The ground powdered spice of Mustard (Brassica alba, b. nigra, b. juncea) is traditionally utilized in footbaths to ease migraine and other tensions via the belief that drawing blood to the feet lowers cranial pressure, certainly a mustard foot bath can be both relaxing to self and stimulating to the system in a manner conducive to homeostasis.
Mustard footbaths have also been employed in folk-use to draw toxins from the body and via their counter irritant heat being a boost to circulation and endorphin release, to ease body aches and pains and to answer nasal congestion, fatigue and other symptoms of cold and flu. The warm foot bath enhanced by mustard’s phytochemicals opens skin pores across our body and stimulates sweat glands into going about their business of removing toxins from the body. This detox being beneficial to all sorts of conditions but the sweating out of a fever, bronchial complaint or viral infection is one of the most ancient remedies.
Mustard footbaths in triggering a relaxation response are conducive to a less stressed day but also to a better night’s sleep. It is taking a time out, but it is also a proactive step in toning up your system when under the weather that does some real good. Self-empowerment being a lift to spirits and to immune function, while confusion, uncertainty and dread only damps immune system and personal perception of wellbeing. So in light of recent considerations around coronavirus-related self isolation and social distancing, a foot bath is such a pampering treat.
How to Prepare: It is so simple, warm enough water to fill a basin to a depth that you can soak your feet in, the water can be lukewarm to comfortably hot, no need for pipping hot, the natural heat in the mustard will also warm up the feet and trigger all of the above. You will only need 1-2 tablespoons of powdered mustard to make the basinful of water active. You could add a spoonful of Epsom salts or sea salt to intensify the soak and be remedial to your skin, you could even add a few drops of lavender essential oil to add extra relaxation to the process.
How to use. Traditionally it is a process of a 10-20minute soak. Don’t injure overpowering heat. This is meant to be as relaxing as it is therapeutic. Pat feet dry after. You can use some foot moisturiser to cool down feet if very red post treatment.