Foot baths are an excellent way to warm the body, treat weary feet and even subdue a headache. Fill a mid-calf-height bucket with warm water (higher for headache relief) and add a teaspoon of the healing substance. Make sure to avoid a bucket that was used for detergents or chemicals.
Mustard Foot Bath
Wonderful for colds and chills; headache relief, and head colds.
Mix a small handful or two of dry mustard in warm water (not hot water; it deactivates mustard). Cover the patient well with towels and have a towel on the floor under the foot bath. After the skin is strongly stimulated, usually 15-20 minutes, rinse the feet and calves well with a pitcher of warm water. Be sure you rinse between the toes. Mustard baths are an excellent way to draw an illness out.
Rosemary Foot Bath
Add 1-2 teaspoons to enough warm water to cover feet and ankles. This foot bath is also helpful for the elderly or bedridden to help wake up in the morning, and to stimulate the circulation in the lower extremities.
Lemon Foot Bath
Use for hay fever; headaches, sinus, flu, before or after a fever (not during), bronchitis; and those times when a child needs “bringing back in”; clearing the head and connecting with the more physical nature. It also has healing benefits for cases of depression and fatigue.
Place a lemon in a bowl and cover with warm water. Cut the lemon underwater in the following way: Cut in half, with the flat sides on the bottom of the bowl, slice each as you would a birthday cake (in wedges) half leaving the core intact. Score the skin all over (make little cuts with a sharp knife) to release old from the skin. Then express the juice.
Adapted from Practical Home Care Medicine: A Natural Approach by Christine Murphy (Lantern Books, 2001).