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In recent years, several brands of detox foot pads have entered the market place. Their manufacturers claim that they can draw toxins from the body through the soles of the feet, mainly because of their bamboo vinegar content. Although bamboo vinegar may have a number of health properties, bamboo vinegar foot pads do live up to their claims.

Bamboo Vinegar

According to the Global Healing Center, bamboo vinegar, known as chikusaku in Japan, is an liquid that forms during the process of producing bamboo charcoal. In Japan, organic bamboo vinegar is often diluted and used as a skin toner and hair conditioner. It is believed to have many health benefits, such as being able to eliminate foot odor, soften the skin, relieve itching and insect bites and improve blood circulation.

No Medical Evidence

A broad range of health claims are made for detox foot pads. Many state they can remove toxins such as heavy metals from your body and that they can reduce hypertension or even help you to lose weight. According to Dr. Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., there are no scientific studies available to support these claims or any evidence that detox foot pads are at all effective.

False Claims

The manufacturers of bamboo vinegar foot pads emphasize the fact that when the pads are placed on the feet they are clean and white, and when they are removed they are black. They imply that this is proof that the pads have extracted toxins form the body, whereas, according to, the darkening is caused by a chemical that becomes darker when it reacts with moisture.

Expert Insight

Although there are claims that a foot pad impregnated with bamboo vinegar is able to extract toxins from the liver, and lymphatic system, Dr. George Friedman-Jimenez, director of the Bellevue / New York University Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic in New York City, says, "The idea that they're drawing toxins through the skin out of the body in any significant amount, I think is just wrong.”

Deceptive Marketing

One popular manufacturer of bamboo vinegar foot pads is Kinoki. In January 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Kinoki’s marketers with “deceptive advertising.” The FTC stated that Kinoki’s claims that their detox pads could cure depression, increase weight loss, eliminate toxins from the liver and lower blood pressure were either false or unsubstantiated.


Detox foot pads containing organic bamboo vinegar are still being manufactured and marketed by numerous different companies. You should read their claims carefully, and if you have any doubts or concerns about product you should consult your doctor and contact the FTC.