Do Detox Foot Baths Really Work?

Detox foot baths are presented as a novel procedure to get rid of toxins in your body. But how effective are they, really? Learn the answer in this article!
Do Detox Foot Baths Really Work?

Last update: 17 August, 2021

Also known as ionic detoxes, detox foot baths are just one of many fads for miracle treatments that are marketed as the solution to various conditions. In this case, it’s a therapy where an electrical mechanism emits high frequencies of negatively charged ions to detoxify and purify the body.

This works according to principles that inventor Royal Raymond Rife discovered. He claims that viruses could be destroyed if exposed to certain frequencies. Applying this theory, Dr. Mary Staggs created these detox foot baths. During the cleaning procedure, the water soaking your feet changes color, which supposedly shows the detoxification.

In this article, we’ll describe this procedure and see if it’s really effective.

How do detox foot baths work?

First, we need to clarify that the term detox generally refers to various treatments or devices that reduce toxins in the body through certain techniques and procedures. Now, in the case of detox baths, it’s a device that ionizes the water with salt in a small tub.

Through electrolysis, the elements in the water separate. Then, when in contact with feet, they charge the body with negative ions, stimulating and eliminating free radicals.

The main goal of detox foot baths is to raise the alkalinity level in the body. Some consider this to be beneficial to health, as bacteria and other diseases need acidic pH to thrive.

The procedure consists of putting your feet in the salted water and turning on the appliance. An electrolyte reaction immediately begins that would stimulate the body to detoxify.

A person washing their feet.

Why does the water change color?

During the procedure, the water turns brown, reddish, or yellowish, depending on the case. Proponents of the technique assure that this is due to the cleaning process and that the color shows the different toxins.

They even affirm that the colors can denote toxins that come from different organs. If the water is black, then the liver is being cleaned; if it’s orange, it’s the joints; white foam corresponds to the lymphatic system; and if it’s brown, it’s from tobacco and alcohol.

However, the reality is that the water changes color from the precipitation of the oxide, mainly from the corrosion of the electrodes. Also, other elements can play a role, like salt, sweat, or dirt.

In fact, these changes even happen when the appliance is on without feet in it or having contact with the water.

Possible benefits of detox foot baths

Detox foot baths are recommended in cases of rheumatic diseases, joint pain, edema, varicose veins, stress, various problems from a sedentary lifestyle, and even sleep disorders. In addition, they are part of therapy for dyslipidemia, arthritis, acne, and kidney failure.

In this sense, there are lots of benefits from these baths. From pain relief to metabolism stimulation to oxygen flow regulation, energy field balance, immune system strengthening, cellulite control, acne reduction, and flexibility improvement.

Also, they may help with the following:

  • Speed up the recovery time from an illness, injury, or surgery.
  • Eliminate excess uric and lactic acid.
  • Help eliminate heavy metals.
  • Help treat sleep disorders.
  • Improve heart health and even mood.

You might also be interested: What Causes Yellow Skin on the Bottom of the Feet

Possible risks of detox baths

Foot detoxification has become a very popular alternative treatment. They’re considered unlikely to be harmful, but some people shouldn’t use them or talk to their doctor first.

These cases include children, pregnant women, people with pacemakers, diabetics, and those with open sores or wounds on their feet. Diabetics specifically can inadvertently experience burns from hot water.

Do detox foot baths work?

The evidence that supports these foot baths comes mostly from customer satisfaction surveys. The manufacturers themselves often carry out these studies and endorse themor the companies that market the devices.

Other research has sought to demonstrate the effectiveness of the IonCleanse® device in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They did a survey of this, which showed that the symptoms were reduced by 55%.

However, in this study, there are no names of medical professionals in charge. At most, it mentions the group “The Thinking Moms’ Revolution.”

Generally speaking, there hasn’t been much scientific research on detox foot baths. Among the few are a 2012 clinical study from Kennedy and colleagues, the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and the University of Toronto.

They conducted the study with several patients who all used the IonCleanse® foot baths. The researchers collected urine and hair samples from the subjects, as well as water from the device, before and after the sessions.

After analyzing each of the samples, they concluded that the level of toxins didn’t reduce. They weren’t eliminated through the feet, and the body didn’t detox from the liver or kidneys.

On the other hand, a 2008 study by the Center for Research Strategies showed that the levels of aluminum and arsenic decreased by 46% and 24% respectively. However, these results were actually dismissed. Kennedy et al. state that it was connected to IonCleanse® itself.

A person using a detox foot bath.

Footbaths are an aesthetic procedure, not a sanitary one

While there’s no research to conclusively support all the benefits of detox foot baths, there’s also no evidence that they’re harmful. In fact, the agents who sell them recommend them as a simple aesthetic complement.

So, if you want to enjoy the experience of these baths to relax, refresh, revitalize. and enjoy, they can do that perfectly. However, there are also cheaper alternatives to soften your feet, like essential oils or various salts.

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