Health Benefits of a Foot Bath & 8 DIY Foot Soak Recipes
Inside This Post: Natural herbal foot bath recipes & detox foot bath recipes to soothe tired feet, remove detox toxins and improve the look and health of your feet.
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We demand a lot of our feet every day. They carry our bodies around everyday whether we’re standing, walking, running or moving in general. It’s important to take care of them and one of my favorite ways to pamper my feet is with a hot foot soak.
Here are some of the benefits to a hot foot soak:
- Increase circulation
- Clean the skin
- Soothe and soften skin
- Relieve aches and pains
- Stress relief
- Calms the body
- Reduces swelling
Since your feet are full of nerve endings and sweat glands, this is an ideal place to pamper and treat for detoxification and de-stressing purposes.
Benefits of Using Epsom Salt in Foot Baths
The two main ingredients of Epsom salt are magnesium and sulfate.
Magnesium is a natural substance that aids a variety of bodily functions, including the removal of toxins. Sulfate can strengthen the walls of the digestive tract and make releasing toxins easier without a laxative like effect.
Epsom salts are great in a detox bath or foot bath and help for stress relief, sore muscle recovery, to improve circulation, help with headaches, joint pain, restless leg syndrome, cramps, and is a more sensitive application than other transdermal techniques.
Epsom salt that also may help improve the body’s natural detoxification process by assisting to remove toxins from environmental exposure and promote healing.
- SKIN BENEFITS: A lot of people use it for the benefits to the skin like softening rough, dry skin and aiding to exfoliate dead skin cells. It can also help soothe skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.
- SORENESS & PAIN: Epsom salt contains magnesium and may help the body get rid of toxins responsible for decreasing inflammation while also reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain. This can be beneficial to people living with certain types of inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and psoriatic arthritis.Low levels of magnesium can ease pain for people who are living with arthritis.
- SLEEP: Healthy magnesium levels can boost brain neurotransmitters responsible for inducing sleep and reducing stress. Magnesium may also promote melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. That’s why after taking a detox bath, your body may be sleepy and ready for bed.
- REDUCE STRESS: Taking a warm detox bath with epsom salts can help a person relax by allowing them to release muscle tension and recuperate after a long day. Some research has found that people who are ailing from mental and physical stress, benefit when their magnesium levels are managed and they can do this through the use of epsom salts.
- FOOT HEALTH: Epsom salt foot baths may reduce foot odor, and help to treat athlete’s foot and ingrown toenail infections. It can help feet heal faster by improving circulation and relieve itching of the skin.
Do Detox Foot Baths Really Work?
There are mixed results from studies to show the effectiveness of detoxing the body using a detox foot bath.
A 2012 study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health looked at urine and hair samples from people who had used a foot detox bath and were unable to find evidence that the bath eliminated toxins from the body.
However, another study found that regular use of ionic foot baths decreased the amount of aluminum and arsenic present in the body.
One practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine reported that ionic foot baths made the body less acidic and more alkaline after just one use. Additionally, this alkaline state lasted 48 hours after use.
Foot Bath Recipes You Can Mix at Home
I love experimenting with herbal and natural ingredients, as well as mixing in my favorite essential oils, to make my own DIY recipes at home. This is one of those areas I’ve done a lot of trial and error to find combinations I love and use often. Here are my top 8 foot bath recipes, you can try at home too.
1. Epsom Salt Foot Soak
To make this foot soak, add 1 cup of epsom salts to a foot bath containing warm water. Soak your feet for 20–30 minutes and then dry off, and add your favorite lotion to add softness and avoid dry skin from the magnesium.
A word of caution – avoid using epsom salts if there are any open wounds on the skin.
2. Basic Foot Soak
To make this foot soak, add 1 cup of epsom salts, 1 cup baking soda and 4-5 drops of your choice of essential oils to a foot bath containing warm water. Lavender, Stress Away, Neroli, Rose and Ylang Ylang.
Soak your feet for 20–30 minutes.
A word of caution about hot oils. If you use essential oils, don’t use “hot” oils including cinnamon, oregano, clove, thyme, cassia and peppermint to water or the reaction will burn and cause skin irritation.
3. Apple cider vinegar soak
Some people drink apple cider vinegar for it’s natural powers of detoxification, digestion and healing, but it’s also helpful for your feet!
To make a detox bath using apple cider vinegar, add 1 cup of the vinegar to a tub of warm water and soak your feet for 20–30 minutes. Vinegar also helps to deodorize smelly feet and help with infection, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.
4. Bentonite clay foot mask & water water wash
I keep this container of bentonite clay in my bathroom for many reasons including using as a face mask, adding to bath water to help detoxify it, and also as a foot mask.
To make a clay mask for your feet, here’s what you’ll mix into a bowl:
- 3 tbsp of bentonite clay
- 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 3 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 3 drops of lavender essential oil
Add more clay or vinegar as necessary to achieve a thick paste. You don’t want it to be too watery.
Once the paste is ready, apply this mixture to both feet completely and allow it to dry. I usually hang over the bathtub to do this and read a book or listen to a podcast while it dries.
After 30 minutes, wash the paste off in a foot bath of warm water or running water and pat your feet dry with a towel.
This mask may be especially helpful for people with foot odor and fungal infections.
5. Chamomile tea foot soak
Make a foot bath of hot water (not boiling, but definitely warm water because your chamomile needs to steep for a few minutes before you can put your feet in.)
Add 4 bags of chamomile tea, 1/8 cup dried parsley and 4 drops of your choice of essential oil. I like to add lavender or ylang ylang. Let the ingredients steep in the hot water for 10 minutes before using, and allowing the temperature to come down.
Soak your feet for 20–30 minutes.
6. Vinegar foot soak
Using 2 cups vinegar and 4 cups water, mix ingredients. If you need more to cover your feet, use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.
Vinegar will not hurt your feet, although it does need to be diluted. If you have an open wound or cut, it’d be best to avoid this particular foot soak until your wound is healed.
The mixture will smell strong at first on your feet, but will dissipate as you dry your feet.
This foot bath is especially good at treating foot odor and athlete’s foot.
7. Citrus foot soak
This foot bath not only smells amazing, but looks beautiful too!
With your foot bath of warm water, add 1 fully sliced lime, 1 fully sliced lemon, 1 fully sliced orange, 4 drops tea tree oil, 4 drops peppermint oil and 3 tbsp baking soda to help deodorize and soothe aching feet.
Soak your feet for 20 – 30 minutes.
The citrus of lime, lemon, orange stop the growth of yeast and fight odor and sweat, while the essential oils are good as antibacterials for things like athlete’s foot, an ingrown toenail infection, etc.
8. Antifungal foot soak
Soak feet for 20 – 30 minutes. Also good for things like athlete’s foot, toenail function, an ingrown toenail infection, etc.