The 21st Century Herbalist

Treat Yourself to a Footbath

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, summer is ending.  It won’t be official until September 22 when we welcome autumn but the start of school for many of us, has signaled the end of another wonderful summer.  So with all of the back-to-school studying, fall wardrobe shopping and the holiday season looming ahead, why not take a quick break this weekend to recharge and get ready for it all?  Treat yourself to an indulgent foot bath.  It’s a revitalizing treat that’ll get you ready to face the full week ahead of you.  Below are a couple of herbal recipes that will calm your nerves and revitalize you in just 20 minutes.

Step 1 – Select a Footbath Basin

You don’t need a special footbath appliance to enjoy a good soak.  Just find a bowl, container or even a large plastic bin that your feet can comfortably rest in.

Step 2 – Choose Your Herb Blend

Blend 1: Kitchen Herb Soothing Soak – 50/50 Sage and Rosemary with Olive Oil

Use tbsp. of dried herbs to every 2 c. of water and 1 tbsp. of olive oil to every 4 c. of water.  You’ll need enough water to fill your footbath basin.  Heat your herbs and water over a low heat and bring it just to a simmer.  Allow the water to gently simmer for 1o minutes.

Blend 2: Calming Soak – Lavender and Oatmeal

Use 1 tbsp. each of dried lavender and oatmeal (rolled oats) to every 2 c. of water.  Heat your herbs and water over a low heat and bring it just to a simmer.  Allow the water to gently simmer for 1o minutes.

Blend 3: Rosy Feet Soak – Rose Petals and Geranium Essential Oil

Use 1 tbsp. dried rose petals (not from fresh roses, unless you know they were grown without pesticides) for every 1 c. of water.  This is optional but you can also add 3-6 drops of geranium essential oil (available at most health food stores).  Heat your herbs and water over a low heat and bring it just to a simmer.  Allow the water to gently simmer for 1o minutes.

Step 3 – Soak and Relax

You’ll need:

  • your herbal soaking water from Step 2
  • your foot basin
  • 2 large towels
  • extra water (unheated)
  • teapot or insulated thermos (optional)

Decide where you’d like to sit while soaking your feet – the cozier, the better.  Think about what you want to do during your footbath – read a magazine or book? Just sit back and sip some chamomile tea? Maybe make a calming facial mask and allow that to do its magic while your feet soak.  No matter what you choose, think of it now because once your feet are soaking in the bath, you won’t want to get up.

Place your foot basin near the chair you’ll be sitting in and start by wrapping it in one of the towels to help keep it insulated.  Then pour some of your herbal soaking water into the basin and add room temperature water until you achieve a mix of water that is hot but not so hot that it burns your feet.  Pour the remaining hot herbal soaking water into a teapot or insulated thermos to keep near by, if you want to add it later to reheat the footbath a bit.

Sit in your chair and with the other towel close at hand, gently place your feet into the hot bath, allowing all of the tension to flow through your body, to your feet and into the hot, calming water of the footbath.  Place the towel over the foot basin to keep the heat inside, then relax in whatever way makes you feel best.  Add more water from your teapot or thermos when you need to and soak your feet for anywhere between 20 – 45 minutes.

After your footbath, pour the water and herbs on the ground and send all of the tension you released into the water back to the earth for recharging.  Gently massage your favorite lotion into your feet and put on a cozy pair of socks. Allow yourself to enjoy the ceremony of the footbath and enjoy your newfound calmness by releasing your breath and saying, “ahhhhhh”.

Keep it calm until next week, dear gigglers, when we chat again.

image via: Jessica M. Cross

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