DIY Clay Detox Footbaths
When I started getting serious about detox I wanted to buy a very expensive ionizing foot bath product (in the $2,000 – $3,000 range), or go to a local practitioner who had one and charged $30-$50 a pop for the treatments. I was frustrated with the options and was torn about buying my own. The high price tag intimidated me, and then became impossible to consider after being laid off from my job. I became less inclined, also, to go to a holistic office that had such baths because the money seemed like it would go down the drain, as it were.
As a result of my interest in having detox foot baths and wanting an alternative to the electric ionizing options, I started poking around on the internet. One thing led to the other and I began to realize that clay baths offered a similar result as the electric ionizing baths—a method of pulling toxic chemicals out of the body. The clay worked in the same way because it exudes negative ions.
Native peoples have rubbed their bodies in mud to detox forever. This foot bath is pretty much the same idea. Negative ions are the good ions, like what you find at the ocean. By soaking in clay baths, or rubbing clay on your body, you surround and saturate yourself with the negative ion charge, revitalizing you while eschewing pollution. Negative ions bind positive ions to them (toxic chemicals are rich in positive ions), and pull them from the body.
Supplies for DIY Clay Detox Footbaths
Clay footbath tubs: I went to Home Goods and found a large plastic punch bowl for my foot soaking tub. It is tall enough that I can soak my feet to five or six inches below my knee.
Clay blending equipment: An ideal implement is an immersion hand blender. Alternatively a long baking spoon or a whisk work. The key is to blend the clay so that it doesn’t clump.
Protection of your pipes: Dscard the water outdoors if you live in the country, otherwise, go to a hardware store and buy a small square of a fine mesh screen to put over the drain hole.
How much clay to use? It depends on your health. If you feel that you are quite toxic you’d best detox slowly, starting with just ½ cup of clay for a foot bath and 1 cup for a bath.
How long to soak? Start off soaking for 10 or 15 minutes, increasing over time to 45 minutes.
Dust precaution: Wear a mask when you are pulling the dust from the jar, or blending herbs with the clay, or dissolving it in warm water.
Mixing the Clay: Stir the clay into warm water (102F or so) using a hand whisk. Alternatively, use an immersion hand blender to blend the clay with the water.
Classic Clay Foot Bath
I lay a towel on the floor to put the bowl on, and settle down to my computer to write with my feet soaking in the tub.
½ to 1 cup of calcium bentonite (green) clay
Non-metal tub big enough to place your feet
Fill the bowl/bucket with warm water (you want the water to be comfortable for your skin), and stir in the clay using a hand whisk. Alternatively, use an immersion hand blender to blend the clay with the water.
Herbal variation: Stir a few tablespoons of ground lavender, rosemary, calendula, or thyme into the clay before adding the water. Or, make a few cups of very strong tea with your choice of herbs, cool, strain, and pour into the tub.
You can repeat clay foot baths 3-4 times a week.
By Annie B. Bond, author of Homemade Detox Baths (Green Chi CAfe, LLC, 2009), and other books including the recently published True Food (National Geographic, 2010).DIY Clay Detox Footbaths,