— This article by Jerry Cates, first published on 1 January 2012, was last revised on 8 August 2021. © Bugsinthenews Vol. 12:01(01).
NOTE: This article describes the organisms that bother our feet because of the way modern humans encase them in shoes, boots and sandals. Some of those organisms cause real injury to the tissues of our feet, while others merely produce offensive smells. Either way, the end result leads those who suffer from foot infections and foot odor to spend inordinate amounts of time and money on visits to the foot doctor and on prescription and over-the-counter remedies. The author describes the 40+ years of research he has conducted into the causes of these problems, and the natural, herbal-based remedy — HabitatBiotics™ CV20 — that he developed to deal with both.
BFW (Before FootWear)… way back in the Olden Days
That is, going barefooted, back when humans didn’t give any thought to encasing their feet in sandals, shoes, or boots…
Sounds pretty primitive, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is. And, of course, to most of us “primitive” is an ugly word. But not to Katy Bowman, author of the books “Move Your DNA,” and “Whole Body Barefoot.” Nor is it to Erwan LeCorre, creator of MovNat. MovNat is, in LeCorre’s words “a school of physical competency based entirely on natural movement, which includes the locomotive skills of walking, running, balancing, crawling, jumping, climbing, and swimming, the manipulative skills of lifting, carrying, throwing and catching, and the defensive skills of striking and grappling.” According to Bowman, we need to recondition our bodies with natural, useful movements and skills, and when we do, we enhance our physical experience of the world, as well as our mental, emotional, and spiritual lives. She points out that our bodies are suffering from a cultural lack of movement, but not only our bodies suffer, our minds, hearts, and lives suffer too. Why? Because “natural movement is freedom,” and where most of us are today, says Bowman, “we may as well be caged animals.”
Now, this article is about bugs and footwear, so why mention Bowman, LeCorre, and MovNat? Simple… because as LeCorre puts it so clearly in his forward to Bowman’s book, Whole Body Barefoot, movement is the foundation of life, and “the foundation of that foundation lies where you might expect it: at the bottom. The feet. Naturally, the healthy, efficient function of our feet is essential to healthy, efficient movement.” Barefooted movement is more than primitive. It takes us back to our roots, and helps us become healthy again…
Anyway, back in those olden days of yore, foot perspiration was a normal, healthy process that — under what were then ordinary circumstances — produced an altogether positive result. Thousands of years ago, when all or nearly all humans walked barefooted, foot perspiration helped keep their bare feet clean, moisturized, and lubricated. Each of their feet then, and of our feet today, was and is naturally equipped with, on average, around 250,000 sweat glands, giving them (as well as their and our hands) the highest concentration of perspiration generators in the human body.
There are good reasons for this, reasons that are associated with the way our ancestors spent the vast majority of human history: barefooted and dependent on our feet and hands to move us about our environment safely and efficiently. What today we call hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the feet and hands) was to our paleolithic forebears both normal and beneficial. Today, though, the circumstances have changed a bit. Instead of our feet and hands perspiring under conditions of primal stress — stress induced by the imminent risk of death and/or dismemberment by another human or one of the dangerous animals we were either fleeing from or were trying to make into our next meal — the stressors tend to be less physical and more “civilized.”
My, How Things Have Changed…
Of course, physical threats still affect humanity, but not nearly as much as in the past. In its place we are bombarded by psychological fears, like those attending the imminent risks of embarrassment, of failure, of being fired, or of losing a sale or a promotion. Yet the physiological response by our hands and feet is the same.
Both physical threats and their psychological mimics lead to near-identical changes in blood chemistry. The human body reacts — just as before — by making the feet and hands perspire. The body still acts as if that extra lubrication and moisture might still give us the physiological edge our ancestors needed to make them victorious, or ensure their escape.
It was not until humans began to wear appliances on their feet that ordinary levels of perspiration — whether the wearer was physically or psychologically stressed or not — became problematical. We now give the “problem” a modern label: bromhidrosis, or offensive-smelling body odor. Initially, however, the problems posed by foot perspiration were minimal, due to the way the earliest forms of footwear were constructed. As a result, most of the earliest shoe-wearing humans probably wouldn’t have needed our modern label, even if they’d had it.
According to one authority (DeMello, 2009), the wearing of sandals may date to as far distant as 500,000 BCE. Footprints in hardened clay dating that old appear to have been made by feet shod with primitive shoes. Spanish cave drawings, believed more than 15,000 years old, depict humans with feet wrapped in animal skins. Still, the earliest firm evidence of human footwear dates from around 10,000 years ago, and suggests humans in that time wore sandals woven from sagebrush bark. More recently, a 5,000 year old corpse — of a man preserved in alpine ice — revealed feet wrapped in leathern boots stuffed with straw.
Early forms of footwear…
Most of the earliest forms of footwear probably tended to provide adequate ventilation, so perspiration would not have caused problems until tight, unventilated shoes and boots became commonplace. It is surprising, to the so-called civilized man and woman of today, to learn that the practice of regularly wearing tight-fitting shoes is a relatively recent development. Wise and ancient Greeks such as Anaximander, Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato, for example, shunned footwear altogether.
One famous Greek, Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), conquered half the civilized world with an army of entirely barefooted men. The unshod soles of the feet of the soldiers that Alexander mustered were toughened with thick calluses, the product of a lifetime of walking barefoot over all manner of rough and uninviting surfaces. Absent such naturally thickened soles, they would have been at the mercy of the elements. With those toughened soles they could walk long distances and fight fierce battles, pretty much without a hitch.
But not we humans of today.
Shoes are so much a part of modern life that we can scarcely imagine living without them. Yet podiatrists know that the 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the human foot work at peak efficiency when the foot is allowed to function unhampered, i.e., when it is not imprisoned within the confines of a hardened, unyielding, unventilated shoe. Most important, human posture is also at its best under conditions of barefooted ambulation.
Let’s face it: the human skeleton was engineered by mother nature and her handmaiden, natural selection, over thousands of years of barefooted existence. Indeed, our entire bodies were optimized for a barefooted lifestyle.
Ah, but civilization would have none of that…
The Romans, thinking themselves more enlightened and progressive than their Greek counterparts, lived tender-footed, “civilized” lives. The Romans began using footwear with regularity during the early days of the Roman Kingdom, perhaps as far back as 700 BCE.
Later, after the Roman Legions conquered Greece, they brought the cultural malpractice of wearing shoes with them.
The rest is the stuff of history: today’s humans rarely sally forth to work or play without shoes of some kind on their feet. And with this practice, the present era of stinky feet got its start.
The Modern Era of Stinky feet…
By the time of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), that era had become so firmly entrenched that The Bard wrote of it in verse:
“I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking, So full of valor that they smote the air For breathing in their faces, beat the ground For kissing of their feet—yet always bending Towards their project. Then I beat my tabor, At which, like unbacked colts, they pricked their ears,
Advanced their eyelids, lifted up their noses As they smelt music. So I charmed their ears That, calflike, they my lowing followed through Toothed briers, sharp furzes, pricking gorse, and thorns,
Which entered their frail shins. At last I left them I’ th’ filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell, There dancing up to th’ chins, that the foul lake O’erstunk their feet…”
William Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1
Footwear and Foot Odor
Shakespeare’s comical lyrics aside, foot odor is anything but funny. Its etiology, however, is both sobering and instructive.
Many of the shoes humans wear today provide a relatively snug fit, often without provisions for ventilation, and even those that do ventilate are constructed of synthetic materials that soak up and accumulate quantities of contaminants extracted from the moisture that passes through them. Though those materials dry out, somewhat, in the period between each wearing, the fresh load of perspiration that floods them while being worn dissolves the old contaminants and creates a perfect environ for the growth of all manner of microbial fauna. It is by this means that foot perspiration manages, shall we say, to rear its smelly toes. Repetitious accumulations of moisture, within the confines of tight fitting footwear, invariably lead to chronic and acute overgrowths of bacteria, molds, mildews, and yeasts on the materials making up the insides of our footwear.
Yet the travesty does not stop there: these same agents also infect the foot-wearer, not only on the surface of the skin and under the nails, but within the deep tissues of the body, to the point that once infected the foot transports the “problem” to other footwear, too, including those with adequate ventilation which — like that of our ancestors — would otherwise not produce foot odor on their own. All such infections of the footwear and the shoe-wearer, produce foot odor and damage our footwear, and some lead to medically-significant diseases, including athlete’s foot and topical and/or systemic yeast and bacterial maladies.
The Usual Suspects…
Foot odor results, at its core, from microbial fermentation. The nature of the odor depends on the predominating chemistry of the fermenting media. Certain ferments result in vinegar (CH3COOH) and similar chemicals, some of which actually aid in reducing foot odor, but others result in ammonia (NH3) and its analogs. But these products of fermentation are only part of the story, as the chemicals involved in the production of foot odor vary considerably, in terms of their sources and their chemical makeup.
One important source of foot odor is a genus of gram positive soil bacteria in the order Actinomycetales, the brevibacteria. These organisms, which are a common part of the fauna of the human skin, not only cause foot odor, but are known to attract mosquitoes, and are also responsible for giving Limburger cheese its delicate, delightful fragrance…
Before continuing, perhaps a word of explanation is in order. The above sentence, along with a few other lines below, offers what may be interpreted as jocular praise of what many of us consider as “ugly” odors. These words, however, are not written entirely in jest. As discussed later in this article, many humans honestly think the aroma of Limburger cheese, along with similar odors, like that of Valerian root (actually, the various forms of the valerenic acid phytoconstituent found in Valerian root) to be either strongly or mildly pleasing, while others are either conflicted on the issue or find such odors horribly offensive. There is a broad lesson to be learned from this: Some smells elicit entirely opposite responses in different people. Those wise to this fact recognize that, in order to properly address offensive odors, one must seek first to neutralize them, rather than to replace them with “more pleasant” fragrances. What is perceived as more pleasant to one may, in fact, be all the more odious to another…
At any rate, brevibacteria metabolize dead proteinaceous matter, converting methionine to methanethiol, a sulfuric-smelling effluence with a strong ammonia-like quality.
— The propionibacteria, and a whole host of others…
Propionibacteria metabolize amino acids to produce propanoic acid (CH3CH2COOH), with physical properties intermediate between formic acid (HCOOH) and acetic acid (CH3COOH), with a pungent and penetrating odor. Bacteria in the genus Propionibacterium are commonly found in the stomachs of ruminants such as cattle, goats, sheep, and deer, and in the perspiration glands of animals, including humans. The products of their anerobic metabolism are partially responsible for the odors imparted by Swiss cheese and sweat.
Isovaleric acid (3-methyl butanoic acid), a metabolite of Staphylococcus epidermidis, produces the nostalgic, inviting odors of the well-used athletic locker room, and is also a constituent of valerian herb (Valeriana officinalis), where it is concentrated mostly in the root: powdered valerian root is known to have a sedative, anticonvulsive effect on those who take it, primarily because of the way isovaleric acid binds to special receptors in the nervous system, specifically those for γ-Aminobutyric acid (commonly known as gamma-Aminobutyric acid, or GABA, the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter of our central nervous system, responsible for regulating neuronal excitability and muscle tone). Another chemical, isobutyric acid, a close cousin of both isovaleric acid and GABA, is the source of the “dirty sock” smell most of us know and love and, not surprisingly, is also a constituent of valerian root that figures into its reputed faculties as a sedative.
Corynebacterium striatum, a leading cause of axillary odor in the armpit and groin, generates foot odor as well.
Micrococcus luteus, a Gram-positive, spherical, saprotrophic bacterium in soil, dust, water and air, is part of the normal flora of mammalian skin. Besides colonizing the human mouth, mucosa, oropharynx and upper respiratory tract, it also figures in the production of foot odor. This particular agent is highly tolerant of drying and high salt concentrations, and survives well even in dehydrated, low-nutrient environments. As a result, previously infected shoes that have been thoroughly dried-out quickly become smelly factories of foot odor again, once their owners resume wearing them and introducing new accumulations of foot perspiration.
Fungi (yeast) in the genus Malassezia are often involved in malodorous dermatitis, as well as in the production of foot odor. These agents requires lipids to survive, but — along with most of the agents listed above — are sometimes associated with other microbials, working in synergy to produce smelly skin infections of the feet and elsewhere on the body.
Foot odor and athlete’s foot
Closely associated with foot odor is a more serious medical condition known as tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot, caused by fungal infections that usually begin in the webbing between the fourth and fifth toes. Three fungal agents bear the greatest responsibility in the etiology of the disease: Trichophyton rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, and Epidermophyton floccosum. All thrive exclusively on dead body tissue, including hair, the epidermis, and eventually the toenails themselves.
Though many people carry these fungi as part of their natural skin fauna, they only produce serious infections when conditions become optimized for their propagation. It was once so firmly believed that athlete’s foot is highly contagious, especially in public swimming pools and shower rooms, that public swimming pools and locker rooms were required to be fitted with antiseptic trays filled with antifungal solutions that swimmers and athletes had to walk through, in their bare feet, when entering or leaving the pool or locker room. That errant belief was later debunked by research proving that simply walking barefoot over a contaminated damp floor is not sufficient to contract an athlete’s foot infection. Excessive foot perspiration, tightly fitting shoes, wearing socks of synthetic man-made fibers that absorb and wick moisture poorly, living in warm and humid climates, and failing to dry the feet thoroughly — after swimming or bathing — before donning footwear, all play a part in the creation and propagation of athlete’s foot.
As the infection develops, athlete’s foot spreads from the webbing between the toes to the soles of the feet, the tissues around and under the toenails, and to the toenails themselves. Stubborn toenail infections lead to both thickening and breakdown of the nails, and — eventually — to nail loss. The infection can spread from the feet to the groin (where it is known as jock itch) and the armpits, where the symptoms mimic those exhibited in the feet in most respects. Chronic infections are so difficult to treat that prescription medications have recently been marketed to treat them. Unfortunately, most such medications carry significant risks of liver damage and other complications, many of which appear to be worse than the infections they seek to cure.
Three important complications…
Certain conditions involved with foot odor make things somewhat more complicated. First, many people lack, or have reduced numbers of, one or more of the olfactory receptors for the common odors that footwear fermentations produce. Individual sensitivity to each foot odor varies from one person to another. Because of this some who are afflicted with foot odors are unaware of their affliction: they either cannot smell the odors the infection produces, or — to some of us, oddly — the odors that are offensive to others may seem inoffensive or even pleasant to them. Hence, as alluded to earlier, the honest love of Limburger cheese and its volatile odors by some, and its absolute abhorrence by others. Humans are a diverse lot. They truly are…
Case in point: Often the companions of those whose feet, unknown to them, generate noxious odors, are not themselves similarly afflicted, yet are extremely sensitive to the aromas they cause. Neither party may be aware of the disparity in their individual senses of smell, or even that such disparities are common. Thus, when the offended companion goads the other with “What is that smell?” and the foot odor propagator innocently replies with “What smell do you mean?” the resulting disconnect bodes poorly for their mutual, long-term, amicable and strife-free friendship.
Marriages, business relationships, even diplomatic ties of world-shaking import, have been known to reach the breaking point because of such unexplained perceptual disjuncts. Because social stigmas associated with foot odor make people reluctant to discuss it, much of the time the cause behind the break is never made known…
Second, many of the biological agents that produce foot odors actually influence the foot’s rate of perspiration. Their presence causes infected skin to produce conditions unusually favorable to propagation of the agent. Athlete’s foot is an obvious example, what with its weeping sores and blisters, etc., but other microbial agents of foot odor function in a similar, though often less obvious manner. This has the effect of exaggerating the foot odor condition, sometimes exponentially. In other words, untreated foot odor conditions tend to grow more serious over time, while properly treating such conditions not only reduces odor, but even reduces the amount of foot perspiration as well.
A third complication bears special elucidation:
The Infamous Vibram Five Fingers Stink…
The Good: Recent advancements in footwear design, e.g., the VIBRAM FIVE FINGER® barefoot sports shoe (often abbreviated as VFF), allow humans to return to what proponents call the ergonomically superior barefoot and postural conditions of our ancestors without having to develop calluses on the bottoms of their feet. This modern miracle (I and both of my sons have, at least in times past, been enthusiastic wearers of this shoe) is accomplished by specially engineered shoes that are both tight-fitting and yielding. So yielding are they, in fact, that it is as if the feet shod with them are essentially bare. The shoe design actually provides separate pockets for each toe, thin but highly protective soles underfoot, hardened but resilient toe-caps to mitigate the risks of stubbing, and impervious uppers to protect against the elements.
The Bad: Unfortunately, all these otherwise said-to-be excellent features, in combination, exacerbate the foot perspiration issues we’ve already discussed. It should not be a great surprise to learn, then, that VFF foot odor is — well — infamously famous.
The Solution: Recently the VFF manufacturer reportedly began treating their shoes with “Aegis” antibacterial, a product of Microshield®. However well that product works, it does not do so for long, as many VFF owners report that foot odor still becomes a problem unless they take strenuous steps to prevent it. Those steps are complicated. Some who blog about the processes they go through to rid their VFF’s of foot odor admit nothing really works well. However, the author has developed a natural, herb-based cleanser — HabitatBiotics™ CV20 — that works in VFF footwear, every time it is used. Read on for more information…
Classical foot odor remedies
Though many foot odor remedies have proven ineffective, and others that work for a time fail to perform well in the long term, the world has never lacked for “solutions” to the problem of foot odor. Powdered corn starch, charcoal-impregnated and antibiotic/antifungal footwear inserts, and a host of other remedies have been marketed worldwide.
Sometimes they work, sometimes they fail, but most have become known as part of a long series of unsuccessful attempts to find a truly effective solution with few or no drawbacks.
Why finding an effective remedy was personal for me
The search for an effective foot odor remedy has been very personal for me. I grew up in the 1940’s and 1950’s, the second of seven children in a family whose feet — as a group — tended to perspire like those of the average human, if not more so. Though we tried to avoid smelly feet by practicing good hygiene, foot odor was, to some degree at least, pretty much a fact of life.
Dad was a career military man of modest means and expected each of his children to wear their single pair of tight-fitting shoes out before they were replaced. Of course, we were not unusual in having to do battle with foot odor on a regular basis, but we would just as soon have been immune to it.
During our childhood years we were all introduced to just about every foot-odor remedy known to mankind, with generally mixed (and usually negative) results. Later, as an adult out in the world on my own, I tried all the new remedies that came on the market, and was uniformly disappointed with all of them.
When several pharmaceutical companies began marketing oral medications to combat foot fungi (advertised cleverly as nail fungi remedies, but understood by all with that problem to include remediating “foot odor” as well, I studied them carefully. The lengthy list of health risks associated with such drugs was, and still is, absolutely appalling.
Imagine that. Some people are willing to jeopardize their health and well being, just to resolve the foot odor and nail fungi issues in their lives. It that doesn’t prove how crucial such remedies are to the quality of life, nothing can. I resolved to keep looking for good, healthy, positive solutions.
Years ago, I began conducting serious research into the utility of natural habitat modifiers that could be used to create attractive and nurturing environments as part of my on-going PestAvoidance R&D. The focus of that study, which continues today, was the functional utility of natural materials, as distinct from unnatural, man-made ones with unusual, toxicological profiles. This meant studying and experimenting with essential plant oils, natural plant-based lipids, natural solid, granular, and liquid substrates, and natural dispersal and delivery materials.
As soon as that research began to produce successful results in other fields, the notion of using the same ingredients and substrates to improve conditions inside shoes, boots, and athletic footwear took root. My focus there, as with my work with habitat modifiers elsewhere, was not on finding a direct cure for the foot odor and nail fungi issues involved. I knew, from the habitat modification work I’d done in other fields (not to mention the lessons taught by the Red Queen hypothesis), that direct approaches usually fail. Instead I focused on creating an environment, inside ordinary footwear, that neither attracted nor nurtured the microbials that caused such problems.
The theory on which I based my habitat modification methodology is that, absent the presence of attractants and nurturants, offending organisms will simply disappear, and along with them will go all the problems and complications that come along for the ride. The concept has worked in every other venue where I have applied it, so I reasoned it ought to work with humanity’s footwear, too.
Soon I was applying, on a daily basis, small quantities of natural oils and herbal extracts to my feet, hoping to discover which were effective and which were not; which had drawbacks, and which had none; which would work all the time, or only part of the time, and which didn’t work at all. Before long, based on those experiments, I had a list of ineffective ingredients to stay away from.
Oils, for example, tend to accumulate in shoe leather and insoles, and create ancillary problems too numerous to list, so although they are effective they cannot be used with footwear. Aqueous solutions of herbal extracts, however, were generally found to be marginally effective, and some were moderately effective, while others were highly effective, depending on the ingredients. Thus, I began extractions of every herb I find, and tested them on my feet. Some worked well. Adding a small amount of grain alcohol and or aqueous acetic acid (vinegar) made these herbs even more effective, because they allowed the carrier to dissolve more of the herb’s unique cleansing ingredients. As the list of effective combinations grew I enlisted the help of others — primarily people who had confided their own struggles with foot odor — to see how their feet and shoes would respond to the various formulations and delivery methods that I put together.
Finally, I arrived at a list of a few herbs that just worked, and worked, and worked… Some produced skin reactions, and were immediately discarded, but a few had no negatives of any kind. Among these were a few that had a generally pleasant but relatively strong and enduring fragrance.
Again and again, I had to face the fact that smelling nice is not enough. A nice smell that is too strong merely exchanges a bad odor with a good one, and after a while even a “good” odor wears thin.
Two important universal truths related to the problem of foot odor
That final dictum, I learned, defined a universal truth. What was needed — in whatever final product I came up with — had to be a highly effective formula that had little or no odor at all. I began to search for ways to keep the most effective odor neutralizers on the list. What that meant, in the final analysis, was finding a way to package them in a formulation that reduced their pungency — individually and in combination — to as close to zero as possible without sacrificing their efficacy as habitat modifiers.
Along the way I learned another universal truth related to foot odor and shoe care: formulating a neutral smelling, but powerful habitat modification salve for feet and nails is not enough either. The internal habitat of the footwear, too, needs to be constantly and consistently modified — 24/7/365 — not merely while the footwear is being worn, but also while it sits unused, on the shelf, awaiting its next stint on its owner’s feet. And, not only should that on-going habitat modification program address the problem of foot perspiration and odor, but it should also work to preserve the footwear’s shape (the manner of the venerable shoe-tree of old), as well as working to create a habitat that neither attracts nor nurtures the insects and spiders that might, by happenstance, pass by while the footwear is not being used. The ideal solution to this age-old compendium of problems not only helps the user avoid foot odor, but also avoids the risk of misshapen shoes, and those added risks attending unwanted invasions of insects and spiders. See? Comprehensive habitat modification at work, in all its glory.
Resolving the Apparent Contradictions…
How could I reconcile all these seemingly contradictory issues? The ingredients that worked best to clean feet and shoes simultaneously, so that bacteria could not grow and develop in or on either feet or shoes, were all inherently fragrant. No matter how well they worked, they would produce an enduring odor that some would eventually find taxing.
The answer lay in the carrier solution. I tried a variety of carriers, from exotic oils that promised to biodegrade instead of accumulating, to vinegars, alcohols, and a bunch more. In the end only one was found to work every time. It consisted of a special blend of white, naturally fermented vinegar, and pure ethyl alcohol. Both absorbed the active herbal ingredients well. And both evaporated quickly upon application, leaving the skin coated with a minimal amount of cleansing herbal ingredients that had little or no lingering fragrance whatever. During application the natural fragrance was clearly present, but the minute the solution dried, practically all of the fragrance died with it.
I found that if the best cleansing herbals were added to the white vinegar and alcohol solution, in just the right combination, the result was a finished product that worked just as intended, without leaving the user trailing a strong herbal garden odor. The solution itself still has a strong odor, and for the first few minutes after putting it on one’s feet, the odor remains strong as ever. But, as the vinegar and alcohol evaporate, the odor begins to lessen until, several minutes later, only a faint fragrance remains.
Total herbal odor elimination is not possible, of course, nor would that be a good thing. The active herbal cleansers in the solution work because of the volatile chemical structures of which they are composed. But, if the carrier solution is formulated properly the end result — once the carrier has evaporated, leaving behind the essential cleansing herbal ingredients — is a faint, pleasant fragrance that does not offend the most sensitive of noses.
That’s How HabitatBiotics™ CV20 Came Into Being.
HabitatBiotics™ CV20 is a cleansing solution made from a combination of natural, organically-cultivated herbs, extracted into an aqueous solution of naturally fermented white vinegar and alcohol. It is specially formulated for use on feet and hands as a refreshing cleanser. The original formula contains, as the anchor herbs, extracts of cinnamon leaf, frankincense, lavender buds, and lemongrass leaf essential oils, and as aqueous extracts or eleven complementary herbs, namely oregano leaf, clove buds, black peppercorns, green coffee beans, burdock root, rosemary needles, cassia bark, lavender buds,, catnip leaf, lemon grass, and bay leaves.
This product is packaged in 8 oz. and 32 oz. spray bottles. Users are directed to wash their feet as usual, then spray HabitatBiotics™ CV20 on all foot surfaces and briskly rub it in. The spray dries in less than a minute, leaving behind a faint fragrance of fresh herbs. The user need not wait for the spray to dry before slipping into a favorite pair of Vibram Five Fingers, or donning socks and/or shoes and boots, and thereafter enjoying a full day with fresh, clean, good-smelling feet and footwear.
For those with unusually robust foot odor problems, immediate relief may not occur. In such cases, the more HabitatBiotics™ CV20 that is used with each application, the faster one’s foot odor problem will be eliminated. Using just the spray to apply HabitatBiotics™ CV20 may be too much work under those circumstances, so it may help to remove the spray head (it easily twists off the bottle), then pour some of the contents into the palm of one hand and apply it with a brisk rubbing motion and, once fully applied, waiting a minute or so for the solution to dry.
HabitatBiotics™ CV20 works to cleanse the feet, and ultimately one’s footwear as well, of odor-causing fungi and bacteria. Use it every day, after every foot-washing, and before donning any kind of footwear. It can also be applied directly to the footwear, too, if necessary. However, applications directly to the feet are all that is usually needed to let the cleansing action of HabitatBiotics™ CV20 go to work.
Of course, good hygiene is a necessary accompaniment to the use of any cleansing product or procedure.
Other Uses of HabitatBiotics™ CV20…
Cleansers have multiple applications. This truth is just as applicable to HabitatBiotics™ CV20 as with every other natural cleanser in use today. We’ve used this product for many purposes not mentioned here with great success, and with no known negatives. Though it is not a mosquito repellent, it does cleanse the skin of mosquito attractants. Though not a pesticide, it cleanses surfaces of attractants used by ants, cockroaches, and other organisms — sowbugs, pillbugs, chiggers, fleas, spiders, bed bugs, and more — use to navigate with. Those who experiment with HabitatBiotics™ CV20 to find new uses that improve their health and well-being report interesting results far beyond those mentioned here. We’re reluctant to praise it so heartily, but we do encourage those who use it to try new applications. Who knows? It just may do what you want it to…
- Bowman, Katy. 2015. Whole Body Barefoot. Propriometricspress.
- DeMello, Margo. 2009. Feet and Footwear: A cultural encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO LLC.
- Goubitz, Olaf, et al. 2007. Stepping Through Time: Archaeological Footwear from Prehistoric Times until 1800 . SPA Uitgevers
- Grew, Francis, et al. 2013. Shoes and Pattens (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London). Boydell Press
- Volken, Marquita. 2013. Development of Shoe Patterns and Styles from Prehistory til the 1600’s. SPA Uitgevers
— Questions? Comments? Corrections? e-mail the author at email@example.com.