You’ve probably heard of “vaccine detox” or seen it floating around on social media. It’s the idea that after getting vaccinated, you need to follow specific cleansing methods to rid your body of supposed toxins from the Covid-19 vaccine.
But how accurate are these claims? And can you really learn how to detox after vaccination?
In this article, we’ll explore the origins of vaccine detox, debunk common misconceptions, and provide evidence-based insights into how vaccines work and the truth behind vaccine detox.
Can You Detox Vaccine From Your Body?
The short answer is NO. You can’t detox the vaccine from your system. Once you receive the vaccine, the lifesaving vaccination process has already begun, and there’s no way to reverse it.
In an interview with NBC News, Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan, discouraged using vaccine detox.
The doctor emphasized that once you get the vaccine, it’s physically impossible to undo its effects. And several experts support Rasmussen on her stance.
Dr. Farzana Hoque, a hospitalist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, stated that there’s no scientific research supporting these ideas from the anti-vaccine influencers.
Additionally, Jason Gallagher, a clinical professor of infectious diseases at Temple University, pointed out that the timing alone would make any detox attempt impossible.
He stated that vaccines, such as the one for COVID-19, enter the body and begin their work quickly. It affects the individual’s immune response faster than any vaccine detox method.
The Origin of Vaccine Detox
Detoxification methods have been around for ages, and people have always used them for many purposes. However, using it for flushing vaccines is uncommon.
So, where did these ideas even come from?
Social media has a lot to do with it. And lately, some peculiar vaccine detox methods have gained traction despite lacking scientific evidence.
Some minority groups claimed that the Covid-19 vaccine results in toxic effects. These anti-vaccine groups claim the vaccine contains heavy metals and causes brain function issues.
For this reason, many people have suggested detox methods to remove supposed toxins from the body after Covid-19 vaccination.
One example is the recent claim by an osteopathic doctor, Carrie Madej, DO, in a TikTok video, which made waves across social media platforms.
Her borax bath method supposedly rids the body of the harmful toxins of an mRNA vaccine. However, experts deny the truthfulness of these claims.
Popular Methods of Vaccine Detox
Despite being debunked by specialists, several vaccine detox methods have gained viral popularity among Americans who have developed hesitancy or regret over their decision.
Here are some of the most popular methods of vaccine detoxification circulating on the internet:
1. Borax Bath
Soaking in borax baths with various ingredients can allegedly detox the body after vaccination. These baths often include Epsom salt, baking soda, essential oils, or other substances.
Borax, also known as sodium tetraborate, is a versatile mineral with various household uses, from cleaning to stain removal and cosmetic products.
Borax manufacturers label it a natural and green product. However, it’s essential to understand that this chemical isn’t safe for all applications, especially bathing.
As a cleaning agent, borax is toxic when ingested or absorbed through the skin and can cause serious health issues.
In short, there’s no scientific evidence supporting the idea that borax baths can remove vaccine toxins from the body.
In fact, the National Institutes of Health has reported several adverse health effects associated with borax exposure in humans, including irritation, hormonal issues, and toxicity.
Accidentally ingesting borax can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Long-term ingestion may also result in more severe symptoms like headaches, fever, tremors, weakness, and lack of energy.
2. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a black powder with no taste or smell. Some people use it for various purposes, including ailment healing.
In 2019, a viral WhatsApp audio suggested drinking charcoal powder mixed in warm water before and after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for detoxification.
The audio claims that the COVID-19 vaccines contain “poison” and are part of a plot to depopulate Africa. It also announced that governments will mandate vaccine injections, and the only remedy is the charcoal recipe.
But there’s virtually no scientific evidence supporting this claim.
That said, activated charcoal does have some medical uses. And currently, experts use charcoal to treat drug overdoses and as an emergency anti-poison remedy.
Apart from its medical applications, some believe activated charcoal offers additional benefits. They cite that this material reduces gas and flatulence, lowers cholesterol levels, and improves kidney function.
However, ingesting charcoal without a valid medical reason can harm your body. It can also disrupt the absorption of medications and nutrients.
3. Cupping Therapy
Cupping therapy is an ancient alternative medicine practice that involves placing cups on the skin to create a vacuum, drawing the skin and underlying tissues into the cups.
People used cupping therapy for various purposes throughout history. The Chinese, in particular, used the method for relieving muscle pain and improving circulation.
One viral Instagram video from 2021 showed an individual allegedly using this method to detox the vaccine.
The person in the clip used a sharp tool to make cuts on the arm of the patient. It then showed the same person setting suction cups on the area, drawing blood.
This video quickly gained hundreds of views in a day, receiving mixed feedback from the internet. But there’s no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness in detoxifying the COVID-19 vaccine or any other vaccine.
4. Detox Diet and Supplements
Detox diets and supplements have recently gained popularity in response to the pandemic.
Advocates of these methods claim they’re effective at detoxifying vaccines.
Sources reported suggestions for detox diets that involve high-fat consumption to bind the vaccine dose toxins. And others proposed supplements containing zinc and vitamins C and D.
Additionally, certain herbs and supplements are promoted as “vaccine detox” aids by some alternative health influencers. These may include herbs like cilantro, chlorella, or various teas.
However, the FDA doesn’t authorize these drugs for COVID-19 and advises against using them. And experts from the bureau stressed the risk of heart issues from these drugs.
The issue is that little to no studies support their use in vaccine detox methods.
Do mRNA Vaccines Harm Your Body?
Some people worry that the mRNA vaccine components stay in our bodies and cause harm by altering our DNA. But there’s been no evidence of that happening with Covid-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are very safe because they have gone through thorough testing. And clinical trials have shown that these vaccines create a strong and lasting protection.
Here’s the key point: The mRNA vaccines do their work outside of the cell nucleus, in a space called the cytoplasm. They never interact with our DNA at all.
So, no, Covid-19 vaccines cannot alter our DNA in any way.
The mRNA only provides a temporary blueprint for our cells to make the spike protein, teaching our immune system to recognize and fight it.
Once the spike protein is made, our immune system learns how to target it, producing antibodies to protect us from Covid-19.
This process is crucial because it prepares our immune system to respond quickly if we encounter the actual virus in the future.
How Long Does the Vaccine Stay In Your Body?
Vaccines are like little teachers for our immune system. They introduce a tiny piece of the virus or bacteria into our bodies so we can build immunity against it.
But don’t worry. That piece quickly disappears, and our immune system remembers it.
For example, the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) use a fragile messenger RNA that gets destroyed after a few days, leaving no trace.
Potential Risks of Vaccine Detox Methods
When it comes to vaccine detox, it’s essential to know that it involves risks. Thus, we need to be careful when dealing with these detox approaches.
For instance, sweating out vaccine toxins through saunas or intense exercise might sound appealing, but it won’t target vaccine components specifically.
Special diets or fasting to remove vaccine residues could also backfire. Restricting food intake can lead to nutrient deficiencies, causing more harm than any supposed detox benefits.
Due to these risks, and the lack of scientific evidence, it’s best to prioritize an evidence-based approach to vaccination and avoid vaccine detox methods.
Consult healthcare professionals and detox specialists to avoid potentially harmful and unproven detox methods.
Before considering any vaccine detox methods, it’s essential to consult with healthcare professionals who can provide evidence-based guidance and ensure the safety and effectiveness of any interventions.
Detoxification approaches should be grounded in scientific research and tailored to individual health needs to avoid potential risks and ensure overall well-being.
John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others live a healthier life.