Ayurvedic Foot Care: Pampering Treats For Tired Feet

Your feet carry you throughout your lifetime. So caring for your feet is very important and often neglected, unless of course there is an injury or disease. Ayurvedic foot care goes beyond cosmetic purposes. In Indian custom, tradition and medicine, the feet have been given utmost importance.

According to Vagbhata, the author of the classical Ayurvedic text Ashtanga Hridayam, the human body is an upside down tree wherein the roots are located at the top and the branches are pointing downwards.1 The feet are the branches that keep us connected to nature.

The feet are an important Karmendriya, or organ of action, and their relation to eye health is described in detail in the Ashtanga Hridayam2, a principal source of Ayurvedic knowledge. This shows, it is essential to take good care of your feet. Feet have benefits for your entire nervous system and body.

Here are some of the basic principles you need to follow while taking care of your feet the Ayurvedic way. There are many therapies and recipes in Ayurvedic foot care but Padabhyanga (Ayurvedic foot massage) is the mother of all foot care regimens.

Ayurveda always emphasizes that prevention is better than cure. You can experience Padabhyanga (Ayurvedic foot massage) in spite of being healthy. It rejuvenates and enhances your health and foot massage may help keep diseases at bay.

READ MORE: Ayurvedic Massage: Everything You Need To Know About ‘Abhyanga’, How Ayurvedic Massage Works + Ayurvedic Massage Oils, Stimulate Your Energy With Foot Massage

Ayurvedic Foot Massage (Padabhyanga)

Ayurvedic foot massage is done with medicated oils. It is a concept beyond massage. It is a holistic approach to psychosomatic healing.

Massaging your feet helps detoxify your body, balance emotions, and improve blood and lymph circulation. A foot massage before bed helps to create deeper sleep, and is also a quick way to recover from travel tiredness.

READ MORE: How Golden Milk Benefits Memory, 21 Sleep Inducing Healthy Foods And Beverages For Insomnia, Ashwagandha Insomnia Remedy From Ancient Indian Wellness

Ayurvedic master Charaka mentioned under personal hygiene that foot massage relieves roughness, stiffness, dryness of the feet, tiredness and foot fatigue.

Ayurvedic foot massage relieves numbness and tingling of the foot. Padabhyanga provides softness, attractiveness to the feet, strengthens the feet, and helps in improving and maintaining good eyesight. It prevents sciatica pain, prevents cracks and fissures in the feet and heels, improves blood circulation and prevenst leg cramps.3

Ayurvedic master Sushruta, another Ayurvedic scholar, says that foot massage brings sleep, is pleasing and wholesome for the eyes, removes fatigue and numbness and softens the soles of the feet.4

To keep foot massage simple use readily available oils.

  • Vata types can use sesame oil, ghee or olive oil.
  • Pitta types can use ghee, coconut oil or sunflower oil.
  • Kapha types can use ghee, sesame oil or jojoba oil.

Note: Himaruti Foot Oil is a traditional Ayurvedic pinda oil that balances Vata and Pitta dosha. It’s particularly lovely used with the Kansa Foot WandHimaruti Foot Oil contains Indian Sarsparilla or Anantamool which helps improve circulation, ease fatigue and relieve burning sensations.

Keep these points in mind during foot massage.

  • Foot massage can be done at any time of the day and on a daily basis too.
  • It is most effective when done in the late evening or at bedtime.
  • Foot massage or Padabhyanga also form part of Sarva-Abhyanga (full body oil massage).
  • Foot massage should not be done when you have fever, cold, toxin induced coma, lymphatic or blood infections, thrombosis, indigestion, abnormal skin conditions, circulatory disorders of the lower limbs and during acute trauma to the foot.

According to reflexology, it is said that foot massages releases any blocks that hold back energy, which should otherwise be flowing freely throughout the body.

Herbal Foot Bath

You can do an herbal foot bath every evening with warm salt water. Boil close to a liter of water (4 cups), add a handful of salt and let it sit for a few minutes so that the water is comfortable enough to soak your feet. Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.

One of the most effective energetic hygiene steps is also one of the simplest and most inexpensive. Take advantage of the natural cleansing ability of salt. Salt has been used in many cultures since ancient times for purification purposes.

If you wish to make your foot bath even more cleansing, add up to a few drops of lavender oil, tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil to your salt bath.

A weekly herbal foot bath can also be made with pouches of lavender, sage or rosemary. Put any one of these in a bucket or plastic tub and add boiling water. Let steep for twenty minutes, and wait until the water is luke warm and comfortable enough to soak your feet in. Now gently rub (do not scrub) the herbs on your feet while soaking, for about twenty minutes. Dry your feet thoroughly with a soft towel. This is one of the easiest Ayurvedic foot care remedies.

Ayurvedic master Sushruta in his treatise mentions that washing the feet removes dirt and diseases of the feet and fatigue. It clarifies vision, wards off negative pranic energies and provides pleasure.

Note: Himaruti Foot Oil is a traditional Ayurvedic pinda oil that balances Vata and Pitta dosha. It’s particularly lovely used with the Kansa Foot WandHimaruti Foot Oil contains Indian Sarsparilla or Anantamool which helps improve circulation, ease fatigue and relieve burning sensations.

Keep Feet Clean And Dry

Wash between your toes, and dry your feet just as carefully as you wash them. Athlete’s foot and other fungi can emerge from perspiration or dampness between the toes. If you are prone to skin irritation or foot odor, blow dry your feet after a shower and before putting on socks and shoes.

Allow Your Feet To Breathe

Wearing synthetic socks does not allow your feet to breathe properly and contributes to foot odor. Opt for organic, cotton socks when possible. Or spend a portion of your day barefoot.

Keep Your Feet Comfortable

Wear comfortable footwear. If your shoes are too tight, or if you wear heels that are uncomfortable, it can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on your feet.

Ayurvedic master Sushruta again says that regular use of foot wear alleviates diseases of the feet, provides pleasure, comfortable walking and enhances the ojas. Walking barefoot has its adverse effects on health and is harmful to the eyes too.6

READ MORE: Netra Tarpana: Ayurvedic Treatment For Dry Eyes (A Case Study), Digital Eye Strain: Pamper Your Eyes With Ayurvedic Treatments, Foods + Exercises, Facial Marma Massage + Kansa Wand Sequences

Note: Himaruti Foot Oil is a traditional Ayurvedic pinda oil that balances Vata and Pitta dosha. It’s particularly lovely used with the Kansa Foot WandHimaruti Foot Oil contains Indian Sarsparilla or Anantamool which helps improve circulation, ease fatigue and relieve burning sensations.

References
1. K.R Srikantha Murthy, Ashtanga Hridaya,Vol 3 Uttara Sthana, Chowkhamba Krishnadas Academy, verse-58, pp 234.
2. K.R Srikantha Murthy, Ashtanga hridayam, Vol 3, Uttara sthana, Chowkhamba krishnadas academy, Varanasi (2017), verse 67, pp-154.
3. R.K Sharma, Bhagwan Dash, Charaka SutraSthana, Vol 1, Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series office, Varanasi, (2016) verse-90-92, pp-125.
4. P.V. Sharma, Sushruta Samhita, Vol 2 Chikitsa Sthana, Chowkhamba Vishva Bharati, Varanasi (2013), verse 70, pp-500.
5. P.V. Sharma, Sushruta Samhita, vol 2 Chikitsa sthana, Chowkhamba Vishva Bharati, Varanasi (2013), verse-69, pp-500.
6. P.V. Sharma, Sushruta Samhita, Vol 2 Chikitsa sthana, Chowkhamba Vishva Bharati, Varanasi (2013), verse-71-72, pp-500.

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Ditimoni Goswami, BAMS is an Ayurvedic Practitioner since 2001. She served as Medical Officer (Ayur) for the government of the state of Assam, India from 2005 to 2012. She is certified in Panchakarma Therapy under Guru Shishya Parampara. Her specialization (D.Pch.) is in Panchabhautik Chikitsha. Additionally she is a Pranic healing practitioner, presently working as Ayurvedic Consultant for Transformative Learning Solutions, New Delhi India and TheAyurvedaExperience.com.

12 comments

  1. One of the seasonal changes making the foot more ruff and many other problems like diabetes, foot ulcers etc causing the foot skin badly. You said correctly. Ayurveda have best methods to care foot clear and problem free

  2. Great Article ! Very useful information . Very well explained about how to take care of our foot. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    All the best!

  3. Interesting blog, good information given about ayurvedic foot care, and how it is effectual. Was very useful, thanks for sharing the blog with us.

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