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Heavy Metals: the What, Where, How

The last two years have been a whirlwind of emotions for everyone around the world, but it has also highlighted how important our health really is. Our health includes the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body, which all need to be supported and well looked after for optimal health and well-being. In homeopathy, this is called the Vital Force. Every living being has a life force and energy, also known as Prana or Chi. It refers to having a vital essence, a vital energy, a Vital Force, which is the source of life. Why is Vital Force important in the context of heavy metals?

Well, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals without even being aware. Heavy metals can be found in the foods we eat, in the water we drink, in the air, in our environment and in the items and products we use. Some of these toxins can saturate in our water reservoirs, fall down from the sky and hide in our homes without us being aware. In this blog I will talk about what are heavy metals, where and how we are exposed to them, symptoms of heavy metal poisoning, simple ways to avoid heavy metals and organ support.

Health is freedom

What are heavy metals?

Heavy metals are metallic elements found in the nature that have a density at least 5x higher than that of water [1]. Many metals are toxic and poisonous. The level of toxicity depends on dose, type of exposure as well as the susceptibility of the person who was exposed, alongside their age, gender, genetics and level of health [1]. Heavy metals have many uses in industries, technology, medicine, agriculture and our homes. Due to the wide usage of heavy metals in our environment and daily life, more attention has been drawn to the effects of them on the human body and health. Most widely used toxic heavy metals include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, amongst many others, which pose a significant public health threat [1]. These metals are so toxic that even a slight and infrequent exposure to them can lead to multiple organ damage, inflammations and act as carcinogens.

Heavy metal exposure

What is heavy metal poisoning?

Throughout the last years, research has increased exploring the impact of heavy metals on the human body. We now know that once we are exposed to heavy metals via drinking water, food, air, medication, environment or dermal exposure, these metals start to absorb and accumulate in the body, which then leads to toxicity in different body tissues and organs [2]. Acute metal ingestion can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cramping and headaches and these symptoms can be easily confused with a stomach bug.

Long-term exposure can lead to chronic problems such as damage of the organs (e.g. liver, kidneys), chronic fatigue, insomnia, visual disturbances, brain fog, chronic infections, paralysis, increase risk of cancer, contribute to nervous system issues, heart problems and difficult breathing and affect behaviour [3]. These symptoms can be easy to confuse with other symptoms, so it’s always best to consult your Doctor and practitioner to run blood and urine tests and potentially check the function of liver, kidneys, heart and other organs.

According to Anthony William (aka Medical Medium), the heavy metals can lead to ADD, ADHD, autism, depression, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s, OCD, concentration and memory issues, amongst many other issues [4]. Some of the heavy metals are inherited via our family line. One of the main issues with heavy metals is that they oxidise in our bodies, which damages surrounding tissues and increases inflammation of the nervous system, digestive system and organs, leading to a weaker immune system [4]. This means we are exposing ourselves to other illnesses and our bodies become a source of food for viruses, parasites, bacteria and pathogens [4]. Many heavy metals are neurotoxins which cross the blood-brain barrier and start affecting the nerve function throughout the body. This is why it’s crucial to get those out of the body, which I will talk about below.

Where are we exposed to heavy metals?

The following heavy metals can be found in our food and environment, listed with their harms and benefits as well as how they can be tested for (*not an exhaustive list): [5]

AluminiumFoil, batteries, metal cookware, cans, deodorant, cosmetics, pesticides, medication (aspirin, nasal sprays, antacids)Baking powder, refined flour, processed cheese, food additivesIrritates mucous membranes, crosses blood-brain barrier, associated with neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. dementia, Parkinson’s), dry skin, muscle weakness, immune problems, mental confusion and memory lossNoneUrine or blood test, hair tissue analysis
ArsenicHousehold detergents, coloured chalk, herbicides, pesticides, tobacco smoke, paints and dyes, medicine (chemotherapy drug)Rice, rice products, seafood, chicken, pork, commercial juicesMuscle cramps, persistent digestive issues, constant sore throat, abdominal pain, skin changesNoneUrine test, hair tissue analysis
CadmiumCigarette smoke, e-cigarettes, fertilisers, batteries, plastics, black rubber, ceramics, fertilizers, fungicides, mobile phoneSoft drinks, cereal grains, shellfish, kidneys and livers of animalsCarcinogenic, pulmonary diseases (COPD), renal damage, affects reproductive system and fertilityNoneUrine or blood test, kidney or liver test, hair tissue analysis
CopperBirth control pills, fungicides, copper pipes and their waterShellfish, tofu, whole grains, nuts, seeds, avocados, chocolate, teaOestrogen dominance, low thyroid, insomnia, fatigue, hyperactivity, anxiety, depress, compulsive behaviour, various hair and skin abnormalities, interferes with zinc and can exacerbate oestrogen dominanceHelps with the formation of myelin nerve sheaths, neurotransmitter synthesis, fertility and detoxification Helps body build collagenBlood and liver test, hair tissue analysis
LeadCigarette smoke, hair dyes, lead paint, lead pipes and their water, car exhaust, canned food, food packaging, batteries, PVC, gasoline, old toys, mobile phoneBone brothAnaemia, weakness, kidney damage, brain damage, stored in bonesNoneBlood test, hair tissue analysis
MercuryDental fillings (amalgams), nonelectric thermometers, batteries, tattooing, cosmetics, fabric softeners, insecticides, nasal sprays and other medications, paints and art supplies, mobile phoneSeafood (particularly tuna)Neurotoxin, anxiety, irritability, memory problems, developmental delays, depression, muscle weakness, lack of motor skills, breathing difficulties, impaired vision or hearing, altered heart rateNoneUrine or blood test, hair tissue analysis
NickelTobacco, e-cigarettes, piercings, cookware, diesel exhaust, batteries, jewellery, prosthesesMargarine, hydrogenated fats, vegetable oilsLeaky gut, lactose intolerance, Can cause chromosomal damageInvolved in lipid metabolismBlood test, hair tissue analysis. Patch test for allergy

What can we do to detoxify from heavy metals?

This is the most important part of this blog – how to detoxify from these heavy metals that may have accumulated in our bodies.


We should try to drink water that is somewhat purified. There are several ways of doing it, for example Britta water filter uses a coconut-based activated carbon filter that removes chlorine, zinc, copper, cadmium and mercury; however, it does not remove all of the nitrates and dissolved minerals as they don’t bind to the carbon. Many other water filters are also available (some of which directly attach to the water tap), which help to purify the water and consequently help to support our bodies and balance our immune system. Medical Medium also recommends adding lemon to the water (including to bottled water), which helps to vitalise the water, cleanse and detoxify the body and it’s best to have a glass of lemon on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.


We should try to minimise the consumption of processed foods, alcohol, pork, eggs, dairy, fish (mercury) and rice (arsenic) as all of them can contain some heavy metals.

heavy metal detox smoothie recipe

The Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie from Medical Medium) [4] is the best way to start detoxing from the excess metals. It contains:

  • 2 cups of Wild blueberries (available in freezer section in health food shops, Harris Farm): they draw out heavy metals from the brain and help to repair any gaps created by oxidation when the heavy metals are removed
  • 1 tsp of Barley grass juice powder: draws heavy metals out from the intestinal tract spleen, pancreas, thyroid and reproductive system and prepares the mercury for complete absorption by spirulina
  • 1 tsp of Spirulina: draws out heavy metals from central nervous system, brain and liver, and soaks up heavy metals extracted by barley grass juice powder
  • 1 cup of Cilantro: goes to hard-to-reach places and extracts metals that have been inherited
  • 1 tsp of Atlantic dulse: it binds to mercury, lead, aluminium, copper, cadmium and nickel and goes into deep places of the digestive tract and helps to eliminate those
  • 2 bananas & 1 cup orange juice to help absorb these ingredients

Blend until smooth, add water if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie. Image credit: Medical Medium ©
Skin products

We have a lot of skin, hair and make-up products to choose from, but natural and organic brands contain fewer nasties and chemicals and are gentler on the skin. A simple change could be switching a spray or roll-on deodorant containing aluminium to a more natural deodorant without heavy metals. Or changing a lipstick, which can contain lead, cadmium, chromium and aluminium, to a more natural lipstick. It’s always useful to read labels. Another tip is to go to a Finnish or infrared sauna from time to time, which helps toxins to be cleansed from our circulatory and lymphatic system through sweating.

Kitchen items

We use aluminium quite a lot in our kitchen and once aluminium is heated to a certain temperature, it can oxidize in air. Similarly with non-stick Teflon cookware, which at a high enough temperature, can release toxic chemicals in the air. A simple way to make changes would be to opt for baking paper or reusable trays and to switch to ceramic cookware, which doesn’t release chemicals into the air when heated.

other products

It is better to use glass bottles and containers than plastic ones, as microplastics can get into our organism and even to our blood as was found in a recent study [6].

Not all metals are bad for us

When we talk about heavy metals we often immediately think of the negative impact of them. However, some heavy metals are essential for our bodies to function at full capacity, such as zinc, iron and copper. Magnesium is another metal that our bodies need, but it is a light metal.

Zinc: we need zinc for our immune system and metabolism function, it also helps in wound healing

Iron: we need iron for growth, development, haemoglobin creation (which helps red blood cells to curry oxygen around the body)

Magnesium: we need magnesium to regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure as well as making protein, bone and DNA


We are more and more exposed to heavy metals in our food, water, environment and products and it is important to be aware of this due to the long-term impact of heavy metals in our body. It is recommended to be mindful what we consume, what we put on our bodies and how we live our lives, because even if we think we do everything ‘right’, we can never fully avoid being exposed to heavy metals and various toxins. A simple tip is to read labels of food, skin, hair and make-up products to find out if they contain heavy metals or other chemicals and opt for a more organic and natural product or item, which can make a big difference to our health.

I believe that we cannot truly get rid of all symptoms unless we know what is going on inside of our bodies and therefore, doing tests with a medical doctor and working with a naturopathic or homeopathic practitioner, who is aware of heavy metal toxicity, is important. In conclusion, if you are interested in cleansing from heavy metals, please consult your Doctor or practitioner. Be mindful that it is a process that takes time, as one cleanse or one smoothie will not be sufficient, but is so worth pursuing for better health and well-being.

About me

I grew up in a home where homeopathy was regularly used. After completing my Masters degree in Psychology, I was certain I would devote my life to working with people. The road took me to the UK where I qualified as a homeopath and a PhD researcher in 2019.

Since moving to Sydney in 2020, I joined the Harbord Homeopathic Clinic in Brookvale, Sydney. I have loved homeopathy since my childhood and I am grateful to be able to offer this wonderful form of healthcare in Sydney and internationally via Zoom to babies, children, teens, adults, and pets. I have experience in a wide range of ailments, including mental health, emotional trauma, and behavioural issues in adults and children, gynecological concerns, pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal concerns, gastrointestinal problems, skin issues as well as problems with sleep.


[1] Tchounwou, P. B., Yedjou, C. G., Patlolla, A. K., & Sutton, D. J. (2012). Heavy metal toxicity and the environment. Experientia supplementum (2012)101, 133–164.

[2] Balali-Mood, M., Naseri, K., Tahergorabi, Z., Khazdair, M. R., & Sadeghi, M. (2021). Toxic mechanisms of five heavy metals: mercury, lead, chromium, cadmium, and arsenic. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 12.

[3] National Centre for Advancing Translational Sciences (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Centre (GARD). (2017). Heavy Metal Poisoning. URL=,increase%20the%20risk%20of%20cancer%20.

[4] Medical Medium. (2017). Heavy Metal Detox. URL=

[5] Gittleman, A. L. (2019). Radical Metabolism: A powerful plan to blast fat and reignite your energy in just 21 days. Yellow Kite

[6] Leslie, H. A., van Zelzen, M. J. M., Brandsma, S. H., Vethaak, D., Garcia-Vallejo, J. J., & Lamorjee, M. H. (2022). Discovery and quantification of plastic particle pollution in human blood. Environment Interantional, 107199.

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