The following are suggestions to look after your feet naturally. As the foot is attached to the body what happens in the body can ultimately affect the foot. For example hardening of the arteries, diabetes can affect circulation to the foot. This causes coldness, tingling, discoloration, slow healing etc.
The following may be helpful to those wanting to take their health into their own hands. You should still check with your doctor or better still a reputable natural health practitioner if you are concerned. The following comments are mostly limited to that pertaining to foot health. The herbs, vitamins and minerals mentioned have other benefits also.
This herb is used in Chinese medicine for asthma, chilblains and was termed good for the heart and lungs. Today in Europe physicians and natural health practitioners prescribe over $500 million worth of sales of gingko a year. The excitement started in 1972 where it was found to interfere with the action of the substance producing the platelet activation factor (PAF). By inhibiting the platelet activation factor it has enormous healing potential especially in ageing. The following conditions can benefit from gingko: intermittent claudication (when arteries become clogged in the leg, walking causes cramp, pain and weakness commonly in the calves; a year long study of 36 people showed significantly greater pain relief than standard treatment; increasing blood flow to the leg will also increase circulation to the foot; I do know someone who has been taking it for 3 years and says her veins on her legs are not as pronounced now), stroke (studies show it increases blood flow to the brain and may speed recovery of strokes). Memory reaction time, heart attack, impotence, macular degeneration, cochlear deafness, tinnitus, vertigo, asthma, high blood pressure, kidney problems, alzheimers may all benefit from gingko. Warnings: those who are not pregnant, no clotting disorders or over 2 years can use it. Medicinal amounts should be under supervision of a doctor. High amounts may cause irritability, restlessness, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Recommended dosages are considered safe. Those on warfarin definitely should not use it.
Also known as hot pepper, capsicum. Externally it is useful for chronic joint and muscle pains. It is a counter irritant. It has some analgesic properties. It somehow interferes with substance P, a chemical in the peripheral nerves that send pain messages to the brain. Two over the counter preparations have won FDA approval for certain kinds of chronic pain (Zostrix, Axasain). Diabetic foot pain: used in burning foot syndrome. In one study 71 diabetics reported significant relief in 4 weeks. The FDA have approved Axasain to be used to treat this condition.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant needed for tissue growth and repair. It protects against infection and increases the immune system. It is essential in formation of collagen and protects against blood clotting and bruising and promotes healing of wounds. New evidence suggests that vitamins C and E have greater effect when they work together. Ester C has naturally bonded minerals that allow faster absorption and doesn't react with arthritic joints. Some use it for their arthritis. New Zealand green mussel capsules also are beneficial to many arthritics. Vitamin C is enhanced by bioflavanoids. Warnings: aspirin, alcohol, analgesics, antidepressants, anticoagulants, oral contraceptives and steroids may reduce vitamin C levels in the body. Diabetic and sulfa drugs may not be as effective when taken with vitamin C. To have any great effect 500-1000 mg vitamin C should be taken daily. A buffered form is preferred in persons who react to higher dosages in the form of diarrhoea usually.
The ultimate in antioxidants. Similar to a vitamin C they can't be made in the body, Also called vitamin P, they are found in lemons, grapes, plums, black currants, grapefruit, apricots etc. It keeps vitamin C from being oxidised by copper contain gin enyzmes. Bioflavonoids increase the strength of the capillaries and regulate their permeability. This helps prevent haemorrhages and ruptures in capillaries and connective tissue and build connective tissues. They are used athletic injuries as they relief bumps, pain, bruises, swelling. Also anti inflammatory relief in rheumatoids, helpful in diabetics, for varicose veins, edema and many other conditions.
It improves circulation, repairs tissue, promotes normal clotting and healing, improves athletic performance and aids leg cramps. The body needs zinc to maintain proper levels of vitamin E. Do not take iron at the same time as vitamin E. Those with rheumatic heart disease, diabetes, or overactive thyroid should not take high doses.
This is needed for epithelial tissue maintenance and repair.
It is needed for protein synthesis and collagen formation and promotes a healthy immune system and wound healing. Those with diarrhoea, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis, diabetes and fiber have lowered zinc levels. Do not take more than 100mg per day.
Run The Planet thanks Kiwihealth.com (www.kiwihealth.com) for the permission to reprint the article "Herbs for Foot Health (Internal)" by Marion Harpur, here partially reproduced. Text copyright © 2001 by Kiwihealth.com.