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Wet Sock Treatment for Immune Enhancement

Wet Sock Treatment for Immune Enhancement

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By: Dr. Julianna Englund, ND, LAc

Cold and flu season has officially arrived. Whether you need an immune kick or need some assistance clearing symptoms of any upper respiratory condition, this old naturopathic trick is worth a try.  It's kind of like magic really.



  • 1 pair white cotton socks
  • 1 pair thick wool socks
  • Towel
  • Warm bath or warm foot bath


1. Take a pair of cotton socks and soak them completely with cold water.  Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so they do not drip.

*Alternately, you can have a pair of socks that have been soaked in cold water, wrung out and pre-frozen for times like these.

2. Warm your feet first.  This is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful if your feet are not warmed first.  Soaking your feet in warm water for at least 5-10 minutes or taking a warm bath for 5-10 minutes can accomplish warming.

3. Dry off feet and body with a dry towel.

4. Place cold wet socks on feet.  Cover with thick wool socks.  Go directly to bed.  Avoid getting chilled.

5. Keep the socks on overnight. You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.  

****The wet sock treatment is best if repeated for three nights in a row, or as instructed by your Naturopathic Doctor.  


Do not use if your feet are affected by: diabetes, Raynaud’s disease or syndrome, arterial insufficiency or advanced intermittent claudication. If you have any of these conditions or another that affects howyour feet feel temperature changes, please consult your physician before you try this. 

Effects of the Wet Sock Treatment

This treatment acts to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat.  It has a sedating action and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment.  This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections.

*Resource: Dr. Doug Lewis, ND