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.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Most tests for Lyme disease look for antibodies the body makes in response to infection. Since it takes time for the immune system to produce these antibodies, an early test may come back negative, but your child could still have Lyme disease. Also, if your child has had Lyme disease in the past, the test may remain positive.
While currently available tests work in most cases, a clinical evaluation should take into account exposure to ticks, as well as the timing and nature of symptoms in making a diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Research is underway to develop and improve methods for diagnosing Lyme disease. Learn more.
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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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Genomic Insights From Borreliaceae Lineages
Between 1982 and 2010, the B. burgdorferi species complex, known as B. burgdorferi sensu lato, steadily expanded from 1 to 18 species as isolates from tick vectors, their hosts, and patient samples were characterized . A subset of these species are associated with human disease. B. burgdorferi sensu stricto in the USA, as well as B. afzelii and B. garinii in Eurasia are the most common agents of LD in the Northern hemisphere. Cases of LD in Europe are also caused by Bb and B. bavariensis , but are less common. B. spielmanii , B. bisettiae , and B. lusitaniae have been identified in human specimens but their clinical importance is less clear. B. valaisiana has been identified in human specimens , but others have recently provided compelling reasons why existing evidence does not support it being considered a human pathogen . Additional species have been identified in tick vectors or their hosts, but not in patient samples.
Late Stage Lyme Disease Post
Even though the majority of patients diagnosed with Lyme disease are treated successfully with antibiotics, some patients continue to have symptoms that last for several months or even years after treatment has stopped. These symptoms are often called chronic Lyme disease or post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome and can include not just aches and pains but also problems with the brain, joints, muscles, nervous system, heart, or other organs.
Late disseminated infection:
The most severe form of post-treatment Lyme disease is known as late disseminated infection. LDI develops within two to four weeks of stopping antibiotic therapy. Symptoms include persistent headaches, dizziness, depression, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, and sometimes paralysis. The condition tends to occur more frequently among older adults and children.
Another type of long term complication of Lyme disease is post-infectious encephalopathy or meningoencephalitis. PEM usually begins between three and 12 months following an initial bout of Lyme disease. Patients report fatigue, memory loss, confusion, personality changes, mood swings, seizures, tremors, and visual hallucinations. Other symptoms associated with PEM include headache, neck stiffness, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and stiffening of the limbs.
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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.
What Foods Should Be Avoided With Lyme Disease
There are a lot of foods that should be avoided if you have Lyme disease. Any food that cant be cooked or eaten raw should be avoided because it could make the symptoms worse and might not be properly cooked. One example is sushi.
Ingredients like raw seafood, unpasteurized dairy and raw eggs increase the risk for getting sick with Lyme disease, so those foods should also be avoided.
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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.
Stage : Early Localized Disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease usually start 1 to 2 weeks after the tick bite. One of the earliest signs of the disease is a bulls-eye rash.
The rash occurs at the site of the tick bite, usually, but not always, as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. It may be warm to the touch, but it isnt painful and doesnt itch. This rash will gradually fade in most people.
The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans. Erythema migrans is said to be characteristic of Lyme disease. However, many people dont have this symptom.
Some people have a rash thats solid red, while people with dark complexions may have a rash that resembles a bruise.
The rash can occur with or without systemic viral or flu-like symptoms.
Other symptoms commonly seen in this stage of Lyme disease include:
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Little Hope Of Improvement
Thereâs currently no plan for getting rid of the ticks for good, and it wouldnât be an easy task either. The little parasites are quite robust and can survive a cycle in the washing machine as well as time in the freezer. If you have a tick bite, make sure your encephalitis vaccination is up-to-date.
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Macrolide Plus Azole Plus Liposomal Essential Oils
- clarithromycin 500 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- tinidazole 500 mg 1 pill 2 or 3 times a day.
- liposomal cinnamon, clove & oregano oil 1 capsule 2 times a day
- Tinidazole treats cysts and can remove biofilms that block the immune system and antibiotics.
- Liposomal cinnamon, clove & oregano oil can treat persister and growing forms of Lyme. Of the various herbal options to treat persiters – this is my go to persister herbal anti-microbial based on benefits I see in my practice.
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Azlocillin Comes Out On Top
The drug, which is not on the market, was tested in mouse models of Lyme disease at seven-day, 14-day and 21-day intervals and found to eliminate the infection. For the first time, azlocillin was also shown to be effective in killing drug-tolerant forms of B. burgdorferi in lab dishes, indicating that it may work as a therapy for lingering symptoms of Lyme disease.
Pothineni and Rajadas have patented the compound for the treatment of Lyme disease and are working with a company to develop an oral form of the drug. Researchers plan to conduct a clinical trial.
Rajadas is also a professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California-San Francisco.
Other Stanford co-authors are Hari-Hara S. K. Potula, PhD, senior research scientist postdoctoral scholars Aditya Ambati, PhD, and Venkata Mallajosyula, PhD senior research scientist Mohammed Inayathullah, PhD and intern Mohamed Sohail Ahmed.
A researcher at Loyola College in India also contributed to the work.
The study was funded by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and Laurel STEM Fund.
Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian
If your dog has a positive Lyme test but no symptoms of the disease or protein in the urine, ask your veterinarian why he or she is recommending treatment. Experts currently recommend against antibiotic therapy under these circumstances because the dogs immune system is holding the bacteria in check and antibiotics are unable to eliminate the infection.
Dogs who have contracted Lyme disease do not develop prolonged, protective immunity and can be reinfected at a later date. Talk to your veterinarian about how best to prevent future infections. Options include measures to prevent the ticks that carry Lyme disease from biting your dog and Lyme vaccination.
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What To Expect At The Vets Office
If your pet has been diagnosed with uncomplicated Lyme disease, this is what you can expect to happen at your veterinarians office.
- Depending on the type of test used to screen for Lyme disease, a confirmatory test may be necessary.
- Urine protein screening In general, only dogs who have symptoms of Lyme disease or protein in their urine should be treated with antibiotics.
- Dogs with protein in their urine should have regularly scheduled rechecks to monitor their condition.
What Are The Side Effects Of Lyme Disease Treatments
Antibiotics, like all medications, have the potential for side effects. Any antibiotic can cause skin rashes, and if an itchy red rash develops while on antibiotics, a patient should see their physician. Sometimes symptoms worsen for the first few days on an antibiotic. This is called a Herxheimer reaction and occurs when the antibiotics start to kill the bacteria. In the first 24 to 48 hours, dead bacterial products stimulate the immune system to release inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that can cause increased fever and achiness. This should be transient and last no more than a day or two after the initiation of antibiotics.
The most common side effect of the penicillin antibiotics is diarrhea, and occasionally even serious cases caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile. This bacterial overgrowth condition occurs because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in our gut. It can be helpful to use probiotics to restore the good bacteria and microbiome balance.
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Selection Of An Antibiotic
Many factors influence the selection of a particular type of antibiotic and its dosage regimen. Among them are mentioned:
- Duration of infection
- The efficiency of the patients immune system
- The achieved drug concentration level in the blood
- Antibiotic tolerance in the patient
- The activity of the patients digestive system
- Earlier, long-term steroid use
- Age and weight of the patient
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Different Types Of Medication For Lyme Disease
Doctors prescribe different medications for children and adults and for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You’ll take antibiotics for 10 to 21 days, depending on your doctor’s advice.Medication treatment is more intense if the bacteria show signs of progressing into your central nervous system. This is what happens with time when Lyme disease is left untreated. Instead of taking pills, you’ll be given an antibiotic through a needle. This is called intravenous treatment. The medicine will work faster by going straight into your bloodstream. People are given IV treatment for two to three weeks.
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How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine for Lyme disease. But you can avoid Lyme disease by avoiding tick bites, checking for ticks, and removing ticks promptly, before they become lodged in the skin. Some tips:
Avoid tick playgrounds: Ticks like low-level shrubs and grasses, particularly at the edges of wooded areas. If youre hiking, try to stay in the center of the trail and avoid bushwhacking. Walk on cleared paths or pavement through wooded areas and fields when possible.
Dress appropriately: Long pants with legs tucked into socks and closed-toed shoes will help keep ticks away from skin. Light-colored clothing helps make ticks visible.
Insect repellant: Products that contain DEET repel ticks but do not kill them and are not 100 percent effective. Use a brand of insect repellent that is designated as child-safe if your child is 1 year or older. For infants, check with your pediatrician about what brands are safe to use. You can also treat clothing with a product that contains permethrin, which is known to kill ticks on contact.
Shower after outdoor activities are done for the day. It may take four to six hours for ticks to attach firmly to skin. Showering will help remove unattached ticks.
- all parts of the body that bend: behind the knees, between fingers and toes, underarms and groin
- other areas where ticks are commonly found: belly button, in and behind the ears, neck, hairline, and top of the head
- anywhere clothing presses on the skin
Growing Bartonella: What Works Best
Ying Zhang, MD and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins show that rifampin and azithromycin are the strongest agents. These are followed closely by doxycycline, methylene blue, oregano oil, and ciprofloxacin. In his experiments he did not study rifabutin, minocycline, clarithromycin, or levofloxacin. The following combinations of antibiotics are in the same family: rifabutin and rifampin, minocycline and doxycycline, clarithromycin and azithromycin, and levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin. If one member in a family works well the other one is likely too so clarithromycin, minocycline, and levofloxacin should work well too.
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How Is The Diagnosis Of Ld Made
Testing should be carried out at an approved provincial, territorial or national public health laboratory in Canada. Test results from private laboratories not approved by Health Canada, provincial or territorial governments cannot be relied upon for accuracy nor validity.
Early, localized disease: In general, the diagnosis of LD is clinical , supported by a history of potential tick bite in an area where it is known or suspected that black-legged ticks have been established. However, because tick populations are expanding, it is possible that LD can be acquired outside of currently identified areas. Such a possibility should be considered when assessing patients. Patients with EM should be diagnosed and treated without laboratory confirmation, because antibodies against B burgdorferi are often not detectable by serodiagnostic testing within the first four weeks after infection .
Later disease: All other clinical manifestations of possible LD should be supported by laboratory confirmation. Two-tiered serological testing, including an ELISA screening test followed by a confirmatory Western blot test, is used to supplement clinical suspicion of extracutaneous LD . Two-tiered testing is necessary because the ELISA may yield false-positive results from antibodies directed against other spirochetes, viral infections or autoimmune diseases. Table 1 provides information related to the performance characteristics of serological assays in different clinical presentations of LD.