Article: Dealing with die-off-reactions from parasites, lyme, and yeast

MARCH 6, 2016 

I wish I could say that I had an easy time of reducing my pathogenic load. I had a very bad tapeworm, roundworm, fluke and ropeworm infestation. I suffered immensely during the first months of diet change and herbals to reduce the pathogenic load. My body was fighting active parasites, Lyme Disease, Babesia, EBV and yeast infections while dealing with the heavy burden of toxins and heavy metals released by pathogens as they were dying off. This is known as a Jarisch–Herxheimer Reaction, commonly referred to as a “herx”; it is not an easy thing to go through.  It  is the body’s  reaction to endotoxins released during the death of harmful microorganisms. Also known as a die-off reaction, it can be very intense.

Die-off can produce fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, intestinal upset, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, sore throat, ear pain, tooth pain, sweating, emotional upset, brain fog, anxiety and many other adverse symptoms. I had all of these and more. It can be long or short-lasting and resolves once the toxins have been cleared from the body. I just persevered and kept hitting them as hard as I could stand it. I was often housebound as a result.


1. Switching from processed food to a real food diet. Reducing carbohydrates and eating a Paleo Diet (death of pathogens by starving)

2. Starting or increasing probiotic dosage. Especially adding homemade fermented foods like sauerkraut and beet kvass (death of pathogens by good soldiers)

3. Starting or increasing dosage of antiparasitics, anti-fungals, anti-bacterials, anti-virals or antibiotics (poisoning pathogens)


1. Drink lots of water

2. Make sure the bowels are moving daily. I often used an herbal laxative like cascara sagrada. I was worried about my bowels becoming dependent on it, but am happy to report that I have not needed any of this for over a year. If the bowels are not moving, the die-off reaction (herx) will be prolonged as toxins are reabsorbed from the bowel into the lymph and bloodstream.

3. Warm epsom salt baths – I used 2 -3 cups of epsom salts. Due to adrenal insufficiency, I had to make sure that the water wasn’t hot or I would get very sick and dizzy.

4. Activated charcoal – nightly when the die-off is strong. Activated charcoal is great for absorbing toxins in the gut. I took  3 caps before bed. I had to be careful with the amount, as I found it to be constipating.

5. Green smoothies – You will find my recipe here. These helped me immensely, as they are very cleansing of toxins, while providing much-needed nutrients. Greens and especially parsley are excellent for detoxification.

6. Enemas – Coffee (organic is best), enemas with a tablespoon of acv or plain water enemas to keep the colon clean.

7. Gentle exercise – Walking, rebounding, yoga and stretching. I know it is really difficult to exercise when so debilitated from die-off, but even walking 100 feet will help to move the lymph.

8. Red root – A wonderful herb that helps with lymph drainage.

9. Peppermint tea – This was my go to for nausea during migraines.

10. Be extra gentle with yourself – It was easy for me to be hard on myself. I was always feeling guilty for not being able to do more around the house and for my family. I had to tell myself daily that I was healing as fast as I could.

11. Take a few days off from antimicrobials – Stop the killing and let your body get caught up with eliminating all of the toxic waste.

The good news is that all of this does come to an end. Once I eliminated the pathogenic load, increased mineral levels, healed my gut and changed my diet to the Paleo Diet I recovered my health. I have not needed to take any anti microbials for lyme disease for over one year. The only maintenance herbs I take are a parasite cleanse every 6 months withmy herbal dewormer recipe.

My health has been restored and I have been in complete remission for the past 16 months from Lyme Disease, parasites, Candida, EBV, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.

Blessings and Best of Health!

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