Here it is: a quick summary of everything you need to know to get started
using henna to relieve your Hand Foot Syndrome.


1/4 cup water
1/8 cup henna powder
A squirt of lemon juice

Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add the henna slowly and stir until it is like cream of tomato soup. You will probably use about 1/8th of a cup. Add a squirt of lemon juice. Let it cool. (If you already have cracks, skip the lemon juice. It will sting.)

Cover a work area with plastic bags or an old towel (henna stains). Paint a thin layer on your bare feet and hands. I use a foam paint brush to apply it.

It takes up to 15 minutes to dry. You can rinse it off. Instead, I put socks on and leave it for my next shower.

I recommend this type of henna: “Jamali, most recent harvest.” You might find that at an Indian grocery store. Most people buy online or by phone. Here are two excellent sources.

BUY IT (Green Bay)
(920) 430-8826 (Toronto)
(905) 230-4651

Shipping takes longer from Toronto, but this henna maven is sending a free sample to HFS patients! Just send an E-mail to and tell them that you have HFS.

A few times a week, before your feet start to heat up and after.

If you get a burning feeling in your feet and hands from your chemotherapy, this will cool it. That often prevents blisters and cracking, but follow recommendations about cream and socks/gloves too, for the best possible result. Also, henna does not help with neuropathy.

This site is solely the opinion of Monique Doyle Spencer and is not medical advice. 2-5-09


Anonymous said...
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Linta said...

How often do you use it?

Monique Doyle Spencer said...

You want to keep ahead of the problem, which makes preventing it a lot easier! You can start using it any time and as often as you like, but MAKE SURE that you start as SOON as you feel heat in your hands or feet. I reapply it if I feel any heat, or when the color starts to fade in a few days.

I hope it helps you. I have used it everyday at the worst part and less often if it wasn't bad. But definitely keep ahead of it.

Good wishes for health,

Jan Currence said...

I apologize if 2 comments come through. I wrote one and had trouble creating a Blogger Account.

I am concerned about deleted comments. This seems like a topic that wouldn't cause comments that would be undesirable to post.

Because of HFS Syndrome, I want to try the henna to see if it helps. Several on my breast cancer network have recommended it as a help fot the syndrome and I want to do all I can to keep ahead of the side effects of Xeloda.

Thank you.

Jan Currence

Monique Doyle Spencer said...

Not to worry, Jan -- these were spam posts that I deleted, nothing about henna at all. Best of luck to you -- I hope it will help you as it has so many others.
Wishing you heath, Monique

燕延 said...

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Pharmacy said...

that's amazing! if it works then such problem will sort out

Daphne said...

Doesn't this make your hands and feet even darker than the Xeloda makes them??

Monique Doyle Spencer said...

Daphne -- Henna dyes your hands and feet an earthy color ranging from orange to brown. Monique

Unknown said...

I have one that is much simpler. All you do is miss Vaseline, glycerin,and rose water and apply to feet and socks. and may also put on hands. My oncologist was amazed.

Tammy said...

This is really amazing and works wonderfully! It has an immediate cooling effect which is great. It looks really gross and doesn't smell much better. Yes it does dye your skin......but the benefits far outweigh the discoloration.

Points to remember:
-do not put on open wounds.
-be sure to use pure henna (no dyes)-to decrease reactions
-paint brush or makeup sponge works great for application.

Thanks for the free sample!!