Potions in Action: Emu Oil Healing Foot Salves

This week, social media was doing it’s darndest to make sure I saw the video above, which is a spot from Good Morning America wherein Mark Ellwood interviews Margaret Dabbs, who is being hailed as “the Queen of Feet” throughout London.  A pedicurist who now heads her own line of salons and products, Dabbs offers what she proclaims the “world’s most expensive pedicure” at her London spa.  I’d believe the claim: the pedicure is north of $2000.  (Her regular pedicure is a comparatively thrifty $125.)

Now, before we go huffing off whilst muttering “first world problems” under our breath, Dabbs did mention a couple very interesting things.  The first, of course, being that her pedicure’s involve a dry file rather than a traditional soak and shave to remove callused skin.  The second–and more relevant to this post–is that she uses produces with an emu oil base to finish up her pedicures.  All her lotions and potions use it, and she claims one application can take 10 years off your feet.

Fresh Picked Beauty's images of their Blue Chamomile Skin Repair salve and their Heel salve

Fresh Picked Beauty’s images of their Emu Oil & Beeswax Skin Repair salve and their Healing Heel Crack salve

Well that put me in mind of one of my favorite natural beauty blogs, Fresh Picked Beauty.  Shannon, who is based out here in Seattle, demonstrates how to make manageable amounts of very lovely homemade products on her blog, and she also sells her finished products online via her Etsy store.  I’d actually tried my had at a variation of her Emu Oil and Beeswax salve (I left out the essential oils) ages ago, and thought it quite lovely.  It certainly did wonders on my tired old feet.  Maybe its time to head back into the kitchen and play with potions again?

I think that were I to try the emu oil and beeswax recipe again, I would go through the process of steeping the olive oil (and maybe even the emu oil if it can take a long period of higher heat) with comfrey (probably just the root since I don’t want this too look too green and the roots have higher concentrations of pyrrolizidine alkaloids anyway) and calendula.  Calendula, of course, is a popular skin-soother and healer.  The comfrey, though, is intended to work a bit deeper.  Feet are a fascinating part of the body, just filled with all sorts of delicate connections between bone, muscle, and connective tissue.  They take quite a beating, though, and that connective tissue is notoriously slow to heal.  Frequent applications of comfrey sure aren’t going to hurt.

I think that I would also perhaps change up the essential oils.  I do love the inclusion of blue chamomile, so I think I would keep that.  I might even increase the drops.  It’s an expensive oil, but my mom always said the two most important things to invest in are your feet and your bed: if you’re not on one, you’re in the other.  I might also keep the lavender.  I’d definitely nix the others in favor of carrot seed essential oil, though.  It’s hard to beat carrot seed oil for skincare products.

Here’s Fresh Picked Beauty’s original recipes:

Emu Oil & Beeswax Skin Repair Salve

  • 17 grams Emu Oil
  • 12 grams Shea Butter
  • 10 grams Olive Oil
  • 6 grams Beeswax
  • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 4 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
  • 3 drops Helichrysum Essential Oil
  • 5 drops German Blue Chamomile Essential Oil

Add the shea butter, olive oil and beeswax into a small pyrex glass measuring cup.  Place in a simmering pot of water.  Allow the wax and oils to melt completely.  Turn off the heat but keep the measuring cup in the hot water.  As soon as the oil hits 100˚F, stir in the emu oil and allow it to melt into the oil/wax mixture.  Remove the cup from the hot water.  Stir in the essential oils.  Pour the warm mixture into your sterilized containers. Place the lid on and allow to solidify.

Healing Heal Crack Salve

  • 11 grams Liquid Lanolin
  • 22 grams Macadamia Nut Oil
  • 6 grams Cocoa Butter
  • 9 grams Shea Butter
  • 6 grams Coconut Oil
  • 11 grams Castor Oil
  • 10 grams Emu Oil
  • 5 grams Vitamin E Oil
  • 40 grams Beeswax
  • 30 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Palmarosa Essential Oil
  • 20 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 5 drops of Oregano Essential Oil**
  • 10 drops of Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Add the beeswax, lanolin, butters, and all oils except for the emu oil, vitamin E oil, and essential oils into a 4-cup capacity glass measuring cup. Place in a simmering pot of water.  Allow the wax and oils to melt completely.  Turn off the heat but keep the measuring cup in the hot water.  As soon as the oil hits 100˚F, stir in the emu oil and allow it to melt into the oil/wax mixture.  Remove the cup from the hot water.  Stir in the essential oils.  Pour the warm mixture into your sterilized containers. Place the lid on and allow to solidify.

**My note:  I’d leave oregano oil out.  It can be a skin irritant.

From a witchy standpoint, I think that incorporating foot salves into spellwork relating to physical journeys might be appropriate.  It might also be nice for spells relating to endurance–to help you ‘stand your ground’, so to speak.  I can also see it as a very useful part of a spell intended to help one stick to an exercise regime.  No begging off the treadmill because your feet hurt!

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