Corns and calluses are the formation of local hardened skin, and are the most common change that occurs to the legs and hands.
Corns can appear in one of two forms, as a callus or corn.
Conversely, when calluses only appear as a surface hardening, corns will appear in the deep layers of the skin. Corns cause severe pain that comes from pressure that occurs at the root of the nerves, which then traverses the lower layers of the skin.
Corns and calluses originate from keratosis, which is a normal skin reaction of chronic pressure or friction.
When pressure in the nerves become inflamed, the sensation of calluses can be so painful that may affect the gait, the choice of footwear, as well as the daily activities that the individual can partake in.
What Are the Causes of Corns and Calluses?
Corns and calluses are caused by several factors, such as:
- Hereditary factors.
- Pathological diseases such as arthritis, hormonal disorders, etc.
- Injuries and contusions.
- Excessive hassle to the legs (i.e. postural work).
- Wearing unsuitable footwear (i.e. shoes with high heels, narrow or poorly manufactured shoes, shoes dressed with internal seams or lumps, as well as footwear that does not fit properly onto the foot).
More specifically, due to the constant pressure and stress on our feet, our bodies will increase blood circulation as a defense, and the result is a growth of the cells in this specific area.
Treat Corns and Calluses Using Herbal Remedies
The following herbs are capable of helping to effectively treat corns and calluses:
- Calendula(Calendula officinalis)
Calendula has been used for centuries as one of the best herbs for treating local skin problems. Calendula is ideal for treating many skin inflammation ranging from infections to physical damage.
For more than five centuries, the British used this flower and the leaves of calendula to treat skin problems.
In London, there once was the famous “Marigold Homeopathic Podiatry Clinic”, named as the “Calendula Clinic”, which specialized in diseases of the feet.
Ointment: Chop 4 handfuls of calendula flowers, their stems, and their leaves on a wooden board. Heat 500 gr. of animal fat or natural beeswax in a pot, place the calendula in, and then allow the mixture to crackle briefly.
Stir the mixture once again and then remove the pot from heat. Leave the pot covered overnight to cool.
The next day, warm the mixture slightly and then filter it through a liner cloth. While the mixture is still warm, place it into a glass or ceramic jars that have already been prepared.
Apply the ointment of calendula to corns or calluses several times a day.
Compress: Pour boiling water into a cup with 10 g. (one tablespoon) calendula. Leave the mixture to sit for 5-6 minutes. Make a compress with the mixture and apply to corns or calluses 2-3 times a day.
Calendula tea or fresh juice should be avoided by people who have allergies to this plant.
- Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Comfrey has healing, soothing, astringent, anti-tumor, and expectorant properties.
Comfrey can be used externally in wound healing, because it helps scar tissues to form properly.
However, Comfrey needs special attention in cases where the wounds are deep.
With a quick external skin healing, an abscess formation could occur if the deeper skin area has not be healed properly.
Ointment: Wash and clean 4-6 fresh comfrey roots with a brush. Chop each root, and then add them to a basin with 250g heated animal fat or natural beeswax, and then leave it to cool overnight.
The next day, warm the mixture slightly and then filter it through a liner cloth. While the mixture is still warm, place it into glass or in ceramic jars that have already been prepared.
Apply the comfrey ointment on corns or calluses several times a day.
Poultice: Mix dried comfrey roots with very hot water and a few cooking oil drops. Place the mixture on a tied liner cloth, apply it warm to the corns or calluses, and then leave it on for at least two hours, or even overnight.
Fresh Application: Wash fresh comfrey leaves, mash them, and then place the mixture on corns or calluses.
Comfrey ointment, a comfrey compress, or poultice should better not be used on open wounds.
- Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus)
The name celandine derives from the Greek name “chelion” which means “a swallow”. An old tradition states that birds make use of celandine in order to open the eyes of their young.
Greater celandine juice when used as a compress can be used externally and is beneficial for helping to treat incurable herpes, corns, calluses, warts, ulcers, and even malignant skin disorders.
Fresh Juice: Wash fresh greater celandine leaves, flowers, and stems. When the celandine is still wet, pour the mixture into a juicer, and then apply it as a compress to corns or calluses, several times a day.
Greater celandine juice has toxic substances that may not penetrate the skin, but can irritate it.
We must be careful when gathering the herb because it is slightly toxic; especially if there are hacks on the hands.
- Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Stinging nettle, also called “wergulu“, was one of the nine sacred herbs in old Essex in the tenth century, along with plantain, chamomile, chervil, mugwort, crab apple, watercress, and fennel.
Stinging nettle can be used as compress and in a foot or hand bath. It is excellent for helping treat eczema, acne, corns, calluses, muscle aches, fungus under the nails, allergies, as well as skin conditions.
Tincture: Pour cleaned (with a brush) stinging nettle roots in a bottle. Fill the bottle to the top with grain alcohol. Seal the bottle and then leave the mixture to sit in a warm place (20°C /68°F) for 10 days or longer.
Shake the bottle every 2 – 3 days. When it is ready, strain and then squeeze out the herbs. The tincture should be stored in dark bottles, and may last for at least two years.
Apply the tincture to corns or calluses, several times a day.
Foot and hand bath: Pour 100g stinging nettle in a pan with 5 liters of water, and then leave overnight. The next day, warm the mixture as much as can be tolerated by the body. Soak your hands or feet in the mixture for 20 minutes, without straining off the herb. Stinging nettle water can be used two more times afterward.
Choose comfortable shoes that will fit perfectly to the shape of your foot. Soak your feet daily with a special cream that softens scabs and will maintain the natural elasticity of the skin.
Corns or calluses are rarely serious, and often reflect undue pressure to the skin. If managed properly, the skin should improve shortly without causing any other long-term problems.
However, people who have diabetes are prone to ulcers, corns, calluses, and infections, and should regularly examine their feet to identify any problems immediately.Such injuries require medical attention.
If you suspect that calluses or corns on your feet are infected, or they are not healing, despite treatment, contact your doctor. In addition, call your doctor if you continue to have symptoms such as pain, redness, heat, or discharge.
Pamper your feet and hands as well as care for the rest of your body in order to avoid getting skin problems such as corns and calluses!
I wish for you to be always healthy.
* Share your thought and experience with us in the comments below, thank you!
Dimitra Nasiou lives in beautiful, sunny Volos, in Greece, and she is the creator and editor of TreatmentHerbs.com. Her greatest pleasure is helping people and she does just that, drawing upon the immerse resources that she has gathered over the years in her unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
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Learning to use herbs is a healing journey and a preventive way of living; nonetheless, herbs are not meant to take the place of your family doctor.
Herbs can be helpful allies in maintaining good health, but they can be powerful medications that should be treated with the same caution and respect as drugs, precisely, because herbs DO work.
Many herbs do have dangerous interactions when paired with prescription drugs; while others are contraindicated for individuals with certain health conditions.
The information contained herein is not presented with the intention of diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease. It is not to be used as medical advice and is offered only for use in maintaining and promoting health in cooperation with a physician.
Always check with your doctor first before beginning any health program.