Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Tea Party for Your Feet

Have you ever had a tea party for your feet? It might sound silly, but there really is nothing nicer! My mother started the tradition of foot baths in our family when I was a young girl. They were considered a soothing treat and were often followed by a nice foot massage. It was something our family enjoyed on Friday nights after a long, busy week. A hot foot bath, a foot massage, and cups of warm tisane were a great way to unwind and relax. Mother also used foot baths therapeutically when someone in the family was sick. Hot and cold foot baths were alternated to relieve head and chest congestion. It was thought that the additional circulation sped up the healing process. A hot and cold foot bath involved a large basin or bucket that was placed on a towel on the floor. The water level started low in the bucket with comfortably warm water.  A tea kettle simmered on the stove top and as the water in the bucket cooled, hot water from the kettle replenished the water supply in the bucket. Over time, as the feet adjusted to the hot water, more tolerance could be endured and the water in the bucket went from warm to hot. Sometimes Epsom salts or essential oils were added to the hot water to enhance the experience. More often dried herbs, dried petals, powdered milk, or baking soda was added in a little muslin bag, creating a foot bath tea that was milky and soothing. The longer the soak, the greater the benefit. River rocks or marbles added to the bottom of the bucket added texture and an easy massage as the feet were rubbed back and forth against them. After 20 or 30 minutes, mother would insist that it was healthiest if we cooled our feet down quickly by a brisk, cold dash in another basin of water. Often it contained ice! Sister and I thought it was torture, but it did feel wonderful afterwards. Once done, a dry, fluffy towel was used to dry the entire foot, including spaces between the toes. Then, a fragrant, botanical lotion massaged on the feet created a little bit of heaven! There's nothing like a foot bath tea party for your feet!

Nowadays the foot bath is a rare occurrence. Maybe life is too busy? Or maybe it's that I've discovered how easy and pleasant it is to get a pedicure in town, complete with jets, hot water, and gentle massage. The principle is the same.

Would you like a recipe for a stimulating foot bath tea? Here's one that I enjoy that I call Minty Foot Soak.

A basin or bucket of very warm water
12 drops of peppermint pure essential oils
1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves from the garden (or 1/8 cup dried peppermint tea, bulk)
1/4 cup Epsom salts
1 cup brewed green tea

The mint leaves can be placed in a tea sac or muslin bag if you wish, although I don't mind if they float around in the bath. The peppermint is stimulating and aids the circulation. And the menthol in the mint reduces muscle pain. Green tea has antioxidant qualities that absorb through the skin.

Soak for 20 - 30 minutes, adding hot water as needed.

Follow with a quick dash of ice cold water and dry feet well.


  1. Interesting idea for my stash of green tea!

  2. Oh, wow! Does that sound wonderful, LaDonna. I just might have to give that a try. And I LOVE that teacup quilt photo that precedes your post.

  3. I always provided foot care for the family, though I did not go to the lengths that your sweet mom did. If I had, those children might still be returning for foot care. =D This sounds so heavenly that I'm going to gather up some spearmint that is running wild and surprise John with a good foot soak. He'll love that after being in work boots all day.

  4. Now that sounds real good...

  5. Oh, that quilt is so lovely!! We never did the foot soak when I was growing up but I have made up for lost time getting a pedicure quite frequently.

  6. Now why didn't I stop to think about doing this for my sore feet?! And I even have a special lavender foot bath in a jar to use. That sounds so soothing and wonderful. What a special mom to do that for you and your sister. I am also debating whether to get a paraffin bath for my feet too. Oh now this would be heaven with a lavender bath and then paraffin too.

  7. Sounds divine. I'd love one right now. Susan

  8. Sounds like a great idea! I've seen tub tea in large tea this would fit right in. I LOVE the teacup quilt. How cute is that!

  9. My darling DIL had a Pedi Party a few years ago and it was wonderful. She had a friend that is a nail tech and she had her do foot soaks, foot massages & pedicures for us. We sipped sparkling wine and talked and so much fun! How wonderful that you got such special treats like that all your life. I love it.

    Hugs, Edie & Marie

  10. Sounds wonderful! I love foot baths. Have only tried epsom salts - an experience from my childhood. I must start a new tradition. Regular footbaths - and often - need to be a new tradition at my house!


Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.