Herxheimer Reaction

Published on 1 October 2023 at 17:49

Herxheimer Reaction

—Jill Fandrich, PharmD, CRPh


Herxheimer reaction is a temporary and usually mild inflammatory response that can occur after starting antimicrobial treatment for certain infections. It was first observed by dermatologists Adolf Jarisch and Karl Herxheimer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


When antimicrobial agents are used to treat infections, they can cause the rapid death of bacteria or other microorganisms. As a result, these microorganisms release certain substances or endotoxins into the body. The immune system recognizes these substances as foreign and mounts an immune response, releasing cytokines (inflammatory chemicals) in the body.


The Herxheimer's reaction is characterized by flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, and skin rash. It can also cause increased symptoms related to the underlying infection, such as increased fatigue or worsened inflammation.


The severity and duration of Herxheimer's reaction vary depending on various factors, including the type and stage of the infection, the individual's overall health, and the specific antimicrobial treatment used. In most cases, the reaction is short-lived and subsides within a few days or weeks.


While the symptoms of Herxheimer's reaction can be uncomfortable, it is generally considered a positive sign as it indicates that the antimicrobial treatment is working effectively and the body is clearing the infection. However, if the symptoms become severe or concerning, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and possible adjustment to the treatment plan.


*From personal experience, before my first detox bath, I was in a vicious cycle of allergies leading to multiple allergy shots, reactive airway disease flare-ups, reflux reactions, and chronic bronchitis, followed by a series of very high-dose prednisone and amoxicillin clavulanate. Then I had one good week, and the cycle would start again—this continued month after month. I learned about detox baths and decided to try a heavily ingredient-ridden detox bath, as hot as I could stand, for about 40-50 minutes. When finished, I showered and, feeling very lethargic and weak, went right to bed.


The next day, I woke up feeling a little "flu-like," and by the end of the day, I was experiencing the worst flu-like symptoms of my life. I told the friend who shared the detox bath idea with me what I was experiencing, and feeling bad, he said—by the way—he had a very severe reaction known as Herxheimer's reaction that he never mentioned, as it is rare to occur after a detox bath, yet it did for him.


I had so many pollutants in me—allergy particles, pollutants and poisons from shots and vaccines, prescription allergy and bronchitis medications, weakened immune system, etc.—that an immediate and extreme endotoxin release overwhelmed my lymphatic system. It was a severe case, and I was in bed for NINE days. On the ninth day, I was desperate to detoxify all toxins from my body, so I took another "strong" detox bath in hot water for another 30 minutes, showered, and went to bed. I woke up feeling an increasing amount of energy and well-being flowing back through me. I continued to feel better and better with every passing day, and with every detox bath after that, I felt revitalized, relaxed, and rejuvenated.


This reaction has never happened again. My "friend-in-reaction" never had this happen again, either.


I would also like to share that ever since I detoxed with this first bath, I have never had another episode of bronchitis or reactive airway flare-up and never had another allergy shot or any vaccine ever again. The detox bath released all of the toxins that were polluting and preventing my immune system from defending itself against free radicals, oxidants, and other harmful toxins. I have never felt better. And I fully believe that the best defense against infections and diseases is to boost natural immunity.


I share this to make you aware that if your body is full of pollutants, heavy metals, and toxins from vaccines, allergies, allergy shots, medications nonrelevant to specific disease states, environmental free radicals or pollutants, or certain disease states themselves that release waste products into your system, there is a chance of having a version of this reaction. Start with a foot soak or a detox bath for ten to fifteen minutes first. Slowly work your way up to a full thirty to forty-minute soak. Once the first round of toxin release has occurred, it is unlikely that this reaction will ever occur.


Then, enjoy the full benefits of detox baths' rejuvenating and relaxing experience.


The path to healing may sometimes be adorned with a Herxheimer's reaction, for through the discomfort lies the liberation of toxins, paving the way for renewed vitality and well-being.

—Dr. Jill

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