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Natural Footcare for Cracked Heels

A long time ago, we managed apartments that were… let’s just say they were old. Old enough to have more problems than we could count. Each person in my family has battled one health problem or another due to that apartment. Thanks to the lovely mold-ridden carpeting I developed a skin problem on one foot that had me baffled only until recently. I would get an uncomfortable, cracked heel and very dry, crackly skin around the big toe. The other foot was okay. Strange. Over-the-Counter products didn’t work or were too expensive or made it worse! I tried product after product for 2 years. (I wonder how much money the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries sucked out of me? Hmm?) Then I started reading a wonderful magazine – The Herb Companion (No longer in print. Tragic.) It was filled with natural remedies that contain healing herbs. So I tried one that seemed easy enough. And it works! I won’t use anything else but my home remedies now. Amazing! So without further ado, here is a homemade foot oil recipe I cooked up based on an article from the magazine.

Here’s how to make your own.

My Footcare Oil Recipe

This is my go-to recipe to knock out cracked heels and dry, itchy skin.

12 drops of clove essential oil. I love Aura Cacia products and until I learn how to create my own oils, this is what I suggest you use.

Sesame oil. Make sure the oil is fresh because rancid oil smells awful and no amount of fragrance will fix the smell.

I use enough sesame oil to fill the tincture bottle about 7/8 full. Mix the ingredients right in the bottle, shaking vigorously for a minute or so. Shake it each time you use it, just to be sure. You can buy the bottles online (http://www.specialtybottle.com, or Amazon.com) and some health food stores will carry them also. Put a little on the affected areas and then massage it in. That’s it.

Oh yeah, if you’re a bit clumsy like me, you may need this to help prevent a mess!

It’s ok to experiment with fragrances, like adding a drop or two of other essential oils to compliment the clove. But don’t substitute the clove… it’s the important factor in healing those cracked heels and rough, dry skin. It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that is strong enough to fight athlete’s foot. You can add less oil to your liking, but don’t go below 6 drops (which is originally recommended by the magazine). But in my opinion, 12 drops is the perfect strength. (Going higher is risky if your skin is sensitive. Clove oil is too strong to put directly on the skin so the dominating ingredient should be the base oil.) What it really comes down to is knowing what it right for you. For treating a problem like athlete’s foot, you’ll need to use this at least twice a day for about 4 weeks before you begin to see results. For my problem, I started using it once a night for 2 months straight and then I cut back to weekly. Hmm, 2 months versus two years… it’s a no-brainer!

Enjoy!

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Make Your Winters Warm

Winter’s set in and it’s time to start thinking once again about the best methods of staying warm. No one likes to be shivering for months on end. In your own home you can only do so much to turn the heat up. What, then, are some simple solutions? What about when you want to go outside or need to take a trip into town?

The first solution is fairly simple: a warm, fuzzy sweater can help to take the bite out of the winter’s chill. Wearing wool or polyester is much more likely to keep you toasty than cotton! Dark colors are not only fashionable, they help to keep you warm as well. Heat isn’t reflected off of your clothing as much if it is dark.

Jeans are also something to consider giving up during the winter months. Try wearing a fashionable pair of slim black corduroys or even some thin wool slacks. The denim material that blue jeans are made from does little to protect against chilly weather.

Heat escapes your body very quickly through your ears so while you’re on the subject of dress it’s important to make sure you’ve got your head covered. There are plenty of different styles of hats on the market to choose from, but some are easily more warm than others. Try not to choose anything made from cotton, as mentioned above (hats to stay away from include most brimmed caps.) Wool hats are excellent but can be a bit scratchy so make sure it’s comfortable before you purchase it.

The last steps in making sure you’re dressed for any outing you may desire in the winter months are a pair of warm, comfortable boots and a heavy over-coat. Boots should not be made of rubber as these tend to be stiff and cool easily. Look for something with a thick soul that reaches midway up your shin, in case there is deep snow. As for a coat, black wool long-coats are always in fashion!

Now you’re dressing the part. Next there are some things to keep in mind for driving. If your car is not kept in a garage, you can always go outside and start the heater warming about ten minutes before you actually plan to leave. This way the car will be warmed up for you when you are ready to go. However, if you keep your car in a garage it is not safe to leave it running since the exhaust fumes that are released while it is running are toxic.

You can also heat a rice-bag before you leave and put it in your lap or behind your back while you drive to help stem off the cold.

Finally, after going out in the icy, windy cold it is time to relax at home. A wool blanket, a mug of hot cocoa or piping-hot coffee and a rice-bag to boot is a wonderful way to recover from the cold.


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