Natural Ways to Detox From Medical Imaging Tests

Exposure to ionizing radiation is increasing rapidly in the United States. In fact, Americans today are exposed to seven times more radiation from diagnostic medical imaging tests than they were 30 years ago, due to a dramatic increase in the use of X-rays, mammograms, and CT and PET scans as diagnostic tools. Studies have shown that ionizing radiation, such as gamma rays, X-rays, and radioactive particles can cause cancer by damaging DNA. If not properly repaired, this damage can cause harmful changes in the DNA, subsequently leading to mutations. The good news though, is that there are natural protocols to assist your body in the detox process. The chart below illustrates the radiation dosage to patients from some of these imaging tests:

detoxing from medical imaging tests

While these routine imaging procedures in conventional medicine are sometimes necessary, they do come with health risks due to the radiation they emit. For example, exposure to CT scans can increase the risk of cancer by at least 24%, with such risk lasting even years after the testing. In fact, researchers at the National Cancer Institute estimate that 29,000 future cancer cases could be attributed to the 72 million CT scans performed in the country. Furthermore, other imaging tests that don’t emit radiation, like MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) also come with risks. For example, most doctors order the contrast dye gadolinium when ordering an MRI. Gadolinium has been shown to have toxic residual effects, especially among those with poor kidney function.

So, if you’re about to get a scan or some other type of imaging test, here are a few things you may want to consider to help your body detox from radiation exposure and heavy-metal laden contrasts:

Choose a High-Potency Supplement Containing Polyphenols

Resveratrol, quercetin, and green tea polyphenols rank among the best-studied and most potent radioprotectants. In fact, studies have shown that plant polyphenols can protect human cells against radiation-induced DNA damage.

High Dose Melatonin

Aim for 60 mg of melatonin the night before and the night after a scan. While many cancer patients actively take melatonin as part of their supplement protocol, melatonin has also been shown to have beneficial properties for the reduction of radiation toxicity in healthy tissue due its potent antioxidative properties.

Consume Detox Foods

Some of my favorite detox foods include spirulina, chlorella, kelp, broccoli, garlic, onions, wheat grass, lemon balm, parsley, avocados, kale, coconut oil, and pectin-rich foods like apples. These foods have been shown to protect against radiation-induced damage to cells and tissues primarily due to their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Spirulina, chlorella, and pectin in particular act as natural binders, which bind to toxins and radioactive elements, drawing them out of the body.

Use Oxicell Cream

Oxicell cream is a glutathione cream. Glutathione, also known as the “master antioxidant,” protects the body from toxic metals, pollutants, and perhaps most importantly when it comes to scans – oxidative stress. Radiation can cause the production of free radicals, which lead to oxidative stress, which can further cause DNA damage and mitochondrial dysfunction. Using Oxicell in targeted areas before and after a scan can help to protect the body from oxidative stress by supporting the scavenging of free radicals that the scan may produce. Consider putting ¼ tsp of cream into your hands, and rub over your liver, your thyroid, and your adrenals, up to three times the day of your scan.

Take a Radiation-Neutralizing Bath Following Your Scan

Dissolve one to two pounds of salt with one to two pounds of baking soda in a hot bath, and soak for 40 minutes. Radiation is acidifying to the body, while a salt and baking soda soak is highly alkaline, which helps to neutralize radiation’s effect. Another thing to consider adding is bentonite clay. Clays are known for their ability to remove toxic metals because of their unusual structure of pores, which allow the clay to absorb large amounts of toxins. A magnetic clay bath is a great way to assist the body in a heavy metal detox and to remove radiation from the body. I like this one from Enviromedica. You can use the code wellnstrong15 for 15% off. 

Try Homeopathy

Homeopathy means “similar pathology,” and its science is based on a principle known as the “Law of Similars”.  This principle supports the proposition that any substance that can cause symptoms when consumed by a healthy individual can also combat the same symptoms in a person who is ill. Consider homeopathic remedies like X-Ray 30c, Cobaltum 30, Calc fluor 12 and Nat mur 6 to help your body detox from radiation. For example, taking one dose (3 pellets) of X-ray 30c the night before, morning of, and for three days after your scan may help mitigate the radiation effects. One of my favorite homeopathic pharmacies is Boiron, which you can find on Fullscript.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The best anti-radiation diet is one that is rich in ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) foods, which have been shown to help heal the body from radiation damage, and chelating foods (foods that remove toxins from the body). Among my favorite high ORAC foods are blueberries, walnuts, cruciferous vegetables, and cilantro. Some of my favorite chelating foods include parsley, cilantro, brazil nuts, garlic and onions.


Sweating helps the body eliminate heavy metal toxins (e.g. mercury and cadmium), and also reduces inflammation. In addition to exercise, a great way to help the body eliminate toxins is by sweating inside an infrared sauna. If you don’t have access to one, I highly recommend Relax Sauna. It’s a powerful, portable, and budget-friendly sauna.

Use Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil is a non-volatile fatty oil that is derived from the seeds of the castor bean. Studies have shown that castor oil possesses detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and wound-healing properties. My favorite way to use castor oil is via castor oil packs. Castor oil packs applied to the liver area have also been shown to support and improve liver function. Castor oil packs have also been shown to:

  • Increase lymphatic drainage

  • Detoxify the body

  • Improve digestion

  • Reduce pain & inflammation

  • Increase glutathione

  • Promote regularity & boost gut integrity

One of my favorite brands is
Queen of the Thrones, which sells organic cotton and castor oil in glass bottles. Since castor oil absorbs chemicals from plastics (which can then enter the body), I recommend that you purchase it in glass bottles.


The simple act of drinking water is one of the most important pathways to detoxification. Aim to drink filtered water at least half your weight in ounces per day. If you’re looking for a high-quality filtration system, I’m a fan of Clearly Filtered and Berkey Filters.

These are just a few powerful protocols to follow that can help you detox, rebalance, and protect your body after radiation exposure from imaging tests.

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Jacqueline Genova, CHN

Jacqueline Genova, a certified holistic nutritionist, is passionate about wellness. She resorted to holistic approaches for healing to reverse some of her own health problems, and to help her mom battle cancer. She is a graduate of Babson College where she researched and wrote a thesis that supports a more integrative treatment approach, and is a strong advocate of incorporating complementary therapies into conventional treatment methods. As she discovered the healing powers of food as medicine, both through her own experience as well as in her research, she developed a desire to share what she learned with others. So, she started WellnStrong. She believes in a holistic approach to wellness that addresses the root causes of illness, not just the suppression of symptoms.