The manufacturers of detox foot patches and pads claim that their products enhance the body’s natural detoxification process when applied on the feet. Some have even gone ahead to claim that the products boost the immune system, reduce stress, treat depression, improve circulation, lower blood pressure, improve mental focus and aid weight loss. Does this sound too good to be true? We thought so and decided to find out how true these claims are.
How foot patches for detox work
You are required to stick the patch at the sole of one of your feet and leave it overnight for natural cleansing to take place. Allegedly, the patch works through these three mechanisms:
- Unblocking of the lymphatic system
- Negative ions which release healing far-infrared rays
In the morning, when you peel off the pad, you’ll find it to have turned black or muddy brown. The color change is a supposed reflection of the detoxification that took place during the night. This is questionable since real detoxification takes place in the liver. The feet only play a minor role, excreting water and some dissolved substances through the sweat glands.
Foot patches and pads are said to contain natural ingredients. These include:
- Wood vinegar
- Agicarus Mushroom, and other plants and herbs.
According to the manufacturers, the ingredients react with your body to release infrared energy which enhances cell function and removes toxins such as lead and arsenic.
There is no scientific evidence to show that foot patches do what they claim to do. A number of independent test findings have also cast more doubt on the effectiveness of these products.
In April 2008, ABC’s primetime news magazine 20/20 investigated Avon and Kinoki foot pads. They found that true to their manufacturers’ words, the pads darkened when used overnight. However, the pads also darkened when distilled water was poured on them. Foot pads used by eight volunteers were analyzed in a laboratory. No evidence of commonly used solvents or heavy metals was found. Most of the volunteers also claimed to have noticed no benefits from using the pads. When the two companies were asked for tests to show if their products really work, none of them offered valid scientific studies to back up their claims. Needless to say, both companies did not agree to a TV interview.
Check out how foot patches darken:
A few months later, an NPR radio reporter Sarah Varney did an experiment on Kinoki foot pads. She and her husband wore the pads to bed. When they woke up, they found the pads to have turned brown as expected. They took the foot pads to a laboratory for testing. Astonishingly, the analysis found that the pads they had used were almost identical to unused pads. She carried out further experimentation and held an unused pad over a pot of boiling water. The pad turned black. Considering steam does not have any metabolic waste, it is safe to say that the color change is as a reaction of a chemical in the pad to moisture.
The Federal Trade Commission has charged some companies with deceptive advertising. In 2009, it charged Yehuda Levin, Baruch Levin and their company Xacta 3000 Inc. When the case was settled, Yehuda Levin was barred from promoting or selling any food, drug, medical device or food supplement.
Without a doubt, foot patches for detox are a scam. Lack of scientific evidence and the independent test findings prove this. You should therefore not consider investing your time and money in them. You’ll only end up feeling duped.