Lyme Disease Community
2.11k Members
1763947 tn?1334058919

Detox Foot Bath

Has anyone done a detox foot bath? I have heard of them and going for one Friday. The water starts off clear and can then turn orange,  green, brown or black.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
I've heard of them.


Avatar universal
I did research on them and owned one. The color change is from the salt water (you add salt) dissolving some of the metal of the unit- depending if more Cu or Fe dissolved can be green to orange to brown. We send the post treatment water for analysis and that is what we found. I think the people doing them are honest but just believe the company. Sometimes the electricity is helpful but do not think all the toxins are leaving the body through your feet
Avatar universal
" I think the people doing them are honest but just believe the company."

That's why people whoi are desperate to find something that can help them need  to do ''the research'' before sinking a lot of money  (or time) into The Next Best Thing!

If its a site that sells a 'something' I start at the bottom of their web site and click on Ábout Us' or "Who We Are'. Then I look at 'Resources' which is often touted as being 'the science' behind this'. Maybe yes. Maybe no.

Often the 'science' is a bunch of articles the owners/board members etc have written. Or they're testimonials by 'satisfied customers', who may or may not be real customers.

Scott Forsgren recommends them:

"Ionic foot baths may be useful in helping the body to remove various toxins and increasing the body’s natural ability to excrete toxic substances via the liver and kidneys. I use a foot bath three times a week. A less expensive but still effective option may be to incorporate detox foot patches into your program. These are patches that are worn on the soles of the feet at night and help to remove toxins while we sleep. In fact, a focus on these external methods of detoxification, such as ionic foot baths or detox foot patches, can be an excellent way to start a detoxification program."

From Public Health Alert (!) at

I doubt if those foot baths will hurt anyone, which is the best thing I can say about them.

P.S. An interesting tid bit about clicking on some web sites, even if just to look. That will put a few more pennies into that person's wallet. I learned that years ago while trying to figure out just why Mr. Forsgren had so many protocols/products/ ideas available to read about for 'just a click'. Ever hear of Pay-per-click? I have. Mr Forsgren has. And many other sellers.

Pay-per-click (PPC) (also called cost per click) is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. It is defined simply as “the amount spent to get an advertisement clicked.”[1]
Avatar universal
The foot patches are equally a scam. I ran them under tap water and they turned the same ugly color immediately. In general Scott has great info but I disagree with him here. I am very into natural medicine but am a skeptic too. I don't need science as natural herbs etc have long track records and the companies do not have the $ resources that pharmaceutical companies have to run double blinded studies. I trust almost no multi-level companies. I have had enough weird symptoms for the past 30 years and like Scott I am my own guinea pig and also consult with other equally ill folks. I used to be disabled from mold and had to get myself well and now lyme and possibly West Nile. Not a fun journey but you need discernment to see what works. Some docs feel the foot baths can harm as alot of your meridians end on the foot and applying a current in water to them can be harmful. Don't know it that is possible but that is what some docs have told me.
Avatar universal
" I don't need science as natural herbs etc have long track records"

I've heard that before.

"and the companies do not have the $ resources that pharmaceutical companies have to run double blinded studies."

I've also heard that reasoning before. Another reason that herbal/supplement manufacturers don't run double-blinded studies might be this?

Why should they when they're doing so great without them. None of those fussy ol' studies with oversight and testing and testing ad nauseum.. Sheesh! What a drag!

Skeptical Raptor (Bio: I have an undergraduate degree in Biology from a top US research university, and a graduate degree in Biochemistry/Endocrinology from a major US research university. I did my post-graduate work in a multi-national pharmaceutical company.) posted this on his blog. I'm going to copy/paste the entire entry, with permission.

Herbal supplements–unproven, unregulated, unsafe
One of the more ironic memes on the internet is how pharmaceutical companies make so much money (and they do), with the false conclusion that somehow all that money means that they’re not really interested in providing drugs that are safe and efficacious. Then, those same memes will claim that “natural supplements” are healthier and better, while they ignore the profit motive of supplement pushers (henceforth called Big Herbal).

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), an abomination that pushes fraudulent science, reported that in 2007, US adults spent $33.9 billion on visits to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers and for purchases of CAM products, classes, and materials. About $14.8 billion of that spending was on non-vitamin, non-mineral, natural products, such as fish oil, glucosamine (no evidence of effectiveness), and Echinacea (no evidence of effectiveness). What is surprising is that this $14.8 billion is about ⅓ of what is spent on prescription drugs. Finally, about $4.4 billion was spent on herbal supplements, which are supplements that use botanical products based on some historical or current belief that the products have some ability to treat some disease or symptom. Of course, sometimes these beliefs are myths, or even errors, like when a Swiss CAM products company misunderstood someone and believed that Native Americans used Echninacea for treating colds. They didn’t.

Part of the problem with these herbal supplements is that many consumers think that they are safe because someone must be regulating them. And they also think that the claims made by Big Herbal must be factual because someone must  be regulating them. Except, in the USA, regulation barely exists. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), passed by the US Congress in 1994, specifically removed supplements from being regulated like pharmaceuticals. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “the dietary supplement or dietary ingredient manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement or ingredient is safe before it is marketed. FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. Generally, manufacturers do not need to register their products with FDA nor get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements.”

In other words, the supplement manufacturer doesn’t really have to prove anything to anyone before marketing the product. A pharmaceutical company has to spend tens or hundreds of million of dollars in clinical trials to show safety, efficacy, shelf life, interactions with other drugs, and then wait several years to gain FDA clearance to bring the drug to patients. Because Big Herbal doesn’t have to pay that huge cost to prove that those supplements are safe and that they actually work, the profit margin of supplements is probably quite a bit higher than pharmaceuticals.

In a recent article in the Archives of Internal Medicine (a respected peer-reviewed journal), DM Marcus and AP Grollman stated that “Even when the agency [FDA] identifies an unsafe product, it lacks authority to mandate its removal from the market because it must meet the very high legal requirement to demonstrate a ‘significant or unreasonable’ risk. That is why it took FDA more than 10 years to remove from the market ephedra-containing herbal weight-loss products that had caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of adverse events.”
Continued next post
Avatar universal
According to an article by Geoffrey Kabat in Slate Magazine,

"Marcus and Grollman point to a number of major deficiencies in the regulation of herbal supplements: There is a lack of standardization to guard against adulteration and ensure a consistent level of the active ingredients. Herbal supplements can interact adversely with prescribed drugs. Herbal supplements do not need to be tested before marketing, as is required for prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Producers of dietary supplements engage in deceptive marketing and do not adequately label products to inform consumers about their nature and regulation. Finally, there is no requirement to report all adverse effects promptly to the FDA."

People seem to conflate “natural” as good and safe, a great example of an Appeal to Nature logical fallacy. But, as Marcus and Grollman state, herbal supplements aren’t tested to be shown that they are safe (let alone useful).

This may just be non-issue, except that there are real-world consequences to lax oversight of these supplements. The Slate Magazine article describes a terrible situation with a traditional herbal supplement in Europe:

"The most dramatic instance of the potential for harm from the unregulated use of botanicals occurred in Brussels, Belgium. Women attending a weight-loss clinic participated in a program that involved taking a combination of Chinese herbs. The program had been in operation for 15 years with no ill effects. However, in the early 1990s, the company that supplied the herbs substituted Aristolochia for another, benign, herb with a similar sounding name in Chinese.  Aristolochia has been widely used in herbal medicine, but it contains aristolochic acid—a powerful kidney toxin and a carcinogen. As a result of including Aristolochia in the regimen (for a period of two years), 105 women attending the clinic developed rapidly progressing kidney failure and had to go on dialysis or have kidney transplants. Many of the women went on to develop cancer of the upper urinary tract. Cases of kidney failure due to the ingestion of herbal products containing aristolochic acid have also been reported in the United States, Europe, and Asia."

As a result of the case, many countries banned the products. Eventually, the FDA issued a warning about the supplement. What is troubling is that if the kidney failure wasn’t clustered in the one clinic in Belgium, no one would have noticed the adverse events, and many more people would have been injured. This point alone illustrates why drug trials are so critical to bringing new drugs to the market–they are tested in randomized clinical trials which uncover issues like this. A real drug with real testing would have been withdrawn from a clinical trial if this many kidney failures happened so quickly.

This supplement has been used for centuries by cultures in Europe, Asia, and South America, which adds value to the beliefs held by the herbalists. They’ll say “it’s been used safely for hundreds of years.” But the problem is that sometimes it’s difficult to link the adverse event to the supplement use, especially if the event is relatively uncommon, or the time period between its use and the adverse event is long. And people would be taking Aristolochia without worrying about their failing kidneys.

If this were the only story, maybe we could say “lesson learned.” But it’s not the only one. A recent study in Italy showed that pregnant women who took herbal supplements had a higher rate of pre-term births than those who didn’t. Another study provided evidence that energy supplements, popular with young males, can increase the risk of liver damage. There are literally hundreds of published articles that presents evidence of dangers from herbal supplements.

Real pharmaceuticals, for all of their faults, must go through a difficult and long set of clinical trials before they ever make it to the market. And except for very aggressive diseases, like certain types of cancers, the drug must show a benefit that far exceeds its risks. And even after a drug is on the market, it is constantly monitored for its safety and efficacy. Usually, after a few years, there are additional clinical trials that either dispute the efficacy, uncover adverse effects, or support both. We get distracted by the massive failures of some drugs, ignoring the fact that hundreds of other drugs are simply lifesaving.

Unfortunately, Big Herbal doesn’t have to prove its stuff are safe or effective. It just sells its potions and pills without investing in an effort to show anything. You don’t know what’s in that supplement. You don’t know if it was manufactured safely with no contaminants. You don’t know if it’s going to work. And you don’t know if it’s going to injure you. But if you want to believe in some claim that some medieval alchemist used some herb to cure some disease, go for it. But, buyer beware.

Key citations

Avelar-Escobar G, Méndez-Navarro J, Ortiz-Olvera NX, Castellanos G, Ramos R, Gallardo-Cabrera VE, Vargas-Alemán Jde J, Díaz de León O, Rodríguez EV, Dehesa-Violante M.  Hepatotoxicity associated with dietary energy supplements: use and abuse by young athletes (pdf). Ann Hepatol. 2012 Jul-Aug;11(4):564-9. PubMed PMID: 22700641.
Facchinetti F, Pedrielli G, Benoni G, Joppi M, Verlato G, Dante G, Balduzzi S, Cuzzolin L. Herbal supplements in pregnancy: unexpected results from a multicentre study. Hum Reprod. 2012 Nov;27(11):3161-7. doi: 10.1093/humrep/des303. Epub 2012 Aug 27. PubMed PMID: 22926840.
Linde K, Barrett B, Wölkart K, Bauer R, Melchart D. Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jan 25;(1):CD000530. Review. PubMed PMID: 16437427.
Marcus DM, Grollman AP. The consequences of ineffective regulation of dietary supplements. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Jul 9;172(13):1035-6. PubMed PMID: 22777632.
Nahin RL, Barnes PM, Stussman **, Bloom B. Costs of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and frequency of visits to CAM practitioners: United States, 2007. Natl Health Stat Report. 2009 Jul 30;(18):1-14. PubMed PMID: 19771719.
Seamon MJ, Clauson KA. Ephedra: yesterday, DSHEA, and tomorrow–a ten year perspective on the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. J Herb Pharmacother. 2005;5(3):67-86. Review. PubMed PMID: 16520299.
Wandel S, Jüni P, Tendal B, Nüesch E, Villiger PM, Welton NJ, Reichenbach S, Trelle S. Effects of glucosamine, chondroitin, or placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: network meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010 Sep 16;341:c4675. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c4675. Review. PubMed PMID: 20847017; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2941572.
Have an Answer?
Top Infectious Diseases Answerers
1415174 tn?1453246703
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
Before your drop a dime at the pharmacy, find out if these popular cold and flu home remedies are a wonder or a waste
Fend off colds and the flu with these disease-fighting foods