Everything You Need to Know About Heavy Metals |

Everything You Need to Know About Heavy Metals

Sarena-Rae Santos July 4, 2023

Humans are exposed to heavy metals daily, from food and water contamination to vaccinations and amalgam (silver) fillings. Although we are exposed to it daily, there are ways to lessen our exposure and even detox, but keep the #1 detox mistake in mind.

I scrolled social media a few years back and stumbled upon a post discussing amalgam fillings. It discussed the ingredients in these fillings (mercury and a powdered alloy containing silver, tin, and copper). I remember wondering how I even had one considering my entire life I’ve had a documented silver allergy. Silver is right in the name, but I never realized it was about the metal alloy. I thought it was just the color.

Immediately, I started looking into the topic more. I learned all about the risks of heavy metals and decided I needed to have one silver filling removed and detox my body. This filling was the one final piece to my natural health journey. It was the final toxin exposure in my life that I had the control to eliminate, so I got to researching.

I found a holistic dentist certified in the safe mercury amalgam removal technique (SMART) through IAOMT. I had my filling removed in April 2023 and started a heavy metal detox in May 2023 with great results. Now I want to share what I learned about heavy metals, allowing you to cleanse your body and overall exposure to these toxins.

What Are Heavy Metals?

Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements with a high atomic weight and density at least five times greater than water. Their toxicity depends on several factors, including the dose, route of exposure, chemical species, and the age, gender, genetics, and nutritional status of exposed individuals. Heavy metals that are most recognized because they rank highest in toxicity include (1):

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Lead 
  • Mercury 

Aside from the five ranked highest in toxicity, there are 30 other metals of concern from residential and occupational exposure, of which 18 are heavy metals (2).

If you follow the definition, heavy metal is a metallic element with a relatively high density compared to water and is usually toxic at low concentrations. When you follow the definition of heavy metals, there are many other heavy metals, such as aluminum (3). For a longer list of heavy metals by definition, click here.

Risks of Heavy Metals

Several studies have evaluated the toxic effects of heavy metals on the environment and our bodies. Of course, heavy metals are well-known environmental pollutants that can accumulate in aquatic ecosystems. Of course, when humans (even animals) consume foods high in heavy metals, the body starts to also accumulate these toxins via bioaccumulation (4). This buildup may lead to heavy metal poisoning or toxicity. Some signs of heavy metal toxicity include (5):

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chills or a low body temperature
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling weak
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • A scratchy feeling in your throat
  • Numbness or prickly sensation in your hands and feet
  • Abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Anemia
  • Brain damage and memory loss
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Miscarriage in people who are pregnant
  • Risk of developing cancer

Aside from heavy metal toxicity, these toxins can harm our health. One study found heavy metals can cause gastrointestinal and kidney dysfunction, nervous system disorders, skin lesions, vascular damage, immune system dysfunction, congenital disabilities, and cancer (6). 

Some interesting studies/articles surrounding heavy metal risks include:

Remember, I said earlier that heavy metals could be found in food and water supply (including baby food and formula), vaccines, and silver fillings. Heavy metals can also be found in hygiene supplies like deodorant, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, and more. 

Herbs to Promote Heavy Metal Detoxification

I highly recommend detoxing from heavy metals if you can, but this is not an option for people with metal fillings or other forms of heavy metals in the body. When I did my heavy metal detox, I used a combination of the following herbs alongside Earthley’s Vaccine Detox


Aside from being a highly nutritious superfood, chlorella is most often recognized for its detoxification abilities. Animal studies indicate chlorella effectively removes heavy metals and other harmful compounds from the body (6). One animal study found algae like chlorella to weaken the toxic effects of these heavy metals in the liver, brain, and kidneys (7). Chlorella has also been proven to help decrease the amount of other harmful chemicals found in our food supply, like dioxins (8).

It’s important to use other detoxification methods along with chlorella to ensure the heavy metal binds and leaves the body. I recommend Earthley’s Activated Charcoal Capsules.


Aside from being a delicious herb that we add to food, cilantro is also highly recognized for its ability to detox heavy metals. Several studies have demonstrated that cilantro leaves can produce a chelating effect in water spiked with heavy metals. These studies also show that cilantro can reduce lead absorption when food tainted with it is fed to mice (9). Another study found cilantro soup was reported to enhance mercury excretion following dental amalgam removal (10).


Aside from being a delicious addition to almost any meal, garlic has amazing detoxification abilities, even for heavy metals. One study found garlic to be a promising antidote to heavy metal toxicity due to its possession of plant compounds containing organo-sulfur groups, volatile oils, enzymes, carbohydrates, and amino acids (11). Another study uncovered garlic’s potential to enhance the excretion of cadmium through feces (12).

Oregon Grape Root

Oregon grape root plays a critical role because it contains a substance called berberine (13), which can help to destroy biofilms (14), thus releasing parasites, toxins, and metals that are bound up. Oregon grape root can help to fight drug-resistant fungi (15)  and yeasts (16), helping to heal and soothe the gut lining. Additionally, studies have this cleansing fruit acts as a strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral compound (17).


Spirulina is a well-known algae and highly nutritious superfood with robust detoxification abilities. Spirulina can be vital in mitigating heavy-metal toxicity, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury toxicities (18). Additionally, a study review demonstrated that spirula possesses promising heavy-metal toxicity-ameliorative effects mainly attributed to its intrinsic antioxidant activity (19).

If you want to start a heavy metal detox, I encourage you to download Earthley’s guide, Vaccine Detox Protocol. This guide helps you figure out what you need to know before you get started! This guide offers insight into the most important part of a detox, including how to support your major detox pathways, detoxing myths (and truths), additional key foods and herbs to help you heal, the best supplements to use (and how), supportive therapies (and when/if they’re worth it), and has printables to track your plan and progress to ensure you successfully eliminate the toxins from your body.

Have you ever considered a heavy metal detox?

This is the writings of:

Sarena-Rae Santos
Sarena-Rae Santos' journey to natural health began in 2019 when she swayed away from allopathic medicine after becoming wheelchair-bound due to the side effects of 20+ medications. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and dizziness due to nystagmus were the sources of her many health complications. Sarena's symptoms diminished after adopting a healthier lifestyle surrounding whole foods and herbs, leaving her a fantastic quality of life and a passion for educating people.

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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