Healthy, happy feet are essential to our success and well-being. Anyone who has spent a lot of time playing sports, camping, or in the military (especially veterans) will tell you they agree. A corn on a toe, inflammation in the heel, or a strategically-located bone spur or wart can put a serious drag on our mobility. Today with almost all of us driving our cars around to run errands, a pain in the foot can be a nuisance. But to a person whose life or livelihood depends on their ability to get themselves from one place to another on foot, foot problems are that much more serious!
In terms of preparedness, one of the best things you can do to prevent foot problems is stock up on good socks and well-fitting sturdy shoes. Personally, I like wool socks in winter and cotton blends in the summer. I have a pair of black leather combat boots that I got at an Army surplus store many years ago and recommend that everybody have at least one pair of very, very sturdy shoes with their bug-out bag. For those who live in places where it gets cold and snows in the winter, I also highly recommend having a pair of heavy duty snow boots as well.
Besides efforts to keep the feet and socks clean and dry (the #1 thing that will help prevent many problems with feet), here are some tips on taking care of foot problems using therapeutic-grade essential oils. There are many essential oils that are antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory — all important in dealing with dirty, stinky feet!
How to Deal with Common Foot Problems
In-grown toenails –
Apply a drop of lavender or Purification oil on site 2-3x/day to help prevent infection and reduce pain and swelling. To prevent in-grown toenails, trim the toenails strait across and make sure to wear properly-fitting shoes.
Apply a drop of lemon, Thieves, or clove oil 2-3x/day. Also, after soaking in a bath apply your chosen essential oil then carefully trim the corn with nail clippers. You can also apply an essential oil every few minutes or hour and trim or scrape the corn (with an emory board) until it is worn off.
Use the foot scrub recipe below with lavender and/or lemon essential oils. Wash and dry feet, and massage either lavender or lemon oil diluted in a carrier oil into the feet. Animal Scents ointment is another fine choice for softening callouses.
Plantar fasciitis –
Layer a few drops each of wintergreen, RC, and PanAway oils or essential oils in the Raindrop kit on the feet, ankles, and backs of lower legs 2-3x/day or as needed. You may also apply a cold compress (cold, wet washcloth). Massage those areas that are tender, paying special attention to the calves, heels, and bottoms of feet.
Bone spurs –
Apply 1-2 drops of RC oil on site 2x/day for as long as needed. RC oil has been known to dissolve bone spurs. Follow with PanAway oil to help with the pain and inflammation. A cold compress can also be used.
Athlete’s foot –
Apply 5-7 drops of Thieves, Purification, lavender, or peppermint oils neat or diluted 50/50 to affected areas 2x/day or as needed. Also, you can do a foot soak with Epsom salts and 5-10 drops of any of the above essential oils daily. Make sure to keep feet dry and wear clean socks.
Toenail fungus –
Apply a drop or two of Thieves or Purification oil on site 3-5x/day. Fungus on the toenails is a sign that the body’s pH is out of whack. I recommend drinking a drink made with ~ 1 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar and ~1 Tbsp. raw honey in a cup of hot water each morning to help balance the pH and make the body inhospitable to fungus.
Dry, cracked skin –
Apply a few drops of lavender or myrrh oil on site diluted in an organic, cold-pressed vegetable oil such as olive or almond oil. Animal Scents ointment is another absolutely fantastic choice to massage into dry, cracked skin as it is rich in natural emollients and soothing essential oils.
Stinky feet –
As a reflexologist, I have spent a lot of time over the past several years working with peoples’ feet. I am aware that the feet are not only important because we walk on them, but they are also a reflection of the state of the body and mind. When problems arise in the feet, there is often a correspondence with something else in the body. When we take care of our feet, we take care of our entire selves. When we neglect our feet, we are neglecting our overall health.
I highly recommend regular self-reflexology (massage of the feet paying special attention to sore areas) and foot baths for general up-keep of the feet. In terms of disaster foot care when clean socks might be hard to come by, I would definitely highly recommend daily sponge baths of the feet as well as using Thieves or Purification oils on the feet daily. The Thieves spray is another fantastic choice for sanitizing the feet, socks, shoes, and other stinky nasty things.
Here are a couple of simple recipes for a homemade foot powder and foot scrub that will help keep your feet healthy and happy:
Homemade Foot Powder
1 c. baking soda or arrowroot powder
Mix well and store in airtight container such as a clean, empty jar. Dust on feet as needed.
Invigorating Foot Scrub
2 c. sugar
1/4-1/3 c. cold-pressed, organic vegetable oil such as olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil
4-7 drops of peppermint oil (add slowly and mix until you are pleased with the strength of the smell)
Mix well and store in an airtight container. Keep in the bath or shower and massage a small amount into the feet and rinse weekly or as needed.
Julie Behling-Hovdal is a reflexologist/holistic healer and founder of Essential Survival where she teaches people how to prepare for the #1 cause of death in the event of an economic collapse — lack of access to medicines. In 2005 Julie was able to get off 4 prescription drugs and heal from a 6-year stint of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia with products from Young Living Essential Oils. Get a free copy of her report “Fast Track Survival Medicines” at http://essentialsurvival.org/fast-track-survival-medicines/.
Statements made about the essential oils that come in the Essential Oil Survival Kit and other products offered by Essential Survival have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.