Top Ten Natural Ways to Remove Heavy Metals
Toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and uranium are pervasive in much of the environment. While it may not be possible to completely avoid exposure there are many safe, organic and affordable products that help detoxify and eliminate these toxins from the body. This article will provide ten such examples.
Thursday, August 20, 2009 by: Kirk Patrick, citizen journalist
1) Bentonite (Clay) - Aluminium Phyllosilicate (Montmorillonite)
Bentonite clay is a form of volcanic ash that has the ability to physically remove from the body up to 25 times its weight in impurities through a process called adsorbtion. Bentonite has laxative properties and contains high levels of iron, magnesium and silicon. Available in two forms (sodium and calcium) bentonite clay is used in cement, ceramics, acne medication, facial clay, cat litter and to clarify wine. Higher grades of clay are safe for ingestion while lower grades are for external use only and thus are of questionable benefit.
2) Bladderwrack (Sea vegetable) - Fucus vesiculosus (Fucaceae)
Bladderwrack is a type of brown seaweed found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The stem is used medicinally while the thallas (air filled pods) help the algae float. Containing the active components iodine, fucoidan, alginic acid and phenols in varying amounts based on the water where it grew, bladderwrack is used to relieve heartburn and to stimulate both the immune system and thyroid. Bladderwrack has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
3) Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) - Anabaena sphaerica (Cyanophata)
Blue green algae (along with green algae such as Chlorella) contain chlorophyll, an antioxidant and deep green pigment. Bacteria such as Fecal Coliform cannot coexist with chlorophyll, which helps keep fresh water clear. Algae not only contain nearly every required vitamin and mineral, but also have the effect of increasing oxygen while reducing nitrogen and carbon. Chlorella appears to bind to heavy metals to both detoxify and remove them. Studies in Japan following the nuclear disasters at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 showed that 8 grams of Chlorella daily caused a five-fold increase in the amounts of uranium, lead and cadmium that were eliminated.
4) Burdock (Root) - Arctium lappa (Compositae)
A potent blood purifier, burdock root removes heavy metals such as mercury along with other toxins. Containing up to 45% inulin along with arctiopicrin, arctiin, tannins and volatile oil, burdock is used to treat skin conditions such as acne. Burdock helps to purify the liver and is used as a natural cancer treatment. Burdock has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-tumor properties.
5) Cilantro (Leaf and stem) - Coriandrum Sativum (Umbelliferae)
Cilantro contains the antioxidants camphor, carvone, elemol, geraniol and limonene. A natural deodorizer, cilantro relieves nausea, indigestion and bloating. Consuming cilantro (the seeds of which are the spice coriander) helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Cilantro kills Salmonella and removes heavy metals such as mercury from the body. Cilantro has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and can be easily grown in the home garden.
6) Garlic (Clove) - Allium Sativum (Liliaceae)
Garlic contains the antioxidant allicin, which is formed from alliin and allinase when the cloves are crushed. Garlic helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol while cleansing the liver. Offering unique health benefits when consumed in raw versus cooked or aged, Garlic has antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
7) Glutathione (GSH)
Glutathione is a type of amino acid chain called a tripeptide. Glutathione modulates the order of cell life, a process called homeostasis. Glutathione is essential for handling environmental toxins as it detoxifies carcinogens (in particular arsenic) and helps the body to remove heavy metals such as cadmium, iron and mercury. This helps the metabolism and immune system by removing dead weight. GSH has antioxidant properties.
8) Onion (Bulb) - Allium Cepa (Liliaceae)
Onion contains the antioxidant quercetin. Onion relieves allergy symptoms and congestion along with helping reduce cholesterol. Onion can treat and prevent cataracts, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease and helps remove heavy metals from the body. Onion has antimicrobial properties.
9) Selenium (Mineral)
Selenium is an essential trace mineral that functions as an antioxidant and promotes a healthy immune system. Required in remarkably small amounts (the RDA is measured in the millionths of a gram), selenium is highly toxic in larger amounts. Selenium has strong anti-cancer effects and is known to help detoxify the body and remove heavy metals including mercury.
10) Zeolite (Mineral)
Zeolite is a natural combination of volcanic ash and sea water. With a honeycomb-like structure it forms (teeny) tiny cage-like structures that physically trap heavy metals without removing critical minerals. Animal studies show zeolite to actually improve overall nutrition. A patented process purifies zeolite (since it is a heavy metal magnet it is already 'full' when found naturally). Purified zeolite has been shown to help prevent and reverse the growth of cancer cells. While it seems promising, it appears that more independent studies on zeolite are needed as most of the research is published on "Tribute to Zeolite" style web sites that enshrine the product.