Natural remedies for dry, cracked heels
by Paula Owens —
The appearance of your skin, including the skin on your feet, is a reflection of what is going on internally with your health. Dry, cracked heels are a very common problem that can be embarrassing and unsightly. They are also are an indication that your body is out of balance, not just that you need a pedicure or expensive foot cream.
The following are some possible causes of dry, cracked heels and feet.
Nutrient deficiencies — Essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiencies and lack of quality fats in the diet are often the number-one culprits of dry, cracked heels. Other common nutrient deficiencies include zinc, and vitamins A and B deficiencies.
Infections — These can be linked to yeast overgrowth, candida, fungal and bacterial infections. If this is the case, the infection must be addressed and treated properly, and attention prioritized on healing the gut.
Fungus — If fungus is the problem, heal the gut. Soaking feet in warm water with 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/4 cup magnesium oil or 1 cup Epsom salts for 10 to 15 minutes, two to three times per week can be very helpful for toenail fungus. Add 30 to 50 drops of liquid iodine forte and either 4 to 5 drops of tea tree oil or 4 to 5 drops of oregano oil. Dry feet thoroughly after applying any solution.
Identify the root cause — Eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, thyroid disorders, pre-diabetes and diabetes, and kidney disease can also cause cracked heels. It is important to identify the root cause.
Begin with your diet — Increase daily intake of healthy fats, including coconut oil, pastured butter, grass-fed meats, fatty fish (sardines with the bones, wild salmon), extra virgin olive oil, egg yolks, avocado, nuts and seeds. Supplement with only high-quality EFAs that include GLA, such as EFA-Sirt Supreme®, a blend of DHA, EPA and GLA. Prevent dehydration and drink plenty of clean (nonfluoridated, nonchlorinated) water daily.
Dry brush your feet — Use a pumice stone, loofa or soft brush daily before showering to gently exfoliate the top layers of dead skin over the entire foot.
Moisturize — Before bed, rub a mixture of coconut oil, raw shea butter or castor oil, with a few sprays of magnesium oil, aloe vera gel and a couple of drops of lavender or myrrh oil onto your feet. Wear a pair of light socks. If a fungal infection is the root cause, add liquid iodine forte, tea tree or oregano oil to the mixture.
Exfoliate — To exfoliate, use a mixture of sea salt, baking soda, coconut oil and your favorite essential oil (frankincense, calendula, lavender, myrrh).
Soak — To a foot bath, add a few drops of peppermint oil combined with apple cider vinegar, baking soda and Epsom salts or magnesium oil to relieve and relax tired, worn feet. Dry thoroughly and massage feet with coconut oil, olive oil or castor oil and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Topical aloe vera, jojoba oil and vitamin E also have excellent soothing, healing and moisturizing properties.
Enjoy a reflexology massage — Areas on the feet correspond to every limb, organ and gland of the body. When pressure is applied to these specific points, it stimulates the corresponding limb, organ or gland.
Foot roll with self-myofascial release — Stand on an avocado pit or golf ball as you apply gentle pressure on the tender trigger points of your feet to release knots, tight and tangled fascia, and restricted and blocked energy.
Keep your feet and toenails groomed — Beware of nail salons that do not practice proper hygiene and disinfection techniques to avoid bacterial infections.
Apply any of the topical ones consistently, and in just 5 to 6 weeks you will notice a drastic improvement in the appearance of your feet.
Fortunately, these remedies will result in smooth, happy, healthy feet.
Paula Owens, M.S., is a nutritionist and fitness expert with more than 25 years of experience. She is the author of The Power of Four and Fat Loss Revolution and the creator of “21 Days to a Leaner, Healthier You,” an online exercise and weight-loss program. PaulaOwens.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 5, October/November 2014.