From the time we wake up to the time we sleep, we’re somehow directly or indirectly putting heavy metals into our bodies. Concerns about mercury poisoning are becoming more prevalent every single day, and for good reason.
If you are wondering how to detox mercury and other heavy metals from your body, you are not alone. Many are looking for a way to detoxify mercury from their body.
In this post, we cover all the things you’ll need and things you’ll need to do to detoxify mercury from your body. But before that, it’s important to understand the cause and symptoms of mercury poisoning. After that, we’ll give you a roadmap on how to detox mercury from your body and how to reduce your exposure to heavy metals in the future.
In the meantime, there are some less extreme steps you can take to reduce the amount of these heavy metals in your body.
Not sure if you have been exposed to mercury or other heavy metals? I’d suggest ordering an at-home heavy metals test today and find out what your toxin load looks like.
How Toxic is Mercury?
Mercury is a type of toxic heavy metal. The toxicity level of mercury depends on the type of mercury you are exposed to, the severity and length of exposure, as well as the method of contamination.
For example, metallic mercury vapor can cause more serious issues than metallic mercury liquid. On the other hand, methyl mercury found in seafood is more harmful than ethyl mercury found in some vaccines.
The best way to figure out if you have been mercury poisoned is to monitor mercury poisoning symptoms. Possible symptoms of mercury poisoning include:
- Frequent Headaches
- Chest pain or burning sensations
- Inflammation of lung tissue
- Lack of concentration
- Memory problems and more.
How Does Mercury Get into Our Body?
Before we go deeper into how to detox mercury, let us understand how mercury gets into our bodies in the first place.
Sad but true, “mercury is everywhere.” Small amounts of mercury can be found all around us in our air, water, and food. The small quantity of mercury that we get from our food and water is not a problem because our body can handle that. The problem arises when we expose ourselves too much to mercury on a daily basis.
Some of the daily use products that have a significant amount of mercury include:
- Light bulbs
- Cigarettes (and cigarette smoke)
- Old paint
- Antiques (mirrors, pendulums, vases)
- Old appliances with mercury switches
- Sporting equipment (rifles, archery bows)
- Deepsea fish like tuna, swordfish, and sharks that you eat also contain a high amount of organic mercury (methylmercury)
- Dental fillings are another source of mercury. Mercury amalgam – also known as inorganic mercury is used for the filling
- Drinking water extracted from private wells contains not only mercury but many other heavy metals.
Mercury poisoning is the result of being exposed to too much mercury, either through diet or the environment. Consuming food that contains mercury is the most common cause of mercury poisoning. A person can help prevent mercury poisoning by making changes to their diet and environment that limit exposure to the toxic metal.
You can also feel terrible and it is not from poisoning, but a slow mercury accumulation. I had my mercury amalgam fillings removed because it was exposing me daily to a toxic load that my body wasn’t able to dispose of as quickly.
How Are Mercury Levels Tested?
Understanding the level of mercury in your body gives you an idea of how to detox mercury and what detox process will best fit you. You can test your mercury level with the three methods mentioned below.
- Mercury Tri -Test: This test is one of the most common tests that any doctor or health practitioner will suggest. This test involves collecting patient hair, urine, and blood samples for laboratory examination. It might take up to 1 hour to get the result.
- Fecal Mercury Test – This test mainly examines patient feces. It checks the amount of mercury a patient is eliminating in the stool.
- Urine Mercury Challenge Test: This test is done with the chelating agents DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) and DMPS (dimercaptopropane sulfonic acid) to determine your total body burden of mercury. EverlyWell offers a urine test like this to check your body for heavy metals including mercury.
Find out more here.
What is a Mercury Detox?
Mercury detox is the process of removing mercury from the body to minimize its impact on your health. It can be either with the use of medications, diet, or natural remedies. There are also a variety of home remedies that can help to remove mercury from your system.
How To Eliminate Mercury From Your Body
You have done the test, you know your mercury level. What’s next? Now, it’s time to detox mercury from the body. Follow the process given below on how to detox mercury. The detoxification process is divided into three steps.
Step 1 – Getting Ready for Detoxification: There is no magic pill that can flush out mercury from the body in one day. You have to prepare your body for detoxification. Here’s what you need to do.
- Start optimizing your gut function, meaning stop overstressing your gut. Avoid foods such as dairy, gluten, sugar, and processed foods. If possible add probiotics and enzymes to your diet. Note: You should start optimizing your gut one or two months before the detoxification begins.
- Start adding supplements to your daily diet. Fatty acids, olive oil, flax oil, amino acids, zinc, and selenium are good supplements to start with. This one has both.
- Focus on your liver and let it do its work. To boost your liver health, feed it with folate, vitamin B12, and B6. Start eating more broccoli, collards, kale, daikon radish, garlic, and onions.
- Have you ever tried sauna therapy? If your answer is no, reschedule your weekly routine and give sauna therapy a top priority. Go to the sauna at least 3 times a week or you can purchase a portable home sauna for everyday use.
- Optimize elimination routes for metals including your urine, stool, and sweat. Use fluids, fiber, and saunas to encourage the body to eliminate these metals. If you aren’t pooping regularly every morning at the minimum, then start taking this.
Step 2 – Integrate Supportive Nutrients: Your liver is what will help you flush out the toxins. Start providing it with even more nutrients.
- Alginate from seaweed (this binds to metal in the gut). Or take phytoplankton.
- Selenium, zinc, n-acetylcysteine, lipoic acid, milk thistle, and garlic.
Step 3 – The Detoxification Period: By the time you reach step 3 you’ll have eliminated most of the toxins. And here’s how to detox mercury completely from the body.
- For mercury fillings, visit your nearest dentist and let them evaluate and ask them for replacement options. Make sure you’re under a trained biological dentist’s supervision. For more information, check out my blog post on my own removal experience.
- Use binding agents to pull the mercury out of your body. Pectasol–C, for example, binds to all heavy metals and free radicals that could be wreaking havoc in your body. (I actually take this year-round and it helps keep any exposure I might come in contact with moving out of my body so I don’t become as affected.)
- If you have been doing sauna 3 times a day, now increase it up to 5 times a week. You should not skip saunas, especially on those days when using binders. Sweat out those toxins!
- Consider getting supplemental vitamins and antioxidants for three months while undergoing this process. I recommend a good overall vitamin, and another good detoxing/balancing supplement.
- Drink enough filtered water and fluids to make urine clear.
- Make sure you have bowel movements twice a day, meaning you need to visit your toilet twice a day. Sorry, but it’s important. Flax seeds can help better bowel movements. If those don’t work, this is my favorite solution.
- Consider organic protein to boost glutathione if you are not allergic to dairy.
The Detoxification Process After Mercury Fillings Removal
Getting fillings taken out isn’t fun, but if not taken out there is a high chance of mercury accumulation. The simple act of brushing your teeth, drinking hot drinks or soda, and teeth grinding can release mercury vapors for you to breathe in.
The detoxification process after mercury fillings removal is very important. The mercury vapor can sometimes sneak through the holes and enter your body. Why take the risk?
- Break a sweat every day! No matter how busy you’re, don’t forget to sweat. You can exercise or use the sauna for sweating. Perspiration can get rid of all sorts of toxins.
- Eat a high fiber diet – A high-fiber diet can aid bowel movements. You want your intestines working efficiently, so the toxins are not reabsorbed into your bloodstream from the intestines. Avoid any food allergens altogether, or anything that could negatively affect your bowel movements.
- Drink lots of filtered water. It’s good for digestion, and it’s good for your kidneys, which are very susceptible to mercury toxicity.
Other Methods to Detox Mercury
Some other methods to detox mercury includes:
- Chelation Therapy
Chelation therapy is considered alternative medicine that has the purpose of removing “heavy metals” and toxins from the body.
Chelation therapy involves a chemical solution called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), which is administered into the body — usually directly injected into the bloodstream — so it can bind with excess minerals. Once bound to “toxins” in the body, EDTA helps detox the body of heavy metals by removing them before imbalances and illnesses have the chance to develop. Be very careful, this is the most extreme natural method and can have more cons than pros.
- Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is a popular herb rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This herb is commonly used to detoxify the body and promote liver and gallbladder health and is considered to be one of the most common natural supplements for liver disorders in the US.
Milk thistle can help detox mercury by boosting liver health, as the liver is responsible for cleaning and keeping our body clean. It also promotes healthy digestive functions, increases bile production, decreases inflammation, and soothes the mucous membranes throughout the body.
- Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal that comes from a natural source is not only safe but effective for promoting detoxification.
Activated charcoal is a potent natural treatment used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so that the body doesn’t reabsorb them. It can be made from a variety of sources, like coconut shells. It’s also important to note that activated charcoal is not charcoal used in your barbecue grill!
Activated charcoal is created by the controlled decomposition of carbon-based compounds, such as coconut shells or peat (vegetable matter). To make activated charcoal these natural sources are “activated” with gases at high temperatures, which expands its surface. This results in a very porous final product, which allows for the adsorption of drugs and toxins.
- Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay also called calcium bentonite clay or Montmorillonite clay is a product composed of ash taken from volcanoes. The clay is dried in the sun, filtered, and then sold commercially in several forms, including facial clay masks, ointments/pastes, hair treatments, and in the form of detox supplements.
Triphala contains gallic acid, ellagic acid, and chebulinic acid, which are all strong antioxidants. It also has flavonoids and polyphenols, which have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antidiarrheal abilities.
Triphala’s purported uses include the natural treatment of cancer, infections, gastrointestinal issues, inflammation, high cholesterol, immune system malfunction, and full body detox.
Detox Diet to Flush Out Mercury
I like to primarily focus on diet and supplements to fight any health problem. In this section, I’ll explain what to eat, what not to eat, and the supplements that aid in mercury detox.
Food You Should Eat
- Leafy Green Veggies – Eat kale, swiss chard, dandelion greens, mustard greens, arugula, spinach, or beet greens. Broccoli sprouts are another great food for providing antioxidants and reducing inflammation.
- Herbs and Spices – Herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and cilantro can help remove heavy metals including mercury.
- Foods Rich In Vitamin C – High-vitamin C foods include citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruit, leafy greens like spinach and kale, all types of berries, broccoli, and cruciferous veggies, kiwi, papaya, guava, and bell pepper. Here’s my favorite vitamin C supplement if you aren’t getting enough antioxidants from your diet.
- Garlic and Onions – These vegetables contain sulfur which helps your liver detoxify itself of heavy metals like lead and arsenic.
- Water – Drink 8 ounces of water, detox tea, or vegetable juice every two hours to stay hydrated and help flush out toxins.
- Flax And Chia Seeds – These provide omega-3 fats and fiber that can help boost detoxification and reduce inflammation.
- Bone Broth – Bone broth contains minerals and amino acids that help support liver health by providing glutathione and help strengthen the internal organs. Consume bone broth by either making your own or by using protein powder made from bone broth.
Food You Should Avoid
- Farmed Fish – Farmed fish, especially those from foreign countries where the quality is not monitored, can contain heavy metals, dioxins, and PCBs which are highly toxic. The worst offenders are tilefish, swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and bigeye tuna.
- Food Allergens – If your body is fighting against common allergens and dealing with high levels of inflammation, it will not be able to detoxify from heavy metal poisoning as well.
- Non-Organic Foods – Non-organic foods are exposed to chemicals. Stay away from them!
- Foods With Additives – Additives may aggravate toxicity symptoms and decrease your body’s ability to detoxify. Avoid food additives and outside foods that have additives.
- Alcohol and Cigarettes – Too much alcohol and cigarettes are toxic to the body and can make it more difficult for your liver to process other toxins.
- Chlorella – Chlorella is a genus of green algae (family Chlorellaceae) found either singly or cluster in fresh or saltwater. The whole chlorella plant is used to make nutritional supplements and medicine. 1-4 grams per day, or about 4-8 caps daily for mercury detox.
- Cilantro – It may help lower your blood sugar, fight infections, and promote heart, brain, skin, and digestive health. You can easily add coriander seeds or leaves — sometimes known as cilantro — to your diet. Preferably taken as a tincture 2x per day.
- Shilajit – An ancient brain-boosting, hormone-regulating medicinal herb. Shilajit is a natural chelator because it contains fulvic acid and humic acid that binds to toxic molecules.
- Probiotics – Soil-based, 50 billion units one time daily can help improve detoxification of the gut and help boost immunity. Combine that with prebiotics to help you poop better too, like this one.
How Do I Reduce Mercury Exposure?
We have covered mostly everything on how to detox mercury. But detoxing alone is not enough. As much as detox is important, it’s important to reduce mercury exposure. So, how do you reduce mercury exposure?
- Avoid larger fish as they have lived longer and have accumulated heavy metals in them
- Avoid amalgam fillings
- Be aware of where you are, don’t go into heavy mercury exposed areas
- Use natural body care products and makeup. Check the label. Stop using the product immediately if you see the words ‘mercurous chloride,’ ‘calomel,’ ‘mercuric,’ ‘mercurio’ or ‘mercury.’”
- Filter your shower and tap water if you use private water systems like wells.
FAQ About Mercury Detoxification
- Why is Mercury Toxic?
- Mercury is a neurotoxin, which means that at high levels, mercury can affect how your brain functions. This can lead to symptoms such as depression, brain fog, fatigue, and anxiety. Mercury’s toxicity not only affects the brain, but can also impair how your digestion, kidneys, muscles, and lungs work, particularly by poisoning your mitochondria. The mitochondria are the energy-producing organelles found in your cells.
- How long does organic mercury stay in the body?
- It stays up to 70 days on average.
- Can you recover from mercury toxicity?
- Yes and no. If the symptoms just started and you haven’t been exposed for years and years, it’s very possible that those symptoms will dissipate. If it’s occupational — you’ve been exposed to this for many, many years and you’ve physically damaged the nervous system — that may or may not reverse.
- Wild vs Farmed Salmon – which salmon has more mercury?
- The current evidence for trace metals in salmon is conflicting. Two studies observed very little difference in mercury levels between wild and farmed salmon. High levels of toxic contaminants have given farm-raised salmon a bad reputation, but many wild-caught salmon also contain these same contaminants. One of the biggest differences in farm-raised fish is their less nutritious and less-diverse diet. Most farm-raised fish eat a highly processed, high-fat feed made of corn, grains, fish oil, and ground-up fish.
Let The Mercury Roll Out
Did I answer, how to detox mercury?
If you think you have mercury poisoning, talk with your doctor. If tests indicate your mercury level is too high, you’ll likely need medical treatment to avoid lasting complications. There are some things you can do to support your body’s own detoxification system. If you want to try a mercury detox at home, make sure you carefully review the plan you’re trying.
It takes time to detox and safely remove mercury from your body, but it’s possible. People who want to detox from heavy metals should try to find alternatives that are safer and work more gradually – like certain foods and supplements that can bind mercury and transport them out of the body.
Whatever you are looking to do, I wish you health and safety on your health journey. Cheers to naturally detoxing from mercury accumulation!