Chelation therapy is the administration of certain substances to the body in order to clear the build up of certain metals, such as mercury or lead, or certain minerals, such as calcium, which can poison the body when present in large amounts. In western medicine, chelation is used to treat heavy metal poisoning – most commonly in people exposed to highly toxic levels of dangerous heavy metals -such as through use of lead paint. A solution is injected intravenously, and this binds in the bloodstream with the offending molecules and helps move them quickly through the body’s system and allow them to be more quickly eliminated by simple urination.
Current research is also heading towards the use of chelation therapy for Arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, since it is and effective and non-surgical way to remove calcium deposits and plaque. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has an interesting article on their preliminary findings on chelation therapy which you can read here: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2013/nhlbi-26.htm If you a looking for a bit more personal information about what to expect from chelation therapy, physician and natural health guru Dr. Andrew Weil has an excellent page on the subject: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03408/Chelation-Therapy.html He is a bit dubious of the practice outside of its use for heavy metal poisoning, but it’s a well-written article with good information.
In Ayurveda, chelation is a very common, basic principle. In fact, many of the most commonly prescribed herbs – such as guggulu for high cholesterol – are considered chelation agents. Although few of these compounds have been studied in the same way pharmaceuticals have been, that is starting to change, as the NIH study on chelation for heart disease shows. And so far, this is just one more case where modern medical science is actually proving principles that have been practiced in eastern medicine for millennia, or at least in this case.
Of course there are also simple and accessible ways to help detoxify. You may want to try this amazing detox smoothie recipe from lexieskitchen.com.
Serves: 2 large or 4 small glasses
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 2-4 kale cubes or a handful of fresh kale
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I use SoDelicious® Coconut Milk Beverage)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chia seed
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla exact
- Liquid vanilla Stevia to taste
- Optional: 1 pack Emergen-C Kidz Fruit Punch (if tolerated)
Directions: Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender (like a Blendtec or OmniBlend) and blend on high until super smooth. If you like your smoothies cold and frosty (like I do) throw in a few ice cubes at the end and blend until smooth.