Struggling With Lyme And Co
IMPORTANT: If you suspect you may have Lyme disease or other tickborne illness, see a doctor as quickly as possible for diagnosis and initial treatment.
If Lyme disease is diagnosed early, antibiotics often can treat the disease effectively.
However, if you continue to experience Lyme disease symptoms after antibiotic treatment is completed, or suspect that you may have chronic Lyme disease , you may need to turn to other solutions, since long-term antibiotic use can be ineffective, have a harmful impact on your gut microbiome, and potentially weaken your immune system.
It’s vital to support the health of your entire body when battling Lyme disease and/or related infections. The disease itself plus the antibiotic treatment can take a heavy toll on your body.
Therapeutic essential oils help support the body by providing nutrients the body needs to heal itself. Could essential oils be useful for you in supporting your Lyme recovery?
What you need to know:
Learn more:What Are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?
Chelation Therapy For Lyme Disease
Some people believe Lyme disease symptoms are linked to heavy metal toxicity from materials like lead or mercury. Chelation therapy is a method of removing heavy metals from the bloodstream.
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.
Essential Oils Battle Borrelia Burgdorferi
Its common knowledge that certain essential oils are antibacterial. Theres also anecdotal evidence that people with Lyme disease can use bacteria-fighting essential oils to improve their symptoms. But there havent been many scientific studies on essential oils and Lyme disease. In fact, up until recently, there was only one, and it only examined the potential of one essential oil Cistus creticus.
Luckily, a recent study from researchers at John Hopkins and Harvard looked at 34 essential oils to see which ones packed a punch against Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. In the end, they narrowed their list down to five essential oils that are extremely effective at fighting this dangerous bacteria
Citronella, wintergreen, cinnamon bark, clove bud and oregano oil.
They found that these five oils help kill a relentless form of bacteria known as persisters. Persisters are bacterial cells that stick around in your body for a long time, because they manage to evade your immune system and, in some cases, are resistant to antibiotics.
Researchers found that the five essential oils listed above killed persisters in a laboratory setting more effectively than the antibiotic typically used against persisters, daptomycin. And they killed these persisters even when used at low concentrations, like .25 percent.
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Why Doxycycline Doesnt Work
Some believe that doxycycline helps kill the bacteria for those with Lyme disease who took the drug within a few weeks of contracting Lyme.
Lab tests show that doxycycline does nothing but cause the Lyme bacteria to morph shape and basically go into hiding in your body, only to surge at a later time when your immune system is low .
This hybernation stage lasts more than the 28 day cycle that people are on doxycycline. Thus those who take 4 weeks of doxycycline do not kill all of the Lyme bacteria.
The complications from doxycycline are almost as bad as Lyme itself. I had a friend who took it and had blisters 2 inches long and 1 inch high on her hands and feet! That girl was switched to Amoxicillin, even though Amoxicillin has been shown to do absolutely nothing against Lyme Disease. Putting people on antibiotics as a standard procedure even though it has been shown in multiple studies to just put the bacteria into hiding or do absolutely nothing against it makes no sense!
Selecting The Right Carrier Oil
The most popular carrier oils to use for treating Lyme disease are coconut oil and jojoba oils. These are good standby oils to use with an essential oil blend. You should always use these oils with essential oils to ensure safety when you are applying essential oils for treatment. Because essential oils are so potent, you need to make sure that you have an oil that neutralizes their effect.
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Are Essential Oils Safe
The other issue is how to safely use the oils using non-toxic delivery methods with effective concentrations.
The fact that the oils are effective at such low concentrations is a plus. Small amounts of oil can work and a little goes a long way.
Garlic, oregano, cinnamon and clove oils are all potent oils.
So I dont recommend dousing animals with them or even widely diffusing them for long periods of time. Put a little on your finger and place it under your nose and youll understand.
If your dog has Lyme disease, use these oils cautiously and preferably with advice from an experienced professional.
Ive used all these oils with patients, applying Caroline Ingrahams Applied Zoopharmacogosny method with no toxicity problems. Her method lets the animals self-dose and walk away if they want. So your dog can opt out if its too much for him.
Raindrop Technique Known For Use In Treating Lyme Disease
When I wrote about my reflexology experience with Lorraine Cucci back in September, I promised to let you in on one of the other therapies she practices: Raindrop Technique.
Raindrop Technique is a form of aromatherapy in which designated Young Living Essential Oils are applied to the spine, feet and shoulders in a prescribed format and manner. Its aim is to achieve balance and harmony physically, mentally and emotionally. Raindrop Technique is especially noted for its use in relieving the discomforts associated with Lyme disease.
Why does Raindrop Technique require only Young Living Essential Oils? An obvious reason is that the procedure was developed by Gary Young, the founder of Young Living Essential Oils. But another is that Young Living Essential Oils carry a guarantee of purity and quality. In fact, when I mentioned to a friend that I was about to get a Raindrop treatment, she cautioned that I make sure the practitioner was using only Young Living Essential Oils where every batch is quarantined, inspected and tested for purity and quality by independent labs.
According to the Young Living website, there is no official regulation of essential oil quality in the U.S. Pure essential oils known to be safe for human use may be used on the skin, in the air or internally. However, impure or adulterated oils, whose contents or quality are unknown, can cause mild or extremely serious problems, and may even be carcinogenic with repeated use. Buyer beware.
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An Unexpected Ally In The Fight Against Lyme Disease Dormant Bacteria
New research published in the journal Antibiotics shows that a range of essential oils can effectively kill persistent forms of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease, an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi , is the most prevalent tick-borne infectious disease in the U.S., with about 30,000 cases reported each year. According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the actual number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease is more likely about 300,000.
The antibiotic doxycycline is most commonly prescribed to clear acute cases of Lyme disease in a few weeks, but in some cases, the infection persists. According to the authors of a 2013 study, approximately 1020 percent of those who contract Lyme disease and are treated continue to report symptoms for months, and in some cases, years. This subset of patients are thought to have post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Medical professionals do not yet know exactly what causes post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, however we do know that B. burgdorferi enters a dormant stage in which its cells either multiply very slowly or do not divide. These persister cells are more resistant to antibiotics. But we may have found an unexpected ally in the fight against these Lyme disease dormant bacteria: essential oils.
We found that these essential oils were even better at killing the persister forms of Lyme bacteria than standard Lyme antibiotics
~ Dr. Ying Zhang
Evaluation Of Essential Oils For Activity Against Stationary Phase B Burgdorferi
Table 1. Effect of essential oils on a 7-day-old stationary phase Borrelia Burgdorferi.a
Figure 1. Effect of essential oils on the viability of stationary phase Borrelia burgdorferi. A 7-day-old B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture was treated with essential oils at different concentrations , 1% , 0.5% , 0.25% , and 0.125% for 7 days followed by staining with SYBR Green I/PI viability assay and fluorescence microscopy. Daptomycin was included as a persister-active positive control drug at 40, 20, and 10 µM in panels , respectively.
To further compare the activity of these active essential oils and find whether they could eradicate stationary phase B. burgdorferi at lower concentrations, we evaluated six essential oils at even lower concentrations at 0.1 and 0.05%. We noticed that oregano could not wipe out stationary phase B. burgdorferi at 0.05% concentration as shown by some residual green aggregated cells , despite oregano showing strong activity sterilizing all the stationary phase B. burgdorferi cells at and above 0.1% concentration .
Table 2. Comparison of essential oil activity against stationary phase Borrelia burgdorferi at 0.1 and 0.05% .a
Figure 2. Effect of active essential oils or their ingredients on stationary phase Borrelia burgdorferi. A B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture was treated with 0.1% or 0.05% essential oils or the ingredients of oregano for 7 days followed by staining with SYBR Green I/PI viability assay and fluorescence microscopy.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease From A Tick
Which Essential Oils Are Best
There are dozens of essential oils, all with different fragrances andchemical makeups. Which essential oils are best depends on what symptomsyoure looking to ease or fragrances you prefer. Some of the most popularessential oils include:
- Lavender oil: Many people find the lavender scent relaxing. Its often used to help relieve stress and anxiety and promote good sleep.
- Tea tree oil: Also called melaleuca, this essential oil was used by Australias aboriginal people for wound healing. Today, its commonly used for acne, athletes foot and insect bites.
- Peppermint oil: Theres some evidence peppermint essential oil helps relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms when taken in an enteric-coated capsule . It may also relieve tension headaches when applied topically.
- Lemon oil: Many people find the citrusy scent of lemon oil a mood booster. Its also often used in homemade cleaning products.
Antibiotics And Essential Oils
Doxycycline , cefuroxime and daptomycin were dissolved in suitable solvents to form 5 mg/ml stock solutions. The antibiotic stocks were filter-sterilized by 0.2 Î¼m filter and stored at â20Â°C. Essential oils were also dissolved in organic solvent dimethyl sulfoxide at 20%, followed by dilution to achieve desired dilutions as previously described .
Also Check: How Do You Get A Tick Tested For Lyme Disease
Essential Oils From Garlic And Other Herbs Kill ‘persister’ Lyme Disease Bacteria
- Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Oils from garlic and several other common herbs and medicinal plants show strong activity against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, according to a new study.
Oils from garlic and several other common herbs and medicinal plants show strong activity against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. These oils may be especially useful in alleviating Lyme symptoms that persist despite standard antibiotic treatment, the study also suggests.
The study, published October 16 in the journal Antibiotics, included lab-dish tests of 35 essential oils — oils that are pressed from plants or their fruits and contain the plant’s main fragrance, or “essence.” The Bloomberg School researchers found that 10 of these, including oils from garlic cloves, myrrh trees, thyme leaves, cinnamon bark, allspice berries and cumin seeds, showed strong killing activity against dormant and slow-growing “persister” forms of the Lyme disease bacterium.
“We found that these essential oils were even better at killing the ‘persister’ forms of Lyme bacteria than standard Lyme antibiotics,” says study senior author Ying Zhang, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School.
Lab Experiments Vs Human Experiments
The Zhang experiments look promising. However, what happens on a petri dish in the lab does not always happen in living people. In the case of essential oils, the Doterra craze of the past suggest in regular form, essential oils do not work well for most with Lyme. One problem may be that they are not well absorbed – so the oils do not reach the Lyme germs to kill them.
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Essential Oils Can Help
Essential oils are volatile liquids extracted from plants. They contain highly concentrated plant compounds.
The microbiologists at Johns Hopkins decided to look into essential oils. Theyd read reports of their antimicrobial activities. Theyd also seen anecdotal reports of persistent Lyme symptoms improving with essential oils.
What Is Lyme Disease And How Does It Spread
There are many forms of Lyme Disease. Since my audience is mainly in the US, Ill focus on whats known here. The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is transferred mainly by tiny black legged ticks. Though it is true that mosquitoes can carry the spirochete bacteria, it doesnt seem to be able to be attached long enough to a human body for the change in the bacteria and transfer to take place. Since Lyme is extremely adaptable and changes form to survive in its environment, it has to change back when entering a new environment. Thats why too simply put, but its how it helped me make sense of it when I first started studying the biology behind it.
Some studies say a tick has to be attached for 36 hours before the transfer to take place. Thats good news, but also difficult when the ticks are almost microscopic in size to begin with.
Also Check: Lyme Disease Chain Of Infection
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Essential Oils For Lyme Disease Symptoms
Lyme disease can manifest a variety of symptoms, particularly after it progresses to the chronic form. Some of these can include joint pain, brain inflammation, weakness and muscle pain, fatigue, cognitive problems, headaches, sleep disorders, and mood disorders.
Here are some essential oils which may help you to combat some of these symptoms:
- Lavender essential oil is one of the most all-around useful oils. It can help mitigate depression, anxiety, and stress. It can improve concentration and may even help with headaches.
- Rosemary essential oil can boost concentration and reduce anxiety.
- Vetiver discussed previously as an insect repellent, may soothe anxiety.
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Recommendations For Treating Lyme Disease
Chronic Lyme disease is a serious and stubborn condition, and theres no simple solution that works for everyone.
Treatments I have used during my years practicing medicine have included intravenous therapies, such as immune-boosting glutathione and vitamin C, which has direct antimicrobial activity. Because Borrelia thrives in a low-oxygen environment, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is great because it saturates the system with oxygen. Medicinal herbs and nutritional supplements that support the bodys ability to fight infection, and low-dose naltrexone, a proven immune enhancer, are also good treatments. Finally, I recommend therapies like neurofeedback and EECP to help patients get on the road back to health.
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society is a good source of information and can guide you to experienced physicians.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
This antibiotic oil will take care of problems with Lyme disease because it has been tested against a variety of bacteria including E.coli and staph infections. One study that looked at the antibacterial effects of tea tree oil combined with eucalyptus oil found that it was effective and had an almost immediate effect.
The oil is safe to use on the skin as long as it is diluted with a suitable carrier oil in advance but should never be taken internally.
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