When uncovering more details through a hair analysis for heavy metals, we found that my body’s toxic load was through the roof. Because I had written off toxic personal products and processed foods years ago, I decided to stop getting tattoos and go through a heavy-duty detox process. This included swearing off alcohol, using herbal chelation, and incorporating liver support herbs like milk thistle and dandelion to support removal of the heavy metals in my system. My liver enzymes returned to normal after only a few months.
In the following months and years, in my practice we saw many others who, like me, shared an extremely overburdened liver in correlation to their number of tattoos. Unfortunately metals like mercury, iron, arsenic, lead, and cadmium help to give tattoo ink its color and permanency factor. Carbon black and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a sootlike product and a known pollutant, are often the main ingredients in black ink.
Toxic tattoos—what to avoid:
Exposure to these metals and toxins can place an extreme burden on the liver and the other detox organs. Studies show that the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have been found stored in the lymph nodes of tattooed people causing them to actually turn black. Many of the heavy metals, like lead and mercury, are also considered to be neurotoxins that can affect cognitive function and cause brain fog, fatigue, and many other symptoms. While the damage of these toxins individually to our health is well-studied, the research on the long-term effects of tattoos is still in its infancy.