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Ionic Foot Bath - Is the Ionic Foot Detox a Hoax or the Real Deal?

Using an ionic foot bath has become very popular for detoxification for the entire body and balances the energy field. Ionic foot baths purportedly work by soaking your feet Ionic foot baths have become a popular method to detoxify the entire body and re-balance the bio-energy field as well. The foot baths are based on the idea ions help to pull toxins out of the body through the pores of the feet (2,000 per foot). Some swear by the effectiveness of the foot bath, while others dismiss it as a hoax. So which is it? Many people have proven this is a hoax, although the foot baths can make you feel better due to the electric current running through your body.

How Detox Foot Baths Work

Detox foot baths are typically white and small in size.  The feet are placed in the bath filled with salt water, while a metallic device (called an array) is attached to i the bath with a plastic-coated wire.  This device acts like a transformer, converting the electric current to a lower charge.  The electric circuit is completed by attaching another wire that comes from the transformer to the wrist.  The feet are soaked for 30 minutes or so while the ions charge through the body.

The foot baths use a process called electrolysis, which causes the water molecules to separate.  As a result, negative and positive charged particles (ions) are the result.  Negative ions in the water is absorbed into the body through the skin by osmosis.  The premise of the bath is that the negative and positive charges of the body become balance, which promotes relaxation and better well being.

This idea of balanced energy is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as Chi, a state of inner balance and harmony, which allows the body to heal itself.  Detox foot baths assist with the balancing.


Additional Claimed Benefits of Ionic Foot Baths

In addition to improving the body's detoxification capabilities, ionic foot baths enhance the body's immune system and the energy of the cells.  Supporters claim that foot baths also purify the blood and maintain an optimal acidic-alkaline balance in the body.  The baths are also credited for balancing blood sugar, assists with weight loss, beautifying the skin, and overall rejuvenation.

Ionic foot detox baths usually include a color-coded chart that explains the color released in the water and how it corresponds to different organs and/or specific toxins in the body.  An example chart is as follows:

  • Black - detoxing of the liver
  • Black flecks - heavy metals
  • Red flecks - blood clot material
  • White foam - lymphatic system
  • White cheese like particles -  yeast
  • Brown - detoxing of the  liver, tobacco, cellular debris
  • Dark green - detoxing of the gallbladder
  • Orange - detoxing of the joints
  • Yellow-green - detoxing of the e kidney, bladder, urinary tract of the female, and the male prostate

Ionic Foot Bath - Real or Rip-Off?

Truth or Fraud?

Many spas and natural health care facilities offer detoxification foot baths as an additional service, claiming the benefits noted above. But are ionic foot baths at all what they are cracked up to be? Honestly, the jury is still out for this one.

There is no scientific peer reviewed study that backs up the claims of the effectiveness of the ionic foot bath. Neither is their any mainstream scientific study supporting that toxins can be pulled out of the body through the feet. What really raises the red flag of fraud is the claim that the "gunk" released in the water is proof of the toxins being pulled out of the body. However, it has been proven that the color changes, particles, and foam are simply the creation of the electrical array. In fact, placing any object in the water will result in color changes, debunking this theory. Any one claiming otherwise is either misleading or misinformed. Critics further speculate that these baths can actually introduce harmful metal compound into the body

On the other hand, there has been numerous personal accounts of recovery from ailments and debilitating health conditions after using an ionic detox foot bath. Either way, it is generally agreed that an ionic foot bath may bring about a feeling of rejuvenation and relaxation and may be worth a try. Ultimately, whether the ionic foot bath is a hoax or the real deal is up to the consumer to decide. If you're thinking of purchasing a foot bath for home use, you should consider getting the service done at a spa to see how it works for you.

Against Ionic Footbath

How Do You Feel About Ionic Foot Baths?

HaHaha on February 27, 2014:

this is total hoax and scam. First they come up with a free alzheimer testing for the elders, then they present the "new product", with a long blabber of pseudoscience, then they get the old, confused or uneducated to purchase, at a nice price (for them), and then, they sell you a 17 Volt electrode that you can buy for 5 bucks for 1000 bucks, get a feel-good electric current going through your body, get some toxins released (that would release anyway with a salt foot bath), and still get to see the electrode´s metal ions in the water (exchanged with the salt ions added to the water), and call them "toxins".

Ive seen it happen with close relatives, so I know what I am saying. If you want to believe it, then you deserve to pay !

michele on April 17, 2013:

It worked for me when the pain in my right leg left me after two months. Also, I tried the experiment without leg in and the water did not turn yellow as it was supposed to do so. It remained clear even after 20 minutes. I really wonder the apparatus one showed is the original and not a copy cat which obviously didn't work. Also I had pins and needles at night on my fingers and these have also gone after using the machine. So it works for some people. One has to try to be convinced!!!!

Katrine on September 16, 2012:

I strongly believe the ionic foot bath is a hoax.

DARKWINGEDDUCK on June 30, 2012:

dr. Randy's side on the subject. Just to emphasize the weight of the speculation ~ understand that almost every process in human body controlled through the electrolytic means.

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Every single cell networking with others using form of electrolysis, only at a bit more complex level where electrolytes and organic neurotransmitting molecules are transferring micro~currents.. So by juicing yourself for a half an hour, will greatly interfere with all than neuro~networking, even by decreasing electrolyte levels of specific solutions from where they should be.

While taking Foot bath, the current you sent through your body, hand to feet (or feet to hand....) will move almost every chemical compound in that direction. And metal ions(bo Possibility of flushing cellular systems from essential Ca, K, Na or Mg ions, which cells use to release neurotransmitters in order to control muscles, heart, network with each other is something to think about .

If that sounds like to much to handle, let me just clarify the most important aspect of electrolysis : depending on what side is charged positive or negative, will control the direction where all those ions will move. So If anybody seen that yet, but I have.. The polarity on different foot bathes are not the same. Some foot bathes will actually move ions from electrode through the water into your body, and that what is actually can be observed on that second video with carrot.

...Its not the carrot what gives off the color, but the metal is being oxidized into hydroxide compounds which colors the water.

Unless you have platinum metal electrodes (or at least correct grade stainless) ..and clearly understand the electrolysis principles, don't be making any conclusions about detoxifying your body.

Sending current from your body into the bathwater to the electrode, will move things out of your body, but in no way it will be that much of color-full organic toxic junk , mostly it will be potassium, Ca/magnesium ions from your cell electrolytes.. they don't have that much color. What I think usually gives the color is the oxidized electrode, and you actually forcing that (toxin) from the water, through your skin into your body 8 / =

.. So, as you see, there is plenty of room for speculation on the matter. Just keep in mind things written above.. I am not debunking the technology, actually see the potential success with it. If understood better.

Anybody is capable taking the research to the next level by taking few samples, sending them to the lab and finding out what is in that water.. but will anyone have enough intent on making it happen??.. cant wait to hear about it one day

sfshine from Michigan on June 20, 2012:

Great information. I have never tried Ionic Foot Bath. I am going to try this and see what happens.

millersequine on June 08, 2012:

I just did this and it didn't turn orange..sounds to me like this was pulling something out of the think? so why not pulling something out of my body from my feet? color was brown and green and foamy and a couple of red spots....funny I had just had tons of antibiotics and knee this would be about is doesn't hurt I will continue....I never listen to the Drs. who always push synthetics....I much prefer some of the Chinese methods..such as this which has been going on for them for years.....why can this not be similar to salt springs ????? not all is black and white...much to say for homeopathic, holistic medicine....

Brenda on June 04, 2012:

Seems to me that even if the toxins don't leave the body immediately into the water, the blood flow would increase and eventually carry toxins away through more known means (urination/perspiration) anyway. Irrelevant almost, how they leave - just that they do. I base this on foot reflexology studies. Color changes could be attributed to a variety of reasons. I agree that 'too much hype' about 'enormous' benefits is out of line, however foot cleansing is Biblical. A lousy 50 years is nothing.

Shara on May 16, 2012:

I had one today n I really disturb by this article bc it could be a hoax or truth however I felt really relaxed n slept like a baby when I got home !!! So the jury is still out

Matt on April 22, 2012:

Being an electrolytic plater it utilizes that similar science. Anyway the carrot has minerals ie ions positively or negtively charged they are drawn out of the feet.. here's why there is absolutely no function of the body not one use biochemically.. therefore I also believe they settle in your feet over.time due to gravity.. look up electrodeposition

Becjaz on March 27, 2012:

I have been using an Ion Foot Spa 2-3x week for 2 weeks. I was very surprised (and happy) to notice an immediate relief from pain in my hands and feet!! MY Arthritis had just about become unbearable, and this is provideing me with not only immediate relief, but now a continual improvement of pain and swelling, where now after 2 weeks my pain has redued by more than half. So I don't care whether it is proven or not. It works for me!!

sue925 on March 01, 2011:

lol.... sorry about that. I re-read my comment and realized I wrote 'purple' instead of 'orange'. Watching TV, searching online, crocheting.... maybe it's a bit too much to do at once. :)

sue925 on March 01, 2011:

The carrot is nothing like a human. This is stupid. Soak a carrot in water for a few seconds and the water turns purple. Try that with your feet.... or any part of your body and then decide if you think this guy has any merit..... at all.

Hector Herrera from Dominican Republic on February 12, 2011:

Thank you for your valuable information in this great buh.

nts707 on February 05, 2011:

Ionic foot baths are rather controversial. You have a well built hub page here. I've recently discovered them and have been researching the concept online. You have covered pretty much everything here. Excellent hub!

Randy on December 18, 2010:

They had a booth at the mall today and I stopped and talked with the gentleman. What I didn't initially tell him was that I have a Doctorate in biochemistry and am a practicing physician and researcher. It was all I could do to contain myself and play along as he made a mockery of the sciences I have spent the last 29 years of my life pursuing knowledge in. I literally could have refuted every sentence he uttered as it went against well established scientific principles and knowledge.

He stated that this technology goes back over 50 years. Imagine that, 50 years and not one peer reviewed clinical study to prove how it works! And like the above article mentions, in all this time, not one study to prove toxins can be removed through the feet. There is a simple reason for this. Anyone who knows how the human body works knows right away that this is a hoax. So, please do not waste your hard earned money on this scam. Yes, a foot bath is relaxing and can provide some level of therapeutic value. But it in no way can detoxify you. If this were medically possible, I assure you the inventor would be up for the Nobel prize in medicine. It would rank up there with some of the greatest discoveries of all time in medicine and science.

Bluewater5343 on October 12, 2010:

I found this helpful for me when purchasing my detox foot bath.. its a Buyers Guide for Ionic detox foot spas

very helpful! And here is a review website too

shirley on September 07, 2010:

I do beleive this works and have had positive results. So..... what does a carrot have to do with a human being? DUH? Hello...........

phil on April 10, 2010:

the man might have proved the color code to be wrong. but it appears SOMETHING is being drawn out of the CELLS of the carrot. metal ions? charged molecules? i could test these in a lab (as could others). i do not know if it is a hoax or not but i do know this man has NOT proved it to be.

Hector Herrera from Dominican Republic on March 13, 2010:

Very good hub with a very interesting new angle to the theme.

Laurie Hacker on January 26, 2010:

This guy is not proving anything....when I have my ion cleanse done the water turns green, black, white flecks etc. His test proved absolutely nothing....I do notice a thinner lighter body the next day every time and even some residual effects like joint pains around the feet as it is detoxifying my joints (orange water). I think they work and I will continue to use them :)

jbuzzard on January 24, 2010:

A relatively simple way to get some degree of confidence about whether the Ionic Detox Foot Bath technique works would be to do a three-part experiment with several volunteers.

Tools needed:

1). Large quartz (or other non-metallic) container [alternatively use container (non-metallic) provided by manufacturer]

2). triple-distilled water OR deionized water (use >= 18 meg-ohms deionized water)


4). Liquid Chromatography system {LCS} (have some laboratory do test for you if you do not have access to LCS equipment)

5). Sterile plastic wrap to cover container

6). Sterilized quartz (or other) collection bottles and caps

7). Sterilized gauze (used for drying equipment and legs); get analysis of contaminants in gauze.


1). Thoroughly clean all equipment to be used.

2). Fill container about 70 - 80% full. Cover. Let sit for 30 minutes. Draw off about one ounce water in sterilized bottle. Seal and label.

3). Wait 24 hours before drawing off another one ounce water sample. Seal and label.

4). Place Ionix Detox electrodes in water [Do Not Turn "ON".].

4a). Let sit for 30 minutes. Draw off about one ounce water in sterilized bottle. Seal and label.

5) Wait 24 hours before drawing off another one ounce water sample. Seal and label.

6). Turn on Ionic Detox system. Repeat steps '4', '4a', and '5'.


7). Thoroughly wash and clean both legs and feet below knees. Rinse with distilled water or deionized water not less than seven times. Dry with gauze.

8). Place feet in container. Let sit for 30 minutes. Draw off about one ounce water in sterilized bottle. Seal and label.

9). Wait 1 hour before drawing off another one ounce water sample. Seal and label.

10). LEAVE FEET IN WATER. Place electrodes in water. Turn on system.

11). At half-hour intervals carefully remove one ounce water from the container with sterilized equipment (quartz ladle would be fine.). Seal and label.

12). Run test for at least four hours.

13). REPEAT TEST WITH ADDITIONAL VOLUNTEERS (Omit steps '3', '4', '4a', '5', and '6').


Joe Friedman on September 08, 2009:

Has anyone examined the muck in the water to find out what it is? Or, is it just colored water?

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