Questions from a reader about herbs and probiotics

My usual practice is to answer questions by a post — that way people can comment (and disagree) . Also, others may have the same questions and do not have the energy to write.

1) I ran out of my encapsulated herbs awhile ago and I haven’t had the energy to make more but I have continued taking and rotating probiotics. I have noticed that, even though I am increasing the dosage (usually 2x but sometimes 3x recommended) of the probiotics, I am only noticing very minor herx (I still notice some benefits though). Without having the herbs to kill the bacteria, do you think that increasing the dosage of the probiotics is actually doing more than just the recommended dosage? I currently have recurring infections (that only go away when I take various herbs) so I’m wondering if taking the extra probiotics are actually doing anything.
  • Many probiotics produce natural antibiotics, so some killing of bacteria happens. The key issue is to prevent antibiotic resistance — antibiotic resistance to the natural antibiotics produced by the probiotics. Hence the need to constantly rotate the probiotics.
  • Since you have found that certain herbs suppress  recurring infections you should try to identify which herbs do it. If you get a short list then of herbs then you (or me) may be able to identify which family of bacteria is involved and look for additional herbs effective against this family. Again the recurring issue is the bacteria developing resistance to how each herbs kills.  With this list, you should rotate them every 7-14 days so when the bacteria adapts to one, the next one is effective against the adaptation.
2) For someone that is on a budget, and also not noticing any herx, is it more beneficial to take probiotics over a longer period of time (ie. recommended dose) or take a larger dose but over a shorter period (ie. double dose)?
  • If you do not herx severely, go for a high dosage for a short period. The key logic is to kill off more before resistance develops. Do not take the same probiotic or herb continuously – it just encourages resistance.
3) For those that can afford to, would you recommend continuing to increase the dose of probiotics so that you always (even if minor) notice a herx reaction?
  • Yes, but time-box how long you take each one.  When you rotate back to it, start with a higher dosage.
4) I’ve seen you (and others on the internet) recommend to take herbs (where possible) as a tea. Why is this? I think you did explain this before but I can’t find where. Also, would you recommend ingesting the herb while/after drinking the tea, or is there a reason to only drink the tea?