I didn't initially plan on using this product as part of my detox but, since they appear to be extremely popular, I thought I'd throw them into the mix. I've seen them advertised in catalogs like Gaiam and other places and, since they claimed to detox your body while you sleep, I figured I'd give them a whirl.
Basically, they are little pouches of herbs (the brand I got contains powderized double-distilled wood vinegar, tourmaline and germanium) that you attach to your feet at night with adhesive pads and voila! in the morning instead of being a bright white pouch, they are black. This blackness (I have read) is indicative that they are removing toxins. My take on it is that your feet sweat at night and soak into the pouch, exposing the black colored herbal concoction inside. Think of it like you are attaching tea bags to your feet.
The packaging has some information on how they are effective due to some foot reflexology action, which I find hard to believe is helpful since the pads are so small they don't cover enough of your foot to "stimulate" anything, meridian or otherwise. Granted, these things are designed for petite Asian customers and not my ginormous feet. That picture above must be a picture of a toddler wearing them. Or someone with a size 2 shoe. I suppose I need to super size them or, at least, wear two at a time per foot.
There's also some claim about them generating far infrared energy that helps with detoxing and healing, by stimulating blood and lymph circulation. This is attributed to the tourmaline in the pads.
There is much touting regarding the wood vinegar and its healing powers, yet I couldn't find any actual information or evidence suggesting its efficacy. I chalked it up to the possibility that, like acupuncture, it has some utility even if I didn't understand the eastern medicine explanation for it.
In any case, I bought enough for two weeks worth. They are supposed to lighten up the longer you use them and, since I took photographic evidence after the first night, I'll be able to compare the last one I use to see if my detoxing was "successful". Aside from being a little herbal smelling and feeling like I have tingling teabags strapped to my feet at night, they are otherwise harmless enough. Whether or not they are doing anything is debatable. I'd like to see some more of the purported "science" behind this one.
I still have another week to go with the foot pads. I'd like to think there is some merit to this product, but as of yet, I'm unconvinced. Can't one of these manufacturers run a research study on these to show some actual results rather than mere anecdotal claims? Or does the absence of simple lab tests done on used pads mean they are worthless?