making your own herbal foot soaks

making your own herbal foot soaks

Foot soaks are an undersung, glorious pleasure. Formulated with ginger and mustard, they can help stave off a cold. Formulated with lavender and kava kava oil, they can soothe and unwind. With rose petals, cocoa butter, and honey, they set the stage for a delightfully frisky evening.

I like to make my footsoaks fizzy, both for the pleasures of effervescence and the penetrating, softening power of the citric acid/baking soda combination. Here is my basic recipe:

2 parts baking soda
1 part citric acid
1/2 part sea or epsom salts
1/4 part dried or powdered herbs (rosemary, calendula, or lavender flowers to heal the skin, ginger and mustard to sweat out a cold, peppermint to invigorate, catnip and passionflower for relaxation, for example).

Sift dry ingredients together and pinch out any lumps.

Add almond oil (olive, jojoba, melted coconut and cocoa butter work too), about two tablespoons per cup of dry mixture. I like to use oil that’s been infused with herbs like plantain for irritated skin, kava for tension, rose for softness and openness, but plain oil is just fine.)

If desired, add essential oil a drop at a time (some of my favorites are lavender for relaxation and to heal skin; rose to soothe the heart and foster openness; patchouli for groundedness and sensuality).

Now spritz the mixture with a spray bottle of water; rosewater is great if you have it but plain old water will do. Spritz, stirring constantly, just until mixture holds together when gently squeezed.

If you want to mold your mixture into spheres or eggs, now is the time. Empty plastic easter eggs work well as a mold, as do silicon candy molds and muffin cups. Melon ballers work too. Press the mixture into the mold, let it sit for a few minutes, and then gently remove it to dry overnight.

This can be an INCREDIBLY frustrating process; please know that if your footsoaks won’t hold their shape, they will still work! Moulding is just for appearance.

When you’re ready to use them, fill a tub or basin with very warm water and set it on a folded towel. Have a few extra towels handy for drying feet afterward. Drop the footsoak in, immerse your feet, and relax.

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February 26, 2013 · 7:44 pm

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