Growing numbers of health conscious consumers are expressing concerns re the adverse health effects of glyphosate. Said to be the most widely used herbicide in the world, more than twenty percent of the worlds’s use of glyphosate is currently in the U.S. The numerous health hazards have been well documented (WholeFoods Magazine Blog March 2017 Glyphosate and Your Health). Classified as a probable carcinogenic by the World Health Organization and referred to with passion by GMO activists, the widespread use of this broad spectrum herbicide and crop desiccant has created agricultural and environmental havoc for the last twenty to thirty years. The unfortunate outcomes include an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant super-weeds and a new breed of GE super-bugs.
More than 80% of the genetically engineered crops grown throughout the world have been engineered to tolerate glyphosate herbicides. Known as “Roundup Ready Crops,” they are able tolerate the herbicide as it simultaneously kills the other plants in the surrounding fields. In the last 10 years there has been an enormous increase in glyphosate use. When consumed by livestock and humans, potentially high levels of extremely toxic glyphosate residues are ingested. The herbicide, sometimes classified as a pesticide, is used widely on corn, soy, wheat and sugar crops as well as in parks, golf courses, playgrounds and in home lawn/garden care.
Ironically, glyphosate tolerant crops are a causative factor in the unwanted increase in herbicide use in the USA. As glyphosate becomes non-effective in controlling weeds, there is a danger that conventional farmers will begin to use toxic herbicides derived from organophosphate chemicals.
Can We Remove Glyphosate Residues From the Human Body?
A number of chronic health problems have been associated with glyphosate. Exposure can take place via absorption through the skin or by consuming foods and water contaminated with the herbicide. Sometimes said to be an antibiotic which has a chelation effect (i.e. it may remove important minerals from the body) glyphosate also seems to have an adverse effect on flora in the gut and restricts the body’s ability to create essential amino acids. Known to be a toxic endocrine disruptor, it is also associated with cancer development.
The most important thing we can do to reduce glyphosate levels in the human body is to avoid using glyphosate herbicides and avoid consuming GMO foods or crops contaminated with glyphosate through drift or groundwater. This includes avoidance of animal products (milk and meat) sourced from livestock exposed to GM feeds and fields. Choosing certified organic is helpful. And we can avoid living in regions of the country and neighborhoods where glyphosate is widely used.
Research and Detox Tips
The first step in detoxing glyphosate is to test glyphosate levels through a urine test. A number of laboratories currently offer these tests. The Detox Project, a new non-profit, is launching a large-scale project to document glyphosate exposure levels in the US. Creating what they call “the first ever Glyphosate Biobank” The Detox Project and its partner laboratory, seek to create a resource for the global glyphosate research community. This “biological sample warehouse” will become available to researchers around the world to conduct future health relevant studies. The organizer’s plan is to also make the data available to the public.
Health practitioners recommend the use of sauna or steam therapies to sweat out unwanted toxins, as well as an increase in the use of probiotic foods and supplements to replenish the microbiota which glyphosate may be destroying. Increased consumption of essential minerals and electrolytes needed by the body including potassium, manganese, magnesium, sulfur etc. is also helpful. The detox must begin by removing glyphosate from the gastrointestinal tract and the organs responsible for respiration i.e. the lungs and the skin.
Some health practitioners recommend ancient Ayurvedic purification therapies. The use of sesame oil as an effective skin and intestinal tract detox has been documented by researchers along with pre-ingestion of ghee as a purgation therapy to draw the toxins into the intestinal tract. Combined with steam treatments and supplemented by oil massage to loosen the impurities from the skin and tissues, followed by oil enemas to further remove impurities from the intestinal tract, such therapies have been shown to be effective for the
removal of a number of major pesticides. Future research as to the treatment’s efficacy in glyphosate removal may be fruitful. Sesame oil has also been studied in preventing cancer cell growth in vitro.
Research specific to glyphosate published in 2014 found that the oral application of the following substances was effective in reducing urinary levels of glyphosate. This included fulvic acids, humic acids, activated charcoal and bentonite clay. Some of these substances are standardly used in organic intestinal cleanse programs. This particular study added a fermented food juice (sauerkraut) to the detox mix and concluded that a charcoal-sauerkraut juice humic acid combination reduced glyphosate and led to improved health in animals tested.
Another study used various medicinal herbs to test their glyphosate detox effectiveness. The researchers concluded that the plant extracts were not capable of preventing the glyphosate from entering cells. However, the herbal extract formula, consisting of dandelion, alder buckthorn, radish and milk thistle, did restore theCYP1A2 (enzymatic) activity which was found to be disrupted by Roundup (the commercial name of the most commonly used glyphosate herbicide).
Researchers also studied the action of liver cells exposed to glyphosate and the effects of a specific combination of medicinal plant extracts which included dandelion, burdock root, barberry (berberine) and greater celandine. These plants are known for their digestive detox and liver protective effects. The study found that the herbal detox formula was able to prevent Roundup induced cell death in a time related sequence i.e. there was an 89% effectiveness within 48 hours of ingesting the formula. This same herbal combination was also used in a study six years later, testing the in vivo effects prior to and during 8 days of
glyphosate intoxication. No side effects were observed. As a result researchers concluded that the herbal formula had strong preventative and therapeutic properties in vivo after short term exposure to the Roundup formula.
Foods As Glyphosate Detox
You will have to try these food recommendations and come to your own conclusions. The following aforementioned foods and supplements have been recommended as a glyphosate detox: Radish, sauerkraut and minerals including manganese, sulfur, fulvic acids, humid acids, charcoal, bentonite clay and various herbs.
Milk thistle, for example, has long been revered as a liver detox agent as has dandelion which is also known as a blood purifier. Health practitioners may also recommend a highly alkaline diet (with a major emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables) in combination with detox efforts supplemented by adequate pure water consumption, oxygen, fresh air and sufficient vigorous outdoor exercise. Deep breathing allows the air and oxygen to go deep into the lungs and cells. Living in an area with pure mountain or seaside air, far away from agricultural fields or areas with glyphosate exposure, can be very helpful.
Removing harmful substances from the bloodstream, body tissues and organs can be an important and potentially giant step forward in your personal health quest. More research is needed to support a global ban on glyphosate as well as substantiating effective detox techniques. Legislative and environmental efforts to remove glyphosate from the air, agricultural fields and residential areas as well as our water supply are a necessity world wide to ensure the health of the population and the future of the planet.
1. Gasnier, C., Benachour, N., Clair, E., Travert, C., Langlois, F., Laurant, C., Decroix-Laporte, C. & Seralini, G. Dig1 protects against cell death provoked by glyphosate-based herbicides in human liver cell lines. J OccupMed Toxicol. 2010; 5:29.
2. Gerlach, H, Gerlach, A, Schrödl, W, Haufe & S, Schottdorf, B. (2014) Oral application of charcoal and humic acids influence selected gastrointestinal microbiota, enzymes, electrolytes, and substrates in the blood of dairy cows challenged with glyphosate in GMO feeds. J Environ Anal Toxicol. 5:256. doi:10.4172/2161-0525.1000256
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5. Smith, D.E. & Salerno, J.W. (1992) Selective growth inhibition of a human malignant melanoma cell line by sesame oil in vitro. Prostaglandins Leukotrienes Essential Fatty Acids. 46; 145-150.
Simi Summer PhD is an independent researcher and freelance writer. She is a strong proponent of organicconsumer education and informed consumer choices.