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Q: Im an avid reader of your column, but I am skeptical about some of the suggested remedies such as a bar of soap for leg cramps. I see no rhyme or reason for it.
One article intrigued me, though: using blackstrap molasses for hemorrhoids. The current popular treatment didnt work for me, especially since they took out the shark liver oil. Other products Ive tried gave no more than temporary relief.
I began taking 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses daily two months ago. I have no more pain or itching! This is just short of a miracle.
A: You are by no means the only reader to find that swallowing a spoonful of blackstrap molasses daily can banish hemorrhoids. We wish we knew why. This would not be good for anyone with diabetes because molasses is high in sugar.
Q: I have just been told I have high cholesterol and that I need to treat it with diet and exercise. The problem is, I already exercise and eat a healthy diet.
I have read that taking vinegar every day will lower cholesterol. Is this true? If so, how much does it take? Should it be mixed with anything?
A: Research in rats suggests that apple-cider vinegar can help control triglycerides and cholesterol . We suspect this may also be true for humans, as many readers testify. Unfortunately, we do not know the effective dose.
How Does The Combination Of Epsom Salt And Tea Tree Oil Work For Treating Toenail Fungus
Both Epsom Salt and Tea Tree Oil have antiseptic and antifungal properties. When you create a warm water foot soak, adding Epsom oil can clean your feet and tea tree oil can remove the bad odor.
Together, their properties merge in the foot soak and the duo works to defeat any fungi alive on the nail bed.
Other Benefits Of Epsom Salt Foot Soaks
Absorbing Epsom salt through foot soaks provides the body with enough magnesium, which plays a major role in bodily function.
- Sleep promotion and Stress reduction
Epsom salt is known to reduce stress and fatigue. Magnesium helps the body produce melatonin hormones which promotes sleep. It also helps the brain to produce neurotransmitters that reduce stress and induce sleep.
- Pain relief
Magnesium is a soothing agent present in Epsom salt, which helps with relaxation and pain relief. Many people suffering from arthritis and fibromyalgia have reported improvement in their symptoms after taking Epsom salt baths.
- Improved exercise performance and recovery
Epsom salt foot soaks can relieve cramps and reduce muscle soreness.
Also Check: How To Avoid Foot Fungus
Common Types Of Nail Fungus
- Distal subungual infection
This infection is the most common type, and it develops both in the toenails and fingernails.
In this case, the outer edge of the nail appears jagged with yellow and/or white streaks across it. The infection grows into the underside of the nail and nail bed.
- Candida infection
This type of infection is caused by candida yeasts. It usually affects fingernails and often in individuals who soak their hands in water most of the time. It starts infecting the cuticle around the nail and makes it red, swollen and tender to touch. As it progresses, the nail may become partially lifted off the nail bed, or completely fall off.
- White superficial infection
This is a type of fungal attack that affects the surface layers of the nail , and creates distinct white spots on the nail. Progressively, these white spots cover the whole nail, which becomes rough and starts crumbling. The spots may become flaky and pitted.
- Proximal subungual infection
This type is uncommon and can affect both the toenails and fingernails. As the infection spreads upward, yellow spots likely to appear at the base of the nail.
Now, lets look explore about warts.
What To Expect From A Toenail Fungus Soak
While some toenail fungus infections are easier to treat than others, we should be clear that you shouldnt solely rely on a toenail fungus soak to kill fungus permanently.
I havent seen any compelling evidence that soaks will help in the treatment of fungal infection of the nails, says dermatologist Rajani Katta, MD, who serves as volunteer clinical faculty at Baylor College of Medicine and McGovern Medical School at UT Health in Houston.
However, a soak may help ease symptoms such as itching and burning and help stave off bacteria. It could take weeks or several months of consistent soaks to see improvementor they might not work at all.
Be mindful that although your toes look and feel better, the fungus could still be alive and lingering and can spread to other toes and areas of the foot.
One caveat: if you have diabetes and notice changes in your toenails or feetthink redness, swelling, a color change, or a black vertical streak on your toenaildont try a foot soak. In fact, people with diabetes should check in with a doctor if they notice any foot-related changes at all.
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Benefits Of An Epsom Salt Foot Soak
If youre dealing with mild foot pain, muscle soreness, or other discomforts, youve probably considered any number of treatments to find relief. Soaking feet in Epsom salt and water could be the remedy youre looking for.
An Epsom salt foot soak has several potentially helpful properties, allowing your body to absorb beneficial minerals and relax with the soothing effects of hot or cold water.
Learn more about what Epsom salt does and how you can use it in a relaxing foot soak.
WHAT IS EPSOM SALT?
Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral salt, which comes in much larger granules than the table salt or sea salt youre used to seeing. The name Epsom salt refers to Epsom, England, a town with popular mineral springs. Its another name for magnesium sulfate, a compound thats comprised of the mineral magnesium and sulfate.
Primarily, Epsom salt is a topical treatment for soreness and inflammation. As part of your relaxation routine, it may help soothe aching muscles and relieve feelings of tension.
Magnesium is an important dietary mineral that helps your body build proteins, regulate blood sugar, and maintain muscle and nerve functions.However, research has found that 68 percent of adults in the US get less than the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency is one cause of fatigue, nausea, and general weakness. A more severe magnesium deficiency could cause muscle cramps, tingling, and abnormal heart rhythms.
EPSOM SALT FOR FEET
Baking Soda With Lemon Juice
These two ingredients create an alkaline environment which prevents the infection from spreading.
- Combine BS with enough amounts of lemon juice to make a thick paste.
- Apply the mixture to the nails.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes, rinse off with water and pat dry.
- Repeat the process 2 times a day.
- Alternatively, you can add this paste to enough amounts of water to soak for 20 minutes. Rinse off and pat dry.
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How Do You Make A Vinegar Foot Soak
If you would like to try out a vinegar foot bath at home, you can follow the instructions below.
Step 1: Get a bottle of vinegar. The type of vinegar you use doesnt necessarily matter most people either take a white vinegar foot soak or an apple cider vinegar foot soak. The important thing is the pH of the vinegar, which should typically be 2-3. So, its not a question of what is better for toenail fungus , its a question of whether youve selected vinegar with a pH of 2-3.
Step 2: Fill a sink or bowl with 1 part vinegar and 2 parts warm water .
Top tip: if youre finding the smell of vinegar too strong or unpleasant, you can add a few drops of essential oils to the mixture, such as lavender oil.
Step 3: Soak foot for 15-30 minutes daily in the mixture. Do not soak for longer than 30 minutes.
Step 4: Make sure that you dry your foot/feet thoroughly after your soak. The fungus grows best in a moist environment, so leaving feet damp encourages fungal growth especially if you are putting on socks or shoes next.
Step 5: Repeat this process daily until you can see that your infection has disappeared.
If you have particularly sensitive skin, you may find that vinegar causes some skin irritation. If this is the case, you can try decreasing the time you spend soaking your feet to 10-15 minutes or diluting the mixture with more water. You could also try reducing the amount of foot soaks you try to a few times a week instead.
Can Epsom Salt Help Me
Maybe. For years, people have claimed that Epsom salt benefits foot health by relieving aches and pains, improving circulation, decreasing inflammation, reducing foot odor, and softening skin. Other claims are that Epsom salt is anti-microbial and anti-fungal, so a soak can help heal infections including toenail fungus and athletes foot. People even say that Epsom salt can help improve mood and reduce anxiety!
Unfortunately, these claims are based on anecdotal evidence. That means that, while many people have shared their stories for many years, there are no studies to back them up. So there may be something to these claims, but we dont have any scientific evidence to rely on.
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What Does Epsom Salt Do For The Feet
Epsom salts are often found in bath salts/bath bombs. But, used on their own they provide excellent benefits to your feet, skin, and more. You dont have to wait until you start seeing symptoms of toenail fungus to relax with a foot soak.
Take 2-3 soaks per week for the health of your feet and toenails. There are many different types of foot soaks, and so many things you can add. So, why is Epsom salt so beneficial?
- Epsom salt is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps to exfoliate and soften your skin. It can relieve pain, reduce cramps, and even improve circulation.
It is a combination of magnesium and sulfate. Although it might look a bit like table salt, the two are entirely different. Table salt is made up of sodium chloride.
The good news about magnesium sulfate is that its a mineral our bodies need. Unfortunately, our bodies have been lacking it in recent decades. So, adding some to your foot care routine is helpful.
Those are all critical characteristics when it comes to your feet. Thats why many people take full baths in Epsom salts!
Benefits Of Epsom Salt On The Toenail & Skin
As the infected toenail is also a part of the skin, so all those benefits that Epsom salt has on your skin, the same will be on the infected toenail. The following are some apparent reasons why Epsom salt is a good option for toenail fungus.
Improves the appearance of the toenail
To remove the infected skin cells, and to remove the toenail fungus Epsom salt can work as a catalyst.
A toenail infected with fungus would look absurd, and damaged, to regain the old look a continuous application of Epsom salt will work.
Treats itchiness and redness
Itchiness is one of the earliest symptoms of toenail fungus. So, when there would be no toenail fungus. The itchiness would be gone.
The Epsom salt is an anti-inflammatory compound, it will treat any issue that causes inflammation and redness.
If Epsom powder is used as a foot soak, it can affect the neurotransmitters so that the sufferer should not feel any extra pain.
What else can be better than a person, who requires going out on work even when infected with toenail fungus.
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Others Methods That You Could Try
There are many benefits of soaking feet in Epsom salt. The process shall relieve pain, improve blood flow, and reduce inflammation. If your work schedule or life routine does not permit a foot bath every day, you can try two alternate methods:
However, some kinds of toenail fungus can worsen by the use of warm water. It is best to consult a doctor before starting a regular treatment schedule. Moreover, oral consumption of Epsom salt is not recommended until explicitly suggested medical practitioners.
Epsom salt works as a significant home remedy for a toenail fungus. It is an organic, natural, and inexpensive to use. Moreover, the process has no adverse side effects that may be caused by over-the-counter medications. At the same time, the process is hassle-free and easy to implement. Also, Epsom salt can reduce the time required to get rid of the condition completely. There are numerous added benefits of the process for your feet too. So try this remedy to flaunt your healthy feet back again!
How To Take An Epsom Salt Bath
In order to reap all of the benefits of an epsom salt bath, it is important to draw your bath correctly. Luckily, it is super easy to do, whether you have access to a bath or not!
The best thing to do is follow the directions on the back of the packaging of whatever brand of epsom salt you decided to purchase. You can use a bathtub, basin, or container deep and wide enough to hold your feet. Fill the basin with warm water until your feet are submerged.
Once you have enough water at the right temperature, add about one half to three quarters of a cup of epsom salts to the bath and soak your feet. The optimal foot soak will last for 15-30 minutes, so as not to dry out the feet, and can be repeated twice a week.
For added aromatherapy benefits such as better mood and relaxation, add lavender, eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil to your foot soak.
Once your bath is done, get up slowly, as you might feel a little dizzy. Dry your feet completely and then rehydrate the skin on your feet with lotion or another moisturizing agent. And voila! It is really that simple.
The more consistent you are with soaking your feet, the more you will be able to experience the benefits of using epsom salt.
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How To Use Vinegar For Toenail Fungus
Step 1: Get a bottle of vinegar. It does not matter which kind of vinegar you use, as they will all have varying amounts of acetic acid, but you may want to stick with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to keep things simple. Specialty flavored or intensely colored kinds of vinegar may have unnecessary ingredients or introduce the risk of staining skin, carpet, or clothing.Step 2: In a vessel for the foot soak, mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water until there is enough liquid to cover the entire foot area. If you use undiluted vinegar, you will likely not harm yourself, but you may increase the risk of skin irritation or just use up unnecessary amounts of vinegar. This mixture will have a strong vinegar smell, but once the skin dries and the mixture is washed out the smell should dissipate.Step 3: Soak your feet in the mixture for anywhere between 10-30 minutes. You may then rinse and dry your feet, or just let the vinegar solution air dry off of your skin. Step 4: Repeat the soak with a fresh solution each time as needed once or multiple times daily.Tip: If the fungus does not seem to be going away or getting worse, you will need to speak with a doctor to look into getting prescription therapy.
Reasons To Soak Your Feet In Epsom Salt
As the weather warms, Epsom salt can help your feet feel better, look better, even smell better, according to Dr. Jeffrey Bowman, an award-winning foot doctor who serves on several committees with the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Soaking in Epsom salt can help with a range of foot issues from athletes who have been exercising aggressively to people with injuries, infections, inflammation or arthritis, said Bowman, who last year received the 1st Chairmans Award from the American Academy of Podiatric Practice Management for helping other doctors with their practices.
Epsom salt actually magnesium sulfate can be absorbed through the skin, Bowman said. That helps ease muscle and joint pain, swollen and inflamed feet, foot and toe fungal infections, and odor and skin problems.
Epsom salt helps reduce swelling and increase circulation, said Bowman, past president of the Texas Podiatric Medical Association and an avid runner who soaks in Epsom salt while training.
There are days when I might do a 14-mile run, and my knees, ankles and feet are pretty sore, Bowman said. Ill soak for a good 15 to 20 minutes, and when I come out, my joints are looser and they dont hurt as much.
Bowman recommends the same soak for his patients at Houston Foot Specialists as they battle foot issues. He said Epsom salt can help in several ways, including:
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Studies To Support Epsom Salt And Tea Tree Oil Remedy For Toenail Fungus
A group of people suffering from mild to chronic toenail fungus was made to soak their feet in Essential Oil and Epsom Salt foot soak.
About 99% of fungi were killed after regular usage of tea tree oil and Epsom salt.
The combination of warm water and these ingredients can make it possible for the fungi to stop multiplying and die.