The appearance of corns and calluses is typically linked with pressure or friction on the foot. This can be as simple as changing your footwear and spending more time barefoot, or you may need orthotics.
Corns tend to be the result of a specific point of pressure and as such are deeper and more painful than calluses. The corns on the outside of the toes tend to be quite hard, whereas softer corns can appear between the toes. Calluses are more likely to cover a larger area and be shallower than corns with minimal or no pain associated with their presence.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular natural remedy for corns and calluses. If you have a foot bath or suitable tub to soak your feet in, add ½-1 cup of apple cider vinegar to the water to help soften and gently exfoliate the skin. Soak your feet for at least 10 minutes.
After the vinegar soak, gently exfoliate the calluses with a pumice stone or chiropodist's sponge. The apple cider vinegar will not only help to slough off layers of built-up dead skin, it should also be effective in helping to treat and prevent any bacterial or fungal growth on the feet, toes, and nails.
It is important to note that although there are many tools available for home use, you should not shave or slice a corn yourself – please see a podiatrist or chiropodist, who specialises in the safe removal of corns by debriding the hardened skin, often providing immediate relief.
Along with dealing with the current corns and calluses, a podiatrist will also shine a light on the likely causes and offer a range of practical solutions to prevent future discomfort.
Taking good care of our feet is very important to our health, and prevention is the best cure when it comes to calluses and corns.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the vocal cords, resulting in irritation, hoarseness, sore throat, and, in extreme cases, a complete loss of the voice. This can result from an infection, but can also develop through straining or overuse of your vocal cords.
Cineole is a constituent chemical present in a number of herbs that can help to relieve the symptoms of laryngitis. Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is one of the best sources of cineole, along with eucalyptus, spearmint, rosemary, ginger, nutmeg, lavender, lemon balm, and peppermint.
You can make a herbal infusion using some of the palatable herbs from this list – if you were to choose just a few then I would suggest cardamom, ginger, and lemon balm. Other herbs you can add to your brew that have a long history of treating sore throats and respiratory issues include horehound (Marrubium vulgare), marshmallow (Althaea officinalis), and mullein (Verbascum thapsus).
Horehound is prepared as a tea by using 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of near-boiling water, steeped for three to five minutes. Marshmallow herb contains a mucilaginous fibre that soothes mucous membranes, protecting them from bacteria and reducing inflammation. With marshmallow, you can prepare a cold infusion by steeping a tablespoon of dried root per 750ml of cold water, leave to steep overnight, then strain and drink throughout the day.
Mullein has long been known as a lung-protective herb used to help relieve laryngitis symptoms. Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb per cup of boiling water and steep for 8-10 minutes. You can add liquorice root to any of your herbal infusions to help soothe, support immune health, and add a touch of sweetness.
- NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.