In the aftermath of the Japan earthquake, many of you have asked me about how to protect yourself from radiation exposure. After some research, I have put together a list for you. The main concern at this time is some radiation exposure, but no one knows for certain how much, so its good to start taking some precaution and eat foods that help our body and protect us against effects of radiation.
A few foods proven to be highly effective and easy to integrate into your diet are miso soup, kukicha tea, high quality green tea and black tea.
We carry an herbal supplement, Immortal qi, that contains Siberian ginseng and other adaptogenic herbs that boost and strengthen the immune system. I would highly recommend taking it at this time to boost your body’s natural defenses against radiation.
I begin with listing supplements to take now, and then list what you need to keep around in case of radiation exposure.
Supplements to Start Taking Now
The following are supplements that I recommend that you start taking now to help your body prepare preemptively for radiation. They are relatively inexpensive and generally locally available: All of the following supplements in this first section except rutin can be found at Whole Foods and other natural food stores.
Here is a list of medicinal herbs that I recommend you take for radiation exposure. You can take them as a tea, a tincture or as individual encapsulated herbs. You can get individual herbal tinctures online at Herb Pharm
Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)- removes radioactive isotopes from the body. Recommended Dose – 1-4 ounces/300-120 grams of cooked fresh root, up to a pint of infusion daily, or several large spoonfuls of vinegar but only if made with fresh roots. Tincture – 15-20 drops 3 times a day. Contraindications – do not use Burdock during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Cilantro Leaf (Coriandum sativum)- natural heavy metal chelator (i.e. plutonium and cesium are heavy metals.) Therefore, it helps to eliminate them out of the body. Recommended Dose – Take 1-3 dropperfuls daily of tincture or eat large amounts of fresh cilantro
Eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)- helps protect against the side effects of radiation exposure. Recommended Dose – 500-3000 mg. in capsule form. Tincture: 15-20 drops three times a day.
Holy Basil/Tulsi Aerial Parts (Ocimum sanctum)- preliminary research shows evidence that Holy Basil protects against radiation-induced peroxidation, thus helping to protect against the detrimental effects of low-level radiation. It also increases glutathione and superoxide dismutase which are important mediators in the liver in helping the body deal with radiation. Recommended Dose – Tincture: 40–60 drops, three times per day. Tea: add 1 tsp. dried leaf to 8 oz. hot water, steep, covered, 5–10 minutes. Take 4 oz. of tea up to three times per day. Capsules: various forms of capsulated products are available. These include extracts in gelcaps, dried or powdered herb in capsules, and standardized extracts (2 percent ursolic acid) in capsules. Contraindications – Holy Basil should not be taken while pregnant or nursing or for an extended period of time. Use caution if you have high blood pressure or rheumatic heart disease.
Reishi Mushroom Fruiting Bodies (Ganoderma lucidum)- offers protection against ionizing radiation Preventive Dose – 400 mg. take 2 caps or 1 dropperful of tincture up to 3 times per-day. Dose Upon Radiation Exposure – take the same dose up to 6 times per day Contraindications – None. Other Supplements
Rutin-a bioflavonoid that can also be found in lower doses in vitamin C supplements containing bioflavonoids. Rutin is glucoside found in buckwheat that can help protect the body from the effects of radiation. Itstrengthens the capillary walls and reduces hemorrhaging caused by x-rays. In animal studies it was shown to reduce the death rate caused by excessive x-rays by 800 per cent. Preventive Dose – 100 to 200 mg a day. Dose Upon Radiation Exposure – 800 mg. or more a day. I Contraindications – none
Selenium- protects DNA from radiation damage and helps prevent damage to the skin surface, too. Get plenty of selenium by eating a daily dose of 2 cups/500 ml of nettle infusion, one-half ounce/15 g kelp, 2 ounces/60 g cooked burdock root, or 1 cup/250 ml organic yogurt daily. Shellfish, green and black teas, and garlic contain significant amounts of selenium, as do many mushrooms. The best sources however are nettles (2200 mcg per 100 grams), kelp (1700 mcg/100 g), Burdock (1400 mcg/100 g),
Catnip (Nepeta cataria), American Ginseng, and Eleuthero which is also known as Siberian Ginseng and Astragalus.
Vitamin A- In 1974, researchers from India found that vitamin A, when taken internally by humans, hastened recovery from radiation. In 1984, Dr. Eli Seifter and a team of researchers for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine reported that vitamin A and beta-carotene counteracted both partial and total body gamma radiation. It also improved the healing of wounds; reduced weight loss, thymic and splenic atrophy, and adrenal enlargement; and prevented gastro-ulceration and an abnormal decrease in red and white blood cell formation. For therapeutic purposes, 25,000 to 35,000 IU is the recommended dose for adults. During emergencies or crisis situations, intensive exposure may warrant higher amounts. Contraindications – can be toxic if taken too much over a long period of time. Vitamin A can also be toxic to pregnant woman and their babies.
Vitamin B-Complex- many B vitamins, especially pantothenic acid, help to decrease the effects of radiation. One of its many functions is that they normalize the red and white blood cell count because the destruction of white blood cells by radiation can last for extended periods of time. The various B vitamins have different effects and should be taken together.Take the dose recommended on the bottle. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids- this is a VERY IMPORTANT supplement as it protects against intercellular damage from radiation. Preventive Dose: 2-5 grams per day Dose Upon Radiation Exposure – 2-5 gram per day Contraindications – when you start having diarrhea back off 500 mg until you reach bowel tolerance.
Vitamin E- can provide internal and external protection against Cesium-137 which is a common component of fallout and a reported component in the fallout from Japan. Vitamin E also helps prevent the destruction of vitamin A and fatty acids by massive doses of x-rays. If large doses of C, B and E are taken before exposure, the terrible symptoms of radiation sickness can be reduced or eliminated to a large degree. Preventive Dose – an adult weighting 155lbs should take 900 IU per day of Vitamin E as d-alpha-tocopherol. Dose Upon Radiation Exposure – up to 1600 IU per day.
Laminaria Japonica- probably the most important seaweed in helping decrease radiation in our body. This seaweed was the secret weapon of Russian doctors that saved thousands of innocent people from disease after nuclear fallout from Chernobyl. It can be quite hard to find. Try Body Ecology. Recommended Dose – 1500 mg/day
Seaweeds are not only a great natural source of nutrients, they are very effective at removing radiation from the body as they contain sodium alginate. There are literally thousands of different types of seaweeds but some of the most popular seaweeds are arame, wakame, kombu, hijiki, bladderwrack, rockweed, sea lettuce, and dulse. You can find them in your local health food store and various oriental grocery stores in your neighborhood in their natural form, or in flakes, flat sheets, and powders. They can be mixed in soups and salads, or eaten by themselves. If you don’t like the taste of seaweeds, or you want something more convenient you can find various seaweed supplements in capsules or tablets. One high quality seaweed supplement made with four organic seaweeds in a capsule is
Sea Treasure™ by RegalLife™. It also contains organic alfalfa which is also found to be beneficial at removing radiation becomes of its rich chlorophyll content.
The Atomic Energy Commission recommends for maximum protection against radioactive poisoning for humans, taking a minimum of 2 to 3 ounces of sea vegetables a week or 10 grams (two tablespoons) a day of sodium alginate supplements. During or after exposure to radiation, the dose should be increased to two full tablespoons of alginate four times daily to insure that there is a continual supply in the GI or gastrointestinal tract. There may be a rare problem of constipation but this can be avoided if the sodium alginate is made into a fruit gelatin. Agar, derived from sodium alginate in kelp, is a safe, nontoxic substance that can be used as a thickening agent or gelatin. Sea vegetables are also high in natural iodine. However, I recommend sticking to potassium iodide as discussed below.
Beta-1,3 glucan- In a controlled study done at the US Armed Forces Radiobiology Institute, 70% of rats given a lethal dose of radiation were completely protected from radiation effects when given a dose of yeast beta glucan by mouth after the radiation exposure. Beta glucan is a free radical scavenger. It is able to protect blood macrophages from free radical attack during and after the radiation allowing these cells to continue to function in the irradiated body and release factors important to the restoration of normal bone marrow production. This supplement is very expensive, but worth it. Reishi mushroom is high in beta 1,3 glucan if you just want to take that. Recommended Dose – 500 mg cap/1 time a day
Additional Recommendations Upon Exposure
Here are some additional recommendations if you think you have been exposed to radiation. First and foremost, don’t panic.
this supplement is used to protect from radioactive iodine exposure, which can damage the thyroid gland. You do NOT need to take it at this time, as the half life of radioactive iodine is very short and we will not be exposed to it after as a result of the nuclear radiation coming from Japan. It’s a good thing to keep around in case we have a nuclear incident in our own back yard.
take this as soon as you can once you know you have been exposed. This is a VERY IMPORTANT supplement that helps protect you if you are exposed to Iodine131. It does not help with exposure to any other isotopes. Because it is such an important supplement I recommend IOSAT only FDA approved potassium iodide that is in sealed containers. IOSAT is available online. Potassium Iodide Recommended Dose from the FDA and the CDC:
According to the FDA, the following doses are appropriate to take after internal contamination with (or likely internal contamination with) radioactive iodine:
• Adults should take 130 mg (one 130 mg tablet OR two 65 mg tablets OR two ml of solution).
• Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose of 130 mg.
• Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65 mg (one 65 mg tablet OR 1 ml of solution). Children who are adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the full adult dose regardless of their age.
• Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg (½ of a 65 mg tablet or ½ ml of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing infants and children.
• Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg (¼ of a 65 mg tablet or ¼ ml of solution). This dose is for both nursing and non-nursing newborn infants. Contraindications – do not take if you are not exposed and take as little as possible, i.e. only when you know that you have been exposed.
Oil- ½ cup of any cold pressed oil if you are exposed will help protect the cell membranes. Extra virgin olive oil is preferred.
Bentonite Clay- helps to eradicate toxins radiation/toxins. It is generally advisable to start with 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay daily, mixed with a small amount of juice. Pay attention to the results for a week and then gradually increase the dose to no more than 4 tablespoons daily in divided doses.Make sure you drink plenty of chlorine-free water throughout the day. You can also use other forms of edible clay such as French green clay.
Sea Salt and Baking SodaBaths- add 1 pound of sea salt and 1 pound of baking soda and soak in chlorine-free water for 20 minutes. Then rinse with cool water. You can also 1 pound of betonite, or other clay, to the sea salt and baking soda when soaking which increases the removal of radiation. Some specialists who work with radioactive isotopes use this method to remove radiation from their body. If you have been exposed to an abnormally high level of radiation you can use this method three times a week for one month.
Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)- good for preventing cell nicking from ionizing radiation. Recommended dose – 5-10 ml per day
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)- helps the liver deal with the effects of toxicity of radiation poisoning. Recommended dose -1-3 dropperfuls of tincture per day
Melatonin- helps protect the brain against radiation Recommended dose – 1-2 mg Caution – only take Melatonin at night!
Lecithin- helps protect the cell membranes Recommended dose – 2-3 tbsp. a day
Chlorophyll – a number of studies found that chlorophyll-rich foods can decrease radiation toxicity. Spirulina and chlorella are two micro-algae that are rich in this substance, as are leafy greens, celery, parsley, the sprouts of any grain or bean, the young shoots of any edible grass, such as wheat and barley, and sunflower greens. Chlorophyll is similar in structure to hemoglobin. Guinea pigs on a diet rich in chlorophyll showed increased resistance to lethal X-rays. Organic alfalfa is a good source of natural chlorophyll.
Miso- has been used to treat radiation sickness. It is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus kojikin, the most typical miso being made with soy. Miso is widely available in most natural food stores and many grocery stores.
Other Foods that help the body decrease the effects of radiation- garlic, onions, beets, kale, brewer’s yeast/nutritional yeast, green tea/black tea, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, apples, guavas, quince, plums, gooseberries, oranges and other citrus fruitspineapple, seaweed (see above).
In the light of the catastrophe at hand I invite us all to stay calm and focused, knowing that this too shall pass one way or another. May we use this opportunity to realize the beauty and fragility of life, as well as, to give thanks for what we have. And, may people finally awaken to the fact that nuclear power does NOT work in any form no matter what the benefits.
In best of health,