A foot bath with essential oils or herbs relieves tired feet, softens the skin, relaxes and re-energizes. If you don’t have a bath tub, a foot bath is a good substitute for a full bath, and soaking your feet at the end of a long day is great way to de-stress. Choose essential oils to boost circulation, to relax, to energize tired feet or even to heal fungal infections.
How to Prepare a Foot Bath
Fill your foot bath (or a bucket!) with warm water, add 5-6 drops of essential oils and mix the oils well into the water. You can add the essential oils directly into the bath or add a little sea salt, Epsom salts or a spoonful of sweet almond or jojoba oil to nourish the skin. Soak your feet for at least ten minutes – or longer to soften hard and cracked skin.
Great Essential Oils for a Foot Bath:
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita): refreshing, energizing, stimulating – great for tired feet; as a decongestant oil it is a good choice if you have a cold
- Lemongrass (Cympobogon citratus): a popular oil in commercial foot soaks, Lemongrass is a natural deodorant; it is refreshing and uplifting, it helps against excessive perspiration, it boosts the mood and it fights infections
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis/vera): a relaxing and de-stressing oil, good at the end of the day to calm a busy mind and to promote good sleep; Lavender is also antiseptic and healing, and a great oil for hard or cracked skin
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus/radiata): antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial; relieves aches and pains, another decongestant oil to use whenever you’re feeling run down
- Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia): antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal: especially good for healing athlete’s foot and other infections. Tea tree oil is also a good home remedy against warts and veruccae.
- a tablespoon of sweet almond or jojoba oil to soften the skin
- a handful of Epsom salts or sea salt
- fresh herbs: if you don’t have essential oils at home, or if you want to add something different, you can also use fresh herbs in your foot soak. Try mint, rosemary or lavender.
- fresh flowers
After soaking your feet, scrub away any hard skin on the heels and the soles of the feet. Moisturize your feet after the foot bath – jojoba oil does the job perfectly.
Lesley Bremness: The Complete Book of Herbs (Studio, 1994)
Patricia Davis: Aromatherapy, an A-Z (Random House, UK, 2004)
Original photo by D Sharon Pruitt