Thursday, September 18, 2008


Some of my worst moments in this illness have been of anxiety: my heart is beating too fast, my arms feel tense, and I am agitated to an extreme. This is pure, unbridled biological stress. It doesn’t come from external circumstances, as we usually think of stress, but from what is going on in your body, and nothing else. At the worst times, I can’t sit still, I can’t concentrate on anything, and I often cry as I run around my apartment, looking for a way to distract myself.

I think of these as detox symptoms. Toxins—dead Lyme bacteria, heavy metals, etc—have been stored in my tissues, fat, and possibly organs, and now are circulating as my body tries to get rid of them.

The problem is, the toxins won’t just find a way out spontaneously. The body needs a biochemical boost to help get rid of them. The quickest and dirtiest way is the Vitamin C Flush.

The method is not a pleasant one, I admit: get the toxins out through the body’s most powerful detox organ: the bowels. This is, essentially, giving yourself diarrhea. If you take enough Vitamin C to create a surplus, your body can use it to bind with the toxins and sends everything out via your large intestine.

Dr. X first recommended this protocol to me. I had been staying with my parents in Washington DC for a month, and by the end of my trip, my insomnia had gotten pretty bad. I felt my heart racing each time I lay down to sleep. This had been going on for close to a week and I was pretty desperate.

Dr. X said I should try the Vitamin C Flush. She sent me home with an instruction sheet and a bottle of buffered Vitamin C powder.

The instructions are pretty simple: take Vitamin C, mixed in water, at regular intervals, until your bowel starts moving. Then keep taking it until you evacuate water. Following the instructions, I started with a low dose of vitamin C, 1/2 teaspoon, each half hour. If I didn’t get results after the second dose, I was to double the dose at each 30 minute interval until I reached the flush.

Now this all sounds well and good, but I don’t recommend this method of doubling up your dose, and here’s why:

This is fine if all your body needs is a moderate amount of Vitamin C—somewhere around three to four teaspoons. I, however, had been suffering from Lyme disease for five years prior to doing the Flush. For all that time, the Lyme spirochetes had been methodically depleting my body of vitamins and filling it with toxins.

Carolyn Humphreys once explained to me that Vitamin C nourishes almost every system in your body, and before you can achieve a flush, your body will take all it needs as a nutrient first. Then, when all the nutritional deficiencies are taken care of, will it use the extra C for detoxing.

So the first time I did the flush, I needed much more than four teaspoons. In fact, by doubling the amount of C, I was soon taking four teaspoon doses each half hour. Four teaspoons in 16 oz of water was about all I could drink down at once. My stomach felt as taught as a basketball and I was bloated. Still no flush, although my bowel did start to move. At this point, if I had follwed the instructions, I would have taken eight teaspoons of Vitamin C in the 32oz of water. I wasn’t that stupid, so stuck with just four.

I kept at it, and once I had drunk down a total sixteen teaspoons over the course of the evening I got the flush.

Suddenly, miraculously, I felt relaxed. My body felt warm, even tingly. I crashed down on my bed, ready to sleep.

Only one problem: I since I had been taking the C in 4 teaspoon doses, I overshot the amount I needed. Instead of sleeping, I kept running to the bathroom for the next couple hours.

At last, when I slept, however, I slept well. The heartbeat, the tense arms, the anxiety: it was all gone. Now I just felt wonderfully relaxed and sleepy.

My recommendation for the Vitamin C flush is do the opposite of the instructions I followed that first time. Start with a higher dose, 2 teaspoons in 8-12 oz water, keep drinking every half hour or so until your bowel starts moving. Once your stool is loose, start cutting the dose in half—1 teaspoon, then half a teaspoon, and continue with half teaspoon increments until you evacuate water. That way you will get just the amount you need and nothing more, and you will be ready to sleep.

I also recommend doing this first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. It goes much faster and you need less Vitamin C. Just plan your schedule so you can sleep afterwards.


I use Perque brand Potent C Guard powder. Use a buffered C powder, as it is easier on your stomach. Buffered C usually includes magnesium, which also helps with the detox.

If your stomach does hurt, even with buffered C, take some extra magnesium (capsules or solution). Cardiovascular Research brand Magnesium Solution is a good source.

Take B Vitamins (I use Gematria Heart Gems) to replenish your system after and help you sleep.

Afterwards you may be feeling nutritionally drained. Try drinking grapefruit juice or Kombucha to get nutrients back into your body quickly.

Try gentle walking, yoga, or stretching between doses of vitamin C. This will keep the lymph draining and help the C circulate to the bowel more quickly.


After you have done the Vitamin C flush, remember or write down the total dose of Vitamin C you took. Keep taking half to ¾ this amount on a daily basis to keep your body nourished with C and detoxing on a regular basis. If detox symptoms build (insomnia, tension, headaches, fast heartbeat), you might try increasing the C. You may have to repeat the flush, anywhere from twice a week to once a month, especially at the beginning of a new antibiotic, or if you haven’t done much detoxing through the bowel before this.

All information in this post is based on my experience and my imperfect recollection of conversations with doctors. I can’t guarantee that the medical/ biochemical information is accurate, but I can testify as to what has worked, empirically, for my body.



Richard Kelch said...

I had my large intestine (colon) removed due to UC. So can I still do the flush?

Noelle Catharine Allen said...

Hi Richard: I am not a doctor, so I feel completely unqualified to answer your question. My best recommendation is to ask a doctor, or naturopathic doctor, this question. You could look into other detox routes, such as far-infra-red sauna or basic sauna. These things have also helped me reduce toxicity symptoms.

Good luck!


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