Detoxing from heavy metals with Ayurveda

In this day and age we are increasingly exposed to heavy metals. What are they and how do we get exposed?

Aluminium – from deodorants, processed food and vaccines
Arsenic – from pesticides (therefore may be present in food)
Cadmium – from cigarette smoke, food
Lead – petrol fumes, lipstick
Mercury – from fish/seafood, amalgam fillings and vaccines

None of these metals has a role in the body and they are toxic even at low levels. Heavy metals can impact the respiratory, digestive, immune, cardiovascular, urinary and central nervous systems. They have also been linked with auto-immune conditions.

Although it is not a heavy metal I also looked at Fluoride as a contaminant with known toxicity: Exposure is from water, toothpaste, tea, medicines and exposure to PFC’s (in non-stick cookware).

Some common signs and symptoms of heavy metal toxicity

  • Digestive disorders
  • Fatigue
  • brain fog, confusion, memory problems
  • depression & anxiety
  • joint pain, muscle aches

So what can we do about this?
There are many treatments recommended using supplements; but we can also use very simple detoxing as recommended by Ayurveda:

Green Mung Detox soup

The benefits of a mung soup detox include

•    Cleansing the body of toxins, including heavy  metals
•    Correcting digestive fire
•    Sharpening the mind, providing tranquillity, energy and vitality
•    Promoting weight loss, reduces swelling and water retention.

You could try one day a week, one weekend a month or go for the full 7-10 days to really cleanse the system.

For a longer detox it is recommended to have guidance from an Ayurvedic practitioner and to be aware of contraindications (including pregnancy) as well as possible detox symptoms such as tiredness, irritability, headaches and possible tears – these are all a normal part of the process as the body cleanses and rebalances.

Why does it work?

This simple soup recipe includes a number of key ingredients:

Mung beans – the protein, tannin, and other polyphenols are thought to combine with pesticides, mercury, arsenic, and other heavy metals, promoting their excretion from the body.

Ghee – This has been used medicinally for thousands of years in Asia as it promotes digestion, repairs damage to the gut lining and is nourishing for the nervous system and brain.

Onion seeds (nigella sativa) – These amazing black seeds have an extraordinary range of health benefits, including their ability to increase Glutathione, the master cellular antioxidant. Its role is to bind to toxins, pulling them out of the cells and carrying them to the liver to be processed and then excreted via the bowels, kidneys, lungs or skin.

Fresh coriander – Coriander has been shown to draw out mercury, cadmium, lead and aluminium from the bones and central nervous system.