In a previous post I talked about some of the ways our bodies are exposed to heavy metals and toxic chemicals and the far-reaching effects they can have on our health and well-being. I think most people actually suffer from toxic overload, but aren’t even aware that’s what is at the root of many of their on-going health issues. And as I mentioned previously, one condition predisposes you to another, e. g. heavy metals make you more inclined to have an imbalanced pH and candida, so there’s a domino effect that compounds the situation. That’s why it’s really important to clear your body of these trouble makers as much as possible, and fortunately there are a number of all-natural ways of doing that….
(Cilantro: a great chelating/detoxing agent)
CHELATING/DETOXING HEAVY METALS
Ridding the body of heavy metals and chemical toxins can be a situation that requires great care because you want to be sure whenever you loosen these antagonistic substances from the various parts of your body where they are stored that you quickly get them out of your system. Otherwise they can end up just moving from one organ or tissue to another. Detoxing from mercury, lead, and other heavy metals is serious business and should not be undertaken without the guidance of a physician or healthcare practitioner. Because the presence of these toxic substances also inclines a person toward chronic infestations (i.e. parasites), infection, immune, electrolyte, and neurotransmitter problems, allergies and other hypersensitivities—even structural mis-alignment—multiple issues may need to be addressed besides the toxic metals and chemicals themselves. The aim of detoxification in this situation is not only to remove the metals/chemicals from the body, but also to restore proper functioning of the affected organs/structures and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The complete process may include providing nourishment to the body in the form of high-grade nutritional supplements, herbs, I.V. therapy, and therapeutic massage or bodywork—all of which work to calm the body while the detoxing is taking place.
The detoxification process generally involves/includes:
- Antioxidants in the form of garlic, vitamins C and E, and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) to help protect against free radical damage and to supply electrons to oxidizing heavy metals.
- Minerals and electrolytes to replace and restore mineral reserves and help balance ANS function.
- Oral food chelators such as broken cell-wall chlorella to bind the metals in the gut and extra-cellular spaces. This particular single-cell algae is especially good at mobilizing mercury and pulling it into the gastro-intestinal system for excretion (blue-green algae and/or spirulina do not have the same ability and should not be substituted). Spread the dose out over the day. If you end up taking chlorella for an extended period of time, you should periodically vary the amount and take a day off once a month—otherwise the body develops a conditioned reflex wherein it begins to consider chlorella equivalent to mercury. (See section on cilantro below for using in combination with chlorella.) Here is an excerpt from an article by Adrian Cooper for Natural News about using chlorella to detox heavy metals:
While there are many “detox” natural products and protocols around which use lemon juice, maple syrup, turmeric and many other ingredients, these are mostly quite lightweight and limited in scope and effectiveness relative to the sheer amount and location of toxins contaminating the body of the average person, as previously listed. Chlorella is very powerful and widely used to chelate and remove from the skin and organs cumulative, toxic heavy metals such as mercury, which is frequently used in the “amalgam” used by dentists for filling teeth and is also, for more sinister reasons, found in many types of vaccines and is highly toxic. Chlorella is in fact so powerful at binding with heavy metals that miners mix it with water and pump it into mine shafts to mop up all the residual metals after mining is complete.In addition to heavy metals, chlorella is extremely effective at removing a wide range of toxins from the liver and other major organs, keeping them clean if taken in adequate quantities of at least 5 grams each day, along with countless other nutritional benefits.It is also worth considering a major chlorella-based detox for a week, taking 15 grams or more of chlorella each day in three separate portions. Chlorella has countless other health benefits, so adding this superfood to one’s daily diet can bring profound benefits to all levels of health, vitality and well-being.
- Sulfur supplementation to aid in heavy metal detoxification and replace depleted reserves of this mineral; garlic and ALA also contain sulfur and can be used. Eggs are particularly rich in sulfur and could be consumed by those not allergic to them.
- Organ drainage and support to promote overall health; organs likely to need attention are the liver, kidneys, lungs, spleen, sinuses, blood, and lymph (using a trampoline/rebounder is a good way to help circulate and drain the lymph).
- Gastro-intestinal tract support with digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and a good probiotic to restore friendly bacteria; protocols designed to cleanse the colon, and/or eliminate yeast/fungus/mold overgrowth, rid the body of parasites, or balance pH would also be useful.
- Cilantro to chelate methyl mercury and mercury bound to cell walls. It’s best used in conjunction with chlorella, since they each handle a different part of the detoxification process. Cilantro has the ability to flush/chelate heavy metals like mercury, aluminum, and lead from your tissues. In his book Lessons from the Miracle Doctors, Dr. Jon Barron says “Initial studies indicate that fresh cilantro may be extremely effective in helping flush heavy metals out of the blood. Taking 400 mg. of cilantro a day can pretty much clean heavy metals out of the body in just 2 to 3 weeks.” In his newsletter, Baseline Nutritionals, he states “Studies have shown that levels of mercury, lead, and aluminum in the urine increase significantly after consuming large amounts of cilantro. It seems that cilantro changes the electric charge on intra-cellular deposits of heavy metals to a neutral state, which relaxes their tight bond to body tissue, freeing them up to be flushed from the body.” He also suggests adding chlorella to your metal-flushing program because it works in conjunction with the cilantro, and has the ability to absorb and clear heavy metals from the brain, intestinal wall, muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and bone. You can also use cilantro in tincture form; steep 1-15 drops in hot water and take 2 times daily, for 5 days, then take 2 days off. If you have any discomfort after taking cilantro orally, try using cilantro oil on your skin instead—1drop on the wrist twice daily. Be sure to keep the oil out of the reach of children. By the way, once I read about Dr. Barron’s protocol for using the tincture form of cilantro I spent a couple of years trying to find a source for it. Fortunately, iHerb.com carries the Herb Pharm line of products, and now offers a cilantro extract/tincture and a cilantro/chlorella detox extract, which is what I often use. Vitacost also carries the detox extract, but is often out of stock. This combination formula also provides effective antioxidant support for overall cell health. (Want to add more cilantro to your diet? There’s a great recipe for cilantro pesto at the end of this post.)
For more on cilantro: https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/cilantro-a-powerful-herb-with-punch/
How and why chlorella and cilantro should be used together for detoxing heavy metals:
As far as diet goes, if you are dealing with heavy metals/toxic chemicals you should concentrate on eating fresh, preferably organic, fruits and vegetables, grains, lean meat, and cold-water fish known to be low in mercury and other contaminants. Drink green or white tea, or take in an extract or capsule form. Eat plenty of fresh garlic, or use a supplement such as Kyolic or Wild Bear Garlic in capsules or tincture form. You should also consider adding extra amounts of vitamin A (one to two 25,000 I.U. capsules), C (2 grams or more daily, depending on the instructions of your healthcare professional; for binding heavy metals a buffered C, rather than esterfied form, should be used) and E (400 I.U. or more) to your diet. Glutathione, calcium, selenium, zinc and lactoferrin are other considerations.
Additional foods/supplements useful in dealing with heavy metal/chemical toxicity are:
Alfalfa Sprouts – add fresh sprouts to salads or blend into a juice; dried powder in capsule form may also be taken. However, due to its high iron content, alfalfa should not be taken by individuals with toxic or chronic iron overload.
Dietary Fiber – foods or substances with high fiber content (e.g., psyllium, acacia, flaxseed, apple pectin, and oat and wheat bran) aid the body in ridding itself of toxins (to avoid gas or bloating when adding fiber to your diet, use small amounts at first so that your digestive system has time to adjust).
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) – a naturally occurring sulfur compound that is 34% elemental sulfur. Chelation involves a sulfur donor and because MSM is a compound that contains sulfur, theoretically it could be beneficial as a part of a detoxification protocol for heavy metals (glutathione, methionine, cysteine, and NAC all have sulfur components and are helpful with the detoxification process, as well). In addition to its detoxifying potential, MSM has potential for allergy response reduction, control of hyperactivity, constipation relief, and cancer prevention, and may be helpful for inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid and degenerative arthritis. MSM is best taken with vitamin C; you should also be sure you use chlorella and get adequate protein when using MSM.
Rutin – a phyto-extract (plant extract) found in such things as buckwheat, black tea and apple peel. It’s thought to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Studies in animals demonstrated that rutin has anti-inflammatory potential in colitis and free-radical scavenging and iron-chelating ability that significantly protects against cellular damage.
SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) – has been called “the liver’s super-nutrient” because of its ability to provide a spectrum of health benefits for the liver. As a protective/preventative agent, SAMe is so powerful that it can reverse the destructive effects of chemicals and alcohol as they occur. It also plays a central role in liver biochemistry, and performs two crucial functions: methylation and trans-sulfuration. One result of trans-sulfuration is a transformation into glutathione, the liver’s most vital substance (glutathione is crucial for liver function and is a natural antioxidant for the liver). Because the liver also contains the third highest amount of SAMe in the body (after the adrenal and pineal glands) and because SAMe is so important for liver function, it can be considered to be an essential nutrient for the liver. Anyone concerned about the effects of drugs, toxic chemicals, lead exposure, alcohol, and aging on the liver should consider taking SAMe for its protective benefits.
Silibinin (or silybin) – the most biologically active ingredient in silymarin, an extract derived from the herb milk thistle (a member of the daisy family). Silymarin and its main active ingredient silibinin help prevent toxic liver damage. Standardized milk thistle extract usually consists of a minimum of 35% silybin. There have been several studies done to investigate the activity of silibinin on heavy metals and the research supports the use of silibinin as an adjunct for liver, kidney, pancreas, and other organ support in any heavy metal detoxification program. The importance of silibinin for heavy metal detoxification is in its ability to aid liver function, accelerate regeneration, and elevate glutathione enzyme levels, as well as reduce oxidation.
Besides using certain foods and supplements to address the issue of heavy metals and toxic chemicals, doing cleanses that improve the functioning of the body’s channels of elimination, i.e. the colon, kidneys, skin, and nasal passages, are extremely important, as is anything that supports the liver. And of course there is always the option of using a formal chelation process. In the past, this type of protocol was only available through a physician and consisted of undergoing expensive, uncomfortable and time-consuming sessions where the principal chelating agents, such as EDTA and vitamin C, were administered intravenously.
However, recently it’s been shown that a number of natural products, taken orally without prescription, can also be effective. Oral chelation is slower, but less expensive, and can be done without trips to the doctor’s office and the discomfort of an I.V. Swanson now carries a product called Metal Shield, that’s been proven in European studies to assist with heavy metal detoxification. It contains both chlorella and cilantro, as well as vitamin C, Spanish black radish root, L-cysteine, and Humifulvate®, a special substance shown to have a remarkable dual action ability to bind with heavy metals and clear them from the body. And iHerb carries the Arizona Naturals brand of EDTA in capsule form.
Extreme Health offers a product called Oral Chelation II that contains EDTA and 16 other powerful chelators. It comes with Age-less Formula, which is specifically designed to work synergistically with the Oral Chelation, and functions as a complete mineral and nutrient replacement that supports the liver and kidneys. Supposedly a side benefit of the Extreme Health products is that they remove mineral and fatty deposits in the arterial walls and help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride levels. I haven’t used these myself, but you may want to check them out.
Another option, which I have used, is NDF Plus™, a certified organic dietary supplement/tincture made from raw whole foods. It contains chlorella and cilantro—two superfoods that are natural chelators—as well as silica and 15 strains of friendly bacteria. 80% of the heavy metals and chemicals that NDF Plus™ binds to are removed within the first two urinations after the dose. In fact, one of the pluses of this product is that it works predominantly by using the urine as the route for heavy metal and chemical excretion. This decreases the burden on the liver and also the chance of re-absorption of toxins through the bowel, which can be a factor with other therapies.
Also, NDF Plus™ does not remove beneficial nutrients from the body as certain other chelators do; in fact, it works to balance and enhance nutrient levels with the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes it naturally contains. And I read that heavy metals, chemicals, acid forming foods, and EDTA all create excessive positive ions (free radicals) in the body, while the main ingredients in NDF Plus™ are highly alkalizing and have a soothing, negative ion effect on the body. So that’s something to take into consideration, as well. NDFPlus™ is available through iHerb, but be prepared, it’s an expensive supplement. Global Health Center also offers a Heavy Metal Cleanse kit that includes Zeolite, detox food pads and more. Zeolites are a rare group of minerals with a four-sided honeycomb structure and a natural negative magnetic charge. This allows them to absorb and retain heavy metals and toxins that can then be passed safely out of the body without the danger of re-absorption.
For information on IV chelation therapy, this article by Dr. Axe is a good place to start:
In addition to everything just mentioned as ways of dealing with heavy metals and toxic chemicals, here are three simple routines to try:
Recipe for relieving the body of environmental poisons – Use this diet when metals are lodged in your glands and nerves. The following recipe is all you eat for 3 days. When reheating the mixture, take only as much as you will eat at that sitting. Eat as often as you want. Eat until it is all gone; make more if needed. Drink parsley or willow leaf tea as a beverage, and, of course, plenty of pure water.
3 lbs. green beans 4 lbs. zucchini
3 bunches of parsley, finely chopped 2 lbs. of celery
Boil the beans in plenty of high quality water until done; add finely chopped celery and coarsely cut zucchini and boil 5 more min., or until zucchini is done. Remove from heat, add the parsley and season with an herb or spice to enhance the flavor.
Cranberry Juice – Cranberry juice diluted by one-half with distilled water is another excellent way of removing toxins from the body. Take the mixture 4 times a day for 3 days, then wait 5 days and repeat again. Be sure you use pure cranberry juice and not some sweetened or blended version. One of the great alternative health practitioners, Hanna Kroeger, says you can eliminate about 120 units of toxins a day following this program. (You can get cranberry juice concentrate from iHerb at a discount; working with a concentrate means the bottle doesn’t take up much space, but yields a lot of juice—plus, it allows you to easily mix up a “batch” of juice with the specific dilution strength you want.)
Crystal Salt Brine – See previous post on heavy metals for the recipe for making a simple brine of water and crystalline salt that can be taken on a daily basis to help the body excrete heavy metals and other toxic substances. Bentonite clay is another all-natural way to help with the detoxification process.
This recipe is not only tasty, but helps with flushing heavy metals from your system; use in conjunction with chlorella supplements so that both phases of the chelation process are covered.
1 cup packed, fresh cilantro
5 TBS. olive oil
1 TBS. flax oil
1 clove garlic
½ cup almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
dash of crystal salt
Put cilantro and oil in blender or food processor and chop; add garlic, nuts and lemon juice and blend into a lumpy paste. Salt to taste; refrigerate any unused portion.
OTHER RESOURCES: You may want to read Mercury and Detoxification by Ryan Harrison, a certified holistic health educator, certified master herbalist and consultant in private practice (www.BeWholeBeWell.com) and Detoxify Heavy Metals & Soothe Chronic Inflammation with Cilantro by Jonathan Benson, a staff writer for Natural News Newletter.
FYI, you can get many of the supplements mentioned in this post at discount prices at Vitacost.com, one of my favorite on-line places to shop. If you are new to Vitacost, use the link on my webpage, and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use. And if you plan on shopping at Vitacost after that, you should sign up for a free account at eBates.com, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on future purchases. Plus, eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?!
iHerb.com is another favorite discount place to shop (use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off (and an extra 5% off on orders over $60), plus can choose something from their free samples and take advantage of their wonderful trial offer section. Shipping is free on orders of $20 or more.
p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my new Evolution Made Easier website’s To Your Health page and blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.
Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.