Natural Heavy Metal Detox
Heavy metals are those metal elements with a density at least five times that of water. Some, such as selenium, zinc and copper, are beneficial at low concentration but become toxic at higher doses. Others, including cadmium, arsenic, mercury and lead, are toxic even in small amounts. Our bodies take in heayy metals via inhalation, absorption, and ingestion, and the body has difficulty eliminating them.
Heavy metal toxicity can affect the nervous system, circulatory system, kidneys and liver. Symptoms may involve memory problem, fatigue, and depression, as well as metabolic disruption. Heavy metal toxicity can be confirmed with a hair analysis.
Some external treatments such as an epsom salt bath and essential oils may help draw out toxins. In addition, a variety of supplements are recommended by natural health practitioners for natural heavy metal detoxification. Natural chelation (binding and removal of toxins) can be accomplished using natural methods.
Below are some options to consider using for natural heavy metal detox. Note that your natural health practitioner may recommend that you go through a general body cleanse and perhaps a liver or other specific cleanse before you initiate a heavy metal detox program. You can also enhance your detox by using sauna treatment or undergoing therapies to help move the lymph.
Depending on the specific type of heavy metal toxicity and the individual’s symptoms, a homeopath may recommend a remedy such as sulphur, arsenic, aluminimum, cadmium, mercury or silver. Practitioners believe the remedies also remove the energetic remnants of the toxins.
Chlorella & Cilantro
Chlorella is a single-celled blue-green algae with high chlorophyll content. It can be used to chelate and remove heavy metals like cadmium, lead and mercury. Its outer cell layer actually binds to toxins. Learn more about chlorella in the article, "Get the Facts on Chlorella’s Nutritional Value." Cilantro releases mercury from tissues, and helps chlorella to bind it. Some heavy metal detox formulas combine chlorella and cilantro to optimally release heavy metals from tissues and flush them from the body.
Zeolite is a naturally occurring mineral with a crystaline structure. It attracts positively charged heavy metals and binds them, then is flushed out of the body along with the metals. Learn more about zeolite in the article, "Zeolite: An Answer to Simple Detox?"
Glutathione & ALA
Glutathione helps remove neurotoxins including heavy metals through the process of methylation. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is also recommended for removing heavy metals, particularly from the liver. It may act through regenerating glutathione.
N-acetylcysteine is produced from the amino acid cysteine. It contains sulphur making it effective for removing heavy metals.
Methylsulfonyl methane also contains sulfur. It binds with cell membranes and is recommended for mercury toxicity.
Vitamin C is a primary detoxifier of heavy metals. By chelating the metals it helps remove them from the body. Get vitamin C from a healthy diet, and consider a natural vitamin C supplement such as acerola or Pure Camu.
Diet & Nutrition
Pay attention to what you eat to maximize the effectiveness of your natural heavy metal detox. Foods such as garlic and broccoli are sulfated, making them useful for removing heavy metals. When the body is more alkaline, it can more readily detoxify, so consuming lots of fresh green juices and other alkalyzing food, while avoiding meat, dairy and other acidifying foods, can support a heavy metal detox.
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Sources & Resources
The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Living, Larry Cook (2006)
Homeopathic Remedies, Asa Hershoff (2000)
The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps, Brenda Watson & Leonard Smith (2009)
The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger, Woodson Merrell & Kathleen Merrell (2008)
Spirulina Micro Food Macro Blessings, Harald W. Tietze (1998)
How to Prevent Breast Cancer, Ross Pelton, Taffy Clarke Pelton & Vinton C. Vint (1995)
Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies, Kenneth Bock & Cameron Stauth (2007)