I’m not even convinced the maker thinks anyone will buy this product, it is so bizarrely packaged. Printed right on the front of this box of foot patches is a long, unintentionally hilarious, description of the target market. “Middle and aged people. Manual worker. Irregular people. Sedentary and long standing. Office worker people. Stay up late people.” As a sedentary, irregular, stay up late middle person, I definitely qualify. But for what? There isn’t any information on what the patches are meant to do. Fortunately, the product’s Amazon page (£6.89 for 20) is more forthcoming. These are self-adhesive vinegar patches whose natural ingredients have a cleansing function, drawing out toxins overnight. It promises an array of improvements to your metabolism, immune system, insomnia, fatigue, migraines, back pains, swellings and the ability to do sums in your head. OK, not that last one, but probably only because they ran out of space.
I return to the box, enjoying its mystery. “Attach the side which printed with letters to adhesive paster. (The letters which on the foot patch should NEVER touch your skin.) Attach the foot patch with the paster on to your vola.” A mountain of gibberish, with many unclimbable facets. What is a vola? I can’t see any letters on the patches. I’m guessing this has all been wrung through an online translation engine until it resembles auto-poetry. The final step reads: “Next morning, tear down the bag and clear your.” That’s it. I find it oddly inspiring.
One evening, I open the box and regard the 20 individually sealed patches. I cut one open and shake out a dark, friable substance similar to cremains. Not really sure what is in these: don’t look like no vinegar. Still, here goes. I whack one on to the sole of my foot and wait to be amazed. It is basically a large sticking plaster, and it is obvious how to apply it. Whatever these patches are supposed to do, they will take about six to eight hours to do it, so I go to sleep, awaiting whatever the vola tombola throws up, and dreaming of a world before wellness.
I assume this is about more than clean feet. Treating the bottom of the foot as a drainage vent for the whole body makes sense from a reflexological or even gravitational standpoint, if not a biological one. I hope so because my feet are famous for being clean. They never smell. I have other bad qualities – gluttony, cheapness, a tendency to compartmentalise emotions – but it has never been argued my plates of meat are not hygienic. I accept it would be better to have smelly feet and not those other qualities, but that is not my situation.
Picture my horror in the morning, then, as I wake to a slightly cramped sensation in my foot, sit up, and peel off the patch to inspect it. O fetid depths! The inside of the patch has turned completely black, and is very sticky. What is this stuff? Have I been injected with fungus? What does it mean? This is … horrible. Unable to breathe under the patch, my foot is sweaty. Worse, the black slime from the pad is now all over my sole. When I walk to the bathroom, I leave a creaturely trail.
It is suggested the pad’s blackened appearance is evidence of flushed toxins. Reality suggests otherwise. I boil a kettle of clean water and strap a pad over the spout. Within a few seconds of being exposed to the heat and steam, it has turned every bit as dark. The transformation in this pouch isn’t indicative of toxins in the body unless my diagnosis is chronic limescale. What a load of bullhockey. It would be more effective to flush your leg-end down the toilet.
Is there anything positive to say? In fairness, the box is too preoccupied with its own madness to offer any explicit wellness claims, so I can’t say they are a bottomless trough of horse manure. But the description on Amazon does, so I can. The foully transfigured patch does smell weirdly nice: smoky, like a BBQ marinade. On the other hand, this is the dirtiest my foot has ever been. And that is unforgivable. Run away!
Mmm, foot tea
Patch “flavours” include lavender to relieve fatigue, rose for headaches and ginger for oedema. Maybe I should pour the freshly boiled water over them like teabags.
Wellness or hellness?
Dark night of the sole. 0/5