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Sep 2

Radiation protection: Eat it, drink it, bathe in it

Much has been written lately about the impact of the radiation leaking from the Fukushima site in Japan. A series of spin and counter-spins, varied views, hyperbole, heavy-handed optimism, fear and anger, disbelief.

Anyone who believes the radiation from Fukushima won’t reach us, or our children, that we are too far away, that things can’t possibly be so bad, that surely this is mostly media exaggeration, is mistaken. As divided as we humans may be, this is and always has been one earth, made up of complex and interconnected ecological systems: there is simply no way vast new quantities of radiation in our oceans and in our air, in clouds and rain and therefore soil, isn’t going to make its way to us, over the next years, through our food and water supply, through the air we breathe.

Scary, right? Yup. No two ways about it.

Let’s move past that, though. The very human-specific type of mental machinations that harnessed nuclear power in the first place can also allow us reason to be optimistic. There are many things each of us can do to protect ourselves and those we love from exposure to radiation. It isn’t like this hasn’t happened before … we have the knowledge and the tools.

As a holistic nutritionist, I can speak only about those food we can eat, the herbs and nutrients we can add to our diets, and the whole-body healing methods we can use to help mitigate and prevent the damage caused – and being caused – by the radiation from Fukushima. It can actually be as simple as adding a pot of herbal tea to your daily rituals, a few extra ingredients to your meals, and maybe a bath a couple evenings a week. It can also be as complicated as combining specific multiple doses of herbs, nutrients, and minerals; combining detox-pathway enhancers; lymphatic drainage techniques … the list could go on.

Here, I’ll keep it simple, but I can always be reached at for more specific protocols.

There are four herbs that are great at pulling out toxins, including heavy metals (ie. plutonium and cesium) and also provide protection against cellular damage caused by radiation. Please read my short note at the bottom of this post regarding opening your pathways of elimination before beginning this regime.

My-Body-Is-Not-A-Radiation-Dump Tea

You will need:

  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons dried chopped burdock root, or 4 bags of the tea, which can be found at most health food stores.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried Holy Basil, again, this can be found as a tea in most health food stores
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosehips or 2 bags rosehip tea

Steeping directions:

  • Add 1 cup water to a small pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add burdock and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Leave lid ON. Add more water if necessary.
  • At the 10-minute mark, add 1 more cup of water and Holy Basil and rosehips. Simmer for a further 3 minutes, lid on.
  • At the 3-minute mark, add more water if necessary – you want this to make 2 cups – and cilantro.
  • Cover, and simmer for 3 more minutes.
  • Drain herbs out, add honey if you like, and drink one cup twice a day.

Also feel free to add ginger – it’s a great way to increase the efficacy of the herbs included in the tea, and improve taste. And yeah, I know it sounds like a bit of a pain to compile these types of teas on your own but it is the perfect accompaniment to preparing breakfast and lunch in the morning before work, or during dinner prep in the evening (or, I have a line of teas in the making…stay tuned for details!)

Foods to consider:

  • Include cilantro in your meals as often as possible – it’s perfect in any Asian, South American, or Spanish-inspired meal. Try it in my Antioxidant Warrior Dinner and combine heavy-metal detox with antioxidant protection.
  • Cold-pressed, organic oils are also an important protective element to add to your meals. All healthy oils provide support for the regular protective mechanisms of your cell membranes – fully functional, healthy cell membranes will go a long way to protect your cells from radiation damage.
  • Seaweed, of any variety, contains healthy iodine – which blocks radioactive forms of iodine from linking to your cells – and also potent antioxidants to protect your cells from damage. If you’re feeling adventurous, add a few shreds of seaweed to the tea recipe above, post-steeping. Seaweeds also go particularly well in soups, where they add a more complex flavour than sea salt alone, and also in most simple meals requiring additional flavouring.
  • Brazil nuts contain a lot of selenium, a potent antioxidant. Just 3-5 a day is enough … can’t get easier than that! For more on why antioxidants are so important, check out my post here.
  • Dark green, leafy veggies, eggs, whole grains, and nuts are good sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against general damage but also the specific damage caused by certain components of radiation. Make purple kale your veggie of choice and amp up your personal detoxification abilities as well!

One last note…clay, internally and externally

Clay is very good at absorbing toxins, including radiated material. Dried clay simply absorbs the toxins one hydrated – add 1/8 cup clay to a bath, combined with 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup sea salt, and soak for twenty minutes. Toxins will be pulled through your skin and into the water.

You can also take clay internally – hydrated bentonite (the dried clay suspended in liquid) can be taken with a LARGE glass of water twice daily. Start with 1 tablespoon daily, and move up week to week, until you reach 2 tablespoons, twice daily.

Which leads me to my caution regarding elimination pathways - these are your main organs of elimination, including your bowels, skin, lymph system, and kidneys. These organ systems MUST be functioning properly before you attempt to pull toxins out of your system by any method mentioned in this post or otherwise. Drink lots of water and ensure you urinate every hour to hour and a half throughout the day, increase fibre in your diet slowly until your are having 2-3 bowel movements per day, and sweat regularly, in a sauna or at the gym, to enhance lymphatic drainage.

If your organs of elimination are NOT functioning properly, you may attempt to eliminate toxins but those toxins will have nowhere to go … they will simply circulate in your body and lodge in various organs, especially your intestines (where they will be reabsorbed back into your body). This will make a bad situation worse! If you feel you might benefit from a week-long Bowel Tune-up protocol, contact me for details.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many more complicated, in-depth approaches to detoxing out the toxins we carry – in regards to radiation and otherwise. Most holistic healthcare practitioners recommend doing a proper full-body detox twice a year and I couldn’t agree more. Fall is rapidly approaching and I’ll being doing my detox starting mid-September – read along on this site for a vicarious experience or join my Detox Team by contacting me here!

In the meantime, drink a cup of tea in a bath and send happy thoughts to the poor migrating tuna, suggesting they deviate from their usual migration route and stay far, far away from Japan…