Lyme disease has become an epidemic in the United States and many people are at a loss for how to treat it. Learn all about which herbs are effective for fighting Lyme disease and co-infections.
Lyme disease and co-infections
Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. There are many co-infections that can also go along with Borrelia burgdorferi such as the bacterias Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Babesia and more. Some of these co-infections can wreck more havoc on the body than the actual Lyme disease bacteria itself.
These pathogens are spiral shaped bacteria known as spirochetes which can be very tricky to treat. They are masters at protecting themselves by creating biofilms and forming into cysts. Many people continue to have symptoms even after being treated by antibiotics because the bacteria can go dormant but reemerge again.
Thankfully there are many herbal options to explore when considering a treatment for Lyme disease and co-infections. Keep in mind though that there is no one size fits all treatment because many things have to be considered. Such as which bacteria is present, is there possible mold toxicity, heavy metals and if there are any genetic mutations such as MTHFR that might also need to be addressed. People are however seeing amazing results from using herbs and studies are confirming it.
The most well known herbal protocol is from Stephen Buhner who has cured himself and written many books on the subject. He recommends herbs such as Japanese Knotweed, Skullcap, Red Sage, Cordyceps, Cat’s Claw, Licorice and Ashwagandha. For Lyme he also recommends collagen, vitamin C and Tryptophan. You can find exact dosage on his website. Woodland Essence has extracts of Buhner’s recommendations available. His books go into specific types of Lyme causing bacteria such Babesia and Bartonella for a more personalized herbal protocol once you have an idea of the bacteria you have been exposed to.
Herbs can play a huge role in recovering from this crippling disease but sadly so many go undiagnosed because their doctor either doesn’t know to test them for it or because their western blot came back negative. If you have unexplained neurological symptoms, headaches, rashes, fatigue, light sensitivity etc. it can be important to get an igenex test to know what bacteria you’re dealing with. This test is far superior to the western blot which can often times come back with a false negative.
To give you options Electrodermal screening is also a form of testing we have used in our home. It is based on biofeedback taken from electro-dermal points located along meridian lines. It is able to show very specific stressors on the body and then give suggestions on how to balance out those stressors through herbs, homeopathy, flower essences, aromatherapy or nutrition. There are people who have their doubts about this type of testing but we have personally seen undeniable results from it. This article from Pubmed helps to validate it’s effectiveness as well.
A word on saving ticks after bites. There is the option to send a tick in for testing after you’ve been bitten. This is wise even if you don’t present with symptoms immediately after because they will be able to tell you which bacteria the tick was carrying. With that said sometimes we don’t find the tick after we’ve been bitten or might not even remember having a tick bite.
Another one of my favorite herbalists Rachel Weaver recommends Papaya Leaf for Lyme. It has been used for many years as a malaria treatment and prophylactic. Rachel mentions Papaya Leaf being able to build up in the blood not allowing bacterium and spirochetes to grow there. She also mentions that it has components that are able to digest any foreign protein in the body.
Many people when treating Lyme disease and co-infections experience a herxheimer reaction where the pathogens are dying off and making the person sick before they get better. Charcoal can aid the body of removing bacteria and toxins for a short period of time. 1/4 cup of charcoal powder in a 2 quart jar of water to sip on throughout the day can be a very healing way to get past those symptoms. Milk thistle, Dandelion root, Cleavers and Burdock root can also play an important role in detoxing and protecting the liver. Taking detox baths and sweating in a sauna are other helpful ways to remove toxins. NAC is a helpful supplement to take during this phase of healing because it helps in detoxification and calming inflammation.
There is one herb that seems to be King when treating Lyme disease and co-infections called Cryptolepis. It has been shown to be even more effective than antibiotics. And further more it was able to stop the bacteria from coming back which is a common problem for those that have taken antibiotics. The reemergence of bacteria is what causes chronic Lyme disease. This study is huge and very hopeful for those suffering! You can read it for yourself here.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnosis. Please work with your chosen healthcare provider when treating Lyme disease and co-infections.