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Monolaurin Die Off Symptoms - the Herxheimer (Herx) Reaction

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 | First Published: February 2, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Rosmy Barrios, M.D.

Can the rapid die-off of bacteria and viruses from Monolaurin make you feel ironically "sick" when you're actually getting better?

Can the rapid die-off of bacteria and viruses from Monolaurin make you feel ironically "sick" when you're actually getting better?

Monolaurin is a potentially powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial natural supplement derived from coconut.

Monolaurin has been the subject of laboratory studies and may be used to treat various infections, including herpes (cold sores and genital herpes), yeast infections (including candida albicans, thrush, and other yeast overgrowth), Lyme disease, Epstein Barr virus (EBV), Mono, and more.

Despite its potential beneficial results and relief from nagging symptoms, monolaurin may unintentionally produce a side effect ironically similar to a cold or flu. This side effect is known as the Herxheimer (Herx, sometimes Herxing) Reaction or "Die off" symptom.

Herxheimer (Herx) Reaction

Clinically known as the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, this complication is the result of a reaction to the release of endotoxin-like products in the body caused by the death of various virus, bacteria, yeast, and other microbes. When microbes are destroyed by antibiotics or antiviral supplements like Monolaurin, proteins and cytokines are released which the immune system may have an inflammatory response.

Monolaurin Herx Reaction

Why would Monolaurin cause a Herx (or Herxing) Reaction? If taken at high doses in a short period of time, Monolaurin may destroy more viruses and bacteria than your body can effectively filter. Monolaurin has been clinically studied for its ability to rapidly destroy various viruses, bacteria, yeast, and other microbes, and if done so in a short period of time it could cause a herx or die off reaction.

Monolaurin Die Off Symptoms

The symptoms of a Monolaurin die-off or herx reaction are strikingly similar to the flu. This is your body's immune response to what it thinks is an infection. A typical herxing reaction or die-off symptoms include body aches, muscle pain, sore throat, sweating, lethargy, chills, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms. If symptoms get worse, this is not necessarily a sign that the treatment is not working - in fact, it could be the opposite - the treatment may be so effective at killing the infection your body is unable to process all the microbial waste.

How long does the Herx reaction last?

Luckily, the Herx reaction is relatively short - from a few days to a few weeks. It will depend on the individual, type of infection, and amount of die off. If the symptoms last more than a few weeks or do not improve over time, you may need to discontinue or change the therapy.

What to do when you get a Herx or Die-Off Reaction

The first reaction by an individual when they start feeling the symptoms of a Herxing Reaction is to discontinue the supplement. However, because the reaction is an indication of the effectiveness of the treatment, many patients actually heal quicker the more severe the reaction is when treatment is continued. The best method is to avoid the herx reaction in the first place by adopting a "low and slow" method of introducing supplements into your routine. If experiencing a due off or herx reaction you should consider reducing or limiting the supplement until your body is able to better cope with the die off and drink plenty of fluids to aid in the removal of cytokines and proteins in the system.

Monolaurin Die Off Symptoms by Disease

  • Lyme - a very common contributor is of die off symptoms is Lyme disease. Lyme disease die off can be quite severe and cause fever, chills, body pain, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. If symptoms continue, you should lower or stop treatment.

  • Yeast and Fungi - depending on where the yeast overgrowth is, a herx reaction may be quite prevalent. If there is gastric distress, the herx reaction may be caused by a die off of yeast in the intestine. The rapid killing of yeast can cause nausea, swollen glands, bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, sweating, and more.

  • Viruses - Monolaurin is used to fight carious viral infections (herpes, influenza, measles, Epstein Barr Virus, etc), and depending on the severity of the infection some individuals may experience a die off effect. Die off symptoms for increased viral loads are similar - body aches, fatigue, itchiness, chills, joint or muscle pain, etc.

Looking to Try Monolaurin, but Not Sure Where to Start?

There are many factors which should be considered when choosing a Monolaurin brand, which include:

  • What Monolaurin source is best - Coconut or Palm Kernel

  • What is the recommended way to take Monolaurin - Capsule or Pellet

  • What is an ‘excipient’, and why does it matter - Synthetic or Natural

  • What hat to look for to ensure manufacturing safety - Certifications and Location

All of these questions can be answered in the comprehensive Monolaurin Buying Guide

Monolaurin Dosing

Monolaurin dosing can be tricky. Many factors may come into consideration including (but not limited to) age, weight, infection, severity of symptoms, or personal sensitivity to supplements. Additional details on the recommended dosing of Monolaurin and guidance on different diseases can be found on the Monolaurin Dosing page. 

As with any nutritional supplement or medicine, it should be administered and monitored by a healthcare professional. 

Ways to buy:


  1. Bryceson, A.D.M. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 133, Issue 6, 1 June 1976, Pages 696–704,

  2. Batovska, D.I., Todorova, I.T., Tsvetkova, I.V. and Najdenski, H.M. (2009) Antibacterial study of the medium chain fatty acids and their 1-monoglycerides: individual effects and synergistic relationships. Pol J Microbiol 58, 43–47.

  3. Goc, A., Niedzwiecki, A. and Rath, M. (2015), In vitro evaluation of antibacterial activity of phytochemicals and micronutrients against Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii. J Appl Microbiol, 119: 1561–1572. doi:10.1111/jam.12970

  4. Shaw, W. Biological Treatments for Autism and PPD, Third Edition. Chapter 4 Yeats and Fungi: How to Control Them. 2008

  5. Goc, A., Niedzwiecki, A. and Rath, M. (2017), Reciprocal cooperation of phytochemicals and micronutrients against typical and atypical forms of Borrelia sp.. J Appl Microbiol, 123: 637–650. doi:10.1111/jam.13523

Using Monolaurin this Cold and Flu Season

Last Updated: December 4, 2018 | First Published: December 25, 2015
Reviewed by: Dr. Felix Boakye-Agyeman, M.D., Ph.D

Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory test to kill influenza virus

Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory test to kill influenza virus

Another year, another flu season. While the best protection you can offer yourself is an annual flu shot and constant hand washing, you can't always predict which strain you'll come across or eliminate all germs from your daily routine.

Do not rush to expensive and largely ineffective antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu®, Relenza® or drug resistant alternatives such as Amantadine and Rimantadine. These drugs, if effective, only slightly lessen the duration (typically by one day) or severity of the infection.

A natural, safe, and possibly more effective alternative is with Monolaurin - a naturally antiviral supplement derived from coconuts.

Monolaurin has powerful antiviral properties, including against influenza [1, 6]. Monolaurin can help support your immune system and fight off the flu virus. It can be taken at the onset of symptoms, but also as a preventative treatment when your colleagues, friends, or family members are ill.

Monolaurin is a powerful ally during this cold and flu season for three amazing reasons:

  1. Monolaurin can help prevent the flu

    • If your friends, colleagues, or family is coming down with a cold or flu, don't be a victim. Monolaurin has been shown to be effective in preventing infections before they start when taken as a preventative treatment [2]. Just 2-4 capsules of monolaurin can help you avoid the flu, time off work, and those miserable days in bed.

  2. Monolaurin flights and kills the flu

    • Monolaurin has been shown to kill enveloped viruses including influenza [3]. Monolaurin's powerful antiviral properties have been well documented, and this cold and flu season you can put aside the drowsy cold medicines in favor of Monolaurin. At the onset of symptoms, taking 4-6 capsules of Monolaurin a day can help prevent the flu from spreading and being an issue at all.

  3. Monolaurin kills ALL flu strains and will not contribute to drug resistance

    • Unlike flu shots and antiviral drugs which are effective for only one strain of influenza (Influenza Type A, Influenza Type B, etc.), Monolaurin is effective against all DNA and RNA enveloped viruses including influenza. Perhaps more importantly, Monolaurin is effective against drug resistant viruses and will not further contribute to drug resistance [4,5].

This cold and flu season, protect yourself from feeling miserable and promote your health.

Natural Cure Labs premium monolaurin may help you avoid getting sick and stop the flu in its tracks.

A simple Monolaurin dosage guide for using Monolaurin this flu season:

# caps x Per day Duration
Preventing the flu 1-2 capsules 1-3 times per day During the flu season
When you feel flu-like symptoms 2-3 capsules 1-3 times per day Onset of flu symptoms until better

For additional guidance, see the Monolaurin Dosing page. 

If this is your first time buying Monolaurin, be sure to review some of the important considerations in the Monolaurin Buying Guide. 

As with any illness treatment, it is best done with the help and under the supervision of a healthcare professional.


  1. Lieberman S, Enig MG, Preuss HG. A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid - Natural Virucidal and Bactericidal Agents. Alternative & Complimentary Therapies. 2006 December. Georgetown University Medical Center.

  2. Fahmy ZH, Aly E, Shalsh I, Mohamed AH. The effect of medium chain saturated fatty acid (monolaurin) on levels of the cytokines on experimental animal in Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia infection. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. January 2014.

  3. Kabara JJ. The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids. Champaign, Ill, USA: American Oil Chemist’s Society; 1978. Page 92

  4. Carpo BG, Verallo-Rowell VM, Kabara J Novel. Antibacterial activity of Monolaurin compared with conventional antibiotics against organisms from skin infections: an in vitro study. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology : JDD [2007, 6(10):991-998]

  5. Ruzin A, Novick RP. Glycerol monolaurate inhibits induction of vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus faecalis. Journal of Bacteriology. 1998 Jan; 180(1):182-5

  6. Silver RK et al. Factors in human milk interfering with influenza-virus activities. Science 123:932-933, 1956



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