So You Have Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a very serious disease, or complex of diseases caused by the bite of the pinpoint-sized deer tick as well as some larger ticks. The tick carries several diseases including a spirochete bacteria similar to that of syphilis in its abdomen, so if a tick is found, get the body off before it is engorged and has time to transmit the bacteria. Apply wet clay or a spit poultice of plantain leaves. Make certain that the tick head is removed.  Transmission usually occurs in 24 hours so if you are in an area where Lyme is known to occur, shower well and inspect yourself.

If Lyme disease is suspected it can often be readily treated with antibiotics. However if left untreated it can be life destroying, with anorexia, heart palpitations, meningitis like symptoms, neurological headaches, neurological destruction of the limbs, mental confusion, and pain.

Lyme disease requires two to three months of antibiotics if caught at the beginning, and at least six or nine if caught later, with some cases not responsive at all.  Bartonella probably needs four months Combination antibiotics are also useful because you are dealing with several coinfections.

Do not try to avoid antibiotics, even if you usually reserve them for life saving situations. The downside of untreated Lyme disease is so severe that this is one of the few conditions for which I personally will consider antibiotics. Relapses usually occur when not caught immediately. The herbal protocol will help make the antibiotic treatment more effective by engaging the body’s own immune response and providing a wider spectrum of antibacterial actions.  And herbs can often interfere with bacterial efflux pumps which allow them to become antibiotic resistant.

Because spirochetes are good at hiding and protecting themselves in the body, you need to keep killing them until they are all gone. I treat Lyme disease herbally for at least 9 months.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis can be made by the characteristic “bulls eye” rash which is present in many, but not all cases, your exposure risk, and results of the Lyme disease test, preferably before symptoms appear. Make sure when they are testing for for the Lyme disease that they use the Western Blot as well as the ELISA test. Most doctors will only do the ELISA test, and this will most likely be negative unless it’s between weeks 2-6 after infection. The ELISA test has both false positives and false negatives.

Not all components of Lyme Disease Complex show up on testing and ticks are reservoirs of diseases.  For example we have only tests for only a couple of types of Bartonella, and no tests for any number of other organisms transmitted by the tick bite.  There are limited tests for Babesia and Ehrlichiosis types as well. For this reason it is useful to engage in a combination treatment.

First Steps

  • Get your antibiotic treatment as soon as possible because sometimes antibiotics alone can kill off the spirochete before the disease becomes entrenched.  Use herbs for other cofactors

  • Get access to a hot tub, sauna or steam room for 2-4 weeks. You will need to raise your body core temperature for 20 minutes twice a day. Drink your tea while you are raising your body temperature.

  • Get your herbal protocol in several forms so that you will have no excuse for skipping it. Partial measures do not work! Decocted (simmered) teas tend to be most effective because they have large doses and are tasted. However tincture bottles can fit in a pocket or purse and are also tasted. Capsules are the least effective way of taking herbs, but may be necessary for the more toxic or bad-tasting herbs.

  • Get good quality probiotics for your intestinal flora to counteract the effects of antibiotics. Good brands include Pharmax, Floradix, Threelac, DDS, Neoflora and other brands kept refrigerated in the health food store. Use them rapidly, as they die off in the jar, but vary brands. To feed them get a version with with FOS or regularly eat Jerusalem artichokes or dandelion root for the inulin. You need more than just acidophilus. Make liberal use of live probiotic foods like yogurt, miso, blue cheese, natto, sauerkraut, olives (not canned!), kefir, pickles, and non-yeast fermentable foods.

  • Eat 2 cloves of garlic a day. Mince the clove up, while holding it in the shape of the clove, coat with honey and swallow with the spoon upside down. Or use in cooking, but raw garlic is stronger than cooked.

  • Consume 2 sliced roots of astragalus cooked into food (soup, rice, tea water) for 45-60 minutes 4x/week and 2 oz. fresh or 4-6 oz. dried basil per week. Also liberally eat shitaki soup, cayenne, turmeric, chamomile and hawthorn berries. And eat a diet with vitamin rich, whole-food organic foods. Cook with coconut oil to shed viruses, and use olive oil and fish oil over salads and cooked foods. Take a tablespoon daily of Chayawanprash.

  • Regular essential oil raindrops treatments will help attack spirochetes hiding in the basal root ganglia along your spine. You absorb these concentrated oils through your skin and they get into the bloodstream close to the organisms.

  • Remember the basics: sleep enough, eat well, meditate and exercise. Put your treatment first.

Your Formula

Your formula will vary from visit to visit because the balance of diseases can adapt or vary. For this reason I do formula rotation, with additions for the symptoms you are feeling at any given time. Keep me aware of all of your symptoms so that I can address them in the formula. For instance I use antimicrobial herbs, different types of immune system herbs designed NOT to tonify the pathogen, liver and blood cleansers, and herbs to treat such different symptoms as fatigue, skin rash, light sensitivity, joint disease, kidney function, alternating chills and fever or constipation. Your symptoms will change, so should your formula.

Make sure you keep me informed as to any use of supplements, medicines, or alternative measures you are taking so that I can adjust the treatment as needed. It is essential to treat this consistently or you may be treating it for life.

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