Heavy Metal & Plastic Detox

Heavy Metal & Plastic Detox


Heavy Metal & Microplastics Detoxification consultations, combine scientifically supported intermittent fasting with chelation therapy & liver herbs to support phase 1 & 2 detoxification pathways.


Places you on a short term Therapeutic Fast (CR). Toxins are called persistent organic pollutants (POP) and are detected in high concentrations in blood samples of the general population.

(1)POPs are also called Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS).(2) In the liver, Phase I & II detoxification pathways transform fat soluble toxins into water-soluble for excretion in the urine, bile and sweat. Vitamins, minerals & herbal medicines support this process. Therapeutic Fasting increases phase II conjugation detoxification in the liver. (3)

Applies mitigation and remediation strategies to limit the amount of ingested chemicals in air, water and food.
Prescribes herbs containing plant metallothioneins (MTs)  (4, 5) and phytochelatins (PCs)  (6)  to chelate heavy metals.
Prescribes herbal medicines to inhibit Phase 1 & induce II detoxification to eliminate plastic toxins BPA/Phthalates and dioxins/furans along with other POP toxins.

Increases elimination of POP toxins via the other eliminatory organs, bowel, skin, lungs & kidneys using herbal alteratives, depuratives, circulatory stimulants, cholagogues and diuretics.

Weans you back into a diet for life consisting of foods rich in the active constituent compounds and vitamins, nutrients & antioxidants required for detoxification pathways.  (7)

Heavy Metals & Microplastics Detox series of  consultations, what to  expect?

The initial consultation will place you on a Therapeutic Fast to restrict intake of toxins whilst supporting Phase I & II detoxification processes. Herbal & nutritional chelation agents are prescribed to chelate heavy metals and remove POPs toxins including plastics.

The second consultation will ensure firstly, that you have achieved a state of Therapeutic Fasting and secondly to address any issues you have surrounding the dietary recommendations.

The third consultation will assist you in moving from the Therapeutic Fast to a suitable long-term diet to support detoxification processes to promote health and longevity.

Why excess toxins damage health

If not adequately supported or in the case of excessive POPs, Phase I is induced (sped up) producing high levels of damaging free radicals. If these reactive molecules are not metabolised by Phase II conjugation damage to proteins, RNA, & DNA occurs causing genetic mutation. Disruption of Phase I can damage proteins, RNA, and DNA within the cell and is seen as an important factor in the pathogenesis of cancer. The treatment principle in plastic detoxification is to inhibit Phase I P450 (modification) and to induce Phase II detoxification (conjugation).

Heavy metals

Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury are common air pollutants resulting from various industrial activities.Heavy metal pollution is one of the major concerns of the century with sources being both anthropogenic (human-made) and naturogenic (from nature) with the health effects well documented.  (8)  The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. These metals have been extensively studied and their effects on human health regularly reviewed by international bodies such as the WHO.  (9)  Almost all heavy metals are serious toxicants as carcinogens. (10)  There are different sources for heavy metals in the environment. These sources can be both of natural or anthropogenic origin (chiefly of environmental pollution and pollutants).


Tap Water

8 million tons of plastic enters the oceans each year. Microplastics are ubiquitous in marine waters, from deep ocean sediments to polar icecaps. (11) Billions of people are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles with 83% of samples found to be polluted. The average number of fibres found in each 500ml of tap water sample ranging from 4.8 in the US to 1.9 in Europe.  (12, 13)  In Germany plastic fibres & fragments were found in all 24 beer brands tested, as well as honey & sugar. This study concluded average person ingests 5,800 particles of plastic per year from beer, salt & tap water, with largest contribution coming from tap water (88%).  (12)  An Irish study (June 2017) found microplastic contamination in a handful of tap water & well samples.  (14)

Bottled Water

The Orb study tested 259 bottled water brands from 19 locations in 9 countries across 11 different brands were found to contain on average 325 plastic pieces for every litre of water.  (15)  Plastic fibres in bottled water brands are twice as high as those found in tap water.PETE (recycling code 1) does not contain bisphenol A (BPA)/Phthalates but studies find antimony (toxic phthalate 'plasticiser' used to make plastics flexible), leaches from PET bottles placed in heat for prolonged periods.  (16)

9 different plastics found in all human stools tested posing a threat to Public Health.  (17-19)

Most plastic products release oestrogenic otherwise known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) which have a variety of negative health effects. (20)  EDCS include organochlorine pesticides, poly-chlorinated biphenyls, BPA, phthalates, dioxins & furans.  (21)

EDC diseases & disorders

EDC diseases & disorders include female & male infertility, (22) low sperm count, genital malformations, intersex variation IV, sharp increase in gender dysphoria, transgender & gender neutral (LGBTQI existed pre-industrial revolution), precocious puberty in young girls (risk factor for breast cancer), adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth/low birth weight.

Neurobehavioral disorders include cognitive, motor & sensory deficits, neurological impairments (NIs) including neuropathies, neurodevelopmental disorders) autism & attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease & amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Exposure associated with persistent organic pollutants (POPs), plastic exudates BPA & phthalate.  (23)

Other health effects include hormone dependent tumours including breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid, metabolic disorders including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Metabolic syndrome (evidence shows EDCs may contribute to the obesity pandemic evolution & metabolic disorders including Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)  (24)  and atopic disorders such as. allergies, asthma & atopic dermatitis.  (25)

Detoxification is not Quackery it is called Biotransformation

Research into human biotransformation and elimination systems continues to evolve. In medical terms promotion of toxicity is called bioaccumulation and detoxification is called Biotransformation.Bioaccumulation is a term used to describe the accumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) (1) also known as persistent toxic substances (PTSs)  (2)  which are detected at high levels in blood and urine samples taken for the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted annually in US by CDC. POPs include Serum dioxins, furans & PCB and urinary phthalates and BPA. (26)

Heavy Metal Biotransformation

Heavy metal bioaccumulation inhibits Phase I cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme system.  (27, 28)  Disruption of CYP can damage proteins, RNA, and DNA within the cell and is seen as an important factor in the pathogenesis of cancer. Arsenic for example is methylated.  (29)  The treatment principle in heavy metal bioaccumulation is use herbal extracts shown modulate P 450 in combination with plant metallothioneins (MTs) and phytochelatins (PCs) to chelate heavy metals. Certain herbs have the ability to both induce and inhibit Phase I cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme systems.

Plastic Biotransformation

Ingested plastics

BPA & phthalates are ingested plastic toxins.

Bisphenol A

Accumulation of BPA induces cytochrome P450 enzyme activities. (30)

In humans, ingested BPA is not extensively metabolised by cytochrome P 450 specifically CYP2C. (31)

BPA is also metabolite of glutathione conjugation. (32)

BPA is rapidly metabolised with glucuronidation conjugation. (33, 34)  Minor amounts of BPA are conjugated with sulphate and also, glutathione. (32)

Transferases including sulfotransferases, glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs) are also involved in BPA conjugation. (35)

A fraction of absorbed BPA may distribute to body storage site(s) such as adipose tissue, followed by a slow, low-level release of BPA into the bloodstream. (36)


Phthalates undergo a series of phase I hydrolysis and phase II conjugation reactions and are subsequently excreted in faeces and urine (37)

Phthalates induce (cause overactivity) of cytochrome P450  (38) specifically CYP4 Enzymes. (7)

Phthalates are a metabolite of glucuronidation, (39, 40) glycine & sulphation conjugation. (40, 41)

Inhaled plastics

Dioxins, furans & dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are abbreviated names for a family of chemicals with similar toxicity & shared chemical characteristics. Dioxins & furans are inhaled & produced when plastic is burned. Dioxins & furans are also known as Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), the contaminant in Agent Orange (herbicide used in the Vietnam war).

People vary in capacity to eliminate TCDD. The elimination rate is much faster at higher than lower levels. (42) TCDD induces a number of cytochrome P450 enzymes systems. (43)

Accumulation of POPs, dioxins (43, 44) & furans induce cytochrome P450 enzyme systems. (45)
Dioxins, furans & PCBs are metabolites of either glucuronidation or sulphate conjugation, mainly in the liver & then excreted in the bile or urine. (46)
Dioxins undergo glutathione (47) sulfation, (48) glucuronidation (49) and Glycine conjugation phase II reactions. (50)

Naturopathic Approaches to a Heavy Metal & Plastic Detoxification

  • Limit exposure
  • Place client on a limited therapeutic fast then detoxification diet
  • Support Phase 1 & II detoxification pathways using evidence based pharmacognosy (plant therapy), specifically inhibit Phase 1 P 450 and induce (speed up) Phase II reactions.
  • Apply chelation therapy using plant metallothioneins and phytochelatins found in herbs and foods.
  • Support eliminatory organ function.
  • Limit exposure
  • Avoid drinking out of plastic bottles.
  • Purchase the Carahealth Eco Water Filter

Filters microplastics to 0.7 microns.
Environmentally friendly solution.
Address microplastic contamination
Achieve chemical free drinking water.
Place client on a limited therapeutic fast then a detoxification diet

Fasting is Calorie Restriction (CR)

The benefits of CR are scientific fact. A therapeutic fast simulates the Calorie Restrictive Diet that scientists have touted for the main reason behind Okinawan longevity.Like CR, fasting also activates telomerase the anti-ageing enzyme. Fasting, like CR, improves how cells respond to stress, how they break down (autophagy), induces apoptosis (programmed cell death ie in cancer cells),(51)and alters hormonal balance. Autophagy in particular, is quality control inside cells. It is essential to maintain cellular homeostasis and to improve how the cell responds to stress. Autophagic activity declines with age, therefore fasting is anti-ageing. CR is neuroprotective (protects brain cells). (52) In relation to heavy metal accumulation, CR/fasting enhances Phase II Detoxification specifically increasing glucuronidation and Glycine conjugation, thus will assist in the elimination of heavy metals. (3)

Research shows dietary phytochemicals (chemicals in food) act as direct antioxidants to scavenge reactive oxygen species (free radicals). Dietary phytochemicals also regulate transcription factor Nrf2 [nuclear factor erythroid 2 (NF-E2). Nrf2 regulates the body's detoxification and antioxidant systems associated with phase II detoxification and antioxidant enzymes. (7) Metallothionein is a cysteine-rich protein that binds toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic.(4)Certain dietary patterns and nutrients increase metallothionein production. (7)

Apply Pharmacognosy to support Phase 1 & II detoxification pathways & apply chelation therapy using plant Metallothionein & phytochelatins

Why use Carahealth herbs?

Carahealth tonics are 1:1 strength organic or wildcrafted extracts, meaning 1 part herb to one part alcohol. There is no point using non organic herbs to assist detoxification.All scientific studies in pharmacognosy use herbal medicine extracts, not weaker tinctures.

The plan alternates 2 herbal detoxification tonics Carahealth Heavy Metal Detox and Carahealth Liver /Plastic Detox.

Objectives in Heavy Metal Detoxification

Apply Chelation therapy using plant metallothioneins and phytochelatins found in herbs
Induce Nrf2 activity to increase phase II detoxification and support endogenous (made in our body) antioxidant enzymes.

Carahealth Heavy Metal Detox (Carina’s 11 significant tonic decoction)

The first 10 herbs are the traditional Chinese herbal formula Shi Quan Da Bu Tang (10 significant tonic decoction), the 11th herb is alfalfa.

  • Sheng Di huang Rehmannia glutinosa
  • Bai Shao Paeonia lactiflora
  • Chuan Xiong Liqusticum wallichii
  • Dang Gui Angelica sinensis
  • Gan Cao Glycyrrhiza uralensis
  • Gin Seng Panax ginseng
  • Huang Qi Astragalus membranaceus
  • Gui Zhi Cinnamomum cassia
  • Fu Ling Poria cocos
  • Bai Zhu Atractylodes macrocephala
  • Alfalfa Medicago sativa


Shi Quan Da Bu Tang is traditionally used to tonify the Blood and Qi to treat anaemia, anorexia, extreme exhaustion, fatigue, kidney and spleen insufficiency and general weakness, particularly after illness and after chemotherapy. It has been found to potentiate (make it work better) chemotherapy and radiotherapy and inhibit malignant recurrences, prolong survival and prevent and ameliorate adverse toxicities in cancer treatment. (53) In Japanese herbal medicine (Kampo) the formula is known Juzen Taiho To and has been shown to increase expression of metallothioneins (MTs). (54) Shi Quan Da Bu Tang also increases transcription factor Nrf2 to support phase II detoxification thus regulate the body's detoxification and antioxidant system. (55) Alfalfa Medicago sativa contains heavy metal chelating plant metallothioneins. (5)

Objectives in Plastic Detoxification

Inhibit (slow down) Phase I P450 modification
Induce (speed up) Phase II Conjugation

Carahealth Liver Detox Tonic

  • Andrographis Andrographis paniculata
  • Milk thistle Silybum marianum
  • Bupleurum Bupleurum falcatum
  • Globe artichoke Cynara scolymus
  • Barberry Berberis vulgaris
  • Turmeric Curcuma longa


Inhibit Phase I P450

Andrographis Andrographis paniculata Chuan Xin Lian /King of the bitters

Andrographis contains diterpenolactones which inhibits Phase I P450. (56)

Milk thistle Silybum marianum

Milk thistle significantly inhibits Phase I P 450. (57) The flavonolignans including silymarin(58)restore depleted glutathione (GSH) to assist glutathione conjugation. (59)

Bupleurum Bupleurum falcatum Chai Hu

Bupleurum contains saikosaponins which inhibit Phase I P450 enzymes (CYP1A2, CYP2C9 & CYP3A4) and flavonoids & steroids including, among others, rutin and quercetin which also inhibit Phase I P450 (CYP3A4). (56, 60)

Inhibit Phase I P450 & induce Phase II

Globe artichoke Cynara scolymus Yang Ji

Globe artichoke contains the flavonoid luteolin which inhibits Phase I P 450 (CYP 3A4 & CYP3A5)(61) and also the hydroxycinnamic acid, cynarin which stimulates glucuronidation conjugation. Artichoke has potent antioxidant activity & reduces toxin-induced reduction of glutathione reserves. (62)

Barberry Berberis vulgaris Fu Niu

Barberry contains the benzylisoquinoline alkaloid berberine which inhibits Phase I P 450. (63)Berberine, specifically increases endogenous antioxidants, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) & superoxide dismutase (SOD), both copper-zinc SOD (CuZn-SOD) & manganese SOD (Mn-SOD) to assist glutathione conjugation. (64)

Turmeric Curcuma longa Jiang Huang

Turmeric contains the diarylheptanoid curcumin which inhibits Phase I P 450 while inducing Phase II. (65, 66) Curcumin restores depleted GSH to assist glutathione conjugation. (67)

Curcumin also induces Nrf2 to increase antioxidant expression thereby protect against oxidative damage triggered by injury & inflammation. (68) Phase-II enzymes are regulated by Nrf2 which is involved in detoxification of AFB1.Aflatoxins B1 are genotoxic & carcinogenic compounds. Phase I P 450 enzymes are responsible for AFB1 bioactivation. Curcumin prevents AFB1-induced liver injury by modulating Phase I & Phase II enzymes. (69)

For further details contact Carina Harkin  BHSc.Nat.BHSc.Hom.BHSc.Acu. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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