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What Is Ion Cleanse Detoxification?

By Emma Cale

Ion cleanse detoxification is commonly practiced in homeopathic practices and spas. The theory underlying ion cleanse detoxification involves ions that draw toxins out of the body, typically using a footbath. The effectiveness of ion cleanse detoxification therapy remains largely anecdotal, with little to no scientific evidence available to support its usefulness.


According to the alternative healing website Whispering Willows, an ion cleanse footbath uses a dual electrode module composed of a positive anode – where the electrical current flows in from outside – and a negatively charged cathode where current flows out. Together they form an array that creates an electromagnetic field in the foot spa. These energized ions in the water behave like magnets, and draw toxins out of the body via the sweat glands in the feet.


Proponents of ion cleanse detoxification report improvements in certain health conditions, according to the alternative healing website Colon Cleanse Information, including edema, gout and joint pain. Acne sufferers also describe a lessening in the severity of breakouts. Ion cleanse detoxification advocates claim a boost in energy levels.

Toxic Metals

Little scientific evidence exists to support the claims made by ion cleanse detoxification proponents. Heavy metal detoxification by itself remains a contentious issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people’s blood levels of toxic metals such as mercury remain far below concentrations that cause harm.

Toxin Secretion

Ion cleanse detoxification operates on the premise that the organs such as the liver and kidneys hold onto toxins, especially metals, and that these organs need help in releasing them. However, according to the Berkeley Wellness Reports, organs such as the liver do not resemble clogged filters. These organs continually secrete toxins out of the body through the urine and the feces.


Ion cleanse detoxification does not suit everyone, according to Whispering Willows. Pregnant women and people with pacemakers or other battery-operated implants need to avoid them. They are also unsafe for organ transplant recipients. Speak to your doctor or healthcare practitioner before you try ion cleanse detoxification therapy.

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