Below is a post I originally wrote and shared in May of 2014. It’s a post I have shared often so I am re-sharing now, so those who are new to my page and my work have context for my story as well as the benefit of the information provided. Thanks for reading, friends! – Tamara
I am always asked about “natural chelation”* methods, since so many parents want to know what they can do if their baby tests positive (especially if they test lower level positive and are not hospitalized or given medical chelation*), or if they themselves test positive (especially if they are breast feeding.)
*Chelation refers to an risky emergency medical intervention – generally reserved for use in cases of extreme poisoning, when the patient might otherwise die – in which chemicals are introduced intravenously to bond with the toxic heavy metals so they can be excreted in urine (along with vital skeletal minerals like calcium)
To start: I am not a doctor (I think I have to say that!) I am not involved with medical organization, and not directly affliated with any medical staff. I always encourage people with medical and health related questions to seek advice of their regular medical provider. That said….
What I will share is what seemed to work for me (as a mother) and what many of the other parents in parent-support groups I am involved with have shared as solutions that seem to have worked for them as well. [If you would like to join one of the parent support group that I am part of (I belong to 10 or 12 on Facebook), please friend me at http://www.facebook.com/leadsafe and send a message that you want to join the groups and I will add you! Thank you.]
To learn more about the medical establishment’s concerns about natural chelation click here.
In making this inquiry for yourself and your child you may want to research the following natural substances online (“Google” them and see what you find!)
- Garlic (as a natural chelator)
- Modified Citrus Pectin [2017 update, I recently heard that some forms of this product may contain lead.]
Those are the four main ones I have heard of which are anecdotally purported to help. [For obvious reasons, funding and institutional interest is scarce for large-scale, peer-reviewed clinical studies into “natural”/”alternative” (i.e. non-pharmceutical, inexpensive, plant-based, DIY) remedies for human ailments.]
Here’s some links about the garlic study that was done with chickens—it’s a pretty useful bit of information, since many of us already eat a lot of garlic and can think of easy ways to incorporate more garlic into our diets.
For children, consider roasting the garlic in the oven at 425 for 30 minutes – with a drizzle of olive oil over it. The garlic gets sweeter that way and can easily be spread on toast or mixed in with other foods (although I must admit I have no idea how cooking it in this way might impact it’s purported chelation properties!)
For my children, I used a product called NDF by Bioray Natural Detox to lower their blood lead levels more quickly than they were going down without any intervention (please click here to read my separate post on my personal experience with NDF).
As one example, while using this product, Avi’s BLL came down from a BLL 15 to a BLL 11 in three weeks—by far the quickest decline he experienced.
I know the owner of this company (we have met in person) and I also researched her work. It is my understanding that this product is independently tested by a third party and guaranteed to be lead-free (many so called “all natural” supplements are not tested for lead nor guaranteed to be lead-free!) It is also made from “all natural” ingredients (broken cell-wall cilantro and chlorella) and it is the way they process it that allegedly makes it substantially more bio-available than other brands. I encourage you to read about it yourself on their site and through customers’ reviews.
You can buy other supplements with cilantro and chlorella – but I have not found another one that is guaranteed to be lead-free.
The logic there: if something naturally binds to lead in the body (to help the body excrete it) it may also naturally bind to lead in the growing or manufacturing or harvesting of the elements of the product, so independent third party testing seems crucial.
One mama in one of my parent groups (a mama who is now a very good friend of mine) had a baby girl with an initial blood lead level (bll) of 48 micrograms per deciliter. Under the care of a naturopath, she aggressively treated baby Katie by rubbing cilantro oil on her feet each day. Her understanding was that the feet are supposed to be a good pathway for detox and the oil can allegedly help “mobilize” the lead—increasing the amount that is excreted in the urine. With mama Amy’s amazing persistence (in spite of her personal allergy to cilantro!) Katie’s blood lead level dropped from a BLL 48 to a BLL 1.0 in about year.
Skeptics might argue that that might have happened over that time-frame on it’s own, but there is starting to be a lot of anecdotal evidence (and a few limited clinical studies) to suggest these kinds of interventions may indeed accelerate that process (of eliminating lead from the blood) substantially, and as a parent of lead-poisoned children, I am not going to risk NOT trying a non-toxic, plant-based solution that has the potential to help—especially in the absence of any available medical interventions whatsoever (as is currently the case for a “non-life-threatened pediatric lead poisoned patient”).
I have not tried modified citrus pectin, however many mothers (and their natural health care providers) swear by it as a natural detox supplement. Here are some links about that:
One specific compound that has been alleged to be a detox agent if ingested, yet I have personally found to have high levels of lead and therefore I recommend that you avoid at all costs is bentonite clay (and any possible supplement or personal care item that contains any amount of bentonite clay.)
Food items are considered toxic if they have lead in the parts per billion (ppb) range, and I have personally used an XRF to test bentonite clay samples (being sold as a supplement and marketed as safe to take internally) that were positive for lead in the parts per MILLION range (ppm). This is much, much more toxic than is considered allowable in food items. I also specifically recommend avoiding toothpaste made with any bentonite clay. No level of lead is safe for ingestion (for adults or children), kids swallow toothpaste and it is simply not worth the risk.
When I originally posted this concern for bentonite clay on my website (with supporters of bentonite clay products insisting it was *natural* and therefore safe!) a wonderful response I got from a follower was that rattle snakes and hurricanes are also natural… so….
There you go! Happy researching. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Unexpected Lead Expert
Mother of #LeadPoisoned Children