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‘Ouch!!! It aches, especially on every step that I take. What can I do?’ These are the mind words of people who have sore, cracked foot. Women are often affected and suffer with dry, cracked and not so appealing heels more than men. Your dream footwear will just be sleeping on the shelves of the shoe rack, till you treat your cracked foot. I have seen people hide their foot, with the fear of unveiling their thorny, flaky and busted heels also known as heel fissures. Painful, cracked and dry heels is a predominant cosmetic problem and has been termed as Padadari in Ayurveda and has been explained in Kshudra Rogas in Sushruta Samhita. There are innumerable remedies for cracked foot in Ayurveda and let’s have a look at the promising Ayurvedic essential oils for healing heel fissures.
Causes for cracks or fissures: Human foot is the powerful part of the body helping one to withstand all severe climatic conditions and roam around, yet it is this part of the body that is often neglected. Cracks on foot have no age limit and it can affect anyone for that matter irrelevant of the sex, color and origin. The major causes for cracks or heel fissures are:
- Cracks are occupational especially for farmers and other people who are involved in laborious tasks that demand standing always, which lead to huge pressure on the foot forcing it to develop cracks.
- Prolonged standing on hard floor and this is the reason why most of the homemakers develop cracks.
- Dry, dull and lifeless skin that lacks moisture, especially during winter has the tendency to develop cracks.
- Uncomfortable, not so fitting or open back footwear compels pressure on the foot, while widening and deepening the cracks.
- Obesity or excess accumulation of fat and deficiency of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
- Dry, hot, humid and tropical climatic conditions make your feet dull, dry and hard paving way to develop cracks.
- Aging and skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, athlete’s foot etc.
- High exposure of feet to dust, dirt, germs and other harmful organisms leading to infection in the foot.
- Excess sweating of feet or other causal illnesses like thyroid and diabetes can also cause cracks on the foot.
Symptoms: Cracks generally appear on the external or outer walls of the heels, when it is thick and dry. The symptoms of cracked foot are dry, itchy and painful heels with flaky and red patches and partition of skin looking like root hairs. When left unnoticed, fissures may start bleeding with excruciating pain and might even lead to developing Calluses, Cellulites, and Lymphangitis etc. Anyone with cracked feet will have greater discomfort while walking and the cracks can act as a dangerous channel for bacteria, virus, fungi and other harmful organisms to enter into the body and complicate the situation.
Ayurvedic treatment for Cracked foot: Ayurveda, the natural healing science suggests the systematic way of living in harmony with nature. Following an Ayurvedic routine can weaken your illness woes and strengthen your immunity. Padadari or cracked heels occurs mainly due to Vata imbalance. Ayurvedic texts recommend human beings to keep themselves clean and maintain perfect personal hygiene, which can help in controlling and preventing illness.
1. Pamper your feet with an Ayurvedic massage: Feet is one such vital part of the body that needs complete pampering and with such care it would remain soft, supple and glowing. Abhyanga or an Ayurvedic massage with effective natural and hydrogenated vegetable oils like Coconut oil, Sesame seed oil etc can heal your cracked heels effectively. Essential oils like Lavender essential oil, Lemon essential oil, Eucalyptus essential oil etc, can heal your infected heels and make the foot skin soft. This helps the hard, rough and dry skin to turn tender and smooth by enhancing the blood circulation in your feet.
2. Comforting foot bath or Padasnana: For cracked foot, this miraculous science suggests foot bath also known as Padasnana to revitalize your foot skin and prevent the fissures in the future as well. Padasnana along with certain effective Ayurvedic essential oils can help you save your foot from such painful, displeasing and unappealing heel fissures.
Take a small tub of warm water and add 2 to 4 drops of Patchouli essential oil, Tea tree essential oil, Rose essential oil and Lavender essential oil. Soak your feet in this water for about 15 to 20 minutes and the cicatrisant, antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, calming and anti-inflammatory properties in these essential oils will make your feet petal soft when done two or three times a week.
Adding few drops of Tea tree oil, Peppermint oil, Eucalyptus oil and Lemon oil to a small basin of water and soak your feet into this medicated solution for about 10 to 15 minutes. This relaxes your heels, loosens the cracks, moisturizes the dry scaly skin and helps combat fungal infections as these oils have anti-fungal, analgesic, anesthetic and astringent properties.
3. Moisturize your feet with soothing essential oils: The best essential oils for moisturizing your feet are Peppermint oil, Myrrh oil, Lavender oil, Rose oil, Geranium oil, Patchouli oil, Tea tree oil and Eucalyptus oil. These oils can be used for massaging your feet either as a blend with carrier oils like jojoba oil or coconut oil or can be added to warm water for your foot bath. 5 to 10 drops of essential oils of Geranium, Benzoin, Lavender, Myrrh and Tea tree mixed with 1 ounce of natural cream or mild lotion can act as the best daily moisturizing rub for your feet, especially after a shower.
4. Care your heels with Carrier oils: Carrier oils like Jojoba oil, Calendula oil, Avocado oil, Olive oil and Sweet Almond oil can guard your foot from cracks and other infections. These oils enrich your skin with the presence of essential vitamins and minerals. A gentle massage with any of these oils can aid in nourishing your dehydrated and dry skin while preventing it from painful cracks.
5. Healthy and nutritious diet: Drink enough water daily and eat a balanced diet with rich nutrients like essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, which make your skin smooth and combat dead skin cells in your body. Green leafy vegetables and juicy fruits can supply the essential resilience to your skin.
Regular physical exercises and yoga can help you in treating your cracked heels. Hmmm…. Now you can use your dream footwear on your shelves again and dance in joy with the comfort and confidence of having crack-free, clear and supple heels. Happy Dancing!!!
Thought for the day:
The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art. – Leonardo da Vinci
- Natural Foot Care: Herbal Treatments, Massage, and Exercises for Healthy Feet By Stephanie L. Tourles
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- Absolute Beauty: Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony Through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda By Pratima Raichur, Mariam Cohn