The Huffington Post is highlighting on its front page today a listicle on 11 Easy, Natural Ways To Treat Nearly All Of Your Foot Problems. It’s the usual mix of weird stuff that doesn’t address the root cause.
And of course, I can easily come up with just one way to fix foot problems.
Let’s go through the list.
1. Use Listerine To Fight Nail Fungus
This is one way to do it. Listerine does have some anti-fungal chemicals in it. On the other foot, they have you soak your feet for 30 minutes in it.
Here’s a different idea: just go barefoot (surprise!). Fungal infections are really promoted by the warm, dark, moist environments inside shoes. It also prevents your feet from getting wafted by fresh dry air and from getting sunshine on them.
2. Battle Hammertoes With Simple Exercises
Their advice here: exercises, moving your toes with your hands, and picking up marbles.
Those are good things, but I doubt they will do much for hammertoes, which are caused by short, narrow shoes that are too tight and bend the toes into unnatural positions.
Hey, the best was to battle hammertoes is to ditch the shoes. Duh!
3. Rub On Some Antiperspirant To Cure Blisters
OK, I suppose a bit of lubricant might help with the constant rubbing of shoes.
Shoes. We keep hearing about shoes. Do you think they might be the problem?
4. Squeeze On Red Pepper Juice To Combat Bunions
Why would you do this? Because red peppers contain capsaicin, a pain reliever. That’s right, they recommend treating the symptoms and completely ignoring the cause. (And by the way, if you want to put on capsaicin, you’d do better to buy a tube of the stuff because then you can get a uniform dose.)
Of course, bunions are caused almost completely by shoes. Old studies of people who did not wear shoes showed a minuscule incidence of bunions.
5. Put An Onion In Your Sock To Eliminate Corns
What this does is soften the corn.
Yeah, that’s right. The body has built up a defense against the constant rubbing on the foot from shoes and their solution is to remove that defense. Good idea, eh?
Solution? (Yes, I’m a broken record.) Quit wearing the damn shoes.
Yes, you will get thickening on your soles, but it will not be localized and painful corns. Instead the thickening will be almost perfectly distributed (actually it’ll have graduated thickenings depending on the natural pressure on your sole) and perfectly comfortable.
6. Stop Heel Pain With Easy Stretches
OK, this one is a pretty good idea. They suggest rolling your feet over something like a frozen water bottle.
Except that you are much less likely to have heel pain in the first place if you always go barefoot.
Heels are particularly bad. They allow your tendons to shorten so that you strain them when the foot gets used the way it was evigned to be used.
But the rolling does feel really good, as any massage does. Oh, but going barefoot on slightly rough terrain is also a nice massage!
7. Put Down The Soda To Prevent Gout
Here they note a study that showed that sugary drinks were more likely to develop gout. OK.
But then it recommends “eating cherries and strawberries every day ‘in order to combat the inflammation.'” Don’t you really instead want to prevent the build-up of uric acid in the blood?
By the way, when you go barefoot you move a bunch of joints that are frozen in shoes. And keeping your joints moving is a good way to handle arthritis.
8. Treat Athlete’s Foot With Fresh Garlic
Right. And you thought your feet stunk badly before (and of course your feet stink badly because they are kept inside warm, dark, moist shoes where smelly bacteria grow easily).
Athlete’s Foot is pretty much unknown in cultures that go barefoot all the time.
Take a hint . . .
9. Apply Vicks VapoRub To Heal Ingrown Toenails.
They tout the Vicks as promoting healing.
Better not to get the ingrown toenail in the first place . . . by not having your toes crammed into shoes. And keep your toenails trimmed properly.
10. Scrub With A Pumice Stone To Get Rid Of Dead Skin
OK, I suppose this is fine. A lot of people do it. (I generally don’t.)
And now we are up to the climax, number 11. You knew it was coming. Hold on to your hats:
11. Choose The Correct Footwear To Protect Your Feet Overall
“One of the key elements to preventing nearly all potential foot problems is selecting the proper shoes.”
Well, only if “proper shoes” generally means no shoes. They warn about how too-tight shoes can cause long-term foot problems.
The thing is, shoes do all sorts of damage, whether too tight or not. Heels increase the stresses on knees and other joints farther up the bodies. The inside of a shoe is a toxic environment of bacteria and fungi. Shoes don’t let the internal foot joints move properly, so they become weak and lead to all sorts of pathologies (from things like plantar fasciitis to weak, flat feet).
Sigh. It sure would be nice if we got to see an article about feet that knew what it was talking about.
Oh, but we just did. In this post. 🙂