Why Do You Rub Essential Oil on the Soles of Your Feet?
Years ago, when I first began using essential oils, I read about everything I could so I would use them correctly. One thing I was told back then, that I didn't understand, is why on earth would you rub essential oils to your feet? Your FEET? Really? There wasn't much information back then, and now you can find a bit more info out there. However, much of that information conflicts with each other! So, with that acknowledged, here are my reasons to rub essential oils on the bottoms of your feet based on my personal experiences as well as research and discussions with aromatherapists and EO afficionados.
You may also enjoy these articles: What are the Best Essential Oils for Your Mood? and INSANE Things to Know About Frankincense Essential Oil...And if you really want to know about a great essential oil for your feet, see this article!
FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links scattered here and there throughout this article. If you happen to click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
First of all, besides the soles of your feet, you can actually rub essential oils on a wide variety of body parts:
Back of the neck
Behind your ears
Specific areas you want to affect, like sore muscles, scars, and wrinkles
Pretty much, you can apply essential oils to almost any part of your body! The thing you must remember is that essential oils are very powerful, and they can definitely cause allergic reactions or skin sensitivity in some people. Therefore, always check to be sure if the essential oil you want to use is safe to use "neat" (without dilution in a carrier oil). To be on the safe side, just plan to dilute your oils, unless you are certain it's ok not to! Especially when using essential oils on children, please always dilute the oils!
Also, be sure to keep essential oils away from areas with mucus membranes (eyes, nose, other sensitive areas...).
But I digress!
Back to the original question: What is so special about putting essential oils on the soles of the feet?
Why Do You Rub Essential Oils on the Bottom of Your Feet?
1. Skin Sensitivity
The skin on the soles of your feet just isn't as sensitive as the skin all over the rest of your body! Our feet have a tough layer of skin, especially for those who tend to go barefoot! When rubbing essential oils on the bottoms of the feet, you are much less likely to have a reaction. For some people, they can even use the "hotter" oils like Rosemary and Oregano on their feet without issues---but again, always test out a small patch first, just to be sure.
2. Foot Skin is "Porous" (In a Way---Lots of Pores!)
Did you know that your feet have more pores than other skin on your body? What a surprise! Therefore, when rubbing essential oils on the soles of your feet, it causes them to enter the body quickly and much more efficiently than when rubbed into other areas. I have heard that essential oil molecules rubbed onto the soles of the feet enter your bloodstream within 20 minutes or less! Especially with essential oils that have larger molecules, the soles of the feet provide a faster way to get those oils working in your body!
3. Your Feet Do Not Have Sebaceous (Oil) Glands
The oils naturally secreted from sebaceous glands all over your skin are not on the soles of your feet. Although essential oils will penetrate the layer of natural oils on your skin, some people believe they enter the skin much easier through the epidermal layer of skin on the soles of your feet.
Your feet, do, however, have sweat glands! The sweat secreted through these glands is in micro-droplets and generally evaporate very quickly. Some people believe the sweat interferes with the absorption of the oils. However, unless your feet are soaking with sweat, then I personally don't feel this is an issue. Your whole body sweats, right?
4. Woo-Woo Reasons
There is actually some evidence that reflexology works. Specialists in this study maintain that every nerve in your body extends in some way to the soles of your feet. Some people talking about and selling essential oils will mention reflexology principles. However, reflexology has to do with the massage and manipulation of the parts of the feet to affect certain body areas. Essential oils rubbed on the feet have nothing to do with the science of why reflexology works....but still. You are getting those oils on your skin! And a percentage of those molecules will enter your bloodstream!
And if you are a yoga or other energy practitioner, then you are aware that your feet ground you to the earth! Rubbing essential oils on the bottoms of your feet honors this grounding effect, some believe. I personally feel this could be a pretty good reason for giving yourself a foot massage with essential oils diluted into a carrier oil. Sounds pretty blissful after a long day, right?
So putting the actual scientific reasons aside, if you are inclined to be spiritual about your feet, then this is just one more reason to use your oils on the soles!
Final Thoughts on Rubbing Essential Oils on the Bottoms of Your Feet
Although there are lots of varying opinions about the practice of rubbing oils on the soles of your feet, I can honestly say that in my opinion---rubbing essential oils on any skin surface will have an effect---and that includes the soles of your feet. As always, I say, "Do your own research and experiments. Make up your own mind based on lots of different sources."
I'd also like to mention that inhalation of the essential oil molecules is a very quick method of using essential oils. When you rub the oils into your feet (or anywhere else) you are actually getting the benefits of inhalation too.
I hope this answered some of your questions about the "feet" thing with essential oils. Personally, I tend to use essential oils (diluted) on a wide variety of areas on my body and really don't focus on my feet much. But I do know that using essential oils works for us, and they are an integral part of my personal health care choices for my family.
Where Do I Get My Oils?
I've done a lot of research on essential oils and tried over a hundred brands in all the years I've been using them.
There are many good companies out there that make a high quality essential oil. Here are my top brands, so you can choose what's best for you:
If you love Amazon, you can find Plant Therapy there, too.
Please leave me comments about rubbing essential oils on your feet—What do you think of this?
Also—-you may enjoy these related articles:
**And there’s a LOT more on the blog, so go do some browsing! :-)
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance!
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Disclaimer: I am not an aromatherapist or a medical professional. The above statements are simply my own opinion and are for informational purposes only. They are not meant or implied to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure any illness. Please seek attention from a medical professional for any concerns you have.