of dried rose petals will calm the nerves after a stressful day and relieve fatigue.
For aching feet, Aromatherapy For recommends a foot bath using four drops of thyme and four drops of chamomile essential oils.
Antifungal Foot Bath
Antifungal foot baths can help in the treatment and prevention of fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, as well as helping to prevent foot odor. Antifungal solutions for foot baths are available in the corner drug store, or you can make your own from natural ingredients. Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar are often used as natural antifungals, as are baking soda and Epsom salts. According to a study published in European Food Research and Technology, oregano and thyme proved to be strong antifungal agents when tested against a variety of molds. Some essential oils, such as thyme, origanum, mint, cinnamon, salvia and clove have been found to have antifungal and antibacterial properties as well.