What To Try If You Have Failed Years Of Antibiotics
In my practice for those that have failed years of regular antibiotics I offer two persister oriented regimes. Both of these regimens have some published clinical evidence of benefit. One regimen I offer is a Horowitz dapsone persister regimen. The other option I offer is a disulfiram only regimen or a disulfiram combination regimen . You can read more details about how to take both of these regimens in
Antimicrobial Herbs That Kill Growing Phase Spirochetes & Cysts
Intracellular and Extracellular
Based on my observations, these herbal combination options have as good of a chance as the prescription options. They appear to kill intracellular and extracellular Lyme too based on the clinical benefit I see in my medical practice.
- Cats Claw and Otoba Bark Tinctures 30 drops of each 2 times a day. Start at 5 drops 2 times a day and add 1 drop per dose per day until you reach 30 drops 2 times a day. If you get a Herxheimer reaction, stop increasing the dose until it has passed.
- Cats Claw and Japanese Knotweed 30 drops of Cats Claw 2 times a day and ½ tsp of Japanese Knotweed 3 times a day. Work up to these doses over 30 days. Start Cats Claw at 5 drops 2 times a day and add 1 drop per dose per day until you reach 30 drops 2 times a day. Start the Japanese Knotweed at ¼ tsp 3 times a day and in two weeks increase to ½ tsp 3 times a day.
Thermotherapy/use Of The Infrared Sauna
Since Lyme bacteria appear to be extremely sensitive to heat, many naturalists recommend infrared sauna therapy. While the heat doesnt always kill the bacteria, it helps deactivate them, resulting in fewer symptoms in people with Lyme.
Infrared sauna therapy is one of the natural cures for Lyme disease that is also useful for detoxifying the body. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and sauna sweating is one of the most effective detoxification methods. While we can all benefit from a detoxifying sweat from time to time, skin detoxification is especially beneficial for people with Lyme, whose liver and kidneys are exposed to high levels of toxicity that are often associated with chronic infections.
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Chelation Therapy For Lyme Disease
Its done using a type of medication called a chelator or chelating agent. This medication binds to metals in the bloodstream, collecting them into a compound that can be processed by your kidneys and released in urine.
Chelation therapy is an effective treatment for a buildup of heavy metals. But theres no evidence that heavy metals contribute to Lyme disease, and chelation therapy wont treat the underlying infection.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
The most common symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, headache, fatigue, chills, and a bullseye rash. The medical term for this rash is erythema migrans and it is the most characteristic symptom of Lyme disease it typically appears as a single rash 7-14 days after the tick bite, although multiple rashes or no rashes at all are possible.
If left untreated, the infection can become more serious and spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system arthritis , carditis , and various neurological problems. Symptoms can vary widely and Lyme disease can mimic many different illnesses a keynote of Lyme is the involvement of multiple body systems.
- Avoid exposure to ticks in endemic areas with appropriate insect repellant
- Wear protective clothing and perform tick checks while visiting wooded areas
- Promptly remove tick with tweezers, pull straight up with steady pressure, cleanse area
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What Does Herbal Treatment For Lyme Disease Look Like
When Adrienne was going through treatment for her chronic Lyme disease, herbal therapy was one of the methods she used, by drinking Chinese herbal teas and taking herbal supplements. But, just as there are many different types of healing herbs, there are also many different ways to go about taking herbal treatment for Lyme disease.
Dr. Rawls explains that there are many different methods and preparations out there for taking herbal therapies, but it all comes down to phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are bioactive plant compounds that can be used as antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer agents, and they are the compounds within herbs that do the healing. So when youre taking herbal treatment for Lyme disease, your main concern is to have as high a concentration of phytonutrients as possible.
There are three primary ways to take herbal therapy: teas, tinctures, and capsules. Teas will pull out all of the water-soluble chemicals in herbs, which is a good amount however, they wont let you get any of the fat-soluble phytonutrients. A water-alcohol tincture will pull out the water soluble phytochemicals as well as some of the fat-soluble ones, so you get a bit of a broader spectrum of nutrients as well as a higher concentration.
When it comes to capsules, there are two different types to choose from:
Natural Yard Sprays To Protect Your Home
You can also utilize natural sprays that are safe for honeybees and amphibians, as well as humans and pets, which can keep ticks at bay.
Spraying for ticks should be done in the early spring, summer, and late fall, and should be applied to the entire lawn, well past the perimeter and into the woods. Consider recycling paper towel tubes into tick tubes that help to eliminate ticks from rodents like the white footed mouse which is the main spreader of tiny nymph ticks.
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Understanding Lyme At The Cellular Level
To truly understand Lyme disease and why herbs are the best solution, you have to think at the cellular level. More than anything else, Lyme disease is an assault on cells of the body.
The human body is composed of trillions of living cells. Everything that happens in the body results from the actions of cells. Symptoms occur when cellular functions are compromised. The type of symptom reflects the types of cells being affected.
When the borrelia spirochetes spill into the bloodstream from the tick bite, their one goal is reaching tissues of the body. The immune systems job is keeping them from getting there.
As soon as the bacteria enter the bloodstream, white blood cells of the immune system immediately begin engulfing and destroying the bacteria with potent acid. Sometimes, however, the bacteria are able to turn off that process and stay alive inside the WBC. The compromised WBC unwittingly becomes a Trojan horse that transports the bacteria to tissues throughout the body even across the blood-brain barrier into the brain.
Despite their mechanisms of persistence, casualties on the bacteria side are high and most of the bacteria are eliminated. All it takes for success, however, is a few bacteria reaching tissues of the body joints, brain, heart, everywhere. Once on site at tissues, the remaining spirochetes immediately begin scavenging nutrients, such as collagen from joint tissue and myelin from nerve tissue to create more spirochetes.
Essential Oils For Lyme Disease
It is believed that many essential oils have antimicrobial activities, and some people with persistent Lyme disease symptoms have turned to essential oils to help reduce symptoms of the disease.
Researchers tested 34 essential oils against B. burgdorferi in the lab and found cinnamon bark, clove bud, citronella, wintergreen, and oregano show strong activity against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, even more effectively than daptomycin, the gold standard antibiotic many people with Lyme disease are prescribed.
These results indicate that essential oils show promise as treatments for persistent Lyme disease, but clinical trials are needed in order to show their effectiveness in humans.
When used properly, most essential oils are safe and free of adverse side effects. However, it is important to use them carefully. They can irritate the skin if not properly diluted, and some should not be taken internally.
Purchase high-quality essential oils that go through testing to ensure the product is safe to use. Follow the usage and dilution instructions on the label carefully. Talk with your healthcare professional before using essential oils to avoid drug interactions with any medications you are taking.
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Chronic Lyme Disease Treatment Options: Antibiotics Vs Herbal Treatment For Lyme Disease
For Dr. Rawls, herbal therapy was the key to resolving his untreated Lyme and restoring his health. Because of his own personal experience and the research and science behind herbal treatment for Lyme disease, he believes that it is one of the most effective ways to treat chronic Lyme and other chronic conditions. Still, hes careful to point out that there is a time and place for herbal therapy and a time and place for antibiotics.
Sometimes people look at herbs and drugs as things that we can substitute one for another, but they really act totally differently, he says. Each one serves a different role, and what it ultimately comes down to is the different types of Lyme disease. For acute Lyme, Dr. Rawls says that antibiotics are often a better choice than herbal therapy. What were doing there is knocking down the microbes enough that it helps the immune system get a better grasp of that situation, he says. So I do advocate antibiotics for acute Lyme disease.
But things are different with chronic Lyme disease. Dr. Rawls says that many conventional physicians believe that the answer to chronic Lyme disease is a long-term course of powerful antibiotics were talking six months to a year and while this can sometimes work, it usually doesnt, and can come with some serious health consequences. Enter herbal treatment for Lyme disease.
Botanicals And Essential Oils
Botanical medicines are foundational interventions in the functional medicine approach to Lyme disease. There are many botanical protocols available for Lyme disease however, it can be confusing trying to determine which protocol and products to use. At CCFM, we have extensive experience using botanical protocols for Lyme and can create a protocol that is customized to your specific needs. Some of the botanical protocols and companies we use for the botanical treatment of Lyme include the Buhner Protocol, Byron White Formulas, Beyond Balance, and Nutramedix.
Herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner, a pioneer in the use of botanical medicines for Lyme disease, has developed a botanical protocol that we use with many of our Lyme patients at CCFM. The protocol is centered around several keystone herbs, including Japanese Knotweed, Cats Claw, and Andrographis. Botanicals that can be added to the core protocol, based on the patients needs, include Astragalus and Smilax Buhner recommends Astragalus as a preventative measure for those who live in Lyme endemic areas. You can learn more about Stephens protocol in his book Healing Lyme: Natural Healing and Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis and Its Coinfections.
Some of the botanicals with anti-Borrelia activity include:
- Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
- Cinnamon bark essential oil
- Clove essential oil
Certain essential oils also demonstrate anti-Borrelia activity 3, including:
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Patients Turning To Herbal Remedies
Because patients are currently turning to herbal remedies to fill the treatment gaps left by antibiotics, this research is a critical step in helping clinicians, as well as patients, understand which ones may offer the most potential benefit.
According to this study, carried out by Prof. Ying Zhangs group at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the seven herbal medicines that have the ability to kill B. burgdorferi in test tubes are:
- Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
- Uncaria tomentosa
- Scutellaria baicalensis
It is important to note that each of these products have the potential to produce significant side effects in patients, and should be taken only under advisement of a clinician knowledgeable of their capabilities and toxicities.
Of these products, the Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract caused complete eradication, while doxycycline and cefuroxime and other active herbs did not. This extract has been used for the treatment of malaria as well as the tick-borne infection Babesia, a malaria-like parasite.
This study is believed to be the first time this extract has been documented to have a potential impact on B. burgdorferi, and additional laboratory and clincial studies should be conducted to investigate the potential role Cryptolepis sanguinolenta could play in the treatment of Lyme disease.
Further, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta and Polygonum cuspidatum showed strong activity against both growing B. burgdorferi and non-growing stationary phase B. burgdorferi.
Lowering Of Microbial Burden
Antibiotics may be recommended for this arm of treatment. If a patient has failed or not responded to antibiotic therapy for chronic lyme in the past, in my experience they still may respond if the other three arms of treatment are added in. Herbal options, and especially ozone therapy, are excellent first choices if not an acute case.
When using these options, risks such as allergy and upper gut irritation with the herbs is a discussion. With antibiotics, the risk of resistance, lower GI issues including serious cases of diarrhea, allergy, are concerns to be discussed. Because of such risks, and the fact that my own experiences been that herbal options are often just as effective although somewhat slower to have clear changes, herbal options are often considered first.
The herbal options that I prefer include much of the newer research that has been published on especially japanese knotweed, cryptolepsis, as well as various essential oils. The classic formulas such as cats claw, Buhner herbs are useful. I do find favorable results with the formulas from Beyond balance as well.
Occasionally though, in my experience, even though the chronic lyme patient is getting full detoxification support, Herxheimer like reactions still occur. In these cases there are many in the office treatments that can help to calm the inflammation based on the individual assessment.
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Boiling Point: The Lyme + Fibromyalgia + Chronic Fatigue Connection
The misery of chronic illness is very real. But if youre the one whos suffering, you know that those around you typically cant see it or understand it not family, friends, or even medical providers.
They dont know what its like:
to push through oppressive fatigue day after day.to be tired beyond exhaustion but unable to sleep.to ache all over so badly that all you want to do is curl up in a ball inside a dark closet.to feel like you have the flu every day of your life but still have to go to work.to be isolated, both socially and professionally.to have bizarre symptoms that no one can put a finger on.to be told that all your lab tests are normal, even though something is obviously wrong.to become dependent on symptom-suppressing drugs prescribed by well-meaning doctors who didnt know enough to know better.
I can relate better than most doctors because Ive lived it. I am part of a growing epidemic of people suffering from chronic ailments that the modern medical system is at a loss to help.
An unexpected twist during my late 40s changed my life and career path forever. Unrelenting stress from a too-busy medical practice combined with an entanglement of unpredicted life stressors plunged me into chronic misery that took me 10 years to escape.
Then, I became the patient I could almost sense my doctors roll their eyes the minute I came through the door.
When We Think About Why Lyme Disease So Easily Takes Over The Human Body We See That Inflammation Plays A Huge Role
If the body is constantly putting out fires from everyday exposure to events or substances that cause inflammation , it has a much harder time when a real threat enters the body.
We have to focus on creating a foundation for health, which is simple but sometimes hard to implement in modern life. Rather than subscribing to a particular diet or detox to achieve this goal, I instead recommend returning to the basics. Eat food in its original unprocessed form. Limit sugar and alcohol intake. Drink fresh, filtered water as often as possible. Move your body. Create a healthy sleep schedule and take time during your day for short mental health breaks. Prioritize stress-relieving activities that bring you joy and peace. If it is too overwhelming to implement all these at once, work on one aspect of health at a time, and build upon that. Its never too late to start improving your bodys resilience.
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For Those Without Access To Antibiotics Or Aversion To Pharmaceutical Use Herbal Antimicrobials Taken Internally Can Be Used Effectively To Address The Suspected Infection Either Instead Of Prescriptions Or In Addition To Them
A recent study looked at several antimicrobial and antiparasitic herbs as compared to the controls of prescription doxycycline and cefuroxime . The botanicals with good to strong activity against Borrelia included Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, Juglans nigra , Polygonum cuspidatum , Artemisia annua , Uncaria tomentosa , Cistus incanus, and Scutellaria baicalensis .
In fact, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract caused complete eradication of the spirochete, while doxycycline and cefuroxime could not fully eradicate B. burgdorferi. This research makes a powerful case for using herbal antibiotics in addition to or instead of pharmaceuticals.
You may also consider taking homeopathic Ledum and Apis, two remedies excellent at addressing puncture wounds and insect bites and stings. Dr. Alexis Chesney, a Lyme literate Naturopathic physician, put together a very helpful Tick Preparedness Kit that contains herbs, homeopathics, and items for tick removal and storage.
- Homeopathic Apis mellifica 30C
- 4 ounce Deer Tick Bite Formula
*4 ounce tick bite prophylactic formula specific to the types of ticks in your region