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 we have to say that!) We are not a medical organization, nor do we have any medical staff (yet!) and we 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 our parent-support group have shared as solutions that seem to have worked for them as well. [If you would like to join our parent support group, please friend me at http://www.facebook.com/leadsafe and send a message that you want to join the group and I will add you! Thank you.]
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
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. 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. 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 our parent group had a baby girl with a blood lead level 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 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 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:
There you go! Happy researching. Please feel free to post questions, additional links or comments via a comment form below.
Mother of #LeadPoisoned Children
Lead Safe America Foundation