Just like other mammals, our feet are made to walk and balance (we have 26 bones on each foot, the big toe is for balance). Baby feet are just growing fat pads, which is why they look so cute. And nails are made from keratin (like rhino horn – donated toenails are now being used to ‘flood the market’ with identical ‘rhino horns’ to try to stop poaching). NHS says not to cover a baby’s feet or head, this can lead to higher risk of crib death, in warm temperatures.
I cried because I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet. Saʿdī, Persian poet
Foot Care Handbook by herbalist and reflexology Stephanie Tourles sets ou to help readers experience the feelgood benefits of healthy happy feet. Along with natural remedies for athletes’ foot, blisters, bunions, corns, cracked skin and plantar fasciitis, she explains foot physiology and provides exercises for stretching and strengthening feet, along with massage techniques for foot relaxation and restoration. A friendly guide for feeling better on and about their feet.
Aromatherapy essential oils for pregnancy/nursing (and medical conditions like epilepsy and asthma). Avoid rosemary & citrus oils for high blood pressure. Avoid shea butter for latex allergies.
The Foot Book is a fun and informative book of foot-related issues, covering tips for adults and children, and care to help prevent future discomfort. Covers ankle plan, athlete’s foot, bunions and heel spurs. Authors Dr Todd and Dr Leslie are a married couple who run a foot clinic in Florida. Contents include:
- Taking care of your feet
- Finding the right shoe
- Bunions & hammertoe
- Corns, calluses & warts
- Nail & foot fungus
- Ingrown toenails
- Lumps, Bumps & Masses
- Flat feet & high arches
- Arch pain & achilles tendonitis
- Arthritis & foot pain
- Skin cancers of the foot
Also read The Foot Fix, a 4-week program to healthy feet. Each routine lasts just 15 minutes a day focusing on the heel, arch, ball or toes. Then learn about how to heal six common foot problems, and learn new walking patterns to ensure these don’t return. Learning how to walk and stand correctly is the basis of this book, rather than complicated foot terminology.
Awake Organics Hands & Feet Scrub is also good for rough elbows. It’s high in ceramides to reduce dryness from frequent hand-washing and also makes a great temple balm and muscle rub, to soothe headaches and massage away tension. Contains oils of peppermint for freshness.
- Unless diabetic, try to go barefoot when you can. Let them feel the sand between your toes at the beach, or step on bare earth. Ahinsa Shoes makes vegan shoes, designed by physiotherapists, as good as working barefeet.
- Don’t wear flops all the time (choose biodegradable rubber flops, if used).
- Walk by placing your heel down then ‘roll through the toes’ (like paddling a canoe). Swinging the arms is for balance (people with Parkinson’s for instance, can’t swing their arms).
- Wash and dry feet daily with plain soap, and massage in circular motions. Then massage in a good cream (exfoliate a couple of times weekly).
- Wear good socks and quality vegan shoes. Bad-fitting shoes are the reason for nearly all foot problems (invest in a couple of pairs, and alternate daily, to let them dry out). Measure feet at the store, before purchase.
Natural Remedies for Foot Problems
- Blisters – let fluid drain and cover with a biodegradable plaster.
- Hard skin – use a wet pumice stone, after soaking feet in warm water. Dry, then massage in oil or cream.
- Smelly feet – choose breathable vegan shoes. Place used charcoal water filters in shoes after use, or sprinkle baking soda in shoes, then leave them overnight (away from pets and children). Pour out the baking soda the next morning (or fill toes of old socks with 2 tablespoons of baking soda, tie in a knot and stuff into your shoes overnight).
- Athlete’s foot – cut back on yeast (bread, alcohol, sugar and fruit juice) and avoid public pools until cured (contagious). Mix 1/4 cup of cider vinegar with 5 drops of essential oil (not for pregnancy/nursing), add to warm water and soak feet for 10 minutes. Dry thoroughly.
- Swollen feet – see a doctor if severe. Keep legs and feet raised, cut back on salt and take regular gentle exercise.
- Gout – raise the limb and apply ice. Hydrate, exercise gently and avoid alcohol/smoking. Brandi helped her husband’s gout with recipes.
- Toenail problems – Let the new nail grow out (can take 18 months), or visit a podiatrist to remove the damaged nail. Use clippers to cut across and a quality emery board to file.
- Bunions – a dilocation of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (not the bone sticking out, as often thought). Correct Toes are spacers made from medical grade silicone, developed by a sports podiatrist. They can correct bunions and realign toes to their natural state, and also help realign the ankle to prevent shin splints and runner’s knee in the lower leg. London Foot & Ankle Centre has pioneered a lower-risk surgery that leaves a titanium wire in the patient’s foot for 4 weeks. London podiatrist Dr Tariq Khan (inspired by his father’s Marigold Therapy) has an ointment to help reduce pain.
- If you have unwanted prosthetics, you can donate them to others. Ed Pennington-Ridge has created a simple prosthetic limb for developing countries, with a springy foot and mobile ankle. Many people lose limbs due to landmines or accidents (elephants often step on them).