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Coping with detox (and Herxheimer) reactionsCoping with detox (and Herxheimer) reactionsSome of you may have experienced the reaction that comes in the early days of doing a detox protocol.  Others might have experienced the toxin release that comes with killing of pathogens in chronic illnesses such as Lyme disease.  While these two processes have someone different causes (one is simply the process of clearing general toxins from the body, while the other is specific to the toxins that are produced as pathogens such as bacteria are killed off), they can both make you feel horrible.  I have found some helpers for coping with detox (and Herxheimer) reactions, so you can try any or all of these can help to lessen the negative symptoms that may occur.  Common symptoms of Herxes and detox reactions include fatigue, lethargy, muscle weakness and headaches.

To manage/ minimize detox reactions here are some things that I have found helpful:

  • Drink fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice in warm water, 2-3 times daily. Clean your teeth afterwards to protect tooth enamel as lemon and lime juice are acidic.
  • Drink ionized, alkaline water – 2 liters per day.
  • Eat a clean diet of lean proteins, healthy uncooked oils and vegetables.
  • Juice greens if possible or drink wheatgrass juice.
  • Take Epsom salts baths as the magnesium sulfate assists with detox. Magnesium is also relaxing for sore aching muscles.
  • Alka-Seltzer Gold (must be gold, not regular) can be helpful.
  • Try to rest and sleep as much as possible.
  • Use far infra-red sauna if possible.
  • Do coffee enemas to help the liver and bowels flush out toxins.

There are also some supplements that can help:

  • Dr Nicola’s Smilax – this herbal tincture helps to neutralize neurotoxins. 1-2 droppersful twice daily in water.
  • Dr Nicola’s Detox Formula (#1 or #2) – herbs to assist the function of the liver and to cleanse the blood. 1-2 droppersful twice daily in water.
  • Dr Nicola’s Nerve Pain Formula – for symptomatic relief of nerve pain such as burning and stabbing pain, and headache/ migraine.
  • TriFortify Liposomal Glutathione – 1 teaspoon in water once or twice daily.
  • Activated Charcoal – 1-2 capsules twice daily, 2 hours apart from other medications and supplements. It acts as a binding agent in the gut to bind up toxins.
  • Fiber blend containing soluble and insoluble fiber (such as Dr. Nicola’s Fiber Blend) – to help bind and sweep out bowels to get toxins out.

(These are all available from my practice webstore –

Sometimes the hard part is knowing when to stop, slow down or soldier on.  Here is my rule of thumb:-

  • If a Herx or detox reaction is really unmanageable (a 8/10 to 10/10 in severity), then the “offending agent” (the medication, supplement, herb – whatever it was that provoked it) can be stopped entirely for a few days, then restarted at ¼ of the previous dose, building up more slowly to the prescribed dose to give the body more time to adjust.
  • If the Herx reaction is somewhat manageable (5/10-7/10 in severity) the dose can be reduced by ½ for a few days to a week, again, to give the body time to calm down. Build up the dose more gradually when it is reintroduced.
  • If the Herx reaction is mild to moderate (1/10-5/10 in severity) then one can “soldier on”, knowing that toxins are being released, and good things are happening!

Toxins don’t always feel good, but they’re better out than in, so if you find yourself in this horrible place, try some of these strategies for getting back on track again!