Fact Checked

What is Aqua Detox?

J.L. Drede
J.L. Drede

Aqua Detox is an alternative medicine treatment that can allegedly detoxify the body of viruses, bacteria, heavy metals and various other toxins. None of the claims made by companies that produce aqua detox equipment have been backed up or proved to be accurate by any medical association in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. The producers of Aqua Detox devices have been accused of being scam artists for offering a safe detox method that, according to some, actually does nothing at all.

Aqua detox devices are plastic basins or baths that a filled with salt water and then charged with an electric current. A person looking for a body cleansing, natural detox or any other form of detoxification treatment then places his or her feet in the bath. Over time the water in the bath changes color to brown or dark-red, sometimes resembling cranberry juice. The producers of these detoxification products claim that the color in the water is from the toxins that are being excreted through the pores in the person's feet.

Woman doing yoga
Woman doing yoga

It is said that the aqua detox system can have the same effect that a holistic detox diet can have, but in far less time. Sometimes these products are also advertised as "Ionic Cleansers" or "Ionic Foot Baths." The original system was developed by Mart Staggs, a British citizen who has two naturopathy degrees from a non-accredited American correspondence school.

Experts such as Ben Goldacre, a medical doctor and journalist who specializes in debunking bogus scientific claims, have found no evidence to show that aqua detox does anything to detoxify the body of dangerous chemicals, bacteria or other various toxins. According to scientists who have studied the system, the coloration in the water is actually caused by rust forming from electrodes that are placed in the salt water. Tests have found that no toxins of any kind were in the water and that the water will change color even if no one puts their feet in the basin.

The makers of aqua detox systems were also forced to change the advertisements in the United Kingdom, removing claims that the device can cure brain tumors, foot ailments and various other ailments both moderate and severe. In the United States all advertisements for the system must come with a disclaimer that that says nothing claimed by the makers of the aqua detox system has been scientifically proven to cure or treat any disease or ailment.

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