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Natural Heavy Metal Cleansing with Clay
Basic "Bare Bones" Protocol

Assisting the Body with Cleansing/Purging Heavy Metals

Version 1.0 – October 19, 2017


What follows is a highly effective basic cleanse using only five natural substances. It is a very safe program, provided that one pays careful attention to the instructions and to how the body responds. Learn the basic principles, and they will guide you well!

This document should not be construed as medical advice, and its authors do not actually advise that anyone do this program/protocol. It is presented as research material for individuals who have already independently decided to do a natural heavy metal cleanse. Individuals are always advised to seek out and follow expert medical guidance if one suspects heavy metal toxicity!

This cleanse is a “bare bones” detoxification protocol. It is more important to become educated on the exact principles at work than it is to simply follow the program. Since it is only the most basic cleanse possible, once one understands the process, one can modify the program to suit (it is recommended to keep the cleanse simple for at least the first thirty days).

This is a “plug and play” cleanse. It does not require fasting or a specific diet. It utilizes five substances:

1. Water – Drinking clean water is always crucial to support the body’s own natural detoxification channels. Purified water is fine, as is steam distilled water. For those who enjoy specific details, our definition of clean water is water with no particulate matter, and water that contains between 0.3 PPM (the best distilled water) and 150 PPM (purified water with a few minerals added back in). Mineral water (including natural well water) should not be used for the purposes of this cleanse. There is no need to use alkaline water, magnesium water, or any other “fancy” water formulation. “Empty” water does a better job at assisting the body to cleanse. Once the heavy metal cleanse is complete, interested individuals can explore many different unique drinking waters, if desired!

2. Cilantro – Cilantro is the natural “whole food” chelating agent used. Cilantro has a bad name in some circles. Some cleanses prefer utilizing a chemical such as alpha lipoic acid (ALA) instead. Rest assured, clinical in-vivo research1has been done on cilantro combined with clay to quickly and safely remove mercury, aluminum, and lead from the human body. It is completely safe once you have a solid grasp on the principles of detoxification.

3. Edible clay – Edible clay is the absolute key to successful detoxification in this simple program. Please do NOT use cilantro without clay if one has never done any “deep” cleansing. Only use cilantro on days that one is certain to be using edible clay. For suggestions on which edible clay(s) to use for supplementation and clay baths, please see the Eytons’ Earth therapeutic clay buying guide2.

4. Garlic – Garlic is used both for its polyphenol and sulfur content. Garlic helps to up-regulate the body’s own detoxification genes. One must use fresh garlic, as some of the garlic extract supplements out there have the polyphenols removed.

5. Lemon Juice – Lemon juice is used in-water to help cleanse the blood and alkalize the body, as well as providing a balanced source of minerals. It is also a critical component to liver cleansing3. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is great. However, for a superior end product, we can also recommend Italian Volcano Lemon Juice. The lemon trees that produce this superior juice are grown in soil rich in volcanic-origin clay minerals.

Barriers to Doing the Program

Please pay careful attention to the following barriers. Any of the below circumstances can result in this cleanse causing harm. The program should not be attempted without correcting the issue(s) or employing an alternative (if provided)

Drinking Water

For this cleanse, the body must be conditioned to be able to handle 2 liters (1.75 liters for women) of clean drinking water daily. Many people exist in a state of chronic dehydration. The body is a miraculous machine. Some people live their entire adult lives in a state of chronic dehydration. The body adapts. While this is not an ideal healthy state, the fact that the body can adapt is the reason why most people do not take drinking water seriously. However, when a person decides to encourage the body to purge toxins and/or heavy metals, this must change.

Just imagine what happens in a desert when you begin to add water. The water is not well absorbed, and it simply remains on the surface. It washes/rinses mobilizes everything on the surface, sweeping it away in a flash flood. Now, imagine that the cells of your body remain below the surface. It takes quite a bit of time for water to begin to truly re-hydrate the body.

What a person does NOT want to do is force chelating agents (natural or otherwise) into a dry body. This “forced” detoxification can result in retention toxicity that can cause organ damage. Not only does a person need plenty of water on board, the body needs to reach the state where it is readily accepted by the body.

This is an adaptive process. Therefore, a person must drink the recommended amount of water daily for ten days to two weeks prior to using any chelating agent.

If swelling or water retention occurs, pause for three to five days, then try again. Do not move past this point until the body is well adjusted to drinking water!

Constipation – Bowel Function

While cleansing, one must have at least one bowel movement every day. If one does not currently have at least one bowel movement every day prior to starting this program, then:

  • Purchase and use a product called Triphala, which is an Ayuervedic formula comprised of three different types of berries. Use this product as directed on the label, with each and every meal.
  • Purchase and use a product called Homozon. Use Homozon before bed, or at least an hour after the last meal. Use Homozon as directed on the label; start with one tsp. and if necessary, increase the amount taken each night until desired results are achieved (in this case, at least one bowel movement the next day).

Drinking water, utilizing Triphala, and utilizing Homozon will usually be enough digestive system support to get the bowels moving at least once daily. However, if this does not restore “regular” bowel function, then this program (and any other heavy metal cleansing method/program) should not be attempted. A full digestive system recovery/cleansing protocol would needed to be done before attempting it! This would involve a protocol lasting a minimum of sixty days utilizing bowel cleansing herbs.

Mineral Depletion

If one’s diet has been very poor for an extended period of time, and/or if the body has lived in a state of chronic dehydration for a very long time, then one may be depleted of vital minerals. This may pose a significant barrier to any heavy metal cleanse.

When the body is depleted of minerals, cell receptors that should be bound with healthy, life supporting minerals can become susceptible to binding with the very heavy metals that one desires to purge.

This effect needs to be minimized.

Using lemon and clay will help, but it will not be enough over the short term to correct serious imbalances. In some cases, it can take six months to a year to correct serious mineral imbalances; and with a sustained, daily effort!

It is highly recommended that individuals first correct the body’s nutritional state before doing any heavy metal cleansing program. Of course, this is exactly opposite to what many people do: Many people do cleansing to recover from poor nutrition, and then go back to poor nutrition! Furthermore, once the heavy metal burden reaches a level where symptoms start to become evident, individuals usually feel the need to start addressing the issue right away.

If one’s diet has been very poor, yet one still plans on doing any heavy metal cleanse, then one can do a cleansing program and simply give additional support to the body:

  • Add about five drops of the Original Himalayan Crystal Salt “sole” to every gallon of drinking water consumed (a salt “sole” is a saturated salt solution).
  • Drink an additional tsp of the salt sole (saturated salt solution) once to three times every day (with one dose at night).

Garlic Tolerance

If one cannot tolerate raw garlic, one should consider doing a digestive system recovery program first.

However, if such a program is not available or feasible, then one can substitute organic Triphala for the garlic. Use the Triphala as suggested on the bottle, with every meal.

Haritaki, which is one of the berries used in the Triphala formula, has the necessary polyphenols to up-regulate the body’s natural detoxification genes. However, it does not act like raw garlic does for systemic detoxification support.

Issues with Cilantro

If one has any issue at all with using cilantro, then this program cannot be completed.

Issues with Clay

If one has any issue with using edible clay, then this program cannot be completed.


Over-eating, consuming too much alcohol, or otherwise increasing the toxicity of the body may pose a barrier to increased detoxification efforts.

Dental Fillings / Amalgams

Many people believe that having metal/silver/mercury fillings in the mouth is a complete barrier to detoxing heavy metals. It is not. There is no completely safe way to remove mercury from teeth. When electing to remove the amalgams, it is important to use a "biological dentist" trained in removing fillings in a manner that minimizes mercury exposure.

It is a good idea to ultimately get them removed, but it is also a good idea to get the body in good shape before doing so, if at all possible.

Individuals with amalgams simply need to approach natural cleansing with common sense and care. If in doubt, seek professional help from a medical doctor trained in environmental medicine.

Starting the Cleanse

Drinking Water and then Adding Clay (10 – 24 Days)

Start drinking 2 liters (1.75 liters for women) of high quality, clean drinking water every day4. For every liter of water consumed, consume two ounces of raw, organic lemon juice. The juice can either be added to drinking water, or it can be taken separately. To take the lemon juice separately, simply place one ounce of lemon juice in a shot glass and dilute with an equal amount of water. Four ounces of lemon juice is roughly the equivalent of four lemons.

Once the body is well adjusted to drinking water, it is time to begin adding edible clay.

Day one through day ten: First thing in the morning, drink one half (0.5) liters of clay water made with one teaspoon of clay5. It is easier to make the clay water the night before in a shaker bottle. Use one teaspoonful of edible clay. Just prior to consuming, shake well, and then allow the clay water to settle for two or three minutes. Then, drink the clay water. Any residue, sediment, or grit (if any) that has settled on the bottom of the bottle can be discarded if desired.

Repeat this every day for ten days, while still drinking a total of 2 liters (1.75 liters for women) of water daily. After ten days, consider the body adjusted to clay use.

To summarize, it might take an individual 10 to 14 days to adjust to drinking water. Then, it would take an additional ten days to adjust the body to the single dose of clay water.

Once the body is well adjusted to the clay water, increase to two to three doses of clay water per day. For the first dose, always use one liter of water. For the second and/or third doses, one may use less water (anywhere from eight ounces of water to a half liter). Take the second and/or third dose(s) in between meals. Always try to take the clay two hours after eating a meal, and one hour prior to eating, if possible.

Add Cilantro and Clay Baths

Once the body is well adjusted to drinking the water and the clay, it’s time to add the cilantro and clay detoxification baths. Consume 1/4 cup of raw chopped cilantro. The cilantro can eaten with any meal.

During this detoxification process, one should take between three to five warm or hot clay baths per week for the first thirty days. After the first thirty days, one should continue taking one to three clay baths per week. Use between one and ten cups of dry clay per bath. For even better results, add natural sea minerals (sea salt) to the clay bath. A basic rule of thumb is to add 1/2 the amount of salt as the clay. If one is using two cups of clay, then one would use one cup of sea salt.

Take the first clay bath on the same day as the cilantro is started. It is recommended to take the clay bath in the early evening to begin with, until one learns how the body will respond to the baths. It will make some people extremely relaxed and tired, while it will leave others pleasantly energized.

It is strongly recommended that the clay baths not be omitted from the detox program. Doing clay baths will greatly assist the body cleanse naturally6.

Add Raw Garlic

After one week doing the cilantro and clay baths, it’s time to add the garlic. Consume at least three to five cloves of raw garlic daily. The garlic can be eaten with any meal(s).


This routine should be followed for six to nine months to be absolutely certain that the body has successfully minimized its heavy metals burden.

Ideally, an individual should get proper testing done before cleansing, and then again nine months to a year later. The only type of testing that should be done is an actual urine heavy metal challenge test. While different types of testing do provide valuable data (such as hair tests), they are not accurate enough to determine what the body is actually holding on to (in tissues).

A second type of test that is valuable is an immune system reactivity test, such as the MELISA test. This type of testing doesn’t determine the actual levels of heavy metals in the body. Instead, it tests how the body’s immune system is reacting/responding to each heavy metal tested. One person may have a much higher tolerance for mercury (as an example) then another individual.


The Basic Principles of this Cleanse

There is an old saying: “The solution to pollution is dilution.” Toxicity is always a matter of concentration. The less concentrated any substance in an environment is, the less toxic it is. The human body relies upon water as a primary method of eliminating waste. That’s why we have two kidneys, and that’s why the largest organ in the body is respiratory (the skin). Please keep in mind that even the lungs respiration relies upon moisture (water).

Therefore, giving the body as much water as it needs to help cleanse is the single greatest priority. When in doubt, flush the system. Even medical doctors always give two primary commands to those individuals suffering from illness: “Get plenty of fluids and rest!”

Next, in this program water is used as a carrier for minerals. Lemon provides a balanced ratio of natural minerals to help restore homeostasis in the body. While lemon itself is acidic, it is an alkalizing mineral. The acids in the lemon juice are beneficial for cleansing the blood and the liver. The co-minerals are alkaline macro minerals that the body uses to balance electrolytes in the body. An individual should have plenty of “good minerals” flowing through the blood stream to attach to cell receptors that might otherwise grab heavy metals.

The cilantro is an amazing natural chelator of heavy metals. It will even successfully and rapidly pull mercury from the brain. This is the ONLY challenge agent used in this program.

The secret weapon is the clay. As the body cleanses, most of the heavy metals are deposited in the bile. Edible clay is used to sorpt and bind these heavy metals, and carry them safely out of the body via the feces. If a binding agent is not in place, individuals who have been “metal toxic” for extended periods of time will likely reabsorb the heavy metals back into the blood stream, where they will hit the organs again, and where they can be re-deposited in tissue. Edible clay is absolutely the key to safely being able to detox, as is having at least one bowel movement daily.

Garlic is rich in polyphenols that help support Phase 1 and Phase 2 Detoxification. This is “cellular” detoxification, where waste and other toxic substances are mobilized for removal. A toxic body can… and often does… down regulate detoxification genes in order to try to protect the brain, kidneys, and liver. Once we get all of the detox channels flowing properly again, the polyphenols in garlic help to switch those detox genes back on. We now have everything in place to help the body cleanse.

Clay baths are also a big secret weapon. Taking warm/hot clay baths stimulates detoxification. The clay (and sea salt) also pulls water soluble toxins from the soft tissues, which in turn takes some of the burden off of the kidneys, liver, and colon.

This basic, bare bones cleanse is science based. While not enough clinical official research has been done to establish efficacy that would be accepted by the AMA or FDA, enough formal scientific research has been done to establish the validity of both the principles employed, and the substances used.

The basics of detoxification are really that simple. To learn more about clay and detoxification, visit the Eytons’ Earth website and blog 8.

This is currently version 1.0. In the future, we will be adding much more supporting outside references for further research.

Are all of these items really necessary? Can’t a person just use clay?

All of the substances used are used for a very good reason. For example, skip the water drinking adjustment phase and a person risks severe side effects due to kidney retention toxicity.

Skip the lemon and risk damage due to heavy metals attaching to more cell receptors as heavy metals are purged. Skip the lemon and risk increased liver congestion and/or liver retention toxicity.

Please note this very important fact: It is not possible to bind every last atom of heavy metals as the body is stimulated to release them. Some protocols out there would like a person to believe that every last metal can be safely “bound” and eliminated. This is not the case. It doesn’t matter if one takes a chelating agent once daily, every eight hours, every four hours, every hour, or every fifteen minutes. The body will release metals that are not successfully bound.

Luckily, when the body is functioning properly, with all of its natural detoxification channels open, it is well equipped to purge undesirable metals with minimal problems. The critical issue is restoring homeostasis to the body and simply assisting the body’s natural detoxification processes.

Skipping any one part of this simple program is not recommended.

What about using other great stuff like micronized zeolite? Chlorella? Spirulina? EDTA?

Don’t self-sabotage yourself by thinking you need to do more. The five items used in this cleanse were selected after studying dozens, perhaps even hundreds of substances that are typically used to help cleanse the body of heavy metals. There are many other good substances that can be used to promote the healthy elimination of toxins from the body. However, more is not necessarily better.

Every time you add a new substance to a health regime, your risk overwhelming the body. You also risk creating sensitivities. Understand and stick to the basics until you have at least thirty days completed.

Many good substances have been omitted from this cleanse for good reason. For example, the ever-popular green super foods useful for both nutrition and detoxification have shown to be problematic in some cases. An independent study done in Ireland tested eight different types of green super foods containing things like blue green algae (spirulina) and green algae (chlorella)7. Each and every sample was contaminated with pathogenic organisms like e-coli, some of which were antibiotic resistant strains. Since the idea is to cleanse and heal the body, it is not necessary to place additional risk on the body with products that have a history of quality control issues. These foods, when harvested properly, can be very useful and healthful, but they are not necessary for this bare bones cleanse. Furthermore, there is a significant portion of the population that cannot tolerate chlorella at all.

Micronized zeolite is fantastic, but again, not necessary for a bare bones cleanse. Furthermore, there is a percentage of toxic individuals who will experience a severe detox reaction with even small amounts of micronized zeolite, mostly due to kidney issues. This is another one of those substances that can be explored much later, once the body’s metal burden is significantly reduced.

Chemical chelating agents have their place in detoxification protocols, but not in this cleanse. This cleanse is designed to be bio-physically complete, using only completely natural substances in their natural form. Later, one can explore the CAREFUL use of things like alpha lipoic acid, EDTA, and/or DMSA if desired. Attempting to use such substances in this program can be counter-productive and cause undesired side effects.

In this simple program, everything is added one piece at a time (except for the clay baths). This allows an individual to know exactly how one is responding to each substance ingested into the body.

What happens in the event of a side effect or adverse reaction?

This is a completely natural cleanse designed to be as safe as possible. Unexpected consequences are always a possibility any time one makes significant changes to one’s lifestyle.

There is increased risk involved when choosing to do any cleansing program. After all, one is actively encouraging the body to release substances that really should not be in the body to begin with.

Therefore, always pay careful attention to how the body responds. The body will let you know exactly what is going on. If one experiences unpleasant side effects, stop taking the offending substance for three days after the side effects subside.

Increased fatigue is a possibility that indicates that the body needs fluids and rest to catch up with the detoxification process. This is common when individuals first start taking clay baths.

Increased brain fog is a possibility that indicates too much toxic substances are moving through the blood stream.

In very rare circumstances, neurological effects may occur due to the mobilization of heavy metals. This is the case with every single heavy metal detoxification protocol out there; even the ones that claim that this can never occur.

All of this considered:

  • If one has issues with drinking water in the first part of the program, stop for three days and try again. Once the body has successfully adjusted to water, however, always continue drinking water. Water is one of the substances that will help with any detox side effects.
  • If one has issues adjusting to oral of the clay water, use the “stop for three days” principle, then try again. However, just like with water, once the body has successfully adjusted to clay use, never completely stop the clay while doing this program unless absolutely necessary. A better strategy is to drop down to one single morning dose in 500 ml. of water.
  • Once the body has adjusted to lemon, the lemon should never be an “offending” agent. Just like water and clay, lemon juice will help minimize or eliminate any detoxification side effects.

Always use a common sense approach. This is a “first do no harm” natural cleanse.

If any really unpleasant side effects are going to occur, it will usually be within the first three full weeks of the program. Go slow. You can’t rush the body. Don’t be afraid to pause and let the body rest and catch up.


What if professional guidance is needed?

This is an informational research article. As such, no guidance may be provided. However, you can post discussions, personal experience and suggestions in the Heavy Metal Clay Detox Forum.

If professional guidance is preferred, at this time we can only recommend the work of Dr. Christopher Shade, owner of Quicksilver Scientific. Dr. Shade, who has a master’s degree in environmental mercury, offers “top shelf” products and heavy metal (specifically mercury) testing services. His understanding of the biochemistry involved in detoxing heavy metals, and his attention to detail, exceeds that of anyone else that we are aware of. Ideally, it would be advisable to seek out and work with an environmental medical doctor practicing integrative medicine who works with Dr. Shade’s lab.

Is six to nine months really needed?

No, it is not. However, focusing on heavy metal cleansing for six to nine months is doing detoxification the right way. The body is cyclic when releasing toxins. It is very difficult, and not advisable, to force the body to detoxify all at once. Get the job done right, and then consider keeping up with the healthy dietary habits of drinking plenty of water, assisting the body’s elimination channels, and eating healing foods.

For some individuals, it may actually take longer than nine months. Such individuals should consider doing a more advanced cleanse after nine months on this simple program. Nearly everyone, however, will not need to do so. What type of individuals might need more heavy metal cleansing? For example, individuals with continued neurological issues, and individuals with serious mitochondrial dysfunction may need more work.

What is the biggest issue with heavy metal cleansing?

The most problems arise with heavy metal cleansing due to retention toxicity. Retention toxicity can occur:

  • At the cellular level (Phase 1 - Phase 2 Detoxification)
  • At the tissue level (for example, blocked or congested lymph nodes)
  • Due to kidney failure (the kidneys can even be working fine except when it comes to filtering out a particular substance that it has been over-exposed to, such as mercury for example)
  • Due to liver failure/congestion
  • Due to sluggish bowel function

90% of this simple cleanse is designed to identify, greatly reduce, or completely eliminate problems caused by retention toxicity. Many of the cleanses out there, even the most sophisticated ones, do not successfully address retention toxicity. This means that person A will get great results, but person B may not.

End Notes

  1. Dr. Williams and Dr. Omura have clinically shown that clay and cilantro remove heavy metal build up in the body in about three weeks. While this is true, Dr. Christopher Shade has shown that it takes six to mine months to really purge the mercury from the body. Dr. Shade has the most sensitive mercury testing equipment in the world and is better equipped to chart the body’s progress purging mercury. Either way, the cilantro/clay combination has been and is used by the most qualified environmental doctors specializing in toxicity, including Dr. Klighardt. Based on the available current data, one can assume that the bio-burden of heavy metals has been vastly reduced after the first thirty days. But, one still would need to continue cleansing for a longer period of time to really achieve the desired end results.
  2. The Eytons’ Earth Therapeutic Clay Buying/Purchasing Guide
  3. If interested in learning more about how minerals and alkalizing help to restore the body to homeostasis, see these two extensive articles: The Symphony of Biochemistry, the pH Soft Tissue Connection and Alkalizing the Body and Balancing Minerals – When Mineral Supplements are Not Enough. However, please don’t get caught up in all of these other issues while doing the cleanse. That would be too many changes at once. Either work on electrolytes/minerals/pH, or do a cleanse, but please do not do both.
  4. For a beginner’s guide to drinking water, please see: Water, the Universal Solvent: The Ways of Drinking Water
  5. Please read the following article: A Beginner’s Guide to Using Edible Clay
  6. To learn all about clay baths, please study the article: Mastering Clay Detoxification Baths
  7. Antimicrobial-resistant faecal organisms in algae products marketed as health supplements by Ryan, M. Molloy, L. Evans, A. Quinn, E. Burke, E. McGrath, and M. Cormican
  8. Please read the following article on detoxification: Detoxification: A New Perspective on Detox and Cleansing Protocols

Change Log

    October 19th, 2017: Corrected a typo.

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