Why do we rub essential oils onto the soles of our feet? The practice of applying oils to the bottom of your feet is gaining in popularity, as it’s often combined with foot reflexology.
When using therapeutic grade essential oils, there are at least five important benefits of putting essential oils here.
Oils Delivered Faster Through The Bottom of your Feet
The pores are thicker on the sole of the foot and our legs act like straws sucking up the compounds quickly into the bloodstream. If applied all over the bottom of the foot, the oil can be detected in every cell of the body within 20 minutes!
The soles of the feet and the palms of the hand are the only sites on our body without Sebaceous Glands.
Since Sebum is an oily substance it would actually further “shield” the body from absorption of anything. Since the palms and the soles do not secrete sebum, they are more ready to absorb oil. Do not want to apply oils on “sweaty” hands or feet. Dry them off first so that the EO is not repelled by the water.
Every nerve line in the body ends in the feet. According to research, each foot has 7,200 nerve endings. Did you know that? In most reflexology systems, the big toe represents the brain and head. The next two toes represent the eyes, and the next two toes represent the ears. The top third of the sole is our chest, the mid third is our stomach and digestive system… it can get very intricate, but is SO cool. No wonder we apply oils to our feet- our feet represent our entire body!
Less Irritation and Sensitivities
Also, the safety is high when oils are administered on the bottom of the feet with a lower risk of skin irritation and sensitivities. The skin on the soles of the feet are less sensitive than the skin throughout the rest of the body, allowing us to use even the “hotter” oils (oregano, thyme, citrus oils…) here without the need for dilution.
Bypass the Liver
When using the foot application, the oils will be bypassing the liver and will not accumulate there. Instead of being processed by the liver, the oils reach the lower bronchial capillaries via the circulator system and the entire organism unprocessed.
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- Menon GK, Cleary GW, Lane ME. The structure and function of the stratum corneum. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2012;435(1):3-9.
- Graham-Brown R, Burns T. Lecture Notes: Dermatology. 9th ed. Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell; 2007.
- Andrews SN, Jeong E, Prausnitz MR. Transdermal delivery of molecules is limited by full epidermis, not just stratum corneum. Pharm Res. 2013;30(4):1099-1109.