The word "Detox" gets thrown around so much these days. It's important to understand that your liver does a pretty good job of this naturally. But sometimes it can use a helping hand via the gut.
Most of you will probably be familiar with our most popular product Renew+ our hydrolysed marine collagen plus detox supplement that is used to help promote healthy long hair, improved skin softness and elasticity, and stronger nails. The “+” in Renew+ is for the detox component called AZM or ‘ activated zeolite mordenite’ (sometimes known just as zeolite)
It is also what makes up our product Volcanic Detox.
Zeolite is a seriously fascinating mineral. It comes from naturally occurring, environmentally friendly hydrated aluminosilicate. It’s main uses are in removing odours and absorbing heavy metals both from the environment (think nuclear waste spills!) and in the body (detoxing).
So how does this earthy substance actually work?
Good question. Here’s the science (put as simply as we can) because as you know, we are big fans of science!
Zeolite has a chelation-like effect (to grab or bind) in removing heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and other positively charged toxins from the system. Zeolite’s negatively charged crystalline structure is what makes this possible. Its crystals act as “cages,” inside of which are positive ions. These positive ions switch places with positively charged toxins in the body, tightly bind them, and excrete them completely. One of the benefits of binding toxins in this manner is that they are 100 percent excreted. Heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides all leave the system; they do not get deposited elsewhere in the body.
Phew, that’s kind of a lot of info! If you are still with us, read on!
So what are these heavy metals and toxins and why are they bad for us?
The main studies on zeolite have concentrated on the removal of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and aluminium.
Lead: We’ve become a lot wiser about lead in recent years. Back in the day most houses were painted with lead based paint. (Thankfully this practice has been banned in NZ). Even more alarmingly items such as children’s toys often contained lead, with the Center for Disease Control warning that some overseas manufacturers still produce toys testing positive for lead.
Other sources can come from foods grown in contaminated soil, eggs from chickens kept on contaminated soil, some hair dye products, some handbags or wallets, PVC hoses, old lead pipes found in some older properties, some plastics, and of course cigarette smoke (to name just a few).
Over exposure to lead (lead toxicity) can cause some pretty nasty side effects; infertility, hormonal imbalance, disruptions in the normal functioning of neurotransmitters, as well as problems with the nervous system. It can cause fatigue and muscle exhaustion, hair loss, and thin, weak nails.
These are by no means all of the side effects associated with lead toxicity, but you probably get the idea: too much lead= a very bad time.
Mercury: Mercury is another naturally occurring metal found in the earth’s crust. It is released into the environment via volcanic activity, however our main cause of mercury pollution comes from human activity, as mercury is used primarily for the manufacture of industrial chemicals or for electrical and electronic applications.
Sources of mercury are commonly found in amalgam (silver coloured) fillings, fish feeding in contaminated waters, food grown in contaminated soil, cigarette smoke, and some fertilisers.
If mercury toxicity occurs in the body it can cause autoimmune diseases, cancers, digestive disorders, hair and nail problems, immune system issues, and problems with kidney function.
Aluminium: Aluminium is one of the most abundant metals on earth, and we are exposed to it rather regularly! Many people who are tested for metal toxicity show very high levels of aluminium. Sources of aluminium can come from cans, cookware and foil, anti-caking agents, deodorants, cosmetics, and even some processed cheeses!
The effects of having a body overloaded with aluminium are much the same as the previous two metals. It can also affect the absorption of iron and calcium in the body.
Okay, so we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. We obviously can’t live in a dome of purity for the rest of our lives, but we can give our bodies a bit of a helping hand. One of the easiest ways to do it can be with the use of activated/micronised zeolite.
One scoop of Renew+ or Volcanic Detox mixed with water (or added to foods or drinks) can be highly beneficial for helping to capture and release these metals from the body.
Volcanic Detox can also be very beneficial for use on acne prone skin; simply mix a scoop of zeolite with a little water, forming a paste. Apply the paste to skin, and wipe off just before it starts to dry too much.
Zeolite has been found to be useful for skin rashes, and even psoriasis. In combination with drinking it (adding it to water, smoothies or juices) a lotion can be made by using a natural moisturiser intended for very dry skin (use about 1 rounded tbsp) and adding around ¼-½ a teaspoon of zeolite.
Zeolite powder is fantastic for helping whiten teeth! It works much in the same way that popular charcoal teeth powders do, but without the pirate teeth look! Simply dip a damp toothbrush in a little Volcanic Detox and brush your teeth. The tiny micro particles will ensure your teeth get a thorough clean, as well as helping to remove mouth odours.
If you’ve had a bit of a celebratory night out, and perhaps had one too many wines, trying drinking a scoop of zeolite in water before going to bed. This is not only help rid your mouth of the dry-horrors, but it can also help you feel a lot better in the morning also!
There are literally hundreds of applications for using zeolite; it really is a multi purpose mineral!
This natural, earthy substance is a staple in the ORA Pure households, and we think you will love it too.
If you’ve found it to be as good as we have, or if you have found another way of using it that we haven’t talked about it, we’d love to hear from you!
Or in the form of Renew+ here
Happy detoxing everyone!
Special thanks to Brenda White (Australian Zeolite, Facts and Practical Uses, 2017) and Dr David Tomlinson (BA, BSc PhD CChem MRACI MAIAST MAIFST ) For their wealth of information on Zeolite.
Images via Unsplash, StockSnap and Alex Strekeisen