Cracked heels treatment in Ayurveda

Cracked heels with deep fissures are seen a lot in with ladies than in men. This is seen more in people who walk too long, that also on a rough and uneven ground.

The Ayurvedic cause of cracked heels is Vata Dosha imbalance. So, Ayurveda manages cracked heals by tackling the Vata dosha. Ayurvedic treatment for cracked heels incorporates oral herbal supplements and external application of ayurvedic preparations. Diet and lifestyle changes should support Ayurvedic therapies.

This symptom is also known as cracked feet is termed Padadari in Ayurvedic literature. Pada implies foot or heels, and dari or darana means breaking. Kshudra Rogas section of Ayurveda discusses causes and treatments for cracking of the heels.

How to fix cracked heels

Causes of cracked heels:

A variety of reasons can cause cracked heels.

Some people are more prone to cracked heels than others which may be due to their body nature, diet, lifestyle, profession or a combination of all of the above.

Some of the well-known causes of cracked heels are

  • Prolonged standing on arduous floors
  • Walking barefoot
  • Running on irregular, rugged surface
  • Consuming bitter, astringent, pungent food
  • Late night work (night shift work)

Ayurveda sage Sushruta states that owing to the above factors and due to consumption of Vata contributing food and indulging in Vata habits, Vata is aggravated which produces fissures within the soles or the feet.

Clinical features of cracked feet

  • Aridity (dryness) of the foot
  • Crack / cleft
  • Flaring and aberrant patches
  • Itchiness of the skin
  • Pain in the sole and palm
  • Often related to bleeding and burning sensation (when there’s pitta imbalance)

Severe cases of cracked heels

In serious cases heels become infected and results in swelling with redness and fluid collection. In neglected cases, particularly in diabetic patients, a neuropathic damage might cause diabetic foot ulcers.

How to treat cracked heels the Ayurveda way

DIY sites and home remedy websites do mention many methods. There are creams and lotions and also plenty of cracked heels cream on the market. Boroline is a well-known cream that helps in managing cracked heels. In most cases, they may provide you with short term relief. Ayurvedic treatment for cracked heels looks at the holistic picture for a cause and solution.

To get a long lasting comfort and to solve the root-cause, it is always good to tackle cracked heel problem holistically. An Ayurvedic practitioner can combine Ayurvedic herbs and Ayurvedic diet to get to the bottom of this issue. In your course of your Ayurvedic treatment, your Ayurvedic practitioner will also give you actionable suggestions to amend your lifestyle which can help the entire Ayurvedic treatment.

It is always better to handle this issue in a patient and planned way rather than seeking quick remedies.

Ayurvedic treatment for cracked heels

DIY Ayurvedic treatment for cracked heels is not advisable. Please consult your Ayurvedic practitioner for a systematic and phased treatment matching your dosha combination and the type of your issue.

Cracked feet are a Vata disorder. Thus, Ayurvedic treatments focus on Vata soothing medicines and therapies. Following are the well known Ayurvedic treatment options:

Snehana:  Application of medicated oils ( oleation )
Swedana:  Mild sweating of the impacted areas using herbal poultice
Lepana:    External application of ayurvedic creams on impacted areas
Kledana:   External application of ayurvedic moisturizers

Topical Ayurvedic oils beneficial in treating cracked heel

  • Pinda taila
  • Shatadhouta ghrita

Ayurvedic Aasavas helpful in managing cracked heel

  • Saribadyasava
  • Chandanasava

As mentioned elsewhere in this article, Ayurvedic treatments are not DIY. Please consult your Ayurvedic practitioner. The above medicines are only suggestive and may not work for all types of people and in all cases.

Home remedies for cracked heels

  • Soak feet in foamy soap water and scrub the feet with pumice. Wash and dry feet thoroughly. Apply any edible oil generously on heels and soles. Wear a pair of socks overnight. In the morning, heels are softer. Repeat this for a couple of days till the cracks in heels disappear.
  • Crush some Neem leaves to form a fine paste. Add three teaspoons of turmeric powder. Apply the paste on the cracks and leave it on for half an hour. Wash the feet with lukewarm water and dry them.
  • Scrub the dead skin around feet after soaking them in lukewarm water then apply petroleum jelly over the entire heel area. Wear thick socks, to allow the petroleum jelly to soak into the skin.
  • Make a scrub with some rice flour, honey and apple cider vinegar. Mix well till it becomes a paste. If the cracking on heels is bad, add a teaspoon of olive oil. Soak feet in warm water for ten minutes then scrub them with the rice flour paste. Repeat the method many times per week till you’re satisfied with the results.
  • Soak feet for ten to fifteen minutes in lukewarm water with lemon juice added to that. Scrub the cracked heels using pumice. Wash feet and pat dry with a towel.
  • Stir equal quantity of rose water and glycerine. Massage it on heels and feet daily before going to bed.
  • Stir a moderate cup of sea salt in a tub of lukewarm water. Soak feet in the solution for ten minutes. Scrub feet with a pumice and again soak the foot for ten minutes. Pat dry the feet and apply petroleum jelly to lock in the moisture. For best results, put on a pair of socks retain moisture and to slow the drying.

Self-help for cracked feet

  • Avoid thin soled footwear
  • Use pumice to get rid of dead skin
  • Apply medicated balm that keeps the skin soft and closes fissures
  • Application of moisturizing lotion to keep feet soft
  • Since skin of feet lacks oil glands, applying moisturizing lotion before going to bed and wearing socks helps in maintaining softness of skin of heels
  • Reduce weight and avoid standing long hours
  • Avoid cutting the dried skin with blade
  • Diabetic patients should to straightaway consult their medical practitioner if the fissures persist for a long time
  • A foot massage in a foot tub

Cracked heels diet

You cannot cure your cracked heels by simply changing your diet or by switching to a magical cracked heels diet.

As in any Ayurvedic treatment scenario, right diet is required for improving treatment efficacy. An incorrect diet or a diet incompatible to your dosha composition may work against any Ayurvedic treatment.

Since cracked heels is caused due to vitiated vata, it is best to reduce or avoid vata enhancing foods.

Add the following to your diet:

  • Fruits
  • Cucumber
  • Ash gourd
  • Tender coconut water
  • Ghee
  • Butter

Reduce or completely avoid the following:

  • Deep fried food
  • Spicy food
  • Pepper
  • Bitter gourd
  • Chilly ( causes Vata and pitta imbalance )
  • Mustard and mustard oil usage – causes pitta imbalance and provokes the fissures of cracked heels and causes burning sensation

Natural Cracked heels management at Ayurwoman

Cracked heel could be a simple and minor health complaint predominantly found in wet and cold climates. Although this does not cause a severe health issue, this results in disturbance to the daily routine. A careful watch on the sanitary factors, consumption of non-spicy food, home remedies and a right diet can help in managing this issue.