Experiencing die off is a normal part of balancing the microbiome, finding yourself in a healing crisis is a different, potentially painful and debilitating story.

When you feed the good bacteria in your gut it kills the bad pathogens. When they die they release toxic gasses which can make you very ill with a headache, runny nose, cold like symptoms, flu like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, bloating, hives, rash, red bumps, pink eye, depression, anxiety and more. This die off reaction is also referred to as a Herxheimer reaction or herxing.

Pulling yourself out of a healing crisis is simple and should not be feared. 

hivesFinding the bacteria strains you are weak in, evidenced through die off, is the goal for healing a damaged gut. Sadly, it is often confused for deeper illness or intolerance to a healing food which the person then omits extending the healing time. Once you find your weak strains you need to feed those strains in a slow and controlled manner building the dosage of probiotic foods or probiotic capsules until you are taking the therapeutic dose. This dosage can be different for each person. Only your body can tell you what food you need to heal, only your body can tell you what probiotic strains you need to achieve homeostasis. 

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Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends in GAPS to reach the therapeutic dose and hold that level for three months before moving onto another probiotic finding other weak strains. 



One of the biggest problems today is many probiotics contain ingredients which feed pathogens like rice flour, potato starch, free flowing agents, anti caking agents, sugar alcohols like xylitol and manitol or chickory root. Chickory root is considered by manufacturers as a prebiotic however if you have a specific heavy pathogen load chickory root will cause more damage extending healing. Apple pectin would be a better choice in this case, however, a prebiotic is in no way necessary or more beneficial than a probiotic. This has been proven time and time again by McBride in her clinical studies. Feeding pathogens is contradictory to killing pathogens and should be avoided at all costs.

Click here for a list of probiotics which contain no pathogen feeding fillers. Click here for a list of probiotics which contain fillers that feed pathogens. Check this list to be sure your probiotic is not one of them.

When you find yourself in a healing crisis there are tools in the toolbox you can use to pull yourself out of the situation fast and naturally.



Rescue Remedy is a Bach Flower remedy which ranks number one for halting a healing crisis. Rescue Remedy is combination of five different Bach Flowers including Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose and Clematis. It can be used in a crisis situation when the proper Bach Flower is not available or if the proper remedy is unknown. Click here to order Rescue Remedy.

One dose consists of four drops under the tongue, repeating every 15 minutes until symptoms subside. Normal dosage patterns for many extreme cases follow this type of pattern: take a dose, 15 minutes later take a dose, 15 minutes later take a dose, 30 minutes later take a dose, 45 minutes later take a dose, 1 hour and 15 minutes later take a dose, 2 hours later take a dose, etc. Once the symptoms are gone, the remedy has done its job, if they return take another dose. 

The drops need to absorb into your blood stream through the mucus membranes, this is why the remedy is dropped under the tongue. If swallowed the remedy is not effective as it is negated by the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Dr. Edward Bach says the only reason a remedy doesn’t work appropriately is because you are not taking enough of it or you’re not taking it frequently enough.

Rescue Remedy comes in many different forms for different needs, however this one is the gold standard. This one is designed for pets. This one comes in the form of a cream for topical use. This one is a spray to be sprayed into the mouth.

Be aware not all forms are beneficial to healing. This one comes in the form of pastilles containing sugar alcohols as well as other ingredients which feed pathogens in the gut making your issue worse in the long run. This one assists with sleep, however it contains sorbitol a sugar alcohol which feed gut pathgens. 

Drinking hot herbal tea will also assist in pulling toxins out of the body. Be sure to use loose leaf herbal teas like mint, chamomile or nettles. Making tea out of fresh ginger, freshly grated is also beneficial. The standard measure for tea in this form is one teaspoon per dried herb or ginger to one cup of water, steeped preferably for ten minutes. 



Chamomile tea is specifically known for pulling toxins out through the urine. This can be evidenced through not feeling the need to urinate but then getting the feeling to urine immediately. This generally happens due to the toxins overburdening the bladder so the bladder contracts immediately trying to eliminate the toxic liquid, the same way vomiting is the stomach getting rid of toxins immediately. 

Using loose leaf teas ensures you do not feed pathogens with free flowing agents, natural flavors or any other pathogen feeding ingredients commonly added to tea bags. The products linked above have no added pathogen feeding ingredients.

Another way to remedy a healing crisis is to do a detox bath. Taking detox baths every day opens the detox pathways through the skin, the largest organ of the body. Detox baths should consist of a half to one cup of epsom salts, mineral salts, apple cider vinegar, bentonite clay, baking soda or sea weed on a rotation cycle. Many people lean toward epsom salts one night, mineral salt the next night, epsom salts, apple cider vinegar, epsom salts, baking soda, epsom salts, sea weed, epsom salts and repeat the cycle. Only your body can tell you what to use for your detox bath. McBride says the more toxic your body the lower the measure of salts, vinegar, etc.



Taking a detox bath during a healing crisis with help pull out some of the toxins the body is trying to eradicate.

Meat stock is another way of assisting the body through a healing crisis. Click here to learn how to make delicious meat stock. 

*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the affiliate links above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, GAPS who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia as well as through Skype and phone consultations. Most of her clients have Leaky Gut, histamine issues, autism or autoimmunity. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.

(Updated, pics)



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4 Responses to Stopping Die Off Dead In Its Tracks

  1. Belle says:

    Thank you! Just thank you xx

  2. Lori says:

    I don’t understand why you’d use the stress remedy, I use king bio, and use either the allergy and hayfever, or multi symptom cold and flu relief, if my allergies have progressed

  3. John says:

    Hi Becky,
    What about the use of Activated Charcoal, i know a lot of people support its use for die offs, but i’m not sure exactly how for what it works?, for example for what kind of die off’s exactly, and how much to take for how long, can it somehow have a negative impact of the body, please help, Thank you.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Activated charcoal will pull toxins out of the body. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends taking a few tablets at night before bed. It will not pull a person out of a healing crisis the the remedies listed. Instead it will slowly pull toxins out of the body daily.

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