Besides treating symptoms and the disease itself, most chronic Lyme patients understand the importance of ridding the body of toxins generated from killing bacteria. Other toxins may also be present in the body from heavy metals, mycotoxins (from mold), normal metabolism or from the environment itself. The point is, in order to give your body a chance to heal properly, these toxins must be removed in a way that doesn’t disrupt your system.

This is where toxin binders can be helpful. A toxin binder is a supplement that can attach itself to a toxic substance and render it harmless while escorting it out of the body through the digestive or urinary tract. Many of these binders are so effective they can actually render various poisonous substances harmless. However, they are not all the same and you should understand the best one to use to help you with your particular health issues. Many binders can also attach themselves to food, vitamins and beneficial minerals so care should be taken to ingest them at least an hour away from these substances and to not take them over an extended period of time.

Prescription Binders

There are some well-known prescription toxin binders that are very effective, but they have several issues with them. The two most popular are Cholestyramine and Welchol. Both of these prescription meds are very effective at binding to toxins but they are indiscriminate in what they bind to. They effectively attach to food, minerals and other vitamins in your body that are vital for metabolism, and they can begin to rob the body of vitality after long term use (unless vitamin supplements are taken away from the binder doses). The other issue with these two meds is that they come with side effects ranging from constipation, abdominal pain, gas & bloating, to skin rashes, joint & muscle pain, unusual bleeding and flu-like symptoms.

8 Natural Toxin Binders

The good news is, there are several natural toxin binders that are just as effective as the pharmaceutical binders, and they don’t have any of the uncomfortable or dangerous side effects. Plus, you don’t need a doctor to prescribe them. All of these supplements are available online, and we’ve provided links for you to investigate and purchase them.

1. Activated Charcoal: This charcoal is similar to common charcoal (derived from peat, coal, wood, or coconut shells), but it is made especially for medicinal use. It becomes “activated” during a process where it is heated in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to develop an abundance of internal spaces or pores. These pores help activated charcoal trap chemicals and pull them harmlessly out of the body through natural digestion.

Activated charcoal can be used to treat poisonings, reduce intestinal gas, lower cholesterol levels, prevent hangover, and treat bile flow problems (cholestasis) during pregnancy. It is also effective at removing most toxins generated from a die-off reaction during Lyme treatment. In the latter case, activated charcoal has been proven effective in minimizing or stopping the Jarrish-Herxheimer reactions most Lyme patients dread by binding with the overabundance of ammonia in the body.

Side effects/concerns: Activated charcoal is safe for most adults when used short-term. However, long-term use can cause constipation and black stools. It should always be taken at least an hour away from food or vitamin supplementation to avoid it binding with them and rendering them ineffective. This is one natural binder that does not discriminate with what it binds to.

Recommended dosage: Here is the dosage recommended by the Mayo Clinic.


2. Bentonite Clay: This clay is composed of ash made from volcanoes, the largest known source being in Fort Benton, Wyoming where numerous volcanoes are present and where this particular clay gets its name. There is evidence that volcanic clay has been consumed and used for medicinal purposes for centuries in ancient cultures in the Andes Mountains, Central Africa and Australia.

Because the clay requires no modern processing it has become a popular and cost-effective way of detoxing the body. Unlike activated charcoal that binds with toxins physically, Bentonite clay binds with toxins electrically. When the clay touches any type of fluid (normally water), it takes on a different charge causing it to bind to substances with a different charge. Through this reaction, the clay is able to help remove toxins, chemicals, impurities and heavy metals from the gut, skin and mouth.

A side benefit is the natural vitamins and minerals contained within the clay itself. When ingested, either in a drink or by eating the clay, these vitamins and minerals are also absorbed just as a supplement would be. Therefore, some people use it as a supplement since the clay is a natural source of important dietary nutrients including calcium, magnesium, silica, sodium, copper, iron and potassium.

The clay can be ingested to remove internal toxins or used on the skin to heal bug bites, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. It can also be added to a bath to remove toxins transdermally.

Side effects/concerns: When ingesting, there may be some minor intestinal discomfort that can be rectified through increased water intake. The FDA rates bentonite as “generally regarded as safe” as a food additive, but it can be harmful if inhaled or exposed to your eyes. Like activated charcoal, Bentonite clay should be taken at least an hour away from food or supplement intake to avoid accidental binding with them. Also, do not use metal spoons or allow metal objects to come in contact with the clay because metal can change the clay’s electrical charge and render it less effective.

3. Cilantro: You’ve probably been exposed to this herb, native to the Mediterranean, and Asia Minor, as the leafy green spice floating in your salsa. Ayurveda medicine has used both cilantro and its seeds (coriander) to support liver function, fight bacterial infections, encourage digestive enzymes, detox the liver and kidneys, incite memory, soothe skin rashes, and to stimulate the secretion of insulin. And herbalists have understood for centuries that cilantro may be helpful in assisting your body to rid itself of unwanted heavy metals. Studies have shown that levels of mercury, lead, and aluminum in the urine increase significantly during a cilantro cleansing. Cilantro changes the electrical charge on intracellular deposits of heavy metals to a neutral state, which makes them release from the body and allows them to be expelled through digestion.

Aside from its abilities to bind to heavy metals, cilantro also has significant antifungal, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Cilantro’s antibacterial compounds help to keep the urinary tract healthy and bacteria-free in an alkaline environment. Its natural antibacterial properties help to protect against both food and water borne diseases including food poisoning, dysentery, salmonella, cholera, and listeria.

Side effects/concerns: Cilantro is considered safe, but individuals who are allergic to fennel, dill, aniseed, caraway or other similar herbs may experience mild allergic reactions.

4. Chitosan: This substance is derived from the hard outer-skeleton of shellfish, including crab, lobster, and shrimp. It is very fibrous and can block absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol, and therefore some patients use it for weight loss or to lower cholesterol. It can also bind to heavy metals in the body while removing fat cells that contain them as well as other toxins. Chitosan is also used to treat Crohn’s disease and the complications that kidney failure patients on dialysis often face, including high cholesterol, anemia, and loss of strength and appetite.

Side effects/concerns: Because chitosan is derived from the outer skeleton of shellfish, there is a concern that people with shellfish allergies might also be allergic to it.

5. Chlorella: This is a blue-green algae (like its cousin spirulina) that can be found in Taiwan and Japan. It is also known to be a “superfood” rich in phytonutrients, including amino acids, chlorophyll, beta-carotene, potassium, phosphorous, biotin, magnesium and the B-complex vitamins. Studies have shown that chlorella benefits the entire body by supporting healthy hormone function, cardiovascular health, negating some of the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and lowering blood pressure & cholesterol. It is also known to be a powerful detoxifier.

One of chlorella’s most significant health benefits is that it attaches to heavy metal toxins in our bodies such as lead, cadmium, mercury and uranium, and keeps them from being reabsorbed or being stored in our body’s soft tissues. Chlorella’s high levels of chlorophyll have been shown to protect the body against ultraviolet radiation treatments while removing radioactive particles from the body.

Side effects/concerns: In rare cases, chlorella may cause swelling of the face or tongue, sensitivity to sunlight, digestive upset, acne, fatigue, lethargy, headaches, vertigo, and shaking. And patients who are allergic to iodine or have been prescribed Coumadin or Warfarin should consult with their physician.

Recommended dosage: From 3-8 grams per day, half an hour before meals (with a glass of water) to facilitate stomach bacteria that aids in digestion to multiply quickly.

6. Fruit Pectin: Pectin is a substance found naturally in many fruits whose properties make it excellent for making jellies. It also has the ability to pull heavy metals and other contaminants from the blood stream by binding to them. These contaminants are then excreted through normal urination.

Pectin is found in the rinds of many fruits and vegetables. Excellent sources of pectin are bananas, apples, cabbage, okra, beets, grapes, carrots and all citrus fruit in the white part called the pith.

Pectin also binds to a tumor-producing protein called galectin 3. Galectin 3 allows cancer cells to detach from tumors and to reattach elsewhere, and so it’s a major factor in the spread of cancer. But pectin blocks the activity of galectin 3, and in so doing, may prevent the progression of cancer within the body.

Pectin helps maintain intestinal balance by cleansing the intestinal tract with its soluble and insoluble fibers. It is also effective in causing regressions in and preventing gallstones. There is also evidence that the regular use of pectin may lessen the severity of diabetes.

Side effects/concerns: Pectin may have side effects, including bloating, diarrhea, decrease in appetite, and mineral depletion.

Recommended dosage: Mix 2-4 teaspoons of dry pectin to an 8 oz. glass of grape juice once a day. Start with a lower dose of pectin until the body gets used to it and increase the amount slowly.

7. Takesumi Supreme: This carbonized bamboo (finely-ground bamboo charcoal) is well known in Japan but is just now becoming familiar in the U.S. It is known to bind with heavy metals, toxic chemicals, and can help alleviate food sensitivities. It also adsorbs mycotoxins and endotoxins and helps facilitate liver and kidney function.

Because of the porous nature of the bamboo, it is an amazing absorber of toxins – up to 10 times stronger than activated charcoal. Research from Japan claims it emits far infrared rays (thus improving circulation) as well as negative ions, and it shields the body from EMFs (Electromagnetic Fields). It also is a natural source of minerals (macro and trace) and is reported to be alkalizing.

Side effects/concerns: Patients suffering from variegate porphyria should avoid use of Takesumi Supreme. It should be taken at least 2 hours away from supplements, food and medications as it may adsorb them and render them ineffective.

8. Zeolite: This is a volcanic silica mineral with a microscopic crystalline structure that can trap toxins at the molecular level. It has an uncanny ability to absorb and exchange different chemicals, nutrients, toxins, and ions according to your bodily needs. Not only does it have a unique honeycomb, microporous cellular structure, it is a negatively-charged mineral, which means it is able to attract positively charged contaminants and bind with them. Since your body doesn’t absorb the zeolite, the pollutants it attaches to are safely removed when you wash it off your skin or send it through your digestive track if you have ingested it.

Zeolite can withstand extremely high temperatures, is not dissolved by stomach or gastric acids and is not water soluble or fat soluble, which is why it can pass through the body completely intact… with toxins in tow. It also balances pH within the body, acts as an antioxidant, has anti-cancer properties, and aids liver function [1] and digestion. It also binds up histamine in the gastrointestinal tract and directly eliminates it via the stool.

Like Bentonite clay, Zeolite may be used on the skin to absorb toxins transdermally or it can be ingested.

Side effects/concerns: Zeolite powder can be harmful if inhaled or exposed to your eyes. Also, do not use metal spoons or allow metal objects to come in contact with zeolite because metal can change its electrical charge and render it less effective.

Recommended dosage: For powdered zeolite, take  ½ a teaspoon to 2 teaspoons 2-3 times daily. In liquid form, take between 3-6 drops 2-3 times daily.

The above material is provided for informational purposes only. The material is not nor should be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

8 Natural Toxin Binders Every Lyme Patient Should Know