Sometimes, all you need to do is soak your feet in a tub of hot water to feel better. But the question is, what else do you need to add to the water in order to provide maximum benefits?
What better way is there to relax than soaking your feet in warm water and letting the day's tensions melt away? However, it isn't just your mind that becomes clear during a good foot soak; your body gets the chance to flush out certain toxins that build up in your system too. According to Elizabeth E. Auger, a foot and ankle specialist, adding ingredients like salts and clay can help increase substances like magnesium and sulfates which allows toxins and impurities to accumulate in your feet before being flushed out during the soak. One study even found that an ionic foot bath reduced the amount of aluminum and arsenic present in the body.
And it's as easy as filling water into a bucket or dishpan, adding a few ingredients, and then just sitting back to relax. If this combination of detox and relaxation is something you've been wanting to try out, here are some DIY foot soaks that can also help reduce anxiety and stress.
This is one of the easiest and most useful soaks to prepare at home. It is important to note that you shouldn't use this foot soak if you have any open sores or ulcers on your feet. To make this foot soak, just gather two cups of Epsom salt and dissolve it into a gallon of warm or hot water (based on your preference). Then soak your feet for 20-40 minutes and enjoy the feeling. According to Healthline, the salt releases magnesium and sulfate ions which can help bodily functions that can release toxins from the system. When absorbed into the skin, it also helps produce melatonin (for better sleep) and serotonin (the happiness hormone).
While apple cider vinegar is well known for its aid in weight loss, it can do wonders for your feet as well. Not only can it help deodorize your feet and eliminate bacteria, it is also a great stress and anxiety reliever. To make your soak, fill your vessel of choice with water at a temperature that is comfortable for you, and for every two parts you fill, add one part of apple cider vinegar. Then soak your feet for about 10-20 mins and relax.
Using just one cup of lemon juice, a tablespoon of olive oil, and three tablespoons of peppermint tea, you can create a soak that will create a soothing sensation. This combination allows for the nerve endings to be soothed and increases blood circulation in the body so that the toxins are drawn out to your feet. The peppermint and lemon mix can also help you sleep better and destress due to its effect on your body's circulation.
Mixing essential oils in warm water for your foot soak can have various effects depending on which oil you choose to use. Oils like rosemary and lavender can help ease pain and aching muscles while peppermint and tea tree can deodorize your feet while also promoting healing of your cells. All of these can lead to a decrease in anxiety as well. For the best effect, mix in a little milk or vegetable oil to help the essential oils absorb into your skin better.
For this type of soak, mix 1/2 cup of bentonite clay, water, and 1/2 cup of Epsom salt. Then soak your feet for about 20 minutes. As for the effect, Founder and CEO of Wellness Mama, Katie Wells, writes in her blog, “Bentonite is a swelling clay. When it becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound.”
Much like the Epsom salt soak, this combination can also help flush toxins out by improving your bodily functions through mineral absorption. Additionally, baking soda can help manage various conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, yeast infections, rashes, nail infections, urinary tract infections, and other health issues, according to Medical News Today. It is important to remember that when using this soak as well, you shouldn't have any open sores or wounds on your feet.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Cavan ImagesDisclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.