Last Modified on Feb 10, 2014
Lecithin is a non-toxic fatty compound occurring naturally in animal and plant tissues. This organic health supplement can lower cholesterol levels, making it a natural alternative to prescription drugs and helping us to stay away from "statins" side effects. Lecithin effects can vary from person to person but there are numerous uses for lecithin: depression, anxiety, and even eczema.
Ted on Lecithin for Natural Detox
"An alternative to oil pulling is possible without use of Oil Pulling, which is Granulated Lecithin, which is a more effective form of oil pulling. Since Granulated lecithin is a fat emulsifier, it virtually pulls the oil out of the system by literally solubilizing it, and the fat is then excreted via the stool, as well as free heavy metals too, which are oil soluble because they are hydrophobic. Supplemental Lecithin should be taken at least 1 tablespoon a day. It is the literal method of oil pulling where the oil gets pulled from the body, instead of using the oil to pull out the toxins, while the body accumulates more vegetable oils."
On this page are several user submitted remedies and discussions of lecithin. Our readers' most popular use of lecithin is for the treatment of herpes, and Ted gives a fantastic overview of lecithin as a fat emulsifier (help your body break down fat in the diet). Let us know your experience using lecithin!
Dandelions and Lecithin
10/23/2013: Cindy from Usa: "Can anyone tell me if you have to eat dandelion flowers with anything else to get the lecitin value from them? I was looking it up and find references to having to drink milk too? I don't drink milk or eat soy(as much as that is possible to avoid) but want to help my liver with lecitin. thanks"Replies
10/25/2013: Kelly from Cambridge, Ma replies: "Eggs are the best food source of Lecithin. (Only if they are cooked in a way that keeps the yolks soft, though.)"
03/28/2009: Tee from Chicago, Il: "I just wanted to know can you add it to foods such as soup or take it straight up?"Replies
03/29/2009: Maureen from Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada replies: "Yes, you can add lecithin granules to soup and eat it straight-up. You can also add it to blender drinks, oat meal, cereal, baked goods etc. etc. etc. Anyway you can think of eating it is good for you."
01/24/2009: Kaybe from Bristol, TN: "Concerning Lecithin for Detox: I understand to take granulated lecithin for 5 of 7 days to detox the body from a lifetime of heavy metals, etc. Should this be taken regularly, forever, or just every so often for detox?"
01/11/2009: Patricia from Elmont, New York: "Please add a new topic for lecithin. I remember reading some comment from Ted where he mentioned lecithin pushing instead of oil pulling. Cannot find it anywhere. Do we use the lecithin same way as sesame oil or do we just ingest it? Thank you."Replies
01/16/2009: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Patricia: Under Pulling Oil, you ingest lecithin, which goes INSIDE the body and causes rancid oil, toxic oils and bad oils (such as gasoline and hydrocarbons) to be removed from your body, through stools, thus reducing the toxins built up over the lifespan. It should be noted that the body simply has no means of ridding hydrocarbons out of the body except with the use of a fat emulsifier, such as lecithin.
07/30/2012: Robyn from Melbourne, Australia: "I know how important it is. My last purchase turned up as liquid capsules. Is this OK? Or does it have to be the granules."
04/26/2009: Cindy from CH, WI, USA: "i would like to add lecithin to my diet but am concerned after reading soy can cause problems with hormones and i am menopausal. could you please ask Ted?"Replies
05/14/2009: Jean from International Falls, MN replies: "if you are worried about soy lecithin, you can poach an egg and get it that way too. you want to cook it to just doneness be careful not to over heat it as it changes the properties. i am not sure how much lecithin an egg has i just know it does my son is special needs and we were told to give him poached eggs for the lecithin a few times a week for nerve support"
01/14/2010: Edensong from Nashville, Tn replies: "Because of the soy issues with common lecithin products, I'd like to share that you can purchase sunflower lecithin. It is non-GM, allergy-free, GRAS approved. Just google it and you'll find suppliers."
03/01/2012: Earlygirl from Sacramento, California, Usa replies: "Regarding lecithin and the concern about soy/estrogen, here is an interesting article which essentially states that there may not be an issue.
03/29/2009: Bev from Long Beach, CA/USA: "Lecithin if you have breast cancer.
Hi. I am concerned about using Lecithin since I have breast cancer. I have been told to stay away from any soy products. Any information is appreciated."
03/29/2009: T from Maryland, USA replies: "I too am concerned about soy-based lecithin and I will not take it. You can get lecithin from egg yolks, and also organ meats if you eat those. Dandelion seems to be a good alternative if you'd rather get it from a supplement or plant source. It appears to be a good source of lecithin, along with many other vitamins and minerals in levels comparable to or exceeding commonly consumed vegetables.
A caveat from one of the above sites: "If you have an allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion." To this I would add that getting yours fresh from the typical back yard is probably not a good idea unless you're certain there's no heavy metals, pet waste, or pesticides in the soil. Supplements and teas are readily available if you have no access to 'clean' dandelions.
Dandelion is in general quite safe and very nutritious (all parts are edible). It seems to have a lot of potential to treat or support a wide variety of things from warts to liver and digestive issues to yeast infections, breast problems, inflammation, bone building, and much, much more. I refuse to call it a weed! This is one plant we could probably all benefit from looking into further."
06/21/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Usa replies: "T from Maryland, USA;
I do agree with you on the dandelion's;I was reading it some where of it's properties, uses and it's benifits. I used to take the capsules with the roots included where I found they are just as good, now I am happy to say that I found dandelions fresh in the super market minus the roots which are just as good but I am happy just the same to find this veggie so good. Thank you."
01/16/2012: Cathy from Washington, Dc replies: "After reading Ted's info about "pulling oil" with lecithin granules a few weeks ago I started taking 2 tablespoons per day, "drinking" it in my orange juice in the morning and in water in the evening. But I was a bit concerned about the soy intake so I looked online for non-soy varieties. I was unable to find any non-soy lecithin in granular form online. I ended up ordering a jar of pure raw liquid sunflower lecithin and I just braved my first spoonful. It doesn't taste as bad as I thought it would, but the consistency is rather glue-like. It sticks to my lips and teeth.
Wondering if anyone else has used this form of lecithin and if you have any better ideas for conveniently ingesting a full tablespoon twice a day?"
01/16/2012: Mmsg from Somewhere, Europe replies: "Cathy, liquid lecithin can be poured, a spoonful or so, into a smoothie for easy ingestion. It's very gooey, so after I pour it, I wipe the bottle opening with my finger, then wipe my finger with a napkin. It gets the goo off."
01/17/2012: Timh from Louisville, Usa replies: "Cathy, Now Foods makes a "Sunlecithin" or "Triple Strength Soy Lecithin" in softgels, which are both better than standard soy softgels. I take extra Choline/Inositol to boost the good effects even further without added soy."
09/05/2012: Judy from Hong Kong, China replies: "I am avoiding soy products because I have thyroid problem, so I bought a couple of jars of raw sunflower lecithin oil too before reading on Ted's thread that only granulated lecithin would work.
Did anyone have any success with detoxing with lecithin oil please? I worry about ingesting more oil when my liver is already overloaded."
03/13/2009: Gean from Salina, KS: "Would liquid lecithin be just as good as the granulated? Thank you."
EC: We've been meaning to ask Ted exactly that! Thanks for the reminder.
Granulated lecithin- Whole Foods brand: 105 calories, 8 g total fat
Lecithin capsules - Whole Foods brand: 15 calories, 1g total fat
03/15/2009: Maureen from Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada replies: "To Gean from Salina, KS. According to Carlson Wade author of Lecithin Book, What You Need to Know, published 1980. The best lecithin is pure lecithin granules which contain over 95 percent phosphatides and about 2 percent soybean oil. Compare that to liquid lecithin which contains approximately 61 percent phosphatides and about 37 percent soybean oil. He cautions against Lecithin Powder which may be altered therefore may be not pure lecithin."
[YEA] 02/17/2009: Freddie from Buckeye, AZ, USA: "I tried Lecithin. A Bechtel engineer who worked at a laboratory when he was younger told me that they grew the herpes virus. They used Lecithin to control and kill the herpes virus. He saw the herpes breakout on my face one day at work. He told me to take 2500 mg each day for a month. I asked him why he hasn't come forward with this information. He said that the FDA was too powerful to fight.
It worked for me. I haven't had a breakout in 20 years.
As I understand it, hospitals use Lecithin based baby formulas on new born babies born to women with genital herpes.
Lecithin 2500 mg a day for a month"Replies
[YEA] 01/08/2010: Jacqui from Brisbane, Qld Australia replies: "After 12 years with the curse of Herpes Virus I read comments from Freddie from Buckeye US and thought "what would one more thing to try hurt" - I took 2 x 1200 of Lecithin when I had an outbreak and it was clear within 24hours. I would like to thank him for sharing that information, it worked for me!"
05/21/2010: Anita from Si, Ny replies: "what kind of lecithin did you ingest? Soy, egg, sunflower? thank you!"
10/21/2010: Bo from Edgbaston, Birmingham, Uk replies: "Regarding the 2500mg of Lecithin... Is it only for 1 month daily for a cure or does one have to take it when outbreaks occur? & for maintenance? It's been decades of monthly attacks and am at wits end!!!"
[YEA] 10/23/2010: Anita from Ny replies: "I started sprinkling non-gmo lecithin on my egg breakfast in July (fairly consistently-maybe missed 7 days since). I used to have monthly facial outbreaks. I've had 2 minor OB (I did ICE, h2o2, lysine, vit. C as well) which consisted of a very small pinhead size scabs. I just continue sprinkling. Kinda scared to stop... Lol"
[YEA] 12/07/2010: Thankful from A, B replies: "LECITHIN!! Thank you Freddie from Buckey!!!! I recently contracted the virus, and had breakouts AT LEAST twice a month. I'm talking big, bubbly ob's that itched and were devastating. I tried all the remedies but once the bump emerged there was NOTHING I could do but wait for it to clear up on its own. After reading the comment from Freddie & doing some research of my own, I decided to try Lecithin. I take 2-3 soft gel pills (1200mg) per day. I also wipe my genitals and lower back with DMSO on a cotton ball nightly. I haven't had a breakout in over 4 months and I'm praying I will never have another one. My diet is pretty good, but I do drink wine (red & white) and have not had an issue. I even started having little helpings of chocolate every so often which before would cause a breakout within hours. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS REMEDY. I hope this helps someone :)"
[YEA] 08/13/2011: Catherine from Wellington, New Zealand replies: "So glad to finally know why I no longer suffer from herpes outbreaks. From childhood I was always breaking out, my lip line shows evidence of old scarring. Anyway when I was early thirties I started studying nutrition and began taking lecithin. It was some years before I realised I was no longer getting the dreaded herpes tingling and subsequent blisters but I never made the connection with lecithin. I just assumed I had "grown out of it" I am now 69 and have not had an outbreak in nearly 40 years!"
[NAY] 09/03/2011: Maryland from Los Angeles, Ca, Usa replies: "I took 2400mg of lecithin then up to 4800mg of lecithin daily for two months and the only change I noticed was that my breasts seem fuller :)
But the outbreaks kept coming.."
[YEA] 12/31/2012: Falala from Shreveport, Louisiana, Usa replies: "I tried Freddies remedy - 2400 lecithin every day. I bought 2 large bottles that contained 100 softgels each. I decided I would take all of the lecithin until I ran out. 3 months worth with absolutely no outbreaks or symptoms. I usually get an outbreak every 2 months. I get tingling every month, but not since I began taking lecithin! Since I am done with both bottles, I am going to take a break and see if there are any changes. Bue, if a breakout occurs, I will go purchase another bottle of softgels and begin taking it again."
01/01/2013: Mm from Somewhere, Europe replies: "Falala, 2400 what??????"
01/05/2013: Enzy1 from Khi, Pak replies: "hey all... So I have been taking lecithin for a few days and it is keeping the outbreaks a bit in control... Im also supplementing it with oil of oregano, vit c, lysine and beta immune complex... I have a lot of faith in lecithin after reading the post by Freddie and the others that have followed... however, could you pls tell me if this needs to be continued even after a month and if any of u have had recurrent OBs after taking lecithin...pls lemme know!!"
01/26/2013: Falala from S'port, La, USA replies: "2400 mg. Sorry!"
03/09/2013: Allison from Houston, Texas replies: "Herpes could be brought on by Aspartame, the sugar free substitute often found in sugar free drinks, gums, cookies, yogurts, protein powder, and others. So lecithin may still help control herpes, but make sure you are not ingesting aspartame. You can find this information under cures for herpes. Wished I had knew this instead of ignorantly chewing sugar free gums for years and all along getting herpes simplex cold sores."
04/25/2013: Annabell from Miami, Fl, United States replies: "To Allison from Houston, Texas,
THANK YOU! Last week I ate 6 greek yogurts in one day! The day after a cold sore appeared this is the worst one yet. It's HUGE. It was going away after I dabbed it with hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and tea tree oil but I made the mistake of putting neosporin on it before it completely scabbed over.
I just googled aspartame in greek yogurt and sure enough the particular brand I bought contained aspartame!!! Not to mention I was also taking maca capsules. I am getting ready to purchase egg yolk lecithin and use it as part of my regimine which includes lysine, vitamin c , red marine algae, zinc, stress forumula b complex, and some other vitamins.
From now on I will stick to eating PLAIN yougurt."
[YEA] 04/27/2009: Sue from Townsville, Qld, Australia: "You can add lecithin to your cooking by replacing some of the fat/oil in the recipe with it. I use it in muffins that way with good results. I've also seen health recipes where you dissolve it in water and use that instead of oil. So if the recipe requires you to "fry an onion", use the 2tblspns of both lecithin and water instead. Just start off with the water and lecithin in the pan then when hot start cooking. It is good."Replies
06/21/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Usa replies: "Sue, from Australia;I tried soy milk and I had some problems adjusting to soy, I also can no longer drink regular milk as it too affects me so I have tried dream rice which I seem to tolerate very well.
I am wondering now how important is it really to take the Lecithin? I found that selenium and magnesium with calcium and vit. D is great for the brain/memory.....Thanks & good luck"
[YEA] 04/17/2009: Deirdre from Atlanta, GA: "I've been taking lecithin now 2x a day with every meal. I bought the gel caps at Whole Foods (their generic brand). The first thing I noticed was that my memory improved dramatically. I was frustrated the day before I started the lecithin that I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of one of my childhood friends! The next day, a few hours after taking lecithin, the full name of my childhood friend popped into my head along with the name of her dog (Chadsie). Not sure yet about the pulling oil effect that Ted speaks about, but will report back in a month or two. Wanted to report my initial findings..."Replies
01/02/2011: Kia from Florida, Us replies: "How has Lecithin worked out for your memory since then?"
[YEA] 07/25/2012: John from Bronx, Ny - New York replies: "Lecithin does help my memory and my prostate. I don't take it everyday, only when I feel I need it. I make a weak cup of tea, sweeten it, add 2 ice cubes and water to make about 10 to 12 ounces of liquid. Then add 1 tablespoon of lecithin granules and blend in a blender at the lowest setting that will dissolve it. Good before a lot of mental work and helps urine flow."
[WARNING!] 02/27/2012: Lou from Tyler, Tx: "A word of caution about Soy Lecithin granules. I had a severe allergic reaction causing hives around my neck, severe itching and a huge red stripe around 2-3 inches in diameter from my chin to the base of my neck. Luckily, I read on Earth Clinic to blot the rash with borax and hydrogen peroxide. Then I took a bath with a couple of scoops of coconut oil in the water. Instant relief! I also had switched breads to a 12-grain variety that started off the allergy attack. I must have had a huge buildup of lecithin in my body and a soy allergy too."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 05/22/2011: Elly from Topeka, Kansas: "Hi Bill,
When I give my mom a teaspoon of lecithin she feels very giddy afterwards. Like a mild mania. I gave it to her on a different occasion and same result. What's this mean? Why is this happening? Thanks."Replies
10/13/2012: Mark from Las Vegas, Nv replies: "Lecithen contains phosphatidylcholine and regulates moods and also helps with memory. It has also been said to clean the arteries and lower choleterol. Now of course studies have been put out linking it to cloging arteries in rodents. But nevertheless humans have been very sucessful in using it."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 03/23/2009: Darlene from Las Vegas, Nevada: "I've been taking 1200 Mg.of lecithin a day and I also started breaking out on my face.The product I use ingredients are Lecitin from soy 1200 mg.Phosphatidyl Choline 180 mg. Phosphatidyl Ethanolamine 156 mg. Phosphatidyl tnositol 108 mg. Linoleic Acid 324 Mg. Linolenic Acid 72mg. Is the Lecithin I'm taking wrong or is this something that does happen when taking it. I know I am very sensitive to oils. Please Respond."Replies
06/21/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Usa replies: "Darlene;What is inside of the body must come out on the surface. Maybe you are doing too many items all at once, why not try a few at a time? good luck"
09/25/2011: Desigirl from Oakland Gardens, Ny, United States replies: "Diamond from Salisbury why don't you try Egg Lecithin or Dandelions since you are so sensitive to oils. Ted did mention somewhere that Soy is not at all good for this reason."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand: "Some people have low tolerance to any oily foods, including oil pulling. What is not mentioned is the enormous effects of health it has on eating foods with vegetable oils. While oil pulling do in few cases cause a person to be sick, if a person has low tolerance to oils in general. This happens sometimes for certain oils or an entire range of oils, including olive oil. Although I report the least problems from olive oil use, however current oil pulling use is sunflower oil. In case it doesn't work, for sunflower oil, it might work for olive oil. However, some people get a skin allergy response just applying olive oil to their skin or the use on their hair. Certain imbalances in higher chain oil is possible and a condition might be reduced by eating a small amount of beeswax, or another form, octacosanol where these very long chain fatty alcohols reduces LDL, low density lipoprotein, and other substances responsible for the negative reaction from vegetable oil use. It seems to help reduce cholesterol too. If an alternative oil pulling is used without the resultant side effects, adding some peppermint oil may reduce the problem, or if the liver has low tolerance to oil, it also helps if granulated lecithin is used instead. Granulated lecithin taken at one tablespoon per day preferably before meal. It should be noted that oil soluble compounds, including benzene, and toxic chemicals that are oil soluble recirculates in our body for the rest of our life and accumulates in the liver. There's no way out, except granulated lecithin which are a fat emulsifer, that helps the fat become water soluble so the body can rid of them much easier. It's the same thing when we take too much vitamin A or vitamin E and is stored by the liver. I have seen instances where long term used of ANY oils, whether they be aloe vera oil, olive oil, causes allergic and body's negative response. The cause is that the liver simply can't hold any more oils that's being accumulated and has to find a way out. One here I mentioned is granulated lecithin, but there's a limited extend of possible removal with the use of drinking ACV apple cider vinegar, which is also solubilizes the oil, as well as borax remedy, and alkalization remedy. They are all surfactants. The French Paradox where they consume more cholesterol then the U.S, but had less maybe due to the fact that a small amount of alcohol in wine may have helped the liver remove excessive oils and fats. However, other avenues in reducing other oils, such as triglycerides exists in drinking unsugared no artificial flavoring, no artificial sweetners such as green tea also. However, I always add a tiny pinch of borax, as some green tea may have fluoride and this aids in the removal.
While I can't say oil pulling using vegetable oil is the best, the one with the least problem is the use of oil pulling by literally pulling the accumulate oils (and bad oils) out of the system using granulated lecithin. In fish pathology, using rancid oils is about the worse things you can do to cause teh fish to be sick, but rancid oils exists in human diets to much greater extent owing to their being long on the shelf, and cooing of vegetable oils further worsen the oil tolerances, whenever the liver can no longer take any more oils from the system.
P.S. This second form of oil pulling might be named Pulling Oil instead of Oil Pulling. It's the second type of detoxification using lecithin."Replies
12/09/2010: Full Moons from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "I have a question about Ted's Remedy for using Lecithin. I have been quite ill for the last 6 months. Initially thought I had a sinus infection (headaches and dizziness/ fogginess) which hasn't left me. I went to a homeopathic doctor who thought my liver was causing my sinus issues. I have been using ACV for 5 months (1 tsp in a glass of water 4x/day). For the last month- dandelion root, slippery elm, propolis. I was also oil pulling 5-6 days a week (switching b/w sunflower and VCO). I learned that my detox may have been too much, so cut out oil pulling, not knowing what else to do. I know my body needs a break to detox, but not sure exactly how to 'break' successfully, so I just stopped. The only thing that seems to be giving me relief now is to drink 2tbsp of lime juice and sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cayenne (and sweeten with Stevia)... This gets me through the day, but I'm not cured. I'm thinking about trying Lecithin now to help with my liver and general detox.
I really don't know what to do and only what to feel healthy again. Is Lecithin a good choice for me right now? I don't really understand how detox of the liver works. Will this make my liver work harder before it gets better? Am I only hurting my body? I didn't notice any change in my health when I stopped oil pulling, so I don't really know if this alternative to oil pulling will work. I'm desperate for relief but I also know that I didn't get to this condition over night, so I'm not expecting to be better overnight either. I just don't know how to proceed. Please let me know any thoughts on how to best proceed. Many many thanks to the earth clinic community."
02/26/2011: Bridget from Okc, Ok replies: "Hi, Have you tried reading any of Brenda Watson's books?? Either 'The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps' or 'Essential Cleansing for Perfect Health'. I have read them both and found them to be very helpful in helping me to learn how to detox from a chemical overload from when we were building a house. I became very sick from the chemicals in the paint we were using, I too had what I thought was a sinus infection with many of the symptoms you described. After many frustrating Dr. Visits I decided to do my own research. I think the second book, Essential Cleansing for Perfect Health, is the better of the two, it is more concise and to the point. I have also found great help from a book titled "Toxic Overload" by Paula Baillie-Hamilton, I ordered and tried the list of supplements in her book and within 2 days felt a great sense of relief from the debilitating migraines and mental fogginess that had plagued me daily for over a year. Good luck, I hope you too will find relief soon."
05/15/2012: Mikael from Europe replies: "Hi Ted, Thank you very much for posting this as well as other things, it's been of great value.
In this post you made, there are some things that are kind of completely new to me, and I'd appreciate a lot if you'd want to give further references for a deeper study. The points where I'd appreciate if you wanted to provide this are:
* Oil soluble compounds, including benzene and rancid oils, and toxic chemicals that are oil soluble recirculates in our body for the rest of our life and accumulates in the liver - more on which are accumulated, how much, what damage do they do
* These can be rid of with lecithin - more on what kind of things lecithin actually takes out (heavy metals? bad proteins? bad carbohydrogens such as benzene and rancid oils?) and how effectively
* The liquid lecithin is oily and not effective - what kind of oil is it, soy oil? why not effective, bc that oil in the liquid lecithin makes it an ineffective emulsifier or what? Is liquid lecithin effective at all, if so how much?
05/16/2012: Mikael from Europe replies: "Ah - sth more -
* If this Lecithin treatment is taken as per what you said above and any clarifications you'll add in additional responses now, would it interfere with consumption of Coconut oil?
I. E. , I take a raw virgin coconut oil cure concurrently with the lecithin treatment. Can I throw both into the blender and eat them in the same smoothie, or should I rather try to keep them separate so eat the Lecithin in the morning and the Coconut oil in the evening?
Basically it's real important that both the Coconut oil and the Lecithin have their full treating effect on me, as the Coconut oil is to kill candida and stuff and the Lecithin would be a detox - both very important, I better alternate weeks or sth if needed, in case they would interfere with each other.
* Do you view taking Lecithin rather as a liver detox or as a whole-body detox?
Thanks and blessings again :)