One of the things people often forget to mention when going into a detoxification—the process of ridding your body of the toxins that build up over time—is that there are different detox phases. You won’t feel on top of the world the minute you start your cleanse. Instead, the body has to kick into self-healing mode and process the toxins effectively. When you transition to a plant-based diet, the toxins that have amassed in your body will begin to move and enter the bloodstream, causing mildly uncomfortable symptoms. This is called the healing crisis or the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction. But the process is well worth it, especially if you’re prepared before going in!
What is the Healing Crisis?
At its core, the healing crisis is what happens when you feel worse before you feel better. Also known as the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction, the phenomenon was named after two European dermatologists performing research during the late 1800s. The doctors found that, after treating skin lesions with mercurial compounds, patients experienced exacerbations of symptoms before eventual improvement. The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction also occurs often in skin care—it’s why some products make you break out before they clear up blemishes.
Think about the things that you aim to get rid of within your body: chemicals, toxic agents and all the gross stuff that builds up due to consuming a processed diet and absorbing different environmental toxins. During a detox, these components are disturbed and release compounds into the body known as endotoxins, which get flushed into
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