The Heixheimer (Detox) Reaction- How the body heals and my personal experience with it.


Hey guys, I hope you’re doing well and having a great week so far. This post has taken a little longer than expected once again but I’m back, feeling good and ready to write! There have been a few reasons why I’ve been away from the blog for the past 10 days or so. If you have read my two latest posts, you’ll know that I have recently finished a parasite cleanse. It was my fourth time doing this particular 30 day herbal cleanse (If you’d like to know more please see my posts titled ‘Parasite Cleansing- Why I do it and why you may like to consider it’ and ‘Parasites Part II (An unexpected update)’ for more info.)

Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. The information provided is just based on my opinion. I am not diagnosing or attempting to treat any health issue. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making any changes to your routine or trying this supplement. Especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or suffer from any medical condition.

Over the past five years, I’ve done a lot in order to regain my health and heal my body after taking a medication called Accutane. During this time I have explored many aspects of health and a major part of my journey has involved detoxing my system in order to repair damage that this medication has caused.

Whenever I embark on a cleanse or sometimes when I adjust my diet/ supplement routine, I experience a ‘flare up’ in symptoms. This temporary worsening in amount or severity of past symptoms is actually an indication of healing and is known as the Herxheimer or detox reaction.

As you begin improving your health, by switching from a highly processed diet to one that is made up of mainly whole foods, doing a colon/ liver cleanse or adding in a supplement such as milk thistle to support the liver or an antimicrobial like olive leaf extract for example, your body cells begin to release toxins such as pathogens (bacteria, viruses etc.) and heavy metals. These toxins enter the bloodstream and are now in circulation. Organs such as the liver and large intestine, become over burdened with this sudden release of toxins and endotoxins (the waste materials produced when bacteria die) and an inflammatory response occurs.

Before the toxins and wastes are excreted from the body, the person may have an increase in the severity of current symptoms or a ‘flare up’ of past symptoms.
Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and/ or restlessness
  • Skin breakouts including boils, hives and rashes
  • Cold/ flu symptoms
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increase in joint pain
  • Sinus congestion
  • Fever/ chills
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Muscular aches/ pains
  • Frequent urination/ discharge
  • Mood disturbances such as anxiety/ irritability
  • Insomnia

After completing the parasite cleanse about three weeks ago, I was still feeling noticeable ‘detox’ effects and experiencing many symptoms. This was mainly due to two things, the first being that the herbs in the cleanse continue to work for about 30 days after finishing and the second being that I added in antimicrobial supplements. Shortly after completing Humaworm (the pasrasite cleanse) I began drinking Chapparral leaf tea. I will speak more about this herb in a future post but to summerise, it has potent antimicrobial and antiparasitic properties. As well as this herbal tea, I added in another antimicrobial and immune boosting supplement. Therefore, I actually experienced quite a lengthy ‘healing reaction’ this time round.

To be really honest, the past four to five weeks have been really challenging for me. After a few months of feeling well, I suddenly seemed to feel ‘run down’ again despite working on my health and getting sufficient rest. Since I have experienced this previously on many occasions, I was better equipped to deal with it (although it was still really challenging.)

Healing reactions also occur after a period of feeling really great or seeing a big improvement in your health. Our bodies are highly intelligent and when they have energy and good/ improved resources they will detox by releasing toxins and waste products stored in the liver and tissues and repair damaged areas leading to a higher, more vibrant state of health.

Holistic health practitioners agree that the body always heals in a certain order and this is know as Hering’s Law of Cure. It states that:

“All cure starts from within out, from the head down and in reverse order as the symptoms have appeared or been suppressed.”

This basically means that toxins deep within the body will be dealt with and processed first through to the outer layer (skin.) Physiologically, the person must feel strong and be prepared mentally (the head) first in order to heal physically. The body deals with the most recent heath problem first before moving back systematically, in reverse order to work on more long standing (chronic) conditions.

Personally speaking, this time round I noticed a ‘mixed bag’ of mental, physical and emotional symptoms. Fatigue hit me really hard and I felt like I could sleep for 10- 12 hours a night or that I’d need to nap in the afternoon. Mentally, I was affected quite dramatically. My mood took a really low dip, severely for about three days but generally for a couple of weeks. I had days where I just wanted to give up college, this blog and bothering with anything. I couldn’t see the point in continuing working on my health and was feeling really frustrated, that despite all my efforts over the past few years I was still feeling crap. Basically, I was feeling really vulnerable, emotional and sorry for myself. Walking and resting helped my state of mind a lot, as did talking to a couple of close friends about it and feeling really ‘safe,’ loved and fully accepted doing so. Some of my physical symptoms included skin breakouts (my skin looked dull, inflamed and I came up in a rash a couple of times), muscle aches, low grade fever and chills, abdominal bloating, a small cyst on my right breast (that has now fully cleared), headaches and ‘brain fog’ and a slight sensation during urination, not quite pain but a similar sensation to the start of a urinary tract infection. I used to suffer from UTI’s a few years ago so think my body may have been re- tracing over this condition as bacteria were being killed and removed by the herbs. Those symptoms are the main ones that come to mind but there were probably a few others. When dealing with a healing reaction/ crisis, it’s good to consult a holistic health practitioner. This allows them to overlook your protocol, to ensure it’s benefitting you. If symptoms persist or worsen, they may need to intervene and make adjustments or in rare cases you may need to seek medical advice . I work closely with a wonderful Kinesiologist/ Naturopath who also happens to be a close family friend so I feel very safe. If I have any questions, I always go to her and have done for the past ten years.

There are a few things that you can do in order to make these healing reactions more bearable and shorten the duration, these include:

  • Drinking more filtered/ mineral water
  • Getting more rest
  • Taking a hot bath with magnesium flakes/ epsom salts
  • Sauna/ Steam using essential oils
  • Getting sunlight
  • Gentle exercise such as walking or yoga
  • Rebounding
  • Getting a colonic/ water or coffee enema
  • Taking activated charcoal
  • Dry skin brushing
  • The use of a castor oil pack for the liver

I wanted to keep tonight’s post relatively short and to the point. If any of you would like me to be more specific then please feel free to leave a comment or message me and I’ll happily write another blog post. Perhaps I’ll split this topic into sections and go into greater detail. Hopefully this post explains why I took a little longer than usual to write on the blog. Some really deep things came to the surface for me and I needed to give myself the space and time to allow myself to just ‘be.’

All of my energy needed to be reserved for healing rather than dispersing it by doing lots of other activities or by being really social. I just needed to take some time out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling well enough to attend my college lectures last weekend and spent the weekend at home sleeping lots, lying in the sun and taking some salt baths. Thankfully, I’m feeling much better than of late and am starting to look healthy and vibrant again, although it’ll probably take a few more days. The swollen lymph nodes in my neck are also finally going down which is a great sign. Each time I go through a reaction like this, I become stronger and healthier. So over the past five years, my health has majorly improved. Therefore I have finally learnt to ‘trust the process.’


Thank you for being supportive and understanding and to those of you that have messaged me recently, I really do appreciate it. When I receive messages from you guys, it lights me up and makes me remember why I started ‘Knowledge To Nourish.’ A special mention to my friend Tom, who helped me come up with the topic for today’s blog post. If any of you have any suggestions for future posts, please feel free to message me. I’d love to hear from you.

I have some cool ideas and plans up my sleeve that I’m excited to make a start on and share with you. However, I have a big college exam in three weeks time as well as an assignment hand-in. Due to this, my energy will be directed more towards study rather than the blog for the next couple of weeks. I will continue to post though so keep an eye out for new content. I won’t be able to resist for long!

It’s after midnight here now, I really need to go and get some rest! I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, healthy and fun weekend.

Much love and hugs,


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