Today, I’m sharing one of the oldest traditions in herbal medicine, the herbal foot bath. Foot baths not only improve microcirculation, but they also promote skin permeability to increase the absorption and bioavailability of other medicines. (1)
When I was just starting out on my journey as a herbalist I was reading many books on the subject of herbal medicine. One that has always stuck in my mind was an autobiography of a French herbalist, Maurice Messeque called “Of People and Plants”. He talked about many amazing healing results of using herbs as herbal footbaths, which is not something commonly practiced these days. After reading his book, you would be surprised that it’s not much more common. You can see the book on Amazon here
Herbal foot bath therapy has been shown to have the following three main effects on reducing blood pressure. (2)
1. Improving the blood circulation of the whole body and regulating the autonomic nerve.
2. Reducing blood viscosity.
3. Promoting metabolism.
Today, I’m using yarrow for its detoxing effect on the entire body, but especially the veins of the legs and kidneys. You can, however, use many different herbs in a foot bath for therapeutic effects, such as pain relief, circulation, nerve relaxation, blood pressure, and kidney support.
- 15 g or 1/2 cup of your dried herbs, or 60 g of Fresh herbs
- 2 litres of water
Clean and chop the fresh herbs and place them into a large pot with the water. Bring gently to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Strain out the water into your footbath or nappy bucket. Allow to cool slightly, just enough so you can get your feet in the water. You want the water as hot as possible without scalding your feet. Soak your feet for up to 20 minutes until the water has cooled to room temperature. Repeat every day for up to 3 months for best results.
(1) Herbal medicine foot bath for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy: protocol for a randomized, double-blind and controlled trial. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6131772/
(2) A Review on the Nonpharmacological Therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Antihypertensive Effects. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334369/