Lyme Detox Methods – Natural Support For Herxheimer Reactions

Why is detoxification essential when you are trying to overcome Lyme?

Well your organs need to be in top shape when battling the stealth microbes associated with Lyme disease.

Detoxification can be highly effective in the natural treatment of Lyme because it helps to build immunity and strengthen your liver, kidneys and lymphatic system – whose job it is to filter out the toxins that get into our body.

It also helps to reduce the effects of what is called theHerxheimer Reaction‘ – that occurs when bacteria killed by antibiotics (or other treatment methods) release endotoxins into your body…

Some of the best lyme detox methods include the use of herbal protocols, infrared saunas, supplements, juices, dry skin brushing and rebounding. 

In this article – we’ll be talking about five of the best detox methods for Lyme. But first lets talk a little bit more about why it is so important…

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Why Enhanced Detoxification is Essential for Treating Lyme

According to the 2016 article published by the New England Journal of Medicine, about 10-20% of people who treat Lyme disease with antibiotics experienced the Herxheimer Reaction. [1]

The Herxheimer Reaction occurs as a result of the release of endotoxins by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi when killed by antibiotics.  This overloads the body with toxins, which can lead to some pretty terrible symptoms such as shaking chills, a rise in temperature and intensification of skin rashes.

These symptoms and the toxic feeling experienced by many Lyme sufferers, is often due to the excess of cytokines in the body – which are pro-inflammatory proteins released by the body as the bacteria die off.

The best way to reduce the effects of this reaction, is to strengthen your body’s immune system and detoxification organs to help clear the endotoxins out as quickly as possible. 

The use of antibiotics is common in treating Lyme, but often antibiotics don’t eliminate all of the Lyme disease-causing bacteria and can severely weaken your immune system. [2] As a result, natural Lyme detox methods are an essential component to overcoming the disease.

detox lyme disease

Your liver is the most important detoxifying organ in your body. It is essential for the processing and elimination of toxins and needs to be in good working order to prevent toxic overburden.

Having Lyme disease and the frequent use of antibiotic treatments can actually cause inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), so we need to give it a helping hand. [4]

According to the CDC, in the United States, over 300,000 people are likely to get Lyme disease. [5] In other words, Lyme disease is six times more common than HIV/AIDS and twice as common as breast cancer!

For this reason alone, it is essential to incorporate the best natural detox methods for Lyme into your lifestyle as both a treatment and preventative tool. They won’t jeopardize your body’s immune system like antibiotics, and to build resilience they should be incorporated into your lifestyle even if you don’t have Lyme…

5 of the Best Detox Methods for Lyme

Here are 5 of the best ways to naturally detoxify your body in order to strengthen your body’s detoxification pathways and immune system and clear out the spirochetes endotoxins that are causing the Herxheimer Reactions:

Herbal Protocols

Thousands of years of use and recorded observations tell us that herbs have great medicinal value – with herbal therapy safe and well tolerated by the human body.

From reducing inflammation and inflammatory messengers to stimulating the production of bile and beneficial enzymes, scientific research is now proving the data to back up the traditional uses of herbal therapy.

Some of the best herbs for supporting the detoxification pathways in your body include:

  • Dandelion Root –  is recommended to help strengthen the kidneys and cleanse the liver. Dandelion can also help to combat inflammation in the body and aids in the production of bile for proper digestion.
  • Milk Thistle – is used as an aid to help protect and regenerate the liver. It is believed to both reverse damage possibly caused by long term antibiotic treatment and prevent further damage. It has also been shown to enhance glutathione levels [6]. It is one of the most well researched herbs for protecting the liver and is known for its high safety.
  • Sarsaparilla (Smilax glabra, medica) – is a native herb to South America that is thought to bind to endotoxins that get left behind in the body when bacteria are killed off. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is commonly used in herbal protocols to treat Lyme disease. As a synergist herb it increases the bioavailability of other supplements and herbs.

Two of the best herbal antimicrobials for Lyme include:

  • Chinese Skullcap – is an antiviral herb that also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is a primary herb for treating Lyme disease that is considered to be an immunomodulator. It is used to protect nerve tissue and liver function and to treat inflammation, headaches, insomnia and anxiety. It is a potent herb that can increase the benefit of other supplements and herbs (a synergist). It also contains melatonin that can help with inducing sleep.
  • Cat’s Claw (also known as Samento) – is a woody vine found in Peru, has been the focus of research for nearly 50 years and has been adopted as a primary herb for treating Lyme disease.  Being considered an immunomodulator – it has been used most often for its positive effects on the immune system. The alkaloids within this herb contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so can be great for treating Lyme arthritis and healing for the GI tract.

Infrared Saunas

Using infrared saunas is another great Lyme detox method. Infrared saunas stimulate metabolic activity and help to remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body through sweat. It also increases endorphin production and helps boost immune function.

Full spectrum infrared saunas can heat your body’s core up and can induce detoxification at the cellular level. Microbes such as viruses can even be destroyed from heating your body up using an infrared sauna.

It is best to start off slowly, with five minutes or so and then build your way up to a 30 minute session. Stay hydrated as much as you can. Remember to take a shower to wash off the toxins that have accumulated on the skin when you get out of the sauna.


There are many common supplements that are great for helping to detoxify your body as part of a natural Lyme disease treatment protocol. Supplements like:

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – which is an essential coenzyme that helps the body with oxygen delivery to the organs and cells for energy production.
  • Glutathione is an essential antioxidant in our cells for protecting mitochondria from free-radical damage. It also helps the liver and its detoxification process.
  • NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) is another potent antioxidant that can increase the synthesis of glutathione in the body. It can help to break down mucous and has a reputation for inhibiting biofilms. It is also protective of nerve tissue and the liver.
  • Curcumin is a polyphenol compound found in turmeric root that can increase the efficiency of the liver detoxification pathway and has excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiprotozoal and antiviral properties.
  • Chlorella helps to remove toxic heavy metals and ammonia (a neurotoxin) from the digestive tract which can increase Lyme disease symptoms.
  • Activated charcoal acts as a binding agent which helps your body to get rid of the toxins by absorbing them and preventing them from entering the blood stream.
  • Bentonite clay on the other hand can bind to the toxins and carry them out of the body. You can take the bentonite clay orally, or dilute it in water to form a paste and then apply it to the skin and allow it to dry. The bentonite clay paste can pull toxins out of the body through the skin.
  • L-Ornithine could be a game changer for you if you are battling the neurotoxic effects of bacteria die off (herxheimer reaction). L-Ornithine is an amino acid that plays a big role in producing urea to essentially remove excess ammonia from the brain. Hyperammonemia (excess ammonia accumulated in the tissue of the body and the brain) is commonly seen in Lyme afflicted people. Excess ammonia must be addressed when treating Lyme. The key to taking L-Ornithine is to start out with a low dose and carefully increase to your tolerance level. Taking high doses of L-Ornithine too soon can release ammonia too rapidly, causing cognitive issues. Care is needed so discuss L-Ornithine with your medical practitioner.

Juicesbest detox methods lyme

Juicing organic vegetables and fruits is an excellent way of providing your body with the micronutrients needed to reduce its toxic burden. A Lyme disease diet and detoxifying juices should include antioxidant-rich foods to help cleanse and regenerate your organs.

To get the best out of your juicing, drink it within 20 minutes after making it so that you can get the most active enzymes and phytonutrients from it. If drinking freshly pressed juice is cost prohibitive since you would have to take it two or three times a week or daily, then you can go for cold-pressed juice at grocery stores and juice bars.

Leafy greens like swiss chard, spinach and cilantro are great for detoxifying your body. As are vegetables like small carrots, zucchini, cucumber etc. Low sugar fruits that are great for detox juices include berries, lemons, limes and green apples.

Dry Skin Brushing and Rebounding

Dry skin brushing is a detox method many Lyme patients find easy and enjoyable to do. It’s a very inexpensive method that’s also very effective.

Dry brushing over the bare skin in the direction of the heart – is an effective way to stimulate the drainage of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system (a network of lymph fluids, organs and tissues) disseminate immune cells and help the body remove toxic waste away from cells where is it produced. Used on a regular basis (i.e. every week), dry skin brushing also helps to clear the skin’s pores, enhance skin tone and improve circulation.

It is important to note that when you begin dry brushing on your extremities – you should brush in the direction of your heart to help with the elimination of toxic waste.

Rebounding on a mini-trampoline is a gentle low impact, aerobic enhancing, lymphatic moving  jumping exercise that opens up all the organs of elimination. NASA has even described rebounding as one of the most effective exercises for bone loss regeneration. Not only does it stimulate the lymphatic system, but it also oxygenates the internal organs, strengthens the immune system, increases your energy levels and boosts your lung and heart function.

Make jumping on a mini-trampoline one of your daily habits, starting with gentle movements 5 minutes a day, working your way up to 20 minutes a day. Or 4 intervals of 5 minutes a day.

Interesting Fact: Essential Oils

In a study in 2017, 34 essential oils were evaluated and found to kill the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi in a laboratory setting. [3] The bacteria were killed without any regrowth.  These results are promising – although there is no evidence yet that this will work on humans suffering from Lyme disease.

Essential oils are a powerful treatment modality, so perhaps consider using essential oils in aromatherapy. Therapeutic grade essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil and applied topically or inhaled through a diffuser. Care should be taken when using undiluted essential oils on sensitive skin, and they should only be ingested under the supervision of a qualified aromatic medical practitioner.

The Wrap…

The best detox methods for Lyme disease are those that are natural and synergistic (can increase the benefit of other treatments).

These include herbal protocols (e.g. Chinese Skullcap and milk thistle) and supplements (e.g. Coenzyme Q10, Glutathione, NAC, chlorella and activated charcoal).

Infrared saunas, juicing, dry skin brushing and rebounding are also great activities that will help to detoxify your body and strengthen your immune system.

Combing several of these detoxification therapies together and you can really give the body an effective boost to overcome the devastating and potentially long-lasting effects of Lyme disease.

What Lyme detox methods are you considering or have tried?

Let us know in the comments below – we would love to hear from you….

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Lyme Disease Advice or its staff. This content uses referral links. Read the Disclaimer for more info.

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