When Inflammation Becomes Chronic
Imagine if the acute inflammatory process was going on in tissues throughout your body and it never resolved. Thats exactly what happens with the chronic inflammation associated with chronic Lyme disease.
The driving force is bacteria invading cells. Its not an all-out invasion like you would find with an acute infection, such as pneumonia, however. Its an insidious migration of bacteria into tissues throughout the body in the brain, heart, joints, muscles, kidneys, intestines, everywhere.
When Lyme bacteria enter the bloodstream from a tick bite, WBCs gobble up the bacteria in an attempt to get rid of them. The bacteria, however, have sophisticated ways of staying alive inside the WBCs. Instead of eradicating the bacteria, the WBCs unintentionally become transport vehicles to distribute bacteria to tissues throughout the body.
On arrival, the bacteria surface and infect other cells. Its not as much a deluge of invasion as it is a random sprinkling. Tissues throughout the body become peppered with cells that have been infected with bacteria.
The Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, are intracellular, which means they infect and live inside cells. The cells provide nutrients to make new bacteria as well as protection from the immune system. Once the bacteria have used up the resources a cell has to offer, they surface and infect other cells.
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:
Reproduction Of Japanese Knotweed
Reproduction in Japanese knot weed requires male and female plants . However, Japanese knot weed is an extraordinary example of alien invasive plant species that is derived from the same mother plant.
In total biomass terms, this clone is probably the largest female in the world. In Swansea alone, the infestation of Japanese knot weed approximately weighs 62,000 tonnes, which equals to 400 blue whales.
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Amazing Benefits Of Japanese Knotweed For Health
- Post author Scientific review: Dr Heben’s Team
Japanese knotweed is an herbal plant native to Japan, North China, Taiwan and Korea. Whole Foods Magazine Online published, that the plant contains the powerful antioxidant compound named resveratrol. Resveratrol provided naturally in some of healthy foods such as grapes, peanuts, mulberries and red wine, or you can read the benefits in benefits of red wine, health benefits of green grapes and health benefits of mulberry fruit.
In addition, Japanese knotweed contains other essential nutrients that are important for the health of the body. So, the details of the health benefits of Japanese knotweed are:
Japanese knotweed is high of vitamin A and vitamin C, that means the plant is high of antioxidants. Due to the vitamin, It supports for the improving of the vision including protect it from several conditions such as cataract, or you can the benefits in vitamin a benefits.
The risk of inflammation such as arthritis, joint disease, pain, swelling, and redness will be treated by Japanese knotweed since it is high in antioxidants. However, consume the herbal plant regularly to prevent the inflammation is recommended.
Antioxidants in Japanese knotweed play a role as antibacterial agent that will defend the body fights bacterial and viral invaders.
Uses Of Japanese Knotweed
You can eat the stalks in early spring. The roots help Bronchitis, coughs, gum disease, sore mouth and throat, lung disease, skin disorders, fluid retention, tuberculosis, stop bleeding, and Lyme disease. Also, it is also anti-microbial, protects the central nervous system, clears out endotoxins, anti oxidant, and is anti anxiety for example. This plant is an anti-inflammatory and plaque preventative.
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Invasive Weed Mighty Botanical
Native to East Asia, Japan, Korea, and China, Japanese Knotweed is considered by many to be an invasive weed as it grows quickly and is exceptionally hardy. Be that as it may, it is also a mighty medicinal herb. Known to help prevent and treat a number of health disorders, this is one botanical that should be on your radar. Due to its exceptional healing properties, I have included it in my new Eastern Blend tincture.
Used for centuries throughout Asia, Japanese Knotweed is beneficial for cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of cancer, improving cognitive function, lowering blood pressure, and healing metabolic syndrome3. Additionally, it is often used medicinally for coughs, colds, and respiratory disease. Many have found it to be an effective treatment for Lyme disease as well. Japanese Knotweed is particularly high in resveratrol, a compound with an impressive track record of health benefits.
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Up to one in five Lyme disease patients do not respond to antibiotics, stressing the need for alternative treatment. The tick induced illness, which can trigger exhaustion and joint pain, affects as many as 3,000 people in the UK each year.
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Is Japanese Knotweed Edible
Preparation This plant is best edible when its 6 to 8 inches tall, the tangy shoots taste like rhubarb. The taller ones are covered by tough rind that must be first peeled off before consumption. The stems can be sliced, steamed as a vegetable, used for soups, sauces, jam, etc. It can also be baked in dessert dishes. It can also be used to transform familiar recipes into exotic ones.
Nutrition Value Knotweed is rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and antioxidant flavonoid rutin. Other elements include potassium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, etc. The resveratrol found in the plant lowers LDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attacks. It can also delay Alzheimers disease or slow its progression. Resveratrol can also increase lifespan by 30 percent. It activates Sirtuin Genes, imitating the functioning of a calorie-restricted diet. Large quantities of Knotweed can act as a gentle laxative.
Herbal And Rx Antimicrobials That Treat Persisters
This is a newer area in Lyme treatment. To help justify these various antimicrobial options, I describe the experimental basis behind my recommendations. These options are ones I am using with various degrees of success in my Seattle practice. They all have either laboratory experiments supporting their use or published human experiments.
Laboratory-Based Experiment Options
Here is a list of prescription and herbal medicine options shown in lab experiments to kill persisters that I am incorporating into my treatments of Lyme and/or Bartonella.
- Disulfiram – work slowly up to 4 to 5 mg/kg body weight 1 time a day.
- Methylene Blue 50 mg 2 times a day.
- Liposomal Oregano, Cinnamon, and Clove Oils 1 capsule 2 times a day.
- Cryptolepis 5 ml 3 times a day.
- Japanese Knotweed½ tsp 3 times a day – start at ¼ tsp 1 time a day and then increase after two weeks to ½ tsp 3 times a day.
- Cats Claw 30 drops 2 times a day.
Human-Based Experiment Options
Here is a list of prescription medications shown in human experiments to help with persister Lyme.
- Disulfiram – work slowly up to 4 to 5 mg/kg body weight 1 time a day.
- Dapsone – work up to 100 mg or 200 mg 1 time a day.
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What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme borreliosis, commonly known as Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which spreads by infected black-legged ticks to humans.
As stated by Health departments and District of Columbia: each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Herbal & Prescription Lyme Disease Antibiotics
In this article, you will learn how to build a Lyme disease herbal or prescription antibiotic treatment. Later, in this guide I provide nine sample herbal and prescription antibiotic treatment plans, including the dosing regimens I find effective.
The focus of this article is on Lyme germ treatment. For information about treating Lyme disease coinfections see
Before I describe these plans, you should be aware that chronic Lyme disease recovery requires more than antibiotics. I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough. Treating Borrelia, the Lyme germ, with antibiotics is complicated because limited research shows which treatment regimens work best. As a result, many Lyme-Literate Medical Doctors , like me, prescribe antibiotics based on theory, in addition to our collective observation, which is that combinations of antimicrobials work better than single agents alone. It is critical that a Lyme disease treatment regimen addresses the first ten steps outlined in my Lyme disease treatment guidelines, The Ross Lyme Support Protocol. These steps are designed to revive health and to boost the immune system. Even a year or more into treatment, when a person is feeling better, these steps are essential to speed recovery by supporting the immune system.
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Using Japanese Knotweed For Food And Medicine
May 20, 2018
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A friend of mine spends her summer weekend trying to wipe knotweed off the face of the earth. She comes back from trips exhausted, having used everything to try to eradicate a patch of knotweed, only to find it in the very same spot the next year.
Its an exotic invasive, but it is, in fact, a native plant in Japan. How do they deal with it there?
They do the only sensible thing you can do when a plant just wont stop growing. You eat it!
Effect Of Japanese Knotweed On Lyme Disease
Japanese Knotweed is considered to be one of the main herbs that can help lower, or even eliminate, lyme spirochetes loads in the body, support the innate immune function to help respond to the borrelia infection, and treat some of the symptoms of Lyme disease including central nervous system confusion, arthritic and bacterial inflammation, protects against endotoxin damage, reduce Herxheimer reactions and is a cardio-protector.1
Also, knotweed enhances blood flow to difficult-to-reach areas and helps other herbs and/or drugs, and the body’s own response to kill the spirochetes that reside in these specifically difficult-to-reach areas.
Stephen Harrod Buhner states that Japanese Knotweed can also help to treat the following as are specifically associated with Lyme Disease: “Neuroborreliosis, bulls-eye rash, acarodermatitis chronica atrophicans, low immune function spirochete infection, Lyme arthritis, endothelial damage from Lyme and Lyme coinfections, cardiac involvement, post-Lyme-disease syndrome, bartonella coinfection.”2
It is also a good source of vitamin C.
Read more details about Japanese Knotweed.
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What Is Japanese Knotweed
Japanese Knotweed is a weed that spreads rapidly. It belongs to the plant family Polygonaceae: Poly means many, and gony is from the Greek for knee, giving many jointed.
The scientific name of Japanese Knotweed is Fallopia japonica. While people of Japan call it, itadori, which means take away pain. This plant dies in winters and grows back in early summers.
Lyme Disease Antibiotic Combination Examples
In my experience, I find the prescription antibiotic combinations below work 85 to 90 percent of the time. The herbal combination options help 85 to 90 percent of the time. I find all these combinations more successful than the Andrographis/Japanese knotweed/cats claw combinations that some like herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner and Bill Rawls, MD, recommend. The Buhner/Rawls combination helps about 60 to 65 percent of the time in my clinical observations. To reach the success rates I describe here, it is essential to follow the first ten steps of The Ross Lyme Support Protocol to support the immune system.
Key Points: Each combination
- Combines antibiotics to treat all forms of the germ.
- Combines antibiotics to treat Lyme living outside and inside of cells.
- Combines antibiotics that work in different ways to attack the germ from different angles.
- Treats all growth phases of Lyme at the same time – this means treatments include antimicrobials that address persisters in addition to the growth phase of the term.
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Natural Remedies To Tame The Fires
Eating a healthy diet, living in a clean environment, learning to live around stress, and staying active are all very important for keeping cells in your body healthy. However, the chemical substances in plants defined as herbs can take that protection to the next level. Taking herbs can give you the advantage that you need to overcome chronic inflammation and return to a normal life.
Plants must protect their cells from a wide range of stress factors: damaging free radicals, physical stress from harsh weather, toxic substances, harmful radiation, insects, invasive fungi, parasites, and, last but not least, every variety of microbe.
Plants do this with their own natural chemistry. In fact, plants are the most sophisticated chemists on the planet. The chemical substances that plants use to solve problems and protect cells are called phytochemicals.
Mushrooms, which are technically fungi, also have to deal with similar stress factors as plant. They also produce a wide range of protective substances that mirror the protective properties of phytochemicals found in plants.
When we consume plant phytochemicals, the benefits are transferred to us. The three primary things that phytochemicals do for us:
Healthy Vs Weak Cells
How all this plays out is a function of the health of cells as much as the aggressiveness of the bacteria: Cells that are weak from being chronically stressed are more vulnerable to invasion by bacteria.
A healthy person with healthy cells who is bitten by a tick may not have much in the way of acute symptoms and may never develop chronic symptoms. It doesnt mean, however, that the bacteria have been eradicated from the body. They can stay dormant in tissues for a lifetime.
All it takes is a shift in the health of cells for dormant bacteria to surface and invade more cells. The immune system scrambles to keep a lid on things as bacteria erupt and infect other cells. Dead cells break apart and create debris. Macrophages secrete acid and free radicals to break down debris. Reinforcements are called in. More acid. More free radicals. More collateral damage. More debris. Flow of nutrients and oxygen is obstructed and cells are weakened even further.
The invasion intensifies as more cells are infected. Along with inflicting injury to cells in tissues, bacteria infect and kill WBCs. In addition, bacteria throw the immune system off balance by disrupting the cytokines the immune system uses to coordinate the resistance. As the process spirals out of control, the immune system loses the capacity to keep microbes in check.
Before long, tissues throughout the body start to look like a war zone. Cells suffer. Symptoms result. It becomes a never-ending cycle of misery.
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Seven Herbal Medicines Can Kill Lyme Disease Bacteria In Test Tube
Researchers have determined that seven herbal medicines are highly active in test tubes against B. burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, compared to the control antibiotics, doxycycline and cefuroxime.
Published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine, the laboratory study was funded by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and supported in part by The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues at the California Center for Functional Medicine and FOCUS Health Group, Naturopathic collaborated on the study.
Since traditional antibiotic approaches fail to resolve symptoms in up to 25% of patients treated for Lyme disease and many suffer disabling effects of the disease, there is a need for novel treatment proven effective against B. burgdorferi, said the papers co-author Sunjya K. Schweig, MD, CEO and co-director, California Center for Functional Medicine and Scientific Advisory Board Member, Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
Five Herbal Medicines Potent Against Tick
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the U.S., today announced the publication of new data finding that five herbal medicines had potent activity compared to commonly-used antibiotics in test tubes against Babesia duncani, a malaria-like parasite found on the West Coast of the U.S. that causes the disease babesiosis.
Published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, the laboratory study was funded in part by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation. Collaborating researchers were from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, California Center for Functional Medicine, and FOCUS Health Group, Naturopathic.
“This research is particularly important as babesiosis is a significant emerging health risk. Due to limited therapeutics and a rise in treatment resistance, current treatment options for this disease are inadequate and many patients rely on herbal therapies for which there is only anecdotal evidence of efficacy,” said co-author Sunjya K. Schweig, MD, Founder and Director, California Center for Functional Medicine and Scientific Advisory Board Member, Bay Area Lyme Foundation, who has also studied herbal treatments for Lyme disease.
According to this laboratory study, the five herbal medicines that demonstrated inhibitory activity against B. duncani are:
- Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
- Alchornea cordifolia
- Polygonum cuspidatum
More information:Frontiers in Cellular and Infection MicrobiologyCitation
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