I continue to try new protocols for my mercury toxicity, but so far, this protocol is my favorite. How did I get mercury toxicity? I grew up in the 1950s, and was exposed to mercury from:
- silver amalgam tooth fillings;
- using mercurochrome to heal cuts when I was a child;
- playing with mercury “marbles,” and
- certain lab experiments in graduate school that involved inhaling mercury.
Detox (detoxification) is “the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including the human body, which is mainly carried out by the liver.” (11)
Some heavy metals are good for you (up to a point), such as copper, iron, selenium, zinc, and more. For these, it is best to take them in chelated form, such as bound to a protein, peptide or amino acid (for example, selenomethionine). Taking them in their ionized (salt) form, can be harmful (for example: sodium selenate, zinc chloride, zinc phosphate). Others are quite toxic (no matter how you are exposed to them), such as aluminum, lead and mercury.
- Includes: 1. Chlorella and Cilantro with Vitamin C Protocol for Heavy Metal Detox; 2. Mercola’s Mercury Detox Protocol;
- See Also (This Site): 1. Notes on Natural Health Topics Menu; 2. Detox (About) including Several Detox Methods; 3. Detox from Toxic Heavy Metals; 4. Notes on Natural Healing Remedies Menu; 5. Mercury Detox using Chlorella and Cilantro for printable 1-page pdf summary of my regimen
- See Also, Other Sites: Mercola interviews of Dr Shade on Mercury Exposure (8f), and Three Pillars of Detox (8e).
Chlorella & Cilantro with Vitamin C for heavy metal detox
This is the first ‘natural’ protocol I tried for mercury toxicity, when I developed a food sensitivity to DMSA. It is basically a two-step protocol (Chlorella and Cilantro), but additional recommendations have since been added. IMPORTANT NOTE: take Chlorella first, followed by Cilantro; then Vitamin C several hours later. See Sample Chelation Schedule, below.
- Step 1: Cilantro tincture mobilizes mercury out of the cells and into the bloodstream;
- Step 2: Chlorella powder or tablets binds mercury in the blood and excrete it with the stool. It binds only toxic metals, not essential ones (8H)
- Step 3 (optional): Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can also be taken with the protocol, to boost levels of glutathione, a powerful detox agent in the liver.
A caution: do not take cilantro without also taking chlorella (different times on each day). From Natural Science (17):
- “Cilantro… mobilizes more toxins than it can carry out of the body, it may flood the connective tissue (where the nerves reside) with metals, that were previously stored in safer hiding places. This can cause re-toxification if another binding agent isn’t used to help rid the body of the heavy metals that are ‘found’ in their hiding places throughout the body.”
- “Simply by adding chlorella – an intestinal absorbing agent – the retoxificaiton of the system is prohibited [this is a good thing].
Dosage and scheduling
NOTE: Chlorella/Cilantro Heavy Metal Detox does NOT chelate essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium, so you can continue to take essential mineral supplements on both chelating and non-chelating days
I do 2-week cycles: 1 week of detox and 1 week of non-detox.
- Detox week includes taking both chlorella and cilantro, as well as other supportive foods (see list below);
- Non-detox week is regular non-detox schedule; it does not include cilantro, but may include chlorella.
The following is from Curezone: Cilantro/Chlorella/Vitamin C Chelate Mercury (11), also from The Klinghardt Neurotoxin Elimination Protocol (12A), or as otherwise noted, with my notes added.
Chlorella (binder): Take this first (before cilantro), so it is available in the blood as soon as cilantro teases the heavy metals out of hiding. See Healing Daily (24) for more about using chlorella to detox mercury.
- How, and how much to take:
- For general use: best taken with meals in small doses throughout the day, totaling 3 – 5 grams (1 tsp powder = 3 g).
- For chelation therapy, use 3 grams (1 tsp) of chlorella powder or one 5g tablet per day; this can be in divided doses taken 30 minutes before the cilantro.
- Avoid taking before or after a caffeinated or soft drink beverage.
- What I take for chelation: add 3 g (1 tsp) powder/day to my daily smoothie, which I drink half in morning and half after dinner; plus 5 tabs fermented chlorella (1 g), 3-times/day 9 AM (breakfast), 3 PM (with afternoon supplements), and 6 PM (dinner) to start. Total 5 g chlorella/day.
- NOTE: Chlorella has evolved to bind ONLY toxic minerals, not ones that are essential, such as magnesium, calcium, etc, so you don’t need to avoid essential minerals during the detox. See Mercola (8H) for more.
Cilantro (mobilizer): A mobilizer teases the toxin from the tissues where it hides (mercury primarily hides in the brain). DO NOT take cilantro tincture without chlorella. If taken alone, the mobilized heavy metals can cause significant harm.
- Start with 2 or 3 drops cilantro tincture, 2 times per day, 2-consecutive days each detox week in the beginning;
- Increase to 10 drops 2 times/day for full benefit; at same time, increase detox days by 1 – 2 days per detox week until you detox all 7 days of the detox week.
- When to take: Just before a meal that includes chlorella, such as a smoothie with chlorella; or 30 minutes after taking chlorella.
- What I take: The day before starting, I add chlorella powder to my daily smoothie, to ensure chlorella is in my body before taking cilantro tincture.
- Then I take cilantro tincture just before morning dose of chlorella, and 30 minutes after afternoon dose of chlorella.
Sample chelation schedule & dosage
- Breakfast- and Dinner-time:
- Chlorella: half-dose or 1.5 g (½ tsp) twice daily: 30 minutes before breakfast and before dinner;
- Cilantro: 2 drops (increase to 10 drops over time) taken 30 minutes after breakfast/dinner doses of chlorella if chlorella is part of your meal, such as in a full-meal smoothie; OR before breakfast and after chlorella if taking chlorella tabs rather than powder in a smoothie.
- No chlorella/cilantro;
- Liposomal vitamin C: can take after lunch;
My chelation schedule & dosage
I do 2-week (or more) cycles, with 2- to 7-days detox (chlorella and cilantro) followed by remaining days of regular diet, including chlorella for at least first 2 days; I may extend non-detox days an additional week when doing more than 2-days detox.
- 2-days before starting a cycle, add 1 tsp (3 g) chlorella per day to my morning smoothie, to ensure I have some in my system to bind any heavy metals in my blood. (I make 2-days-worth of smoothie every-other day, so add 2 tsp (6 g) chlorella. Then I take ½ of each day’s smoothie (1.5 g chlorella) for breakfast, and the other ½ of the day’s smoothie (1.5 g chlorella) for “dessert” after dinner.
- For each cycle: start with 2 days detox, 12-days non-detox and increase detox days/decrease non-detox days by 1 day at least 1 week after last detox, until doing 7 detox and 7 non-detox days/cycle.
- Schedule for detox days:
- Morning: 2 – 10 drops* cilantro tincture at 10:30 AM, just before I drink half of daily smoothie, for 1.5 g chlorella;
- 1 hour after lunch: liposomal vitamin C
- 4 PM (with afternoon supplements): 5 tabs fermented chlorella (1 g)
- 4:30 PM (30 min after afternoon supps): 2 – 10 drops* cilantro tincture
- 6PM (dinner): 5-tabs fermented chlorella (1 g); plus other half of daily smoothie (1.5 g chlorella). No cilantro tincture until next day (or next detox).
- 1 hour after dinner (optional): liosomal vitamin C
‘*start with 2 drops cilantro/dose for first cycle of detox days; with each repeating cycle, increase by 1 – 2 drops/dose on detox days of each cycle, until taking 10 drops/dose.
- Daily totals:
- Detox days: Chlorella, 5 g/day; Cilantro 4-drops, increasing to 20 drops/day
- Non-detox days, to ensure all the mobilized heavy metals are carried out of the body: Add 1-tsp (3 g) chlorella to my smoothie each day (but no cilantro);
- 2-days before starting a cycle (as listed above): and
- at least the first 2-days after each set of detox days.
- If desired, add chlorella to smoothie every day, as it has health benefits beyond detox.
Additional supportive foods/supplements to support the chlorella/cilantro therapy:
- Vitamin C: Take as far away from chlorella as possible (best to take vitamin C after meals). 500 mg per day or more can be taken. There are two forms: ascorbic acid and ascorbate (mineralized). During the chelating days, ascorbic acid form (such as liposomal Vitamin C) is best; during remineralization-days, the mineralized form, such as magnesium ascorbate, is best.
- I take 500 mg 3-times per day in my whole-food multi-vitamin, plus extra added to my morning smoothie, and liposomal vitamin C after lunch/dinner during detox days.
- How I take:
- On all days, I add liquid Vitamin C supplement to my daily smoothie, and also get as part of Alphasorb-C with each meal.
- NOTE: unfortunately, I add chlorella powder to my smoothie on detox days, so should not add any forms of vitamin C to that smoothie. OR I could take chlorella tablets at least 2 hours before/after the smoothie.
- When chelating I take after meals:
- Liposomal vitamin C supplement (500 mg ascorbic acid per capsule) after breakfast and lunch and/or dinner meals; and
- Alphasorb-C (iHerb code NOW-00717)
- On all days, I add liquid Vitamin C supplement to my daily smoothie, and also get as part of Alphasorb-C with each meal.
- NOTE: As I write this (Mar 2020), the world is dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, so I’ve added the Liposomal vitamin C every day, detox or not, to support my immune system.
- Butyrate: (4-carbon fatty acid from butter) is anti-inflammatory and protects the colon from free-radicals, helping to prevent colon cancer. If you have a healthy gut microbiome, the good bugs in your gut will make enough butyrate (from carbs) for good health. But if you have heavy metal or other toxicity issues, your gut balance is off and you can benefit from supplemental butyric acid/butyrate. It helps clean the liver, gall bladder, and biliary tree in the liver. It also helps clean the bowel, helps control ammonia, and removes unwanted “renegade fats”. See Paleo Leap (25) and Center for Wellness (26) for more.
- I started with Butyrex, which includes magnesium and other mineral salts (Amazon ASIN B003JOJ04G). It contains 600 mg butyric acid per capsule, with magnesium taurate salt. Recommended dose: 1-2 caps, 3x daily (1800 – 3600 mg/day).
- Another option: Butyr-En (iHerb code ALG-70220), contains 100 mg butyric acid per capsule as a calcium-magnesium salt). Recommended dose: 1-2 caps, 3x daily (300 – 600 mg/day). Not sure why this is so much less than Butyrex dose.
- I’ve since switched to Tributrin (ButyCaps brand, Amazon ASIN B077BLKJCX), after I started having food sensitivity issues to magnesium; each packet contains 787 mg butyric acid, which I add to my daily smoothie. Tributrin is the natural tributyrate in butter; I also eat a fair amount of butter daily. When doing detox protocol I take 2 packets daily (or 1 packet plus 1 capsule Butyrex), plus plenty of dietary butter.
- Garlic/wild garlic are also recommended with this protocol:
- to protect white and red blood cells from oxidative damage (by toxic heavy metals), and
- because of allicin’s antimicrobial ability against secondary infections common with metal toxicity.
- Dosage: 1–3 capsules freeze dried garlic after each meal. Start with 1 capsule after the main meal per day; slowly increase to the higher dosage. Initially the patient may experience die-off reactions (from killing pathogenic fungal or bacterial organisms). Use 5–10 drops bear-garlic on food at least 3 times per day. (Klinghardt protocol, (6))
- Fish oil is also recommended with this protocol. It:
- Contains EPA and DHA which protect the brain from viral infections;
- Makes white and red blood cell more flexible, improving micro-circulation of the brain, heart and other tissues.
- Dosage: 1 capsule (or 1 serving or liquid) Omega 3 or fish oil taken 4 times/day during the active phase of treatment; 1 capsule (or 1 serving or liquid) twice/day for maintenance. Best if taken together with chlorella. (6)
- Pure water: Drink LOTS of pure (filtered) water daily.
- Liposomal vitamin C: x
- Natural ocean salt (such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan sea salt) instead of table salt:
- It helps with hydration, and with proper reception of electric messages in the body’s autonomic nervous system.
- Even better is a specific electrolyte formula developed by the American chemist Ketkovsky and improved by Morin Labs, now called “selectrolyte.”
- Dosage: 1 tsp in a cup of good water 1–3 times/day. During times of greater stress the dosage can be temporarily increased to 1 tbsp 3 times/day. (6) See also Zeta-Aid (7)
My experience/notes regarding chlorella/cilantro protocol
As with prescription chelators, the cilantro/chlorella combo should not be done every day. 1 week on and 2 – 3 weeks off is recommended. See Curezone: Cilantro/Chlorella/Vitamin-C Chelate Mercury (27) for more.
Back when I tried DMSA or DMPS protocols, I could notgo a whole week without MgCl2 supplementation (during chelation) so I used:
- chelator: 2 days on, 12 days off; and
- minerals: 2 days off, 12 days on
The Kitchen Doctor (28) also has some good info on this, although I somewhat disagree with his take on candida and parasites (he says they increase when you remove mercury, but my experience is that mercury tends to protect candida (candida may decrease when you remove mercury).
I started mixing 2 tsp powdered chlorella/day with my smoothie, but I did not care for its flavor. Instead, I reduced the amount of powdered chlorella to 1 tsp/day in my smoothie, and added chlorella tablets for the remaining amount. This change did not disturb the flavor of the smoothie. However, I now realize I should not mix chlorella and vitamin C in the same smoothie, so I will either add NO forms of vitamin C to my smoothie on chlorella days, OR instead of using chlorella powder, I will add more chlorella tablets per day (away from the smoothie).
Mercola’s Mercury Detox Protocol
This protocol (8c) is used in conjunction with DMPS chelation therapy; however, it could be done without the DMPS (see Chlorella & Cilantro with Vitamin C protocol, above).
My preference is to do just the Chlorella & Cilantro with Vitamin C protocol (above), but follow Mercola’s dietary and other suggestions.
It combines two chelating protocols:
- DMPS is a synthetic agent that performs a dual duty: lure the metals out of your tissues, chelate them, and carry them out of the body;
- Chlorella and cilantro agents (see also Chlorella and Cilantro with Vitamin C Protocol, above): Cilantro (tincture) mobilizes the toxins from tissues to the blood stream; chlorella (powder or pill) is a binding agent that carries them out of the body via urine and feces. See Caution, above about the importance of taking chlorella when taking cilantro, above.
- If you choose to do this combination, you will need to stop taking minerals on DMPS days, then remineralize on non-detox days.
Additional supplements that assist the chelation are:
- MSM (another I cannot use because of sensitivity issues with sulfur), daily mineral supplement; and
- Butyrate (important short-chain fatty acid for which butter is named). Cat’s note: I use lots of real butter in my daily diet, and add a tributrin supplement (Buty-Caps) to my daily smoothie (tributrin is the form of butyric acid in butter).
This protocol recommends starting with one 500 mg tablet chlorella daily to determine if you have any problems with it. Then increase over 1-2 weeks to a dose of 10 tablets daily (total 5 g/day), or same dose as combo of tablets and powder. Adding 1 tablet each day over 10 days would accomplish this. This is for a 150 lb person. Caution: if you start burping-up the chlorella taste, you are developing a sensitivity and should stop immediately. Then switch to ProChitosan (see item 4 in list below).
See also NIHA article (18) for more information on dosing chlorella and cilantro.
Summary of Mercola’s protocol (see his article for more details (8C):
- Diet: Avoid all sugar and milk (but whey protein powder can be used), limit all processed foods and most grains, especially wheat.
- Beneficial Bacteria: “Take one quarter to one half teaspoon once a day of a high potency high quality strain. It is vital to have an optimized bowel flora for detoxification.” I use 1 capsules Mercola’s Spore Restore (iHerb MCL-01885) and 2 capsule of Mercola’s Complete Probiotics (iHerb MCL-01317) daily during the detox period.
- Maintain two to three bowel movements per day:I take magnesium chloride (as 80% solution from my local compounding pharmacy) to help with this, as I have constipation without this important supplement. I also add freshly ground flax seeds to my daily smoothie.
- Unload the connective tissue with Chlorella or ProChitosan: I use chlorella, but don’t take it every day except during the “On” weeks of the detox. Mercola adds a “Caution: If at any time one develops nausea or starts “burping up” the chlorella taste then the chlorella should be stopped immediately as a food sensitivity is developing which will only worsen if you continue taking it. If this happens you should switch to ProChitosan. This binds similarly to mercury. Its dose is dependent on your bowel movements.” I am not familiar with ProChitosan and cannot find a source. Another alternative is Porphrazyme from Biotics Research (38).
- Garlic (3 cloves/day, not a supplement) or MSM for your sulfur stores.
- Cilantro helps mobilize mercury out of your tissues. Always take it AFTER chlorella or other binder. Mercola recommends a tincture from Dragon River (505-583-2348), but I get my tincture from Swan Valley Herbs in Bigfork.
- Mineral replacement (especially if taking DMPS or DMSA); note, however, that chlorella does not bind essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, selenium, etc.. I get my minerals from daily dose of Mercola’s Whole Food Multi (iHerb MCL-01035 or MCL-01939 for women).
- Hydrochloric acid (which I get from Betaine-HCL supplement).
- Digestion and gall bladder support (especially for autism): He recommends butyric acid and magnesium taurate, digestive enzymes including lipase, CCK (Cholecystokinin), and healthful fats such as those from seeds, nuts, avocado, coconut oil, and free range organic poultry, eggs, or meats. Cat’s note: I take Tributyrin, the form of butyric acid in butter, healthful fats, and a liver-gal bladder support tincture from Swan Valley Herbs (dandelion root, milk thistle seed and burdock root); and also a digestive enzyme supplement that includes betaine (iHerb NOW-02964).
- Anti-oxidants, specifically Vitamins C and E. He recommends 250-500 mg of vitamin C with each meal, and 2000 units (typically five of the 400 unit capsules) of vitamin E the day of and the day after the DMPS injection as this will decrease the side effects of the detoxification reaction considerably.
- DMPS injections or an alternative. I have trouble with these so do not include DMSA nor DMPS because of my sensitivity issues with sulfur-containing compounds.
Other recommendations for mercury detox, with this protocol:
- Vitamin B9 (as folate, not as folic acid): According to Mercola’s sales pitch for his folate supplement, it helps to “sweep away glyphosate [Roundup toxin] and heavy metals (8G). So eat good dietary sources (see Vitamin B Complex for ideas), and take a good quality methyl-folate supplement if you have either/both of these toxins.
- Garlic (and other members of the onion family): Mercola recommends 3 cloves garlic/day. Or supplement with MSM, a sulfur compound (methyl-sulfonyl-methane).(8c). See also “Garlic for lead detox,” below, about study showing garlic is as effective at detoxing lead as a prescription drug, with fewer side effects.
- Getting adequate essential minerals daily (especially magnesium, selenium and zinc, but avoid copper and iron supplements). However, do not take them while taking the agents, as they will bind the minerals so you can’t absorb them; instead, take these on the off-days. It’s important to monitor your mineral levels (blood test) every 6-12 weeks (2-3 months). Cat’s note: chlorella, does not bind essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium, but
- Getting adequate good dietary fats daily, as this promotes bile production and release from the gall bladder, essential to eliminating chelated heavy metals. for example, coconut oil, butter, true olive oil, fish oil and cod liver oil. (see my article Good Fats for Cooking for more). CCK (cholecystokinin) can also be taken to promote gall bladder contraction. Or coffee enemas.
- Whey protein is also suggested to support your glutathione system. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Whey Protein Powder, because it is dried at low temperatures to avoid denaturing the protein..
- Milk thistle (13), which is healing for the liver. [I take this as part of my daily dose of Liver tincture complex from Swan Valley Herbs.]
- Livaplex (1-2 caps/day) and Antronex (1 table/day) from Standard Process, to support the liver (only available through practitioners).
- Saunas are also recommended, or at least hot sweating baths.
- Pure water: Drink LOTS of pure (filtered) water daily.
References 1 – 37 are copied (2/10/20) from Detox from Toxic Heavy Metals reference list; references beginning with 38, have been added specifically for this article.
- Wellness Education Center (WEC), Kalispell MT
- A Breakthrough in Cell Detoxification, from Dr. Dan Pompa (drpompa.com/additional-resources/health-tips/cell-detoxification-cytodetox-zeolite)
- Jonathan Landsman article: naturalhealth365store.com/Ultra-Binder-Universal-Toxin-Binder-120g_p_66.html
- Wendy Myers:
- On NanoVi detox device:
- on mitochondria detox: store.myersdetox.com/collections/heavy-metals-summit-collection/products/mitochondria-detox
- on sugar detox: Sugar 101 and 10 min Video
- Catherine Haug article: How to Detox Glyphosate ( Roundup) from your Body
- The Klinghardt Neurotoxin Elimination Protocol (customers.hbci.com/~wenonah/new/9steps.htm)
- About Zeta-aid: customers.hbci.com/~wenonah/new/mcdaniel.htm
- Mercola articles:
- Richard johnson interview:(articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/03/13/richard-johnson-interview.aspx)
- What is NADPH and NOX (articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/02/04/what-is-nadph-and-nox.aspx)
- Detox protocol: mercola.com/article/mercury/detox_protocol.htm
- Interview with Dr. Klinghardt on mercury elimination: mercola.com/article/mercury/mercury_elimination.htm
- Mercola on “Three Pillars of Heavy Metal Detoxification (8e) (articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/20/heavy-metal-detoxification.aspx
- Mercola and Dr. Shade on articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/06/dr-shade-on-mercury-exposure.aspx
- Folate sales pitch: products.mercola.com/folate-supplement
- Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry
- How to Detox Glyphosate ( Roundup) from your Body (by Cat)
- Meaning of detox from Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detoxification)
- Dr Axe:
- Gaiam blog: blog.gaiam.com/blog/mercury-detox-a-3-step-plan-to-recover-your-health/
- Wellness Mama: wellnessmama.com/302581/detox-heavy-metals/
- TTAC: thetruthaboutcancer.com/signs-you-need-to-detox/
- Wikipedia: wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylenediaminetetraacetic_acid
- Natural Society: naturalsociety.com/proper-heavy-metal-chelation-cilantro-chlorella/
- National Integrated Health Associates: nihadc.com/library/detox-for-life-class-2-addit-resources/54-4-dosing-with-chlorella/file.html (site requires signing a disclaimer before allowing access
- Travis Wade Fitness: traviswadefitness.com/blog-1/2016/4/11/heavy-metal-detoxification (link no longer valid)
- Green Med Info:
- Yerba Prima’s Great Plains Bentonite Detox, Liquid formula (yerba.com/product/bentonite-herbal-detox) See also iHerb code YBP-00519
- Healing Daily (healingdaily.com/oral-chelation/chlorella-dosage.htm)
- Paleo Leap (paleoleap.com/butyrate-anti-inflammatory-fat)
- Center for Wellness (cfwellness.com/butyrate)
- Curezone: Cilantro/Chlorella/Vitamin C Chelate Mercury (curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=969381)
- Kitchen Doctor (kitchendoctor.com/herbs/cilantro.php)
- About Nrf2: nrf2.com
- GMOsRevealed email text (3/20/19)
- Organifi Gold powder for Golden Milk/Tea organifi.com/1-gold-text-cb/
- Well of Life (Jonathan Otto sales pitches):
- Soil Biotics: http://soil-biotics.com/files/7373-soilbiotics-humicacid.pdfs
- Dr. Hagmire on EDTA Suppositories: drhagmeyer.com/product/kelatox-edta-chelation-suppositories30-count/
- Biotics Research product: bioticsresearch.com/node/1563