Please note: It is highly recommended that an individual do a digestive system cleanse (commonly referred to as a colon cleanse) protocol before any heavy metal detoxification protocol! This process takes about sixty days, and helps to prepare the body for detoxification. We have a basic colon cleanse/detox protocol.
There may be individuals who are currently experiencing very severe symptoms of toxicity that might feel that they cannot wait and take the time to do the digestive system cleanse. There are people that combine digestive system cleansing and heavy metal cleansing, although doing so may cause severe detox reactions. Doing both in a safe and effective manner requires much more knowledge than most people possess when first learning about natural health. Doing so should also require serious modification of one's normal eating habits in order to help support the body's innate detoxification processes. Therefore, doing both at the same time is not adviseable for "beginners" without professional guidance.
What follows is a highly effective, yet very basic detoxification/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, although it is recommended that individuals keep the cleanse as simple as possible for at least first thirty days.
This is a "plug and play" cleanse. It does not require fasting or a specific diet. However, it is very beneficial to eat healthy, and even do an elimination/detoxification diet while doing this program. Our full program, in part, is based upon Dr. Wahls' Paleo Plus Diet.
This cleanse utilizes only five substances:
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!
Most people live in a state of chronic dehydration. The body is a miraculously adaptable living machine. It can funtion in this state. However, for detoxification purposes, this must be corrected in order to protect the kidneys and liver. There is a saying: The solution to pollution is dilution. Toxicity is almost always dependent upon concentration. Reducing the concentration of water soluble toxins with increased water intake greatly assists the body's innate detoxification processes.
We have a very basic introduction to drinking water called, "The Ways of Drinking Water || Water, The Universal Solvent". Feel free to explore it and learn the very basics of a discipline referred to as "balneology".
Cilantro is the natural “whole food” chelating agent used to help eliminate heavy metal deposits in the body.
Cilantro has a bad name in some circles. Some "detox experts" teach people to fear cilantro. I'm sure that most of the people of South America would find this funny. However, it is true that some people are not ready for any kind of serious detoxification protocol. All chelating agents force the body to dump toxins. If the body is already down regulating Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification (in order to protect the organs), taking any chelating agent can lead to serious and long lasting side effects.
Some cleanses prefer utilizing a chemical chelation agent such as alpha lipoic acid (ALA) instead. Rest assured, clinical in-vivo research1has been done (in a hospital setting)1 on the use of cilantro combined with clay to quickly and safely remove mercury, aluminum, and lead from the human body (especially the brain).
It is completely safe once you have a solid grasp on the principles of detoxification and understand how to support the body's innate detoxification pathways and processes.
Edible clay is the absolute key to successful detoxification in this simple program. Please do NOT use cilantro without clay if one has no experience doing 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.
Garlic is used both for its polyphenol and sulfur content. Garlic helps to up-regulate the body’s own detoxification genes and "turn on" Phase 1-2 detoxification. One must use fresh garlic, as some of the garlic extract supplements out there have the polyphenols removed.
Lemon juice is used in-water to help cleanse the blood, support the liver, and alkalize the body. It also provides a balanced source of minerals. It is a critical component to liver restoration and detoxification3.
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.
For this cleanse, the body must be conditioned to be able to handle 2 liters (1.75 liters for women) of clean drinking water daily4. 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 absorbed, and it simply remains on the surface. It washes/rinses and 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 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 the water is readily accepted by the body.
This is an adaptive process. Therefore, a person should 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!
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:
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.
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 often feel the need to start addressing the issue right away, sometimes even in a state of panic. If one’s diet has been very poor, yet one still plans on doing any heavy metal cleanse, then one can do the cleansing program and simply give additional support to the body:
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.
If one has any issue at all with using cilantro, then this program cannot be completed.
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.
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, and/or a good doctor trained in functional medicine.
To repeat, it is not possible to remove fillings without causing issues. Just the simple cavitation from the drill itself used mobilizes mercury stored in the gums from the degrading amalgams.
Start drinking 2 liters (1.75 liters for women) of high quality, clean drinking water every day. 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 daily 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.
Some people do not respond well to the first clay dose of the morning. Instead, individuals report that drinking the clay water right before bed works best. Simply find which method works best, and use what works well.
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 daily. 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 days6. 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 and/or magnesium chloride flakes) 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 minerals.
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 naturally, and it will help to reduce the burden placed on the body by the detox program.
After one week doing the cilantro and clay baths, it’s time to add the garlic. Consume at least three to five cloves (peices) 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). Hair tests, for example, do not even register any oragnic mercury that might be being eliminated (from fish).
A second type of test that is valuable is an immune system reactivity test, such as the MELISA test or an ELISA 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.
For any heavy metal challenge test, completely halt all other detoxification agents for three days prior to using the challenge agent (often DMSA) and collecting urine samples.
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 diluting and transporting waste material in the body. 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 heavily 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, heavy metals are deposited into bile, where they can both accumulate and be re-absorbed into the blood stream. 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. Edible clay (bentonite/montmorillonite) is a superior choice to zeolite and activated charcoal, due to the fact that clay is water loving and not only has powerful sorption, but will bind acidic waste and actually change the bio-terrain of the digestive tract.
Micronized zeolite doesn't have quite the same healing potential (for example), but it has about twice the sorption cability (CEC). In the future, feel free to study how to make and use complex colloids for health and detox. For this "bare bones" program, however, keeping it simple is ideal.
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 rendered water-soluble, inert, and then 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. All of this MUST be in place, because down-regulated detoxification can result in any detoxification making the situation much worse. This is to be avoided at all costs.
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 blog7.
This is currently version 1.x. In the future, we will be adding much more supporting outside references for further research.
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 ion can be safely “bound” and eliminated by modulating dose frequency, micro-dosing or increasing the dosage of chelating agents. 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.
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). Each and every sample was contaminated with pathogenic organisms like e-coli, some of which were antibiotic resistant strains8. Since the idea is to cleanse and heal the body, it is not adviseable 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 " biophysically" 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.
In the future, we will be presenting more advanced detox protocols, which include great therapies such as sauna and/or ozone therapies. We will be using "super greens" rich in phyto-nutrients, but we will be using tinctures. Tinctures are by their very nature completely sterile, which allows one to avoid the pitfalls associated with substances which commonly test positive for things like e-coli.
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.
n 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:
Always use a common sense approach. This is a “and 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.
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 desired, at this time we can only recommend the work of Dr. Christopher Shade, owner of Quicksilver Scientific. Dr. Shade, who has a masters 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.
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.
The most problems arise with heavy metal cleansing due to retention toxicity. Retention toxicity can occur:
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.
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