Health Articles
Foot Detox Baths: Worthy or Worthless
Posted on January 30, 2017 1:33 PM by Dr. Zimmer
I receive a good number of emails to ask my opinion regarding the Foot Bath Detox. As always, I will give you some facts spiced up with my strong opinions so you can decide for yourself whether or not a Foot Bath Detox is worthy or worthless.
For those of you who are not familiar with a foot bath detox, let me explain. The foot bath detox consists of a tub in which you place your feet. The tub is filled with water and then an electrical current is sent through the water. The claim from the makers and practitioners who use this product is that the electrical current causes the cells of your body to release toxins and that these toxins are then, somehow, drawn out of your body through your feet. The release of these toxins then supposedly turns the water different colors depending upon which toxins are being released. The pictures below illustrate the process.
Obviously, there is a reaction happening in the water since it changes colors drastically. Many of the people who have this done are quite convinced and impressed by this color change. People who use the foot bath detox will tell you that they have more energy and that they feel invigorated by the treatment. So, what is going on here? Is the color change really caused by toxins being released from your body? If not, what would account for the obvious change in water color?
To start with, let me not pull any punches. The foot bath detox is a colossal scam! Now, let me back up my contrary position by answering some of the questions I posed above.

Is the color change really caused by toxins being released from the body?
To answer this you have to understand that the body sequesters (hides) toxins in fat cells in order to keep them from doing harm to your cells. It uses fat cells because the substances that are so toxic are fat soluble in nature. In other words, they can only be housed in fat. Your body tries desperately to excrete the other, free-flowing toxins from your body. It does this through a process called detoxification. This process occurs in the majority of cells to a minor extent, but the lion’s share is done by the liver. Your body gets rid of most bound toxins either through your stool or urine. Not, your feet! When was the last time you woke up after a night’s sleep with your covers stained black/brown from all of the toxins being released from your feet? Exactly…never!
So, let’s presume that toxins are being released and excreted through your feet as is claimed by the foot bath detox people. As you can see from the pictures above, the color change is quite profound. It is time to put on your logical thinking cap. The amount of toxins that would need to be released in order to turn the water a dark brown would have to be substantial in quantity. This brings two very interesting observations to the forefront. First, the body hides these toxins in cells because they are indeed dangerous. In fact, exposure to too large a quantity of these toxins at one time could kill you. So, they want you to believe that the body released so many toxins that the water was turned black/brown and that the person actually felt good afterwards! If all of those toxins were released at one time, the MAJORITY of people would become extremely ill and some would die! That’s a fact, Jack. (Movie buffs; remember Stripes?)
Secondly, as all of these black/brown-colored toxins were being drawn through the feet; why would the person’s feet not turn black/brown? Think about that for a moment. They want you to believe that the electrical current is drawing the toxins to the feet in a concentration so high that it blackens the water. As those toxins accumulated in the tissues of the feet and the ankles, they should turn black/brown. Then, as the toxins slowly leached into the water the foot should turn back to a nice pinkish color. This does not occur. Additionally, the soles of the feet should stay black/brown for days in people with calloused feet. I have asked alternative health practitioners if the person has to worry about getting their feet stained and I have always been told that this doesn’t occur. Maybe if they knew why I was asking they would have given me a different answer?

What accounts for the change in the color of the water?
As you can see from my examples above, the change in the color of the water has nothing to do with toxins coming out of your body and especially not from your feet. What accounts for the change? The answer is simple chemistry. Some curious person asked the question of whether the water in the tub would change colors without the presence of a body part. The answer is, YES. Here is an excerpt from the manufacturer of one product:
“Of course, just how dirty the water becomes is related to how much sediment is in the actual water. When you test a bucket of water to see this principle (with no body parts in the water), how dirty it actually becomes will generally be the same each time you use a new bucket of water from the same source… If you were performing Aqua-Chi treatments, it is always a good thing to test a bucket of water to see what color it may go as a reference to help understand the color after a treatment.”
People are not told this when they go for a “treatment.” They are simply told to be amazed at how many toxins came out of their tootsies.
Now, I can hear the people who push this garbage screaming that the color change is different depending upon what person has their feet in the water. In other words, one person’s water may turn very dark and another may have a different color. This must provide proof that something happens when the person puts their foot into the water. And, it does. But, again it has NOTHING to do with the release of huge amounts of toxins from different organs of your body.
No, the reaction is a simple hydrolysis chemistry reaction between the fats and mineral salts found on the skin of the feet. The hydrolysis of the water by the electrical current causes a soap-like reaction that changes the color of the water. The color change depends upon the type and amount of salts and fat the person’s body excretes. This accounts for the differences in color from person to person. Just for kicks, here is a picture of a bar of natural soap. Look at the color. Blackish/Brown…what a coincidence!
So, why do people report feeling full of energy and invigorated?
The answer is simple. Have you ever put your foot into a warm water bath? It feels awesome! It is invigorating. That was the easiest question I have ever answered!

The Bottom Line
If you want to perform a real internal detox of your body, go to the Body Detox link. My suggestion is that instead of throwing your money away on a foot bath detox, donate the money to a needy person or to someone in the missionary field. Any health practitioners using the foot detox products with their patients need to email me to address the facts and answer the questions that I have posed. If you do not, stop promoting this junk to your patients in a deceitful manner.