Cleansing and Detoxification: The Role of Mercury

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By: Robert Zieve, M.D.

The fundamental principle behind detoxification is to restore your innate capacity of self-regulation on all levels, to help your organism wake up and remember how to react in order to help itself and to re-establish healthy boundaries on all levels.

At this time of year, many of us begin to focus on becoming more healthy. We may begin to exercise more and improve our diet. This is a good start.

Our capacity to think clearly and become fully individualized human beings is being threatened today from many directions. Toxins from many contemporary sources accumulate in our bodies to such a level that basic life processes become more difficult to maintain. This can lead to premature degeneration and death. Many modern illnesses are actually the body's attempt at detoxification and healing.

Detoxification is increasingly accepted as a necessary ingredient to healthy living. Why is detoxification so important? Modern social and economic practices that are accepted as normal consistently violate our boundaries. This occurs on many levels such as damaged intestinal mucus membranes due to poor foods early in life, overuse of antibiotics, damaged nerves from mercury in thimerosol present in infant vaccines and damaged psyches from abuse to name a few.

Unfortunately, detoxification is too often either a vague holistic buzzword we do not understand, or it is limited to physical habits like doing enemas and saunas. The process of detoxification involves an ongoing commitment on all levels: physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Most of us are familiar with detoxifying physically. For example, we may improve bowel function, take herbs and remedies to help the liver, do infrared saunas, or have our mercury amalgam fillings removed. The process of detoxification should also involve efforts on energetic levels, where we protect ourselves from cell phone frequencies, move our beds so we are not sleeping near active electrical outlets, or use magnets therapeutically. Emotionally, we may focus on healing stored anger, resentment or grief. Mentally, we can focus on cleansing ourselves of illusions and rigid over-intellectual thinking.

And spiritually, we might observe our lack of faith and strive to improve our deep knowingness, or what Paul called an "unshakable inner certainty." Each of these levels of detoxification impacts and interacts with the others. And effective efforts in the more subtle areas will enhance physical detoxification.

Mercury detoxification often plays an important role in healing.
Mercury is the second most common toxic metal in the human body (lead is first). Mercury began to be used in dental material in the late 1800's, when a more materialistic worldview was taking hold of medicine and dentistry.

Mercury kills nerve cells. The number one source of mercury is vapors from mercury/silver fillings. The second most important source is contaminated fish. Other sources, like mercury accumulation from multiple vaccinations, especially affects children, and is a major contributing cause of autism. Infants do not produce bile, which is necessary to excrete the heavy metals that they are exposed to in vaccinations. A video called How Mercury Causes Brain Neuron Degeneration is available at

Mercury binds to all of our cells and changes their configuration, so that the body does not think it has ever seen it before. Our immune cells then attack these so-called "foreign cells." This leads to autoimmune diseases.

In other words, through the toxic effects of mercury, we lose the organic capacity to distinguish between self and not-self. This weakens us at all levels.

Not everyone has the same susceptibility to mercury toxicity. There are blood tests that can determine the genetic factors which affect our susceptibility. In addition, how strong we are in other ways will also affect the degree to which we are susceptible to mercury toxicity. However, people with symptoms or illnesses involving the nervous system or immune system, which accounts for millions of people, ought to address the issue of mercury toxicity.

When you decide to have your mercury amalgam fillings replaced, work with a dentist who is trained in how to do this correctly, so that you do not become more toxic when the mercury is removed. Again, check the web site of

Many people do not want to know about mercury. There are several reasons for this: the cost and discomfort of replacing mercury fillings with much less toxic fillings and the fact that many dentists tell their patients that mercury is not toxic.

Our oral cavities are very important sources of chronic infections and disease that occur throughout the body. When we have more than one metal, like mercury fillings and gold crowns, an electrical current is generated that will dissolve mercury. This combination of metals generates a battery-like effect with an electric current that is hundreds to thousands of times larger than the healthy brain electricity.

The process of mercury detoxification is complex, and often requires a well-thought-out program, and not uncommonly, practitioner guidance. Many people have the image that we just take some remedies and the mercury comes out. The reality is that the mercury is mobilized from inside the cells to outside the cells (this is called the extracellular matrix), then into the blood, and from there to the organs of elimination, and is then excreted. There are supportive nutrients for each level. Here are only some examples. This is by no means near a complete list of nutrients.

Good minerals: Enable mercury detox to occur.

Glutathione, Lipoic acid: Mobilize mercury from nervous system.

Chelating agents: Move mercury from tissues into blood.

Bile salts, Chelidonium, Circumin: Enhance mercury excretion from bile.

Chlorella: Binds mercury in intestines, for excretion.

Selenium: Protects nerves until mercury is removed.

Garlic, Protein: Protect during mercury detoxification.

A chelating agent is given by a physician. It binds the mercury and carries it to organs of elimination.

Even when the appropriate agent is used for a given patient, mercury may not be released in significant amounts. Certain biochemical, structural, emotional, electromagnetic and psychological/spiritual problems will "lock up" the mercury into the tissues. There are genetic markers that indicate who is more susceptible to mercury toxicity. In addition, poor lymphatic function (which affects many people today), dental occlusive problems, dysfunctional liver function, and intestinal problems can all decrease our capacity to detoxify our mercury.

In the process of mercury detoxification, which may take months to years, hidden infections and emotional issues may surface. At each level, these require our attention.

Always remember that mercury or any other toxin or infection does not exist separate from our cells, tissues, lifestyles, and spirituality. To effectively detoxify, so that the mercury is not just displaced from one area of the body to another, requires skill, persistence and comprehensive thinking. We need to be able to combine linear thinking when required, as in monitoring the phases of mercury detoxification, with a healthy rhythm to life.

In conclusion, mercury toxicity is an important factor in many contemporary illnesses and imbalances. It needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

Robert Zieve, M.D. has a medical practice in Prescott Arizona. His new book its titled Healthy Medicine: The Emergence of Sensible, Comprehensive Care (Llumina Press).

Symbol courtesy of Anne Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Ed. note—Mercury is one of the few ele­ments that also has an alchemical symbol.

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