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Biotoxins are toxins that are created by living organisms. They can be acquired from the air, water, food or from insect or reptile  or bites. Technically, most specialists and dictionaries use the word toxin to denote a harmful substance made by metabolic acitivities of an organism. So, the word biotoxin is redundant. However, it is commonly used by us "non-specialists" and you will see it in the literature regarding toxins quite often. In fact most people use the word poison and toxin interchangeably for all harmful substances. Therefore, the word biotoxin helps to be more specific.

Catagorizing Biotoxins By The Type Of Critter Making The Toxin

Examples are:

  • Fungal mycotoxins
  • Microbial biotoxins
  • Viral biotoxins
  • Plant biotoxins
  • Animal biotoxins
  • Reptile biotoxins
  • Parasite biotoxins
  • Insect biotoxins

Examples Of Specific Toxicants Of Biological Origin

Ciguatera  from Dinoflagellates : associated with tropical fish

Shelfish Toxins from dinoflagellates: associated with shellfish

Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids from various plants: asssociated with cereals, honey and some herbs

Histamine from bacteria in spoiled food: associated with spoiled or fermented foods

Botulinum toxin and Tetanus toxin from Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani respectively

Tetrodotoxin found in some fish, blue-ringed octopus, moon snails, rough-skinned newts, Psudoalteromonas, Pseudomonas and Vibrio as well as other creatures

Our own bodies make glutamate and nitric oxide which although essential in small amounts would be considered biotoxins when in excess amounts at which point they are neurotoxic

Categorizing Biotoxins By The Effect They Have

Examples are:

• Hemotoxins which destroy red blood cells, and are transmitted through the bloodstream. An organism that producse hemotoxins is the rattlesnake.

• Necrotoxins which kill cells they encounter and slowly eat away the tissue. An example of an organism that possesses necrotoxins is the brown recluse spider.

Common Biotoxin Emitting Organisms:

  • Microbes
  • Mold in water damaged buildings (moldy buildings)
  • Fungus that grows in your body. - such as yeast that makes the toxin acetylaldehyde or Aspergillus mold that makes many mycotoxins
  • Fungus that is found  in food
  • Ticks
  • Scorpians
  • Spiders
  • Snakes
  • Other critters known to have toxic bites
  • Fish/Seafood known to cause poisonings by harboring toxins within them
  • Parasites

Screening Test For Biotoxin Exposure

A person can be screened for biotoxin exposure by using an online or in-office visual contrast sensitivity test (VCS).

Using Binders For Biotoxin Exposure

For data on using binders to remove biotoxins, click here.

Some exposure necessitates internal use of binders while others may necessitate external use such as when bitten by a spider. External use of certain binders can help pull toxin out of the injected site if put on immediately. It's ability to help depends on the biotoxin and the binder.  I have treated even older brown recluse bites with bentonite clay and seen remarkable recovery, but it helps much better if treated immediately after the bite. Plus, it is necessary with this spider bite to use internal herbs for immune system support also. We need more investigation and research into the use of binders both internally and externally for various biotoxins as we are saddly lacking in treatment options specific to various biotoxin illness.


Where Are These Biotoxin Producing Organisms Found

Reactions Associated With Shellfish Poisoning

Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning

Toxin: Domoic acid

Algal Species Associated: Pseudonitzshia pungens

  • vomitting
  • diarrhea
  • choking
  • headaches
  • seizures
  • short-term memory loss

Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning

Toxin: Okadaic acid
Algal Species Associated:
  • Dynophysis acuta
  • Dynophysis acuminata
  • Dynophysis fortii


  • vomitting
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain

Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning

Toxin: Brevetoxins
Algal Species Associated: Ptychodiscus brevis
  • Parestheisia
  • reversal of hot and cold temperature sensitivity
  • myalgia
  • vertigo - mild

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

  • Saxitoxin
  • Gonyautoxin

Algal Species Associated:

  • Alexandrium (Goyaulux) cartenella
  • Alexandrium tamarensis
  • Tingling
  • Numbness in fingertips and lips
  • Giddy
  • Staggering
  • Incoherent speech
  • respiratory paralysis

Odd Things We Eat That Contain Toxins

Sea Turtles: Have been known to contain heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury, organic compounds such as the pesticide chlordane and polychlorinated biphenyls as well as biotoxins such as those produced by blue-green algae on which turtles feed. Eating sea turtles has made people ill as well as killed people. The name for this poisoning is Chelonitoxism. Symptoms of chelonitoxism vary according to the toxin and include gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea, vomiting and oro-esophageal ulceration, sometimes followed in severe cases by neurologic signs such as paresis, agitation and coma.

Meant to list more things here, but just ran out of time. In the future I will be back.


Removal of Biotoxins From The Body

Most people are able to remove biotoxins from the circulation with the help of the immune system and the biotransformational system (largely in the liver). They are then excreted largely in the urine or feces. However some people have trouble eliminating these toxins.  They don't have the correct immune response or their biotransformational system or their organs of elimination are not working up to par for various reasons such as genetics, environmental toxin or pathogen load, lack of nutrients etc. In these cases the biotoxins can remain in the body and cause acute or chronic symptoms.

Generally a biotoxin would be marked by the immune system for removal. The immune system would then break it down and cells have a biotransformation system that can turn toxins into more water soluble items to remove in the urine or they may go to the liver and be removed in the bile which ultimately dumps into the intestines, where it is excreted in the feces. It turns out that part of the population has HLA-DR genes that may not be functioning correctly and the immune system may not properly go through this whole process of marking the biotoxin, and ultimately making an antibody to remove the toxin. They also may have other genetics that may cause biotransformational inadequacies that keep them from transforming these biotoxins properly. It is also thought that epigenetics plays a big part in this process of turning these genes on or off and therefore someone may go through much of their life without an issue and suddenly their environment changes or a big stress happens in their life and suddenly they are reacting to biotoxins differently than they had previously.

The biotoxin binds to surface receptors in many, if not most of the cells of the body. This causes a constant inflammatory reaction in the body as the cells are continually upregulating inflammatory pathways due to the continuous biotoxin stimulation.

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