January 25, 2016
354 Detox Foot Pads – do they work? [25 January 2016]
I sell detox foot pads in my store. They come in packages of 10; you put one on the bottom of each foot when you go to bed and peel them off in the morning. The bamboo and wood vinegars, herbs and other ingredients are supposed to pull toxins, including metals like lead, mercury and arsenic, out of your body while you sleep. These toxins show up as the dark goo you find on the pads when you peel them off in the morning. That’s the theory anyway.
I recently decided to see if there is any evidence for their effectiveness. What I learned was disappointing to say the least. First, the black goo is produced from moisture from your feet interacting with the herbs and other ingredients in the pad. I tested one myself by holding it over a kettle and the steam turned it a dark brownish-green in just a few minutes. Chemical analysis of the goo from foot pads have failed to find any toxin or metal; they are chemically identical to unused pads. The Mayo Clinic website states that no scientific studies have been published showing that detox foot pads do what they claim they’ll do. Even Dr. Mercola, who promotes many natural healing modalities, calls foot pads a scam.
Many people, however, report benefits from using the pads. They sleep better; have more energy the next day; get relief from aching feet, arthritic knees, and other aches and pains; notice improved circulation to the feet; and just feel better and more relaxed. One woman wrote: “Having used the foot patches for 15 days I definitely feel less stressed, my shoulders are not as stiff, my feet no longer ache and my headaches are gone. I’m also sleeping better.” Others report no benefits and at least one man experienced joint pain.
So are the perceived benefits just from the placebo effect? Or are the pads doing something else, stimulating reflexology points perhaps? I really don’t know.
I will continue to sell the pads but will explain to interested customers what they may do (help their sleep, relieve pain, improve mood, etc.) and won’t do (detox their body). I’ll show them my kettle-steamed pad for comparison. And let them decide if they want to try it for themselves. Or not.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.