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Electric Footbaths and Foot Pads: Do Detoxification Therapies Really Work?

does-foot-detox-workAre you curious about products that claim to draw out toxins through your feet so that you can achieve a sense of wellness? Have you ever wondered why these products are often offered by herbalists and alternative medicine practitioners, but not by the mainstream medical community? These detoxification therapies and products range from electric footbaths and foot pads to herbal colon cleansing pills. Their claims of helping your body to detoxify sound wonderful. Who wouldn’t want to rid their body of nasty toxin buildup? But do detoxification therapies really work?

Since you are reading this article, you are probably questioning whether or not these detoxification products (electric footbaths and foot pads) really do what they claim. In fact, I hope you are. You shouldn’t believe something just because someone else says it is so. Instead of making snap assumptions about things you are unfamiliar with, you should research the question and look objectively and critically at the evidence both for and against the claim. With this in mind, here are the reasons why detoxification therapies do not live up to their claims of removing “toxins” from your body or helping to boost your body’s already existing detoxification system.

Do Detoxification Therapies Really Work? Electric Footbaths and Foot Pads

Detox-Footbath-see-how-it-works Let’s review electrical footbath products first. The premise of these products is that you fill the footbath with a mixture of saltwater and homeopathic/herbal additive, turn it on, and then soak your feet in the solution. After a while, the water begins to turn a dirty brown color as a result of the toxins being drawn out of your body through your feet, or so that’s the claim anyway. Leave your electric footbath on for a while without soaking your feet and you will find that the water turns brown anyway. How can this be? It turns out that the electrodes in the water corrode by means of electrolysis. As a result, enough rusted iron is put in the water to turn it brown. Ben Goldacre, of Guardian Unlimited online news, published these findings, which caused many of the marketers of these products to change their claims and admit that this was happening. Now, instead of claiming to "detoxify" the body, some of these products claim to balance the body’s energy fields. Whatever those are?

Verseo Detox-Foot-PatchAnother detoxification “therapy” product on the market is detoxifying foot pads. These adhesive gauze patches that you stick to the soles of your feet at night claim to draw harmful toxins out of your body. What these harmful toxins are and how or why these toxins move from your body to the pad are not explained. A quick look at the list of ingredients shows that the foot pads contain an unspecified amount of vinegar, tourmaline, chitin, and other unspecified ingredients. Let's take a closer look at the ingredients of detoxifying foot pads and their roles in the detox process:

Tourmaline is a silicate mineral and semi-precious gemstone that is not biologically reactive, so it has no conceivable function when it comes to attracting “toxins” from the body.

Chitin is a polymer used in surgical thread and bandages, so it is no surprise to find it listed in the ingredients. Some alternative medicine practitioners believe, however, that chitin is a “fat attractor” - a claim that has never been proven or supported by any evidence. Perhaps by listing chitin, the makers of the foot pads hope you infer that it is the chitin that attracts “toxins” out of the body, like it supposedly attracts fat?

After dismissing the tourmaline and chitin, we are now left with vinegar. While vinegar has been used topically as an herbal remedy to treat acne, sunburn, warts, and dandruff, it should be used with caution. Vinegar is an acid and has been shown to cause chemical burns and skin ulcers. Although it seems unlikely that detox foot pads contain a high enough concentration of vinegar to do either.

If the foot pads contain no ingredients that attract “toxins” out of the body, then why do they appear brown when you remove them from your foot? Remember, the foot pads are self-adhesive. So by peeling them away, you are removing the outermost layer of dead skin cells from your foot. Since the pads are also moist and contain an acid (vinegar), they loosen additional dead skin cells when left on for an extended period of time. That is why the pads look brown after they are peeled away from your foot. Another reason why foot pads look brown after they are peeled away from your foot, they contain powdered wood vinegar, which always turns brownish black when exposed to moisture, such as sweat. So, the brownish color that results after using foot pads is not due to the wonders of detoxification after all. It’s due to the fact that the foot pads contain powdered wood vinegar, as well as the presence of dead and dirty skin cells on your feet.

So, do detoxification therapies really work? This article has given the reasons why detoxification therapies like electrical footbaths and foot pads do not live up to their claims of removing “toxins” from your body or help to boost your body’s already existing detoxification system. But, if you are still questioning whether detoxification products like electrical footbaths and foot pads really work, feel free to judge for yourself. is a popular site for detox and cleansing products. Click here to learn more.

Here are some detoxification products you can try at home:

Verseo's 48/7 Cleanse and Detoxification Program

The New Hollywood Detox Body Wrap - Detoxify like the Stars!

Verseo Detox Foot Patch - Regain Health and Vitality with Body Detoxification

Rejuvenix Ionic Detox Foot Spa


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