Mustard Foot Bath for Congestion, Aches and Circulation
Posted on 02 July 2016 by Leonie Satori
With the cooler weather, colds and sniffles threatening us at every turn, good old fashioned mustard foot baths are and excellent at home herbal remedy to help with aches and pains and to alleviate congestion.
This recipe is inspired by another Naturopath with whom I had the pleasure of working with many years ago, she was brought up on a strict diet of at-home remedies for improving circulation and the immune system. So Melissa – this one is for you!
Mustard Seed as a Medicinal Herb
Mustard seeds, while most of us think of them as a useful addition to a curry or made into a paste for a sandwich, in Ayurvedic herbal medicine they are used for many other applications. Mustard seeds (Brassica alba) are known as Rajika in Sanskrit, they are heating, high in vitamin C and beta-carotene. Mustard seed is known as a digestive, rubefacient, stimulant and irritant. As with all herbs, mustard seed should be treated with a little respect, as the pungency of this herb can be a little too stimulating for some. Externally, mustard seed is used for many types of vata conditions, including coldness, joint pain and inflammation. In Ayurvedic herbal medicine, mustard seed is also considered to be a swedojanan herb – promoting sweating of the body. Ayurvedic medicine also makes use of mustard seed oil as a warming massage oil for the body, helping with cold joints and to promote circulation, plus a mustard poultice made with crushed seeds is common Ayurvedic therapy.
Why Mustard Seed in a Foot Bath?
Mustard seed is known for its detoxifying action, the sweating and warming circulatory affects of mustard seed encourage the body to release toxins through sweat and the skin, thus making it the perfect addition to a foot bath. With much cooler winters in England, mustard foot baths are a popular remedy for rheumatism, arthritis, chilblains and aching joints. Some say that the use of mustard foot baths for congestion and circulation can date back to Roman times.
Mustard Foot Bath Recipe
2 teaspoons of mustard powder*
3 tablespoons of epsom salts
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 drop thyme essential oil
1 drop eucalyptus essential oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil
3 - 4 litres of hot water
Soak your feet for 20 minutes in this mixture – topping up with hot water if necessary
* Use either freshly ground mustard seeds or mustard powder
It is important to keep yourself warm and hydrated while your indulge in your Mustard Foot Bath, we suggest rugging up and brewing up a pot of herbal tea, ginger is especially good, as is our Autumn Moon Tea. You may find that the water in this foot bath will get cold quite quickly, keep a litre or so of freshly boiled water on hand to top up the foot bath as it cools down.
Those with sensitive skin may find that their skin is a little tingly after this herbal foot bath. We suggest keeping the water at a temperature that is not too hot, and caution those with high blood pressure.
About the other ingredients in this Mustard Foot Bath Recipe
If you do not have access to all of the ingredients for this Mustard Foot Bath recipe, you can still use this at-home herbal remedy without the essential oils, however these do enhance the therapeutic value of this treatment.
Epsom salts are a simple and economical ingredient in baths, the drawing quality of the epsom salts enhance detoxification and promote relaxation.
The addition of certified organic essential oils make this recipe both enjoyable to use and enhance the decongestant and relaxing qualities of this treatment.
Organic lavender essential oil is a must have in any at home herbal medicine cabinet, in this formula it is beneficial for its relaxing qualities, and is especially good when the strain of feeling unwell is taking its toll.
Organic thyme essential oil is an excellent decongestant and respiratory oil and a valuable remedy for muscular aches and pains.
Organic eucalyptus oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial qualities, it is renowned for its beneficial action when used in steams or diffusers for releasing congestion in the lungs. Organic eucalyptus oil is also beneficial for promoting circulation to the muscles and relieving tension.
Organic rosemary oil is known as a rubefaciant, for promoting blood flow and relaxing the muscles, also beneficial for the upper and lower respiratory tract, organic rosemary essential oil is great for moving congestion and clearing the head.
After you have enjoyed your warming Mustard Foot Bath for Congestion, Aches and Circulation we suggest curling up with a book or heading straight off to bed for a good night sleep.
About the Author
Leonie is a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist with a passion for good food, healthy living and of course, herbal medicine. When she is not consulting in her wellness clinic in Lismore or blogging about nutrition, Ayurvedic Medicine or natural health, she is studying yoga, growing her own herbs and vegetables or quietly walking in the natural bush land in Northern Rivers NSW.
Contact our health centre in Lismore to book an appointment with Leonie in our naturopathic clinic.
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