Archive for the ‘Detoxing’ Category

Lyme Detox 101 Basics  Video Here (Approx. 5 Min)

Updated: 6/13/22

By Dr. Marty Ross

How to Detoxify in Lyme Disease

In this video and written article, I describe basic steps a person can take to detoxify in Lyme disease. The basic steps include:

  • eating organic foods to avoid toxins
  • living in a mold free environment to prevent absorption of mold toxins
  • avoiding toxic chemicals in your home
  • supporting liver detoxification with glutathione
  • promoting regular bowel movements to eliminate toxins
  • drinking plenty of water to support kidney detox and to promote regular bowel movements
  • sweating through sauna or exercise as tolerated
  • binding toxins in the intestines with binders if needed

A Word About Feeling Toxic

Often people report they “feel toxic” in Lyme treatments.  A major cause of feeling toxic is due to excessive cytokines the immune system makes as it tries to control Lyme infection.

A good way to deal with “feeling toxic” is to lower cytokines and work to remove the toxins triggering the cytokines. Read more about how to lower cytokines in Control Cytokines: A Guide to Fix Lyme Symptoms & The Immune System. Two basic steps that support lowering cytokines are to take liposomal curcumin and to use liposomal glutathione.

The Basic Steps to Lyme Detox

Keep Toxins Out

Start with your diet – eat organic foods. These do not contain harmful poisons. For specific diets I recommend see The Best Brain, Inflammation, Pain, Energy, and Detox Diet Ever and Elimination Diet to Find Problem Foods.

Avoid toxins in your environment. This includes mold toxins. Also use green cleaning supplies. The fumes and gasses of toxic cleaning supplies get absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs.

Support Toxin Removal by The Liver, Intestines, and Kidneys

From the blood, toxins are cleaned out of the body by the liver. The liver transforms toxins from fat-based forms to water-based forms by tagging them with water-based chemical groups. In the intestines the tagged toxins are then moved out of our bodies through the stools. However, if a person does not have regular bowel movements, bacteria in the intestines can remove the water-based tag. If this happens, the now fat-based toxins move into the blood. Fiber in the diet and water intake promote regular bowel movements. In addition, fiber can bind the fat-based toxins so that they do not get reabsorbed.

Some use coffee enemas for detox. The tannins in coffee irritate the intestine lining causing bowel movments. There is a very small effect of coffee promoting more toxin release by the liver – but this is quite small. Because they have similar effects promoting bowel movements, I find using fiber and water in the diet is easier than coffee enemas.

Fiber & Water Support Detox

Water. It is important to drink 1/2 of your ideal body weight in ounces daily (ie: a 150-pound person should drink 75 ounces of water a day). This helps to flush the kidneys and promotes regular bowel movements.

Fiber. To bind toxins in the intestines and to promote regular bowel movements have 3 or more servings a day of fiber. Foods rich in fiber are beans, legumes, and whole grains. Apples are also a good source. To determine how much to have in a serving, I advise that a clenched fist is roughly equal to two serving sizes.

Support Liver Detoxification

Liver detoxification requires glutathione. Glutathione is a very powerful antioxidant generated in all cells and used in the liver to detox fat soluble toxins. Faced with toxin excess, the liver can exhaust its glutathione supplies. Most forms of oral glutathione are poorly absorbed. However there are sources designed for improved absorption which microscopically wrap the glutathione in fats called phospholipids. This type is called liposomal glutathione. For more information see Glutathione: The Great Fixer.

In my practice, I find that glutathione is more effective at promoting detox than other products like Nutramedix Burbur and Pinella. I do not recommend these supplements, but go with glutathione instead.

Sweat to Remove Toxins

Sweating through exercise, hot baths, or using infrared saunas can help remove toxins. When you heat up and sweat, toxins move to the liver and some move to your sweat. About 80 percent are cleared by the liver and about 20 percent are removed in the sweat. For more information about saunas and hot baths see Far Infrared Sauna Detox: More Than Sweat.

Use Binders to Remove Toxins

At times it helps to bind toxins in the intestines so they cannot get absorbed into the bloodstream using binders. Binders include bentonite or zeolite clay, activated charcoal, silica, humic acid and fulvic acid. Some companies make products which contain a number of these binders together in one pill.

Probiotics and Detox

Healthy bacteria that line the intestines remove toxins. In Lyme disease it is common to have unhealthy bacteria in the intestines due to herbal or prescription antibiotics and the stress of the illness. Rebuilding the healthy lining with high quality probiotics can help with detox. For more information about probiotics see Probiotics in Lyme Treatment.

Dosages For Supplements in This Article


Liposomal Glutathione 400 to 500 mg 1 to 2 times a day. An example of liposomal glutathione shown to raise cell levels of glutathione is Tri-Fortify by Researched Nutritionals. (3)*


Liposomal Curcumin 500 mg 1 or 2 pills 3 times a day. An example of liposomal curcumin is Meriva 500 SF by Thorne.

Probiotic to Support Healthy Intestinal Function and Detox*

Multi-biome by Researched Nutritionals 1 to 2 pills 1 time a day. This product is a soil-based spore-forming probiotic that includes strains of Bacillus scientifically proven to support intestinal health. It also includes human strains of probiotics too. This product does not require refrigeration.

Binders to Support Detox*

GI Detox + by Biobotanical Research or MycoPul by Researched Nutritionals 1 to 2 pills 1 time a day. Do not take any medicines or supplements beginning 30 min before taking these binders through 2 hours after taking these binders. The reason for this is binders will bind your supplements and prescription medicines too. You can eat any time, but the best time to have a small amount of food or a meal is 30 minutes after taking the binder.


The ideas and recommendations on this website and in this article are for informational purposes only. For more information about this, see the sitewide Terms & Conditions.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


  1. Pizzorno, J. The Toxin Solution: How Hidden Poisons in the Air, Water, Food, and Products We Use Are Destroying Our Health–AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO FIX IT. New York, NY: HarperCollins; 2017.
  2. Pizzorno J. Glutathione! Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal. 2014;13(1):8-12.
  3. Sinha R, Sinha L, Calcagnotto A, Trushin N, Haley JS, Schell TD, Richie Jr JP. Oral supplementation with liposomal glutathione elevates body stores of glutathione and markers of immune function. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2018;72:105–111.
  4. Lynch, B. Dirty genes. New York, NY: HarperOne; 2018.
  5. Ballatori N, Krance SM, Notenboom S, Shi S, Tieu K, Hammond CL. Glutathione dysregulation and the etiology and progression of human diseases. Biol. Chem. 2009;390:191–214. doi:10.1515/BC.2009.033.
  6. Gulcubuk A, et al. Effects of curcumin on proinflammatory cytokines and tissue injury in the early and late phases of experimental acute pancreatitis.. Pancreatology. 13(4):347-354.
  7. Lee DW, Gardner R, Porter DL, et al. Current concepts in the diagnosis and management of cytokine release syndrome. Blood. 2014;124(2):188-195. doi:10.1182/blood-2014-05-552729.
  8. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. Curcumin. Micronutrient Information Center; Phytochemicals website. Accessed August 18, 2018.
  9. Lu SC. Glutathione synthesis. Biochimica et biophysica acta. 2013;1830:3143-3153
  10. Pall M. Approaches to curing chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, gulf war syndrom, and possibley many others. Townsend Letter. 2010 (Feb/March) Accessed August 19, 2018
  11. Peacock BN, Gherezghiher TB, Hilario JD. et al. New insights into Lyme disease. Redox Biol. 2015;5:66–70.
  12. Shachar I, Karin N. The dual roles of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the regulation of autoimmune diseases and their clinical implications. J Leukoc Biol. 2013;93(1):51–61. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0612293.
  13. Zhao F, Gong Y, Hu Y, Lu, M, Wang J, Dong J, Qiu F. Curcumin and its major metabolites inhibit the inflammatory response induced by lipopolysaccharide: Translocation of nuclear factor-κB as potential target. Molecular Medicine Reports. 2015;11:3087-3093.
  14. Markowiak P, Śliżewska K. Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(9):1021. Published 2017 Sep 15. doi:10.3390/nu9091021

US Data Shows “Vaccine” Injuries Skyrocketed; Strategies to Recover

Latest US Data Shows Vaccine Injuries Skyrocketed; How Will We Recover?

BY Dr. Yuhong Dong and Health 1+1 May 28, 2022

At present, the adverse events brought about by the COVID-19 vaccines are getting more and more attention from the public. If vaccination causes injury or damage, how can the body heal itself?

Juliana Mastrantonio of New York is an 18-year-old full-time college student and part-time pharmacy technician. Prior to the vaccination, she was in good health and exercised daily. Juliana was infected with COVID-19 in December 2020 and recovered without long COVID symptoms.

Juliana received her first dose of Pfizer vaccine on December 10, 2021 and her second dose on January 2, 2022. Within one week after the second dose, Juliana developed pelvic pain that gradually worsened, and she became hospitalized.

Four days after being discharged from the hospital, she developed other severe symptoms, headaches, and tremors. When she woke up the next morning, she found herself immobile from the waist down, and was paralyzed. And she is currently undergoing rehabilitation.  (See link for article)



  • Since Juliana was previously healthy and only developed these severe symptoms after ‘vaccination,’ it is highly likely there is a link.
  • The EMA has updated AstraZeneca’s shot product information to include rare spinal disorders as a side effect of the vaccine.
  • The shots can cause mitochondrial damage and induce cytokine storms that impair the immune system which leads to autoimmune diseases.
  • ALL the COVID shots have been hastily used without adequate testing andmay cause autoimmune diseases in organs if they contain the spike proteins and components of the virus.
  • As of May 13, 2022 VAERS has received more than 1.2 million adverse events reports; however, AHRQ states this only captures less than 1% of the true number.  Events include:

    • more than 28,000 deaths
    • over 157,000 hospitalizations
    • over 129,000 cases requiring urgent care
    • more than 190,000 cases requiring doctor office visits
    • all of which meet the definition of a serious adverse event
    • the vast majority of events occurred within 3 days of ‘vaccination’
    • 65% of deaths were related to the Pfizer shot, the most used injection
    • 26% were related to Moderna
    • 9% were related to J&J
    • the rest are unknown
    • The most common COVID-19 vaccine related adverse events reported by VAERS:
      • Permanent disability: nerve injury
      • Myocarditis, Pericarditis: cardiac injury
      • Heart attacks: cardiovascular injury
      • Bell’s palsy: facial nerve injury (with unknown etiology)
      • Shingles: dormant virus activated
  • Three strategies to detoxify the “vaccines” are:
    • prevent attachment of spike protein to ACE2 receptors by using ivermectin, suramin, catechin, curcumin, prunella vulgaris extract.
    • neutralize the downstream toxicity by using NAC, Vitamin C, other antioxidants.
    • enhancing self repair mechanism (autophagy) of cells through intermittent fasting as well as consuming polyphenols such as EGCG, Oleuopein, punicalagin, apigenin, resveratrol, pterostilbene, curcumin

For more:

Lyme & Headaches: Natural Relief for the 5 Most Common Causes

by Jenny Menzel, H.C.
Posted 3/17/22

Take a look at just about every ailment in medical literature, and there’s a good chance you’ll see “headache” listed as a possible symptom, but not all headaches are a result of underlying illness. Most people who get occasional headaches will pop an over-the-counter pain reliever and carry on, but it’s not always that simple for those battling chronic Lyme disease.

Lyme-induced headaches can be constant and debilitating, disrupting everyday tasks that can often be taken for granted — like walking the dog, making breakfast for the kids, or going to work. These symptoms can be so severe that getting out of bed to shower might be the day’s largest accomplishment, with modern headache medicine often unable to supply relief.

old age, health problem, vision and people concept - close up of Asian senior woman  sitting on sofa and having headache at home.She may had Headache Symptoms.She looks pain  and sick

Approximately 80% of children and 50% of adults get Lyme-related headaches, with roughly 17% experiencing at least moderate migraines. Many continue suffering through the pain for months to years with little reprieve. Plus, added to the emotional stress of managing chronic headache pain is the maze of trying to figure out what triggered it in the first place.

So why does Lyme disease cause headaches? And what can you do to find lasting relief? If you’ve been struggling for a while with Lyme and the headaches that often accompany this complex illness, consider whether the following might be contributing factors for you. Although some people might stumble upon a quick fix, that’s probably not the norm for most, so you may have to be persistent in your healing efforts before noticing changes.

5 Lyme Headache Causes and Solutions

various microbes icons

Cause 1: Untreated Microbes

A common misperception about microbes is that they’re generally bad and should be killed. However, our bodies house trillions of helpful microorganisms, which outnumber our own cells by about 10 to 1 and account for up to 3% of our body weight. They’re essential to maintaining homeostasis and balancing our body’s microbiome.

But this balance can be upset when Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme, and coinfections, including bartonella, babesia, and mycoplasma, among others, proliferate throughout the body. The result? They may entrench themselves into places like the brain, kicking up a storm of headache-causing neuroinflammation as the body tries its best to corral the stealth pathogens.

herbal supplement bottle and capsule icon

Solution: Suppress Microbes with Antimicrobial Herbs

To make some progress, you may need to focus on long-term ways to suppress harmful microbes. Herbal antimicrobials may not be as potent outright as traditional antibiotics, but they can combat bacteria over an extended period of time without disrupting the microbiome or the toxicity that can come with aggressive drug therapies. Herbs also boost immunity and tame inflammation — typically not something antibiotics have a flair for. Top herbal choices include:

  • Andrographis: Andrographis has a longstanding history of medicinal use in India, and it contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. It also has immune-enhancing, cardioprotective, and liver-protective qualities.
  • Cat’s claw: Native to the Amazon region, cat’s claw contains antimicrobial properties and is a foundational herb in most Lyme disease protocols. Additionally, it has immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory qualities.
  • Japanese knotweed: Japanese knotweed with resveratrol has been used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine, and it’s a potent antioxidant with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The herb may also assist in combating bartonella.
  • Chinese skullcap: As a multi-purpose herb, Chinese skullcap has antimicrobial properties, decreases cytokines, and supports immunity. It works well with other herbal remedies to enhance their effectiveness.
  • Sarsaparilla: The root of sarsaparilla has been used throughout the tropics for inflammatory conditions of the skin, connective tissues, and the bowel. It binds to and helps dispose of endotoxins that are released from microbes during die-off.

image split between andrographis, cats claw, japanese knotweed, chinese skullcap, and sarsaparilla

Exciting research published in Frontiers adds credence to the use of plant extracts to combat persistent infections. Japanese knotweed, in particular, offered superior protection against a wide range of microbes by busting biofilms and crossing the blood-brain barrier, where Lyme can impact different regions in the brain and potentially produce headaches. Other herbs that showed antimicrobial properties were black walnut, sweet wormwood, Mediterranean rockrose, and cryptolepis, and they were capable of outperforming common Lyme-fighting antibiotics like doxycycline.

If you’re new to herbal therapy, working with a well-trained, Lyme-literate practitioner or doctor can help you find the right blend of antimicrobial herbs to reduce the frequency and intensity of your Lyme headaches.

flame or inflammation icon

Cause 2: Herxheimer Reactions

Herxheimer reactions (usually referred to as a herx or herxing) can occur within days of starting or increasing dosages in your Lyme protocol. And while plant-based antimicrobials are gentler on the body than antibiotics, they still effectively kill bacteria, which means they’re not exempt from causing herx reactions, including headaches, due to pathogenic die-off.

When these microscopic bugs are attacked and killed, pieces of dead bacteria called endotoxins can create an inflammatory autoimmune-like response. If you find your headaches increase after introducing any form of antimicrobial agents to your system, it may be a sign that you’re not expelling endotoxins fast enough.

icon of water drop with circling arrow

Solution: Detoxify Your Body

Getting your organs of elimination (colon, skin, liver, kidneys, lymph, and lungs) opened up and operating optimally is at the core of minimizing herx reactions, and there are many ways to detox and expel inflammatory endotoxins to improve head pain:

Clean Your Pipes

Constipation is a sign of hampered digestion, keeping toxins stuck in your body and recirculating when they need to get out. Eating a whole-food diet full of fibrous fruits and veggies supports a healthy gut microbiome and increases your ability to export toxins. If diet alone isn’t doing the trick, natural remedies like castor oil packs on the belly, professional colonics, or supplementing with magnesium may keep things flowing.

Sweat It Out

Sweating through your body’s largest elimination organ, the skin, is imperative to ejecting toxins. Exercise is a great way to induce sweat but not necessarily when you’re in the throes of a Lyme headache or migraine. If you’re feeling too depleted for exercise, far-infrared (FIR) saunas, red light therapy, or heating pads can raise your body temperature and spark a toxin-removing sweat session while honoring your need for rest.

Support Your Liver

Your liver works hard to filter toxic waste from the blood and breakdown harmful substances in the body — support it with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), a valuable antioxidant and glutathione precursor which helps reduce inflammatory cytokines, protect nerve tissues, and combat the toxins that may trigger migraines. One study found that NAC helps reduce the frequency of monthly headaches when combined with vitamins C and E as a preventative measure.

Manage Your Lymph Fluid

Much like the circulatory system carries nutrient-rich blood into our cells for nourishment, the lymphatic system has a similar network of vessels that carries waste away from those same cells, helping us stay healthy by fighting infection. However, there’s one major difference: Our hearts automatically pump blood, whereas our lymphatic system has no such pump and requires the action of your muscles and respiratory system to keep it moving. Manage your lymph fluid by exercising, dry brushing your skin, and adequately hydrating to help your body remove toxic waste.

Be Mindful of Your Breath

Deep breathing has displayed a number of detoxifying effects on the body by reducing stress and circulating lymph. Evidence also shows deep breathing can alter the perception of pain by modulating the sympathetic nervous system through relaxation. A breathing technique that can help your body’s ability to rest and digest is the down-regulated breath, which involves slowing your breathing down to four breaths (or less) per minute.

How to practice down-regulated breathing: In a seated or resting position, slowly inhale through your nose for a count of eight, raising your belly and then your lungs. Hold for a bit at the top of the breath. Then, exhale through your nose while deflating your belly and lungs for a count of eight.

Practice this for a few rounds until you feel yourself relaxing. Because of the strong parasympathetic response, this breath is best done after a meal, before bed, or any time you feel anxious (never while driving). It may take time to reach a full eight counts on each inhale and exhale, but with practice, you’ll find your rhythm.

icon of fork and knife

Cause 3: Food Sensitivities

True food allergies and intolerances are hard to miss and can even be life-threatening in some cases. But for many with Lyme, subtle food sensitivities form slowly and go undetected as a result of leaky gut syndrome — an inflammatory condition caused by intestinal permeability, usually due to long-lived gut imbalances from infections, prolonged antibiotic use, poor diet, and stress. Indeed, many people can pinpoint specific foods that bring on headaches and migraines, but what can be done about it?

stomach icon

Solution: Work on Gut Health

While nixing the offending foods should be at the top of the to-do list to minimize headaches, healing your gut is also a priority so that you don’t have to avoid these foods forever. Demulcent herbs like slippery elm can rebuild the mucosa in your gut lining, while digestive enzymes aid in breaking down the food you eat. The abundant amino acid L-glutamine shows ample ability to increase the tight junction proteins needed for a strong intestinal wall. Additionally, bitter herbs like dandelion and burdock will also take a load off the liver to assist digestion.

icon of two different pills

Cause 4: Medications

Headaches are a side effect of some antibiotics. Those with chronic Lyme disease have often tried a range of antibiotic interventions, making it difficult to tell if the headaches stem from medication use or the illness itself. What’s more, in an effort to cope with head pain or migraines, the overuse of certain pain-relieving medications often end up doing the opposite of their intended design: Instead of alleviating headaches, they wind up causing them.

herbal supplement bottle icon

Solution: Seek Natural Pain Relief


Research suggests that different forms of magnesium, the crucial mineral responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, has promising potential for migraine relief, with intravenous (IV) magnesium sulphate offering the most impressive results. But if IV magnesium isn’t realistic every time you have a Lyme-related headache, supplementing it may be beneficial for you. However, not all magnesium is created equal. For example, inexpensive magnesium oxide isn’t readily absorbed by the body and may cause loose stools and stomach upset. Instead, opt for such bioavailable forms as magnesium glycinate or liposomal magnesium, the form of the mineral most able to cross the blood-brain barrier.


Biofeedback is a non-invasive way to gain greater awareness and control over certain body functions, and it’s proven itself as a useful tool to reduce migraines as well. As a matter of fact, a study published in Behavioral and Brain Functions found migraine frequency and symptom severity were cut in half for up to 70% in the study participants.

The average sustained results lasted around 14.5 months after therapies were discontinued — and one of three biofeedback therapies used in the trial, hemoencephalography (HEG), was considered to be a superior migraine management tool compared to other biofeedback options. Plus, when administered by a trained professional (like a healthcare provider), most insurance carriers often cover biofeedback sessions.


This primary anti-inflammatory compound found in the spice turmeric has been attributed to providing potent pain relief, according to one study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine. Curcumin has proven its power to reduce the severity, frequency, and duration of headache and migraine symptoms by targeting the same NF-kB and COX pathways as aspirin and ibuprofen, thereby regulating pain and inflammation known to cause migraine headaches.

lightning bolts for stress icon

Cause 5: Chronic Stress

It’s a safe bet that if we were to dig to the root of all illness, some form of physical, mental, or emotional stress could be found. In fact, according to a study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain, perceived stress is the most common trigger of chronic migraines. There are proven ways to modulate our body’s stress response, but finding the methods that work best for you is what matters most — as it should be something you can maintain long enough to experience the benefits.

calming waves icon

Solution: Calm Your Nervous System

Learning to self-soothe in stressful situations can go a long way toward curbing headaches. However, if you feel like you’ve tried everything to get rid of them, get back to the basics with a stress-reducing, mind-body practice, where you can be in control. But don’t let this be one more thing on your to-do list that stresses you out, too. Keep it simple by choosing one practice you feel curious about, start slow, and be consistent. Some mind-body options to consider include:

Managing these five causes can go a long way toward warding off future headaches and migraines caused by Lyme (and life). And while it may seem overwhelming to keep up with it all, investing time and effort into just a few of these solutions will eventually pay off. Keep at it, even if relief isn’t felt overnight. It can and often does get better.

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.

You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

1. Busch V, Magerl W, Kern U, Haas J, Hajak G, Eichhammer P. The effect of deep and slow breathing on pain perception, autonomic activity, and mood processing–an experimental study. Pain Med. 2012;13(2):215-228. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2011.01243.x
2. Donta ST. Issues in the diagnosis and treatment of lyme disease. Open Neurol J. 2012;6:140-145. doi: 10.2174/1874205X01206010140
3. Feng J, Leone J, Schweig S, Zhang Y. Evaluation of natural and botanical medicines for activity against growing and non-growing forms of B. Burgdorferi. Frontiers in Medicine. 2020;7. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00006
4. Logigian EL, Kaplan RF, Steere AC. Chronic neurologic manifestations of lyme disease. New England Journal of Medicine. 1990;323(21):1438-1444. doi: 10.1056/nejm199011223232102
5. Moon HJ, Seo JG, Park SP. Perceived stress in patients with migraine: a case-control study. J Headache Pain. 2017;18(1):73. doi: 10.1186/s10194-017-0780-8
6. Naik GS, Gaur GS, Pal GK. Effect of Modified Slow Breathing Exercise on Perceived Stress and Basal Cardiovascular Parameters. Int J Yoga. 2018;11(1):53-58. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_41_16
7. Rao R, Samak G. Role of Glutamine in Protection of Intestinal Epithelial Tight Junctions. J Epithel Biol Pharmacol. 2012;5(Suppl 1-M7):47-54. doi: 10.2174/1875044301205010047
8. Rebman AW, Bechtold KT, Yang T, et al. The clinical, symptom, and quality-of-life characterization of a well-defined group of patients with Posttreatment Lyme disease syndrome. Frontiers in Medicine. 2017;4. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2017.00224
9. Visser EJ, Drummond PD, Lee-Visser JLA. Reduction in Migraine and Headache Frequency and Intensity With Combined Antioxidant Prophylaxis (N-acetylcysteine, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C): A Randomized Sham-Controlled Pilot Study. Pain Pract. 2020;20(7):737-747. doi: 10.1111/papr.12902
10. Yablon LA, Mauskop A. Magnesium in headache. In: Vink R, Nechifor M, editors. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2011. Available from:

Ozone Therapy as the Ultimate Detox Method: Connections to Herxheimer Reactions & More

Herxheimer Reaction & Ozone Therapy: What to Know

The Connection Between Ozone Therapy & a Herxheimer Reaction

Ozone Therapy is a whole-body healing treatment that is often a core component of an integrative medical plan for those dealing with chronic infections Lyme disease or are immunocompromised.

This is because all pathogens die in the presence of oxygen, making Ozone Therapy a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral.

Ozone Therapy works by introducing ozone into the bloodstream, typically through an IV. Ozone, which consists of three oxygen atoms bound together and is nicknamed a “supercharged” form of oxygen, then encourages bio-rejuvenation.

This process is associated with numerous potential benefits including:

  • Stimulating the immune system
  • Improving detoxification
  • Increasing circulation
  • Enhancing energy levels
  • Reversing signs of aging

Learn more about the benefits of Ozone Therapy here

One of the reasons Ozone Therapy has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years is because it is known to have very few side effects. In preventative care, it is an excellent way to boost the body’s natural defenses and overall health. For those with chronic conditions such as Lyme disease, it is an effective way to kill viruses, bacteria, yeast, and those hard-to-treat, resistant pathogens.

However, when the body’s detoxification pathways receive a boost from Ozone Therapy to remove such resistant pathogens, there can be a temporary side effect known as a Herxheimer Reaction.

What Is A Herxheimer Reaction?

The Herxheimer response is a natural bodily process triggered by a greater prevalence of endotoxins. These substances are released when harmful microorganisms and bacteria are destroyed or die off. As damaging bacteria are destroyed, they release previously contained endotoxins into the bloodstream. This allows the toxins to be transported to the appropriate system and subsequently expelled from the body. However, rapid destruction of bacteria can cause an influx of endotoxins resulting in greater toxicity.

When this occurs, the immune system responds by triggering an acute immune response resulting in inflammation that may be experienced throughout the body. This can cause worsening of current symptoms and the development of new flu-like symptoms such as brain fog, lethargy, chills cold sweats, sore throat, muscle pain, and more.

Most Herxheimer Reactions after Ozone Therapy only last a couple days to a week but those who are dealing with the intense detoxification of endotoxins may endure symptoms for longer.

Other Causes of Herxheimer Reactions

The Herxheimer Reaction was orginally documented by Austrian dermatologist, Adolf Jarisch, in 1895 in relation to the treatment of mercury poisoning.

However, seven years after, Jarisch’s publication, Karl Herxheimer documented his own description of the reaction in treating syphilis and this publication gained more popularity, hence why the name, Herxheimer Reaction. (Some describe the reaction as a Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction to honor Jarisch’s work).

In addition to mercury poisoning and syphilis, a Herxheimer Reaction can also be caused by:

  • Autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lyme disease
  • Co-infections
  • Antibiotics
Reducing a Herxheimer Reaction

Even though a Herxheimer reaction indicates that treatment is working effectively, it doesn’t make the patient’s condition any more comfortable in the immediate. Fortunately, there are many ways of limiting the symptomatic impact of a Herxheimer reaction without inhibiting treatment efficacy. The following suggestions can and should be used when detoxing, using antibiotics, or being treated for infections and other forms of chronic disease to limit Herxheimer intensity.

To learn how to relieve the symptoms of a Herxheimer Reaction, click here.

To book your Ozone Therapy appointment and enjoy this whole-body healing service, contact us today.

Holtorf Medical GroupThe Holtorf Medical Group specializes in optimizing quality of life and being medical detectives to uncover the underlying cause of symptoms, rather than just prescribing medications to cover-up the symptoms. We are experts in natural, prescription bioidentical hormone replacement and optimization, complex endocrine dysfunction, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease. We’ve dedicated our practice to providing you the best in evidenced-based, integrative medicine that’s not only safe and effective, but provides measurable results.


For more:

Neem – Everything You Need to Know

By Dr. Bill Rawls


Common name: Neem
Scientific Name: Azadirachta indica
Other names: Neem tree, nim, nimtree, Indian lilac, margosa, nimba
Family: Meliaceae
Location: Mainly cultivated in the Indian subcontinent
Known for: Bitter taste and antimicrobial properties
Part Used: Stem bark, leaves, and seeds
Fun fact: In addition to being used medicinally, neem sprays make eco-friendly and very effective insecticides and fungicides for use in organic gardens and on house plants.
Good for: Microbial infections, inflammatory conditions of the skin and gut, gut dysbiosis, stomach hyperacidity, detoxification, lung health, and metabolic health
Key Properties & Actions: anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, antipyretic (lowers fevers), antimalarial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, antiamoebic, and a bitter digestive tonic


Neem is a fast-growing and long-living tree that has earned the title of “village pharmacy” in its native home of India.2 Fully stocked with medicinal value, neem supports healing of a wide variety of acute and chronic ailments but is most well-known for its broad-spectrum and potent antimicrobial properties. Additionally, it is often used for helping relieve gut microbiome imbalances, supporting skin and hair health, and supporting normal blood sugar levels.

What is Neem?

close up view of neem leaves

Bitter neem leaves are the most widely used part of the neem tree, a fast-growing medicinal plant belonging to the mahogany family.

Dubbed the Tree of the 21st Century by the United Nations, the neem tree has become one of the most heavily researched plants in the past few decades due to its potent and wide-ranging medicinal value. It has established itself over centuries as an affordable remedy of choice, especially in developing countries, where up to 80% of people rely on plant medicine as their main source of healthcare.3

This fast-growing evergreen erects a straight trunk as high as 100 feet with a canopy as wide as 65 feet, making it an excellent shade tree in the sunny climates where it prefers to grow.

View of rows of neem trees, with many green leaves growing on mounds in rural Thai agriculture.

A neem tree can grow 100 feet tall and 65 feet wide, making it an excellent shade tree in the hot climates where it grows. Plants in hotter climates often have broad antimicrobial medicinal activity since they must produce more phytochemicals to defend themselves against microbes that flourish in warmer climates.

Green leaves and stem bark are the most commonly used medicinal parts of the neem tree, but it also has blooming white flower clusters that produce a sweet lilac scent that carries for miles. Although not exactly tasty, neem trees also produce edible olive-shaped fruits that turn from green to yellow when ripe, holding one to three seeds inside.

Neem can grow almost anywhere, withstanding temperatures ranging between 40ºF to 120ºF. They routinely grow as old as 200 years and can be found throughout much of Asia, Africa, South America, and even in the warmer regions of Australia and the United States.8

A butterfly enjoying a sweet honey-scented neem flower

A butterfly enjoying a sweet honey-scented neem flower.

Benefits of Neem and How It Works

Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Properties

When it comes to fighting viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, neem has been used for acute topical and internal infections as well as for combatting longer-lasting, insect-borne infections such as chronic Lyme disease, West Nile virus, chikungunya, and dengue fever.13 Numerous studies have isolated over 400 active chemical compounds found in neem, which helps explain its protective activity against the infections mentioned above as well as candida, salmonella, chlamydia, herpesviruses, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and more.1

Although a group of active compounds in neem called limonoids have been shown to combat malaria-infected cells in mice in one particular study, the overall conclusions are mixed. Other studies found that neem failed to eliminate malaria symptoms. However, new research on a limonoid compound called gedunin is providing hope that different preparations and dosing methods of neem may create more consistent results in combating aspects of this particular disease.14

Balances the Gut Microbiome and Supports Digestion

Neem’s championed antimicrobial properties also help to stabilize gut flora, and it has been used for fighting against gut dysbiosis issues, including small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), intestinal parasites, and candida. Not only does neem support a healthy microbiome by eliminating inflammatory toxins and pathogens, but it also has been studied for its ability to break up intestinal biofilms and reduce hyperacidity, which can help heal and prevent gastric and intestinal ulcers.6 All of these gut health benefits can have positive impacts on the nervous system due to an intimate connection via the gut-brain axis.

Metabolic Support

Neem extract has been used to help lower blood sugar levels in people with metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. In several human studies, neem, given as an adjunct to diabetic medications such as metformin, showed enhanced results compared to using the medications alone. Not only did the combination lower blood sugar levels, but it also reduced hemoglobin A1C levels (a better measure of average long-term blood sugar levels) as well as improved the blood triglyceride and cholesterol profile.15,16,17

Detoxifies the Body

Ayurveda, one of the primary traditional medical systems of India, suggests that ama (natural toxins that accumulate in the body as a result of environmental, dietary, and lifestyle choices) is the main source of most disease-causing imbalances outside of infection — and neem is at the top of the list of ama-detoxifying plants.

Modern science agrees with labeling neem a toxin-purifying herb, and one of its phytochemical compounds called nimbin leads the way in providing antiseptic and antifungal effects.4 Neem clears toxicity from the body, specifically by dilating blood vessels (which promotes the removal of waste), regulating bile production, and reducing inflammation associated with chronic and acute infections. Eliminating toxins from the body can create a host of benefits, including boosted immunity and energy.

Supports Skin Health

Neem’s claim to fame in the modern world has been due, in large part, to its beauty-enhancing effects on the skin. Inflammation, poor detoxification, and microbiome imbalances in the body can manifest through the skin in the form of acne, redness, irritation, rashes, and decreased wound healing. Neem’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, used both topically and internally, have been found to help clear and heal wounds and other skin irritations.7

Promotes Hair Health

Along with our skin, hair also reflects our identity and health, and if you have problems with either, neem oil (pressed from neem seeds) doesn’t disappoint. One important compound in neem called azadirachtin12 has insecticidal properties powerful enough to thwart parasites like lice13 and antifungal actions that prevent the buildup of fungi on the scalp that often causes dandruff.11

In Ayurveda, where neem has been used for hair health for centuries, hair loss is considered to be caused by what is referred to as “excess heat trapped in the head,” which can lead to thinning, flaking, itchiness, and drying of the scalp. Neem’s cooling property quells and reduces “trapped heat,” while neem oil lubricates follicles, boosts blood flow to the head, and nourishes the scalp with essential nutrients needed for lively locks.

Enhances Oral Hygiene

Neem’s antibacterial properties make it a perfect herb to combat unhealthy bacteria in the mouth. One study shows that neem’s antiseptic action protects teeth and gums against plaque-induced gingivitis, proving to be equally as effective as oral disinfectants like chlorhexidine, a germicidal drug often used in medicated mouthwashes for gingivitis.9 Indeed, in many countries where neem plants flourish, the twigs themselves are used as a sort of rudimentary toothbrush to keep teeth and gums healthy and mouth microbes in check.7

Supports the Respiratory Tract

A study published by the International Journal of Molecular Medicine found neem leaf extract significantly reduced inflammation caused by cigarette smoke in the lungs of mice, suggesting the potential for neem to assist with symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).10

Medicinal neem leaves with fruits close up

Ripened neem fruits hold one to three seeds, which have reportedly been used historically as a natural birth control method. This is one reason that use of neem is not advised for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant.
History & Traditional Use

While neem is best known for its use as an Ayurvedic herb, the revered tree has even deeper roots in the oldest of the three main Indian medical systems known as Siddha medicine, dating as far back as 10,000 B.C. to 4,000 B.C in South Indian Tamil culture.

In some of its earliest usage, neem flowers were used to prevent bile disorders, and the neem leaf was used to relieve symptomatic ulcers. Neem bark, on the other hand, was used in central nervous system-related disorders.

Many of these ancient claims are supported by today’s science, too. For example, anxiety has been shown to be improved by neem without causing impaired motor function — a common side effect often experienced while taking some anti-anxiety medications.11

wooden bowl of neem leaf powder with pile of leaves behind

Neem leaf powder is most often used topically for skin, hair, and dental health.

How to Use and Dosing

Just as there are multiple ways neem benefits the body, there are a variety of forms of delivery using different parts of the neem tree.

For Internal Use

As a Supplement: Neem is often taken as a whole-herb powder, powdered extract, or tincture. Dosing always depends on the product quality, preparation method, and the individual using it, but here are some generally recommended serving sizes for reference. For products made from the powder of the whole leaf, general dosage recommendations are typically in the range of 500 to 1000 mg, 1-2 times daily. For powdered leaf extracts, 150 to 250 mg, 1-2 times daily. For a neem leaf tincture, 0.5 to 1 mL, 1-3 times daily.

Neem works well with other antimicrobial herbs such as houttuynia, cryptolepis, Chinese salvia, prickly ash, andrographis, cat’s claw, and Japanese knotweed.

As Herbal Tea: Drinking neem tea isn’t typically the most preferred method of consuming neem due to its bitter nature. The bitterness is due to many of its antimicrobial compounds, but thankfully there are ways to dress it up for your enjoyment if you want to take it as a tea.

Adding citrus, ginger, mint, berries, cinnamon, or a pinch of a sweetener of your choice to your neem tea can help offset its astringency. Keep it simple, and start light by combining a small amount of whole neem leaves or neem powder with one or two of the above options until you find the winning combo.

For External Use

As a Powder: Calm red and inflamed skin by adding neem powder to a hot bath for a medicinal soak.

Neem Ayurvedic Oil with Mortar and Pestle

Neem oil is pressed from the seeds of neem fruits and can tame acne and inflammation in the skin and also decrease dandruff.

Neem Oil for Smooth Skin: A few drops of neem oil applied to the face (and larger amounts as needed for the body) 20-30 minutes before showering can improve skin moisture and reduce acne.

Neem Oil for Healthy Hair: To relieve dandruff or simply nourish your hair, rub neem oil into the scalp using the pads of your fingertips to avoid scraping your skin with your nails. Let the oil soak in for up to an hour before washing it out with shampoo.


Because neem has been shown to reduce blood glucose, people with diabetes or anyone on blood sugar-lowering medications should work with their healthcare provider before taking neem internally.12

Always check with your healthcare practitioner before use if you are taking medications. For more general education on potential interactions between herbs and medications, check out Dr. Bill Rawls’ article: Is it Safe to Take Herbs with My Medications?

Precautions & Side Effects

Do not use neem internally if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. As neem is such a potent herb, it’s typically best used at lower doses in combination with other balancing herbs. Traditional use suggests it’s best to avoid taking large doses of neem for an extended time, especially for those with a tendency toward having cold, dry constitutions.


This information is intended only as general education and should not be substituted for professional medical advice. Any mentioned general dosage options, safety notices, or possible interactions with prescription drugs are for educational purposes only and must be considered in the context of each individual’s health situation. Use this information only as a reference in conjunction with the guidance of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Want to See the Science? Check Out Our References Below.

1. Kharwar RN, Sharma VK, Mishra A, et al. Harnessing the phytotherapeutic treasure troves of the ancient medicinal plant azadirachta indica (neem) and associated endophytic microorganisms. Planta Medica. 2020;86(13/14):906-940. doi: 10.1055/a-1107-9370
2. Gupta SC, Prasad S, Tyagi AK, Kunnumakkara AB, Aggarwal BB. Neem (azadirachta indica): An Indian traditional panacea with modern molecular basis. Phytomedicine. 2017;34:14-20. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2017.07.001
3. Kumar VS, Navaratnam V. Neem (Azadirachta indica): Prehistory to Contemporary Medicinal Uses to Humankind. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013;3(7):505-514. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(13)60105-7
4. Islas JF, Acosta E, G-Buentello Z, et al. An overview of neem (Azadirachta indica) and its potential impact on health. Journal of Functional Foods. 2020;74:104171. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2020.104171
5. Sarkar L, Oko L, Gupta S, et al. Azadirachta indica A. Juss bark extract and its nimbin isomers restrict β-coronaviral infection and replication. Virology. 2022;569:13-28. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2022.01.002
6. Harjai K, Bala A, Gupta RK, Sharma R. Leaf extract of Azadirachta indica (neem): a potential antibiofilm agent for Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pathog Dis. 2013;69(1):62-65. doi: 10.1111/2049-632X.12050
7. Alzohairy MA. Therapeutics Role of Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Their Active Constituents in Diseases Prevention and Treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:7382506. doi: 10.1155/2016/7382506
8. Abdel-Ghaffar F, Al-Quraishy S, Al-Rasheid KA, Mehlhorn H. Efficacy of a Single Treatment of Head Lice with a Neem Seed Extract: An In Vivo and In Vitro Study on Nits and Motile Stages. Parasitol Res. 2012;110(1):277-280. doi: 10.1007/s00436-011-2484-3
9. Chatterjee A, Saluja M, Singh N, Kandwal A. To Evaluate the Antigingivitis and Antiplaque Effect of an Azadirachta indica (Neem) Mouthrinse on Plaque Induced Gingivitis: A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2011;15(4):398-401. doi: 10.4103/0972-124X.9257
10. Lee JW, Ryu HW, Park SY, et al. Protective effects of neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.) leaf extract against cigarette smoke- and lipopolysaccharide-induced pulmonary inflammation. Int J Mol Med. 2017;40(6):1932-1940. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2017.3178
11. Thaxter KA, Young LE, Young RE, Parshad O, Addae J. An extract of neem leaves reduces anxiety without causing motor side effects in an experimental model. West Indian Med J. 2010;59(3):245-248.
12. Pingali U, Ali MA, Gundagani S, Nutalapati C. Evaluation of the Effect of an Aqueous Extract of Azadirachta indica (Neem) Leaves and Twigs on Glycemic Control, Endothelial Dysfunction and Systemic Inflammation in Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2020;13:4401-4412. Published 2020 Nov 17. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S274378
13. Parida MM, Upadhyay C, Pandya G, Jana AM. Inhibitory potential of neem (Azadirachta indica Juss) leaves on dengue virus type-2 replication. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002;79(2):273-278. doi: 10.1016/s0378-8741(01)00395-
14. ​​MacKinnon S, Durst T, Arnason JT, et al. Antimalarial activity of tropical Meliaceae extracts and gedunin derivatives. J Nat Prod. 1997;60(4):336-341. doi: 10.1021/np9605394
15. Waheed A, Miana GA, Ahmad SI. Clinical investigation of hypoglycemic effect of seeds of Azadirachta-inidca in type-2 (NIDDM) diabetes mellitus. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2006;19(4):322-325.
16. Patil SM, Shirahatti PS, Ramu R. Azadirachta indica A. Juss (neem) against diabetes mellitus: a critical review on its phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology [published online ahead of print, 2021 Sep 25]. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2021;rgab098. doi: 10.1093/jpp/rgab098
17. Pingali U, Ali MA, Gundagani S, Nutalapati C. Evaluation of the Effect of an Aqueous Extract of Azadirachta indica (Neem) Leaves and Twigs on Glycemic Control, Endothelial Dysfunction and Systemic Inflammation in Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2020;13:4401-4412. Published 2020 Nov 17. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S274378

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your qualified healthcare provider before beginning any diet or program.