Common Herbs Used To Treat Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease has become a very political and contraversial diagnosis which leaves those suffering with Lyme forced to become very educated and make a lot of their treatment decisions independently. I know first hand the struggles that patients with Lyme Disease face trying to get diagnosed and treated appropriately. As a Registered Nurse and also the wife of a patient dealing with these issues I have been forced to become very educated on the subject. Knowledge is empowering so I encourage you to study up!
In treating Lyme Disease its important to remember that there is more than one way to skin a cat. There are differing opinions as to WHAT the diagnostic criteria should be and unfortunately the current lab testing available today is inaccurate. There are also differing opinions as to HOW Lyme should or can be treated and truth be known they all very well can be effective. There are many traditional treatment protocols available that utilize prescription antibiotics and at the other end of the spectrum there are homeopathic remedies that have been supported by studies to be equally effective in killing the Lyme organism. -and somewhere in the middle is a happy medium that utilizes a little bit of traditional medicine along with some herbal therapies. We are treating my husbands Lyme with a little bit of both . Its nice to have several options!
In this article, I will discuss and highlight the most common herbs used in the treatment of Lyme Disease. In all of my research, I have learned that Nutramedix is top notch and these are the ones that have been most recommended by well known Lyme Herbalist. Not all herbs are created equally so its important to get them from a good source. I use the Nutramedix for my husband and I trust their quality.
What is a Spirochete?
Before I explain how some of the herbs work to kill Lyme Disease, I first need to explain briefly how the Lyme organism infects, reproduces, and thrives once its entered your body.
As you likely know by now, Lyme Disease is an infection that you receive after being bitten by a Lyme infected tick. The organism that causes the infection is a member of the "Spirochete" family and it is called Borrelia Burgdorferi. As you can see from the photo, Spirochetes are long and spiral in shape which allows them to "screw" themselves into body tissues. This way they can deeply penetrate many places/organs, which is why there are so many symptoms of Lyme Disease.
The difficulty in killing the organism primarily has to do with the fact that they are smart! They are considered to be "pleomorphs" meaning that they can change their shape and hide very easily. They can start out as "spirals" and then when they are in danger of being killed by antibiotics or other therapies they can change their form. Studies have shown that they turn themselves into "round forms" or "cyst forms" and become covered in a protective fibrous coating called "biofilm" when they are hiding from drugs/herbs that are trying to kill them. This is where it gets really tricky!
Our plan of attack to eradicate the Spirochetes has to be tailored to attacking the different "forms" of the organism. With traditional antibiotic therapy, we have learned that Doxycline kills the "spirals" but it is not effective in erradicating the "round cyst forms." For this reason, another type of antibiotic would need to be added that has the capabilities of working on these cellular shapes. It often takes a combination of multiple drugs to conquer the spirochetes and with that comes drug side effects and toxicities. For this reason, many people are turning to herbal and homeopathic medicine in an effort to effectively kill the organism and minimize toxic side effects of prescription drugs. Just like prescription drugs, it takes a combination of various herbs and supplements to attack the spirochete in its several forms. Thankfully, studies and clincal applications using these herbs has proven to be just as effective and in some cases MORE effective than the the traditional approach!
My Recommended Readings
If you want to read more information regarding natural ways to treat Lyme Disease I can highly recommend Dr. Buhner's book! I have ordered it and read it and refer to it often. He is an expert in this field and he explains everything very well in this book. I am also including a link for you to obtain another book if you prefer to read on your Kindle (second book below). I have not read this book but in my research it has been highly recommended. The third book is also very good. It has information regarding combined therapies (traditional and herbal).
Now Lets Talk Herbs!
Now that I have provided you with a brief understanding of what it takes to kill Lyme we can get down to the specific herbs and how they work. The herbs that I will highlight are often taken in different combinations so I will not discuss how to combine them or take them. You should talk to your physician or homeopathic practitioner to get advice in this regard. Especially if you are combining prescription drugs with the herbs as there could be some interactions or contra-indications. My goal here is not to provide medical advice, but rather share with you my research in an effort to make your treatment decisions easier to make.
Everyones Lyme treatment is different based on several factors. Your specific symptoms, other Lyme treatments you've had, and how long you've had Lyme are all factors in determining the best combinations and regimen for you! This is why it's very important to seek professional help in putting your plan together.
Banderol and Samento
Banderol and Samento are very often spoken of together and are probably the most "famous" of the Lyme fighting herbs. This is mostly due to the work of Dr. Eva Sapi and her colleagues who studied these two herbs extensively and published their findings for the world to see! What they found was that these two herbs are very effective in killling the spirochetes in all of their forms. If you wish to read the study just Google "The Townsend Letter and it will come right up.
Banderol: Originates from the bark of the Otoba tree's that are commonly found in Peru and South America. It is an anti-microbial and has been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic effects. It is believed to be effective in erradicating the round cyst forms of Borrelia.
Samento: Also known as "Cats Claw." Originates in the rain forests of South America. Known to have Anti-bacterial abilities and also helps boost the immune system. Samento has anti-inflammatory benefits also which will help with joint pain and other symptoms of Lyme. It is VERY IMPORTANT to use "TAO free Samento." Remember how I said in my introduction that not all herbs are created equal? This is important! TAO free indicates that a necessary alkaloid has been removed from the herb. This particular alkaloid greatly decreases the beneficial effects of Samento so make sure you get the "TAO free" kind from Nutramedix.
Cumanda comes to us from the Amazon basin area and originates from the bark of the Campsiandra tree.
This herb is very effective in killing Borrelia and also treats many of the common co-infections associated with Lyme Disease. It kills bacteria, fungus, viruses, and parasites. It is also an anti-inflammatory and analgesic so it helps with pain and inflammation. Additionally, it also helps rebuild and boost the immune system.
Quina comes to us from the Andes and origniates from a shrub with flowering blooms. This herb is one of a very few that has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. This is important and could be very helpul for those that are experiencing neurological and central nervous system symptoms. It is an antibiotic and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Quina is the ingredient that is used to produce the prescription drug "Quinine", a drug commonly used to treat Malaria.
Enula is a good herb to use if you have tested positive for the popular co-infection Babesia. This extract is derived from the roots of three different plants: Elecampane, Jalapa and Blood Wiss. This herb is effective in killing parasites and many bacteria's. It is also good support for the digestive system which we know is very important to healthy immune function.
This herb is a great consideration for anyone that has the co-infection Bartonella. Native to Southeast Asia, it is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to be effective in killing Bartonella that is attached to , and also inside of the red blood cells. For more information on this you may wish to consider researching the work of Dr. C. Zhang from Harvard University.
We are using the herbs to KILL the bugs... now lets talk DETOX!
Although its GREAT that we have wonderful herbal therapies that are effective in killing the Lyme and associated infectious organisms we have one more VERY IMPORTANT thing that should not be over looked. Detoxification.
As the unwanted organisms die off inside the tissues they release lots of toxins into your body. Often, the "die off" is so big that the body can not process all of these toxins at once. The organs responsible for processing and eliminating this large amount of toxic waste simply need help with the large work load. Your body needs help to Detox.
If toxins build in your body you will feel very BAD! One of the best things that you can do is drink water, and lots of it! Water helps hydrate your kidneys and other tissues, and helps to flush some of the toxins. I can't stress this enough... drink, drink, drink!
Burbur and Parsley
Burbur has been around for a long time and is an amazing herb in the efforts of Detoxification. Originating in Peru, it is known to be an "internal cleanser" and greatly helps detoxify the liver, kidneys, blood, and lymphatic system. Bonus benefits include: anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and MANY other positives! This one is a MUST!
Parsley Extract is also a good detoxifier. In my opinion, the Burbur is better but the Parsley is good also. Some people take them both!
In addition to herbs I have included on this web page, there are others out there that may be beneficial. The ones I included here are the most commonly used ones and have the most research backing their use in the treatment of Lyme Disease and common co-infections.
I have shopped around for the best prices on Nutramedix pharmaceutical grade herbs because they are the best. I buy mine on Amazon and I will include links below so that you can easily purchase them there as well.
I wish you the best of luck with your Lyme Treatment no matter which path you take. If you have found my page helpful or wish to provide any comments or feedback I welcome you to do so below. Also, if you would like to visit my Lyme Blog which has a lot more information about Lyme Disease in general including my personal story please visit www.intothelymelight.org
Good Health To All!