You have made the decision to get healthier. You decide on a cleanse and are mentally prepared to take the herbs, consume the potions, use the essential oils, drink all that water, and whatever else comes with it. What most are not prepared for is suddenly feeling under the weather out of the blue. It didn’t say anything about this on the label or in the advertising. So, why do you sometimes feel sick when you do an internal cleanse or detox?
It’s called a Herxheimer reaction. Herxheimer reactions are a result of inflammation in the body. When you do a detox, it allows your body to release old bacteria, viruses, and toxins which are harmful to your system and need to be flushed out in order for you to truly be in a state of health.
During a cleanse, the herbs, essential oils, vitamins and minerals are specially combined to kill off bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxins and to dislodge old putrefied food and materials that have built up in the body and in the cells. The reaction occurs when injured or dead bacteria/viruses are released allowing the decomposing endotoxins into the blood and tissue faster than the body can handle comfortably.
This provokes an inflammatory response which presents itself in an over exaggerated form of whatever the original illness was. For example, if you still have flu virus in your body, you will feel temporarily like you have the flu. You may feel feverish, have a headache or just feel very run down. It may come and go but will pass usually in a matter of hours or days.
Knowing this is a possibility going in to a cleanse makes it far easier to deal with. In many cases, people unaware of what a Herxheimer reaction is and have assumed that the detox itself was making them sick, so of course stop the cleanse when what was really needed was more water and to keep going allowing release and clearing.
The most common symptoms reported in a Herxheimer reaction are increased fatigue, joint or muscle pain, skin rashes, photosensitivity, irritability, dizziness, sleep disturbances, asthenia, muscle cramps, night sweats, hypertension, hypotension, headaches (especially migraines) and swollen glands. Also reported are heavy perspiration, metallic taste in mouth, chills, nausea, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, low grade fever, heart palpitations, tachycardia, facial palsy, tinnitus, mental confusion, uncoordinated movement, bone pain, flu-like syndrome, conjunctivitis and throat swelling.
Please don’t let this scare you away from doing internal cleanses… These symptoms present themselves most often during parasite and candida cleanses. You will only have a reaction IF your body has candida or parasites in it. If it does not, the herbs will simply pass through.
The Herxheimer reaction may be unpleasant temporarily, but it is just temporary. Clearing your body allows it to run properly preventing sickness and disease down the road. The inconvenience is well worth the outcome.
Author: Sarah Barendse