PART 3. THE REMEDIES
Athlete’s foot isn’t just for damp locker room floors anymore. With symptoms including painful blisters, itching, burning, and scaly, cracked skin between the toes, this all-too-common problem is caused by the tinea fungus. The good news is that the stronger your immune system, the less likely you are to catch the condition. While there are plenty of over-the-counter treatments, natural remedies can easily do the trick.
Garlic–Tea Tree Foot Soak
YIELD: 1 TREATMENT
STORAGE: NOT RECOMMENDED
TIME: 35 MINUTES
Garlic is one of the best herbs for athlete’s foot, particularly when combined with tea tree essential oil. This simple foot soak relieves itching, burning, and redness.
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 gallon hot water
1 teaspoon rubbing alcohol
2 teaspoons antibacterial liquid soap
10 drops tea tree essential oil
1.In a blender or food processer, purée the garlic into a fine paste.
2.Pour the hot water into a basin or foot bath.
3.Add the rubbing alcohol, antibacterial soap, tea tree essential oil, and garlic.
4.Soak your feet for 30 minutes while sitting comfortably.
5.Towel off, ensuring that your feet are completely dry before putting on socks and shoes.
6.Repeat once daily until your athlete’s foot symptoms are gone.
Tea Tree Foot Powder
YIELD: 1 CUP
STORAGE: SUGAR SHAKER
TIME: 5 MINUTES
This one-two punch of baking soda and tea tree oil combines astringents and antifungals to keep feet dry while stopping foot fungus and preventing it from recurring. Use this powder alongside other treatments to maximize its effectiveness.
1 cup baking soda
20 drops tea tree essential oil
1.In a medium bowl, add the baking soda and 5 drops of tea tree essential oil. Blend using a whisk or fork.
2.Add 5 more drops of tea tree essential oil and mix, blending well.
3.Repeat the process until all 20 drops of essential oil have been mixed in.
4.Using a funnel, transfer the foot powder to a sugar shaker.
5.Apply a liberal amount to your socks and shoes before wearing them, and sprinkle on your feet and between your toes after showering.
6.Use once or twice daily. Store in a cool, dry place.
Ginger Foot Balm
YIELD: ABOUT 1 OUNCE
STORAGE: SMALL GLASS JAR
TIME: 24 HOURS
Like garlic, ginger is a strong antifungal herb. This remedy takes some time to prepare, but it leaves your feet with a surprisingly exotic, spicy fragrance. Top with socks at night for smoother skin by morning.
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped or grated finely
1 ounce sesame oil
1.In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the ginger and sesame oil.
2.Place the jar in a warm area for 24 hours.
3.Using a sieve or cheesecloth, strain the oil into a clean jar.
4.Squeeze or press the ginger to extract as much oil as possible.
5.Place a lid on the jar and keep it in the refrigerator between uses.
6.To use, apply a thin layer to affected areas with a cotton ball.
7.Store in the refrigerator. Make a new batch if not completely used within 1 week.
Be sure to reapply after showering or bathing, and speed the healing process by applying each night before bed. Continue use for 3 days after the athlete’s foot symptoms are gone.