The world may be in your hands, but you walk through it with your feet. And they need to be taken care of!

Our feet carry us many thousands of miles in a lifetime. So when they are tired, sore, ulcerated, infected, cracked, dry, or itchy, they can cause the rest of the body stress from these constant irritations. There are many reasons for foot problems, ranging from dehydration and mineral deficiencies to diabetes.

Diabetics can suffer from damage to their nerve endings, which can affect their extremities. They may endure numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in their legs, hands, and feet. Because of this, diabetic feet sweat less frequently or not at all, leading to dryness.

Treatment for dry diabetic feet should be aimed at restoring moisture to the feet and preventing bacterial and fungal infections from occurring. It is important to avoid products that contain petroleum, mineral oil, or various forms of waxes that clog the pores and prevent the skin from breathing.

If you are diabetic, proper foot care should be a part of your daily routine, and essential oils can play a positive role in this self-care practice.

Tea tree essential oil has natural deodorizing and anti-fungal properties, while lavender is known for its wound healing properties. Peppermint essential oil is helpful in purifying the skin, increasing circulation, and promoting new cell growth. Its cooling effect can keep the feet feeling refreshed all day long.

Olive oil (Olea europaea) is rich in vitamins and minerals. It has wound healing properties and is an exceptional disinfectant.

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) disinfects and has powerful antiseptic properties. It can be placed directly on cuts and scrapes to clean, disinfect, and reduce pain. Tea tree oil can be used for fungal infections, blisters, athlete’s foot, burns, cold sores, infected wounds, insect bites, rashes, and warts. It may be used directly on skin or with a carrier. It may cause skin irritation and drying in sensitive individuals.

German camomile (Matricaria recutita) has strong anti-inflammatory properties, and is analgesic as well as anti-inflammatory. It is good for headaches, insomnia, abscesses, allergies, boils, burns, inflammation, rashes, and wounds. Camomile has a calming, soothing effect when inhaled, which can promote restful sleep. It may cause skin irritation in some individuals.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is a very powerful bactericidal with anti-viral properties. Eucalyptus is an excellent immune-stimulant and is good for people who are tired, run down, and prone to frequent colds. Eucalyptus can be used in a bath or massaged onto sore muscles. It helps relieve aches and pains, but it is best known as a decongestant for coughs and colds. It should be avoided if you have high blood pressure, suffer from epilepsy, or are pregnant.

Cleansing Foot Soak

To help cleanse feet for the prevention of foot ulcers, infections, and inflammations, try this.

  • 1 cup of Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts
  • 2 drops lavender oil (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • 2 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 2 drops eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • 2 drops camomile oil (Matricaria recutita)

Store the mixture in a glass jar for weekly use.

Pour boiling water into a large bowl, and let it cool down to a comfortable temperature. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the cleansing foot soak mixture, and soak feet for up to 15 minutes.

Anti-Microbial Foot Powder

Foot powder helps to keep feet cool and absorbs foot sweat. However, you should not use it if you have open ulcers.

Use any absorbent powder like white clay, cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or baking soda (or a combination).

  • 3 Tbsp of absorbent powder
  • 3 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 3 drops rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Add oils to the powder, stir until the oil is thoroughly mixed in, then dust onto feet before putting on your socks.

Anti-Inflammatory Foot Oil

An anti-microbial blend to gently massage onto itchy, irritated, cracked, and peeling feet.

  • 6 drops camomile oil (Matricaria recutita)
  • 6 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 4 drops lavender oil (Lavendula angustifolia)
  • 30 mL olive oil (Olea europaea)

Mix the essential oils with olive oil, and store the mixture in a glass bottle. Gently rub the oil blend onto your feet before putting on your socks, or going to bed.

About the Author

Beverley Gray, RA, CH, is a skilled herbalist, and registered aromatherapist who loves to share her passion for medicinal and aromatic plants. She owns Aroma Borealis Herb Shop in Whitehorse, Yukon (aromaborealis.com) and is the recent recipient of the
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