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Athletes foot

General characteristics

General characteristics

The common name for a fungal growth (tinea pedis) on the feet which occurs between the toes and anywhere on the feet. Symptoms include itching with redness, peeling and cracking of the skin. Sometimes described as 'ringworm of the feet'. The condition is exacerbated by moist, hot and dark conditions and if left untreated can spread to the toenails and other parts of the body.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Frequent or persistent fungal afflictions can denote a general weakened resistance so keep your food wholesome eg. plenty of fresh vegetables etc and plenty of raw garlic. Avoid processed foods, especially sugar, red wine, yeast and beer.

Allow the feet to ‘breath’ whenever possible by removing shoes and socks. Wash feet regularly and dry thoroughly before putting socks on. Consider wearing sandals and going without socks if possible as athletes foot thrives in darkness the sun has anti-fungal properties too!

Wear only 100% cotton or natural fibre socks, wear a clean pair every day and avoid tight fitting shoes wherever possible. Take a spare pair of clean socks with you and change into them when you feet start to get sweaty.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Herbs which have an anti-fungal action include walnut, barberry, neem, pau d'arco, chamomile, marigold, tea tree, garlic, cloves, thuja, goldenseal, myrrh and chilli.

Herbs which strengthen the body's resistance include echinacea, olive leaf, pau d'arco, garlic, astragalus.

Herbs which generally improve and heal the condition of the skin include balm of gilead, comfrey root (externally), poke root, heartsease.

An extract of gentian root, 'gentian violet' can be useful for impetigo.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Take a teaspoon of cider vinegar in water daily.

Take a good quality acidophilus supplement for a month then again 3 months later.

The product 'molkosan' is a fermented whey drink that helps with all fungal complaints.

Have a daily foot bath containing a few drops each of tea tree oil and neem oil, soak for 10 minutes before applying a herbal powder mix.

Make a powder containing several of the anti-fugal herbs and apply daily to clean, dry feet.

Salt water, especially the sea itself, is very healing so paddle in the sea whenever possible.

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