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Feet (general health)

General characteristics

General characteristics

The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 tendons, 19 muscles, 200,000 nerve endings and makes up almost 25% of all the bones in the body. They are truly a bio-mechanical marvel, unique to us as humans. Our feet are designed to give us flexibility and movement, provide us with stability and balance whilst stationary or in motion, absorb shocks from impact with the ground, provide important sensory information to the rest of the body and to bear the weight of the body.
Feet can suffer from numerous disorders ranging from fungal or bacterial infections to structural problems and poor circulation, diseases such as diabetes, weak kidney function, toxicity and general poor nutrition can also profoundly affect the state of the feet.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Avoid foods that encourage inflammation such as anything containing refined fats and oils, sugary foods, refined carbohydrates and processed foods in general.

Eat a healthy diet including plenty of fresh organic whole grains, vegetables, fruits, freshly squeezed juices, nuts and seeds and cook your meals from scratch whenever possible. In particular look for foods rich in zinc, calcium and Vitamins A, B, E and C as all are implicated in improving circulation, tissue health and preventing diet induced inflammation.

Drink plenty of water, fresh fruit juice (not carton) or herb teas to stay hydrated.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

A useful herbal tea mix to address nutrient levels, circulation to the feet and strengthen muscles could contain ginkgo, horsetail, nettle, oatstraw, raspberry leaf and alfalfa. Use equal parts of the herbs and drink 2 strong cups daily, adding a pinch of cayenne to each cup to restore strength, circulation and suppleness to the feet.

Make a footbath in a bowl of warm water and add 3 tablespoons of crushed balm of gilead buds to it. Soak the feet for at least half an hour each night, topping up with warm water. Balm of gilead will moisturise and soften the skin, help deal with fungal and other infections and soothe tired, strained or sore feet.

There are many herbs used as a lining in shoes to prevent sore or tired feet in general or before a long walk or journey. These include the fresh leaves of plantain (Plantago lanceolta or major), the alder tree, ivy leaves (that have been soaked in cider vinegar overnight), mugwort, cabbage, common or marsh mallow or birch leaves..


Natural healing

Natural healing

Wear socks made of natural fibres such as wool cotton silk etc. as they allow the feet to 'breathe' and reduce the chances of foot odour and fungal infections.
Bathe your feet daily in a bowl of warm water with a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to minimise foot odour and prevent fungal infections. Always dry thoroughly, especially between the toes.
Inspect your feet regularly to get to know what is 'normal' and catch any potential problems early on.
Walk barefoot on grass as often as possible or walk barefoot around the house to allow exposure to air and sunlight and to exercise the muscles in the feet and ankles. Read this interesting article by Dr William A. Rossi about how some shoes can have an adverse affect on our bodies.
Don't cover your toenails with nail polish too often as the toenails cannot breathe when coated with the stuff. If you do wear nail polish, remove it at the end of teach day to avoid discolouration and other potential problems from occurring.
Cut your toenails straight across the top and do not round off the corners as this can lead to ingrowing toenails. If the nails do start to in-grow, cut a small 'v' shape in the top to encourage the toenail to grow normally.
Walk barefoot in seawater or bathe the feet in a seasalt bath for its rejuvenating effects. An old fashioned remedy that is much overlooked today.

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