Overview of Hot Foot Bath

A hot foot bath is the immersion of both feet and ankles in hot water for 10–30 minutes. It is an excellent way to draw blood from inflamed or congested areas of the body. Indications for use are foot and leg cramps, sore throat, cold, flu, nausea, insomnia, and chest or pelvic congestion.

Hot Foot Bath Procedure

Wrap the upper body in a blanket to avoid chilling. Using a large dishpan or the bathtub, immerse both feet and ankles in warm water. Keep adding hot water until it is as hot as can be tolerated. Place a cool washcloth on the forehead (keep the washcloth cool during entire treatment by wringing it out in cool water). Keep feet in the water for 10–30 minutes, depending on tolerance. As the water cools, add more hot water to maintain the hot temperature. After removing the feet from the water, rinse them with cool water and dry them thoroughly.

Hot Foot Bath Variations

If using a hot foot bath for a cold or sore throat or to intensify treatment, add 1 tablespoon mustard powder to the water.

Hot Foot Bath Contraindications

  • Peripheral vascular disease (arteriosclerosis, deep vein thrombosis, Buerger's disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Loss of peripheral sensation
  • Unconsciousness

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 02 Jan 2001

Last Modified: 01 Dec 2011