HEALING Lyme disease WITH MEDICINAL HERBS AND FOODS,
by Stephan Brown, “Village Herbalist”
My "guidance" tonight is the accumulation of information shared by many professional herbalists, most of whom are members of the American Herbalists Guild. I am, myself, an expert of nothing-- except possibly of my own 71 years of experience living on this planet. And I am probably not much of an "expert" of that either !! Like all of us I have had many successes, but they have been balanced by at least an equal number of failures !
Never forget-- WE LEARN FROM OUR FAILURES ! Failure is, in fact, our absolute best teacher, so listen well ! And as some wise person once said-- we were blessed with two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionately !
With that I will begin.
All of us gathered here tonight have been touched by Lyme Disease, just as we have all been touched, in some way and at some time, by cancer. It was cancer that took my own mother at the young age of 63 back in 1981. It was that terrible experience with the Medical/Pharmaceutical Complex that made me step back and say-- "THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WAY". And I found that there IS another way. There IS another medicine. There ARE other doctors. And since I have ALWAYS been a "Plant Person", evolving into a herbalist was a natural. And never forget that most often our 'life experiences' guide us to our eventual careers, or passions. Thus my mother's battle with cancer, and my own battle with Lyme, have led me here to this very spot, and have impelled me to share with you what I have learned.
FIRST-- I am not a scientist, chemist, or medical doctor. I greatly disliked chemistry when I was in college and, in fact, changed my major from Zoology to English when I was faced with required classes in Organic Chemistry, and Comparative Anatomy. I much prefered Shakespeare and poetry. Thus-- I do not understand when one of my colleagues talks about “the cytochrome P450 detoxification pathway”, or such.
I DO understand when they talk about anti-inflamatory, mucilagenous, adaptogenic, cholagogue plant medicines. And I do understand the basic principles of Naturopathic Medicine, most importantly that it takes TWO things to have a disease--
1. a "pernicious, pathogenic influence : hot, cold, dry, damp, wind, or "bugs" ; and
2. the body's IN-ability to deal with, or balance, or quell that harmful influence.
And so it is with Lyme Disease : it is NOT JUST THE BUG !! It is JUST as much the body's INABILITY to deal with the bug. And so, the Medical/Pharmaceutical approach of "kill the bug ! kill the bug !" will NEVER bring about a positive resolution of your "dis-ease", or imbalance. Antibiotics ALONE will NEVER give you a "cure". Because ultimately it is the body itself that does the curing, the rebalancing, the mediating, the resolving. Yes-- antibiotics can HELP the body when it is overpowered, but the antibiotics do not work alone. Never. And the sooner the medical people realize this, the sooner people will restore their health.
Now-- I am not going to bore you silly with statistics about what Lyme Disease is, who gets it more often than others (Asian, White, Black, young, old, etc), or how to try and prevent tick bites-- pretty much what you are brainwashed with so often in the Main Stream Media (MSM) which, as you know, is controlled by people and corporations who have a vested, monetary interest in selling Pharmaceutical drugs and offering very expensive medical services, as well as selling toxic chemicals to spray on bugs or to repell them.
You are here because you HAVE this terrible disease and you want to do something about it !! You want some guidance, and some perspective other than what medical doctors are telling you. You want help when the antibiotics have failed you. You want to make the pain, and the mental derangement, and the disability, and the hopelessness to go away !! NOW. You want your life back-- please !!
Rebecca Snow's 7 points of treatment (Workshop, AHG, Co.,2015)
1 Help client frame Lyme disease and their relationship to Lyme disease :
How is it manifesting for you? What might you learn from this experience?
Relationship to environment/ecosystem? biological terrain; empowerment
2 Support and manage body’s vital force : adaptogens, system-specific herbs, diet/nutrition
exercise; herbs; ‘treat weakened tissue’, even if not apparently involved in Lyme
3. Mitigate the side effects and improve effectiveness of antibiotic treatment
4. Support detoxification : liver, kidneys, bowels, lungs, skin (and mind?)
5. Provide dietary and lifestyle recommendations that facilitate healing and reduce inflammation
6. Reduce or mitigate pathogen’s effect on immune and tissue function
7. Weaken the pathogen, or the “kill the bug” aspect, but with botanicals.
Stephen Buhner’s 7 points of treatment
(from Section “Treatment rationale” p. 209)
(1) Protecting endothelial structures : the single-cell layer that protects blood, lymph vessels, heart.
(2) cytokine remodulators; quelling OVER-aggressive/inappropriate inflammation.
Cytokine remodulators p. 210
the best general cytokine remodulators (among many) to use during Lyme infection are Scutellaria baicalensis and Salvia miltiorrhiza.
Combined tinctures, equal parts, of Salvia miltiorrhiza and Scutellaria baicalensis:
1 tsp 3x daily.
(3) protecting collagenous structures; (collagen- rich tissues are tendon, bone, cornea, arterials walls.)
Restoring collagenous structures p. 210
the bacteria break down collagenous structures for their food. The more they are broken down, the more severe the symptoms become.
TREATMENT: selenium (200mcg daily); bone broth soup; GREAT LAKES COLLAGEN HYDROLYSATE; Kudzu (Pueria lobata)
Vitamin C: 1,000-3,000 mg daily.; Vitamin B, Vitamin E; Zinc: 25-50 mg 1x daily; Hyaluronic acid, Strong infusion of nettle, horsetail, oatstraw; Cod liver oil
(4) immune modulating herbs to restructure the immune response; "little, if any, tissue injury occurs in immunocompetent animals";
Eleuthrococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng), American and Asian ginsengs when more strength is needed; other immune-supporting herbs. Astragalus, Rhodiola, Cat’s Claw, Ashwaganda, Baical skullcap
(5) herbs/supplements to protect and restore damaged physiological structures; damage from abx
(6) herbs/supplements for reducing specific symptoms;
(7) Antispirochetals p. 213; "Andrographis is, in our experience, the most effective one at present"
Richard Mandelbaum, AHG
Emotional / Spiritual aspects of Lyme
Spiritual/emotional aspects of L can be most debilitating of all manifestations
"LD has a direct and peculiar effect on our emotional life and our mental health'
There are patterns that replicate themselves, and they are specific to the disease"
You'll often hear the term "Lyme Despair" , ESPECIALLY when the Medical people deny that it exists (!)
I see very specific emotional / spiritual patterns that are consistent with the physical patterns. It is not a separate issue.
It has been proven beyond doubt that there are microbial infections that affect the mind.
Cognitive dysfunction : lack of focus, poor concentration, memory loss, dementia,
Emotional dysfunction : anxiety, insomnia, depression,
Rosemary : warming, moves energy, moves stagnation, Lyme is a disease of stagnation.
Rosemary moves fluids / phlegm; is DISPERSING to stagnation, ; uplifting without being stimulating; warming
What Richard sees overwhelmingly in his practice is that people with Lyme are "cold" ; need to be tonified, nourished, strengthened, and its a huge mistake when we look at our protocols for Lyme as "kill the bug! kill the bug ! "
If that's all we do, we will debilitate people."
"Kill the bug" approach works in EARLY INFECTION when patient is still strong ; but once it's settled in you need to warm that person without being overly heating; ginger may be too strong, especially dried ginger.
Rosemary is much less likely to exacerbate external signs of heat while also being warming on a deeper level for people who are cold.
Rosemary helps peripheral circulation.
Johann Sauer, Philadelphia , 1700's ; wrote first ‘herbal’ in colonial America; written in German because he was Pennsylvania Dutch; He says of Rosemary—
"Thins thickened blood, open blockages of the brain and other parts of the body, especially small arteries; enlivens the bodily spirits; purifies the blood; and strengthens the memory"
Breaks up that groggy, stagnant state we feel when we just can't focus. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is called, “dampness or phlegm invading or attacking the mind”.
One of the things LD is known to do is increase the inflammatory cytokines;
Cytokine’s have strong inflammatory component that can add to the symptomology of LD, including meninges in CNS; tight, vaso-constrictive headache; Rosemary is good for treating this.
Passion flower (passiflora incarnate) good for calming wind; “LYME IS ALMOST ALWAYS A ‘WIND-DAMP’ PATTERN”.
Get Vit D levels checked; low D is common.
Licorice root has an uplifting, anti-depressive activity; it is a yin tonic, and so nourishes depletion.
Sugar cravings: when people crave sweets, it is because they are profoundly depleted; sweet is the flavor of vitality. Revitalizing, nourishing tonics exist in all cultures of the world. Nourishing tonics are for people who are lost, ungrounded : spleen is the grounding organ; sweet roots are grounding and centering ; dandelion, burdock, sarsaparilla, licorice, astragalus, american and asian ginseng, ashwaganda. BUT, these must be combined with aromatic, dispersing herbs like Basil, Rosemary, Mints— the culinary aromatics !
Give our bodies and minds credit for knowing what we need.
Vervain , unlike Rosemary (which is warm and ascending) is a bitter, cooling herb; descending; must formulate right-- we don’t want to give lots of cold herbs and dry herbs; good for those with heat and liver yang rising;
tense, physical and emotional tension; at back of neck, shoulders-- very common with Lyme, Vervain is good for this. It blends well with kudzu root.
Vervain is good for irritable, anxious, tense, angry person;
liver yang rising= headaches behind eyes, , floaters, eye issues, ; sometimes tinnitis,
Black cohosh is great example of an acrid herb : acrid flavor calms wind; breaks up constrained chi or blood, gets it flowing again; good cardio also; strengthens heart muscle ; helpful in “black cloud depression”; deep. dark places; hormonal modulator;
rheumatic pain; Ellingwood suggested for "fatigue with aching and pain of the muscles”. In Lyme there are migratory symptoms, which means “wind condition”
Black cohosh can reduce pain in the meninges.
Japanese Knotweed is for wind, damp patterns, which is one reason it is so good for Lyme. Highest plant source of resveratrol.
SCULLCAP, cooling, one of our best nourishing, nervine tonics; "its got your back"; for someone who feels alone, unsupported,
cooling to tinnitis ?
LOBELIA, nervous tics, shaking, ; it is grounding ; lobeline is similar to nicotine; calming/grounding like nicotine ; binds to cannabanoid receptors; pungent, acrid herb, works on lungs, "monkey brain wind",
TULSI (Holy Basil) mild adaptogen ; helpful for a lot of people with Lyme; mint family member; warming, dispersive, aromatic, carminative ; has a unique combination of being uplifting and invigorating WITHOUT being stimulating; useful with someone depressed, melancholic, who has trouble concentrating/focusing ; use Tulsi both internally and via aromatherapy.
PORIA cocos (Fu ling) grows in S.E. USA, immune modulating; spleen tonic; supports spleen chi ; improves vitality; DISPERSES DAMPNESS ; also equally used to calm the mind, specifically anxiety, agitation, poor sleep quality
Richard uses this and Reishi a lot.
CALAMUS acorus : for "dampness invading the mind", as well as stomach and G.I.tract; excellent for "that big, hot mushball in the mind or stomach"
Calms wind; convulsions, tremors, tics
DAVID WINSTON, AHG
Alternatives for Treating Persistent Lyme Disease Syndrome (PLDS)
In PLDS many patients are highly resistant to treatment. There are several causes for this. First, the Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) organism can be found in fluids (blood and intercellular fluids), as well as muscle, nerve, and organ tissue. No single antibiotic is effective for treating infections disseminated in both bodily fluids and various tissues. Secondly, Bb is pleomorphic and can exist in at least two and possibly three forms (Miklossy, et al, 2008). The L-form, or spheroplast, has no cell wall and is not susceptible to the same types of antibiotics as is the spirochete. A third possible form, a cyst form, is controversial, but may be able to lay dormant during conventional treatment and they cannot be killed by most antibiotics. Metronidazole and Tinidazole are recommended by Burrascano, 2008.
The following protocol has been used with some success in patients with PLDS that had previously been treated with oral and intravenous antibiotics. Most of these patients were symptom free as long as they continued intravenous antibiotics but for various reasons (especially cost) they were unable to continue with that therapy.
Of the 150+ patients that I have treated using various incarnations of this protocol (several hundred people under the supervision of other clinicians have also been treated with my protocol), approximately 65% are symptom free or have greatly reduced symptoms; 20% showed moderate improvement, and 15% did not respond. A larger, well-designed study is needed to substantiate these clinical findings.
1. Lyme Formula #1 (Spirolyd Compound) – this formula is taken on a daily basis, 3-4 ml TID. Take for 2 weeks before adding in the Spirolyd Support formula.
Sarsaparilla rhizome (Smilax spp.) – is a traditional syphilis treatment which is anti- inflammatory and an alterative.
Guaiac resin (Guaiacum officinale) – is a traditional syphilis treatment which is anti- inflammatory and antibacterial.
Stillingia root (Stillingia sylvatica) – is a traditional syphilis treatment, it clears blood heat and is an alterative.
Andrographis herb (Andrographis paniculata) – clears blood heat (infections), it is also antiamoebic, antibacterial and hepatoprotective.
Prickly Ash bark (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) – has antibacterial and antiviral activity, relieves bone and arthralgia pain and enhances circulation and absorption.
In patients with gastritis or gastric ulcers take with food to prevent further GI irritation.
2. Lyme Formula #2 (Spirolyd Support) is taken concurrently with Formula #1 for 2 weeks, then discontinued for 4 weeks, then reintroduced for 2 weeks; this pattern should be continued throughout treatment.
Houttuynia herb (Houttuynia cordata) – clears blood heat (infections), it is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal.
Teasel root (Dipsacus spp.) – is anti-inflammatory and helps relieve Lyme arthralgia.
Boneset herb (Eupatorium perfoliatum) – is a diaphoretic, antibacterial and immuno-stimulant, it relieves bone and muscle pain.
Isatis root (Isatis indigotica) – is antibacterial and antiviral, it clears blood heat (infections). Lomatium root (Lomatium dissectum) – is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal.
ROTATION OF FORMULAS !!
The rationale for this second formula is that the Borrelia spirochete can become resistant to treatment if the same antibiotic or herb is used. The addition of the second formula is designed to prevent resistance, which supposedly with herbs should not occur, but clinically seems to happen in some cases.
The herbs alone are not effective (except for canines)
3. Heat therapy – with daily elevation of core body temperature to 101.5 - 102° once per day for 15 minutes, inhibits Borrelia reproduction and enhances effectiveness of the herbal or antibiotic treatment (Reisenger, 1996). Take care to hydrate the patient and replace lost minerals especially calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Saunas, hot tubs, and steam baths are probably the most effective methods for elevating body temperature. If not available, hot baths combined with taking a diaphoretic tea (Yarrow, Elder Flower, Ginger) can be substituted.
Fever therapy alone is not effective
These therapies together show greater activity than either one alone. Combining the use of the herbs and elevation of body temperature with antibiotic therapy results in improved outcomes over antibiotics alone or the alternative therapy by itself.
TWO MEDICAL DOCTORS’ PERSPECTIVES
FROM Yahoo 6 12 15
A physician’s perspective on Lyme treatment
As an infectious disease physician, understand that I see the complications of every type of procedure and illness. This alters your perspective.
When patients ask me for prolonged treatments for confirmed Lyme, I have not done so for a couple of reasons. First, we need concrete evidence that longer courses are better. Second, patients are usually unaware of the significant risks of antibiotics, especially if courses are prolonged. These include blood clots or infections from the PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) that is inserted for drug administration, or the blood stream infections that are life-threatening complications. There can be bone marrow suppression, liver or kidney damage from the prolonged antibiotics, and a risk of C. difficile colitis. Broad-spectrum antibiotics also increase your risk of picking up a superbug like CRE (carbapenem resistant Enterobacter).
from Cape Cod Times 7 13 16 By Barry Stringfellow Dr. Nevena Zubcevik described her findings on Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment, and its effect on the brain, to Martha's Vineyard Hospital physicians and members of the public last week. — Barry Stringfellow
This past Friday, Dr. Nevena Zubcevik, attending physician at Harvard Medical School and co-director of Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown (SRH) traveled to one of the nation’s front lines in the public health battle against Lyme disease to speak to a group of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital physicians
She also said the two-day course of doxycycline, often prescribed for people who find a tick embedded on their body, has little or no prophylactic value. “It should be 100 to 200 milligrams of doxycycline twice a day for 20 days, regardless of the time of engorgement,” she said. “It is not a two-day thing.”
Dr. Zubcevik said doxycycline stops the bacteria from replicating, but it doesn’t kill them. The rest is up to the body’s immune system, which is the reason some people suffer for so long.
For me there’s no controversy. We have to innovate, we have to find solutions. [SRH] has connected with top scientists from all around the country. Studies show that after treatment in mice, dogs, and monkeys, Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria are still there. This has also been shown in human tests.”
Buhner’s answers to the most commonly asked questions:
(1) yes, take all of these; (2) yes, you can combine them; (3) alter the protocol as you find necessary; (4) the dosages are just guidelines, alter as needed; (5) no, you don't have to pulse; (6) use the extended protocol/repertory to modulate the protocol for your particular symptom picture; (7) yes, it works.
P. 211 “Keeping immune function vital is essential if you live in Lyme endemic areas”
Lyme Formula Information Sheets
Please read this document to better understand your S.B.Brown protocol for Lyme Disease and its co-infections. I recommend that you read the very informative and very well researched book by Stephen Harrod Buhner : "Healing Lyme" . The original edition, which I call the "1st ed.", was written in 2005. The new "updated and expanded" edition (2nd ed.), which we sell at the shop and online, was written recently.
DISCLAIMER : This document is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, or give medical advice for any medical condition. Medical Doctors are "authorized", and licensed, to do that. This document is providing you with information from which you may make your own, free-will health care choices.
ABOUT THE S.B.BROWN LYME FORMULAS
These formulas were created over six years ago starting with "Lyme 1" and "Lyme 2". They were based upon the Stephen Buhner Core Protocol described in his first book "Healing Lyme". At that time Stephen suggested that Astragalus membranaceus might be contraindicated for treatment later than two weeks after a KNOWN infection. Thus I suggested that this formula be used primarily as a PREVENTATIVE treatment, or for treatment within 2 weeks of a known time of infection. More recently some professional herbalists have used Astragalus during the later stages of Lyme and have reported no negative effects. And this brings up a fact that we must all acknowledge--
"ALL TREATMENTS FOR LYME DISEASE ARE EXPERIMENTAL" ! ALL.
We all "do the best we can with what we have" (one of my favorite sayings to live by…), and new information and feedback accumulates daily. So it is VERY important-- and I have asked all of my clients to participate-- that you keep a daily diary of changes, good OR bad, that you experience, and send your diary to me so that we can continue to improve treatment outcomes for all of those who suffer from this "pandemic of pain and confusion".
ROTATION and CUSTOM FORMULATING
An important precept, subscribed to by many medical herbalists, is that 'changing, or rotating, formulas is more effective than using the same formula over and over.' Theoretically this keeps the target (cancer, virus, bacteria..) off-guard and keeps our body and immune system more alert and effective.
Thus, I suggest rotating these formulas on a two to four week basis. After one rotation, assess your condition and look at which of Lyme's myriad manifestations are the most challenging for you : is it "brain fog", joint pain, fatigue, heart issues, headaches, nerve issues ???
At this point we are hoping that the body has grown stronger, the disease become weaker, and we can have better success in targeting your symptoms and co-infections with specific herbs added to your formula.
STEPHEN BUHNER CORE PROTOCOL
Perhaps the most-used plants for treating Lyme Disease in this country are those of the Buhner Core Protocol :
Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidata),
Cats Claw (Uncaria tomentosa), and
The S.B.Brown Lyme formulas
This is the exact same formula as Lyme 2 below, but with the addition of Astragalus membranaceus. I now suggest that it be used as a PREVENTATIVE for Lyme infection, and not for treatment of chronic disease, or, as some call it, "post Lyme syndrome".
After much research, speaking with other herbalists from around the country, attending many many lectures given by the country's best professional herbalists, and from my own 27 years of using and teaching about plant medicines, I have added the following herbs to the Buhner Core Protocol herbs above : Prickly Ash bark (Xanthoxylum clava-hercules), Red Root (Ceanothus americanum), and "Siberian ginseng" root (Eleuthrococcus senticosus). So far, from feedback I have received, I consider this to be the strongest initial punch.
This formula is compounded with more of the traditional Lyme herbs : Sarsaparilla, Teasel, Boneset ; plus Chinese scullcap ("Scute" in Traditional Chinese Medicine jargon), Tickweed (Bidens), and two herbs that are specific for the "brain fog" aspect-- Ginkgo and Gotu kola.
Red root Sage (Salvia miltiorhizza) or "Dan Shen" in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) ; Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva ursi), Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis), Black Cohosh (Actea racemosa), Rosemary, Tulsi or "Holy Basil" (Ocimum sanctum), Barberry ( Berberis vulgaris).
LYME 2 herb information
From Stephen's book (1st ed.) I excerpt the following :
"The three main herbs in the Core Protocol…will significantly lower or eliminate spirochete loads in the body (including the central nervous system and brain), raise immune function in ways that will specifically empower the body to respond to borrelia infection, and significantly alleviate the primary symptoms of Lyme Disease-- brain fog and confusion, lethargy, arthritic inflammation, heart problems, and skin involvement." (pg.76, 1st ed)
And now, here is a brief description of these herbs in relation to Lyme Disease :
"FUNCTIONS IN LYME DISEASE (pages 105 through 107, 1st ed) :
A broadly systemic plant, Japanese knotweed enhances and modulates immune function, is active against a number of bacteria…, is anti-inflammatory for both bacterial and arthritic inflammations, protects the body against endotoxin damage, helps reduce Herxheimer reactions, and is a cardio-protector.
Polygonum cuspidatum's constituents cross the blood-brain barrier where they exert actions on the central nervous system: anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, as protectants against oxidative and microbial damage, and as calming agents. The herb specifically protects the brain from inflammatory damage, microbial endotoxins, and bacterial infections.
Knotweed enhances blood flow, especially to the eye, heart, skin, and joints. This makes it especially useful in Lyme as it facilitates blood flow to the areas that are difficult to reach to kill the spirochetes."
REMEMBER THIS ! "it facilitates blood flow to the areas that are difficult to reach to kill the spirochetes."
Cats Claw :
This bark of a South American vine is getting more "press", or media time, than other of the Core Protocol herbs. That does not mean that it is the superior plant medicine. But it is an important part of the synergy of the protocol.
"Actions in Lyme Disease" (pg. 90, 1st ed) : Immune potentiator. Immune stimulant. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic (Ed: That means PAIN RELIEF, folks!). For central nervous system enhancement, cognitive impairments. Specific for arthritis and muscle pain in Lyme Disease. As a general tonic for enhancing overall system health and sense of well-being." And he goes on… So-- READ THE BOOK !!
Andrographis paniculata :
This is one bodaciously BITTER buckaroo, Betsy!! But bitter is what spirochetes and parasites fear more than Kryptonite!! These Super Bugs start corkscrewing backwards at the mere thought of this extreme bitterness. Punish the wretches!! Blast 'em with Bitter ! Herbalists have always said that "bitter is better". Plants and foods that are bitter build your immunity, enhance your digestion, help you to lose weight rationally (!), and build your resistance to poisons.
Stephen Buhner, page 78 (1st ed): "Andrographis is perhaps the best primary herb to use in the treatment of Lyme Disease. It is anti-spirochetal, enhances immune function, protects heart muscle, is anti-inflammatory (helping with arthritic symptoms), crosses the blood/brain barrier where it is active both as an anti-spirochetal and calming agent; enhances liver function and protects the liver; helping clear infection from the body."
Because Andrographis has shown significant protective effects against inflammation-mediated neuro-degeneration in the brain, it is essential to use in Lyme Disease. It easily crosses the blood/brain barrier and accumulates in significant quantities in central nervous system tissues-- brain, spinal chord, and cerebral-spinal fluid.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BITTER : From AHG (American Herbalists Guild) professional herbalist Guido Mase's excellent new book "The Wild Medicine Solution":
"In the developed world we have decided that our diet should be free of uncomfortable foods-- foods that are wild, bitter, fibrous, weedy, or otherwise challenging . (p. 135)
We know that the problem (of too much sugar and "sweet") exists. Our guts are weaker and more hypersensitive; our carbohydrate intake has contributed to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardio-vascular disease; and our environment is being saturated with poisons whose effects we can't escape." (Guido Mase, p.142)
Bitter herbs stimulate a good liver and digestive function, and to actually EXPERIENCE this bitter taste, instead of masking it with something sweet, is to amplify the medicinal effect. When we improve liver function, we improve detoxification, and that means the detoxification of what those nasty spirochetes leave in our bodies !
And, according to Guido, an added benefit to so many overweight people in our present world, is that bitter also helps us to lose weight when taken regularly before meals.
(NOTE: see the new info on biofilms, as being at least partially responsible for over-formation of fat, in notes below from Paul Bergner )
THUS-- Andrographis, being a very bitter medicinal plant, will give greater benefit if taken as a "digestive" twenty minutes before meals.
Prickly ash bark:
Similar to the "deep-seeking" power of Japanese knotweed, I still remember listening to highly-skilled and well-known American herbalist friend speak of Prickly ash (PA) as a "deep driver". She was studying herbal medicine in London, and because the climate there is so damp, dank and outright miserable in the late fall, winter, and early spring, she would often suggest PA to help with persistent arthritic pain by driving--and "conducting"-- anti-arthritic herbs deep into the muscles and joints. For these reasons-- 1. it's "warming" characteristic, or "energetic", 2. it's ability to drive deeply into the tissues, 3. it's consequent pain-relieving ability-- I decided that it would be a 'most-excellent' addition to the "S.B.Brown Lyme 2 Formula".
Red Root :
"It is an important herb in that it helps facilitate clearing of dead cellular tissue from the lymph system. When the immune system is responding to acute conditions or the onset of disease, as white blood cells kill disease pathogens they are taken to the lymph system for disposal. When the lymph system can clear out dead cellular material rapidly, the healing process is increased, sometimes dramatically. The herb shows especially strong action wherever any portion of the lymph system is swollen, infected, or inflamed. This includes lymph nodes, tonsils, (entire back of throat), spleen, appendix, and liver. There is some evidence that Red Root's activity in the lymph nodes also enhances the lymph nodes' production of lymphocytes, especially the formation of T (killer) cells. It is especially effective in reducing inflammations in the spleen and liver from such things as excessive bacterial garbage (dead spirochetes!!), white blood cell detritus in the lymph, and red blood cell fragments in the blood in diseases like babesiosis. " (Buhner, p. 185, 1st ed))
"Tonics come to us, unadulterated, from the ecosystem. They are used in conditions of weakness, deficient energy and immunity, dementia and exhaustion, as much as conditions of cancer, inflammatory heart disease, allergies, and asthma…. Their effectiveness against modern, chronic diseases is beyond dispute, especially when treatment is started early on. It is even possible that the chronic diseases are more widespread than they should be, because of an absence of these vital plants." (Guido Mase )
Lyme 4 Information
My most recent formulation, and the result of the latest information, mostly received from my professional colleagues at the American Herbalists Guild, concerning :
BIOFILMS ; "Lyme Despair" ; TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Lyme ; Lyme as a "possession" (very interesting…) ; Effexor pumps ; "quorum sensing", and many other fascinating aspects of treating the disease that is taking over the country.
Lyme 4 is also a broad spectrum formula aimed at weakening the biofilms while still maintaining immune-enhancing, inflammation-reducing, and pain-relieving properties.
INGREDIENT HERBS :
Holy Basil, or Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) : There are many reasons for the inclusion of Tulsi in this newest formula, but the chief are its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and adaptogenic properties. Quelling the cytokine cascade is important ; easing (or "adapting to" ) stress is important ; and disarming free radical oxygen is important. Tulsi is an aromatic and "dispersing" medicine. Tulsi has been used for milenia for meditation and mental clarity-- a huge issue in Lyme Disease. And Tulsi is just plain YUMMY !!
RED-ROOTED SAGE (Salvia miltiorhiza ) or "Dan Shen" in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) : Most excellent for "moving the blood" ; preventing blood clots, stroke, heart problems, as well as cholesterol problems. Neuro-protection through its anti-oxidant effects ; and, like other herbs in this formula, it is an excellent anti-inflammatory.
BEARBERRY ROOT ( Arctostaphylos uva ursi ) : This is one of our own native Cape Cod low-growing vines. It may well help to weaken bad "bio films" that protect the Lyme spirochetes and co-infection bacteria from BOTH pharmaceutical anti-biotics AND the body's OWN immune system ! Highly respected herbalist Paul Bergner gave a presentation on bio-films at the American Herbalists Guild conference recently, and cited some of the very latest research results on this highly relevant aspect of Lyme.
BARBERRY ROOT (Berberis vulgaris) is one of the four important "berberine" containing plants that are so effective in dealing with digestive issues, inflammations, and infections. Barberry-- perhaps most importantly-- seems to be effective in weakening bad bio-films, which are the bane of both anti-biotics and the body's immune system.
ROSEMARY !! Yup, our dear, beloved culinary herb is absolutely fabulous for helping to mend mind and memory damage caused by Lyme. Like Tulsi, it is an "aromatic and dispersing" herb that keeps the body's vital essences, fluids, energies MOVING !! Never forget-- "Stagnation is death". And aromatic plants keep everything flowing and vital and ALIVE !
BLACK COHOSH (Actea racemosa) : I LOVE this herb. It loves my gardens. It is a close friend to me, and to those who need its pain- and sadness-relieving properties.
I am learning more and more about plants AND supplements used to treat Lyme, biofilms, and infections in general, and I will expound upon a few in the following pages. Hope all of this helps you to get back on your feet, and to "get your life back" !!
"HERBALISTS TREAT PEOPLE, NOT DISEASES"
This has (basically) been the reason for the divergence of paths between Naturopathic practitioners (herbalists, acupuncturists, homeopaths, nutritionists, etc) who treat people; and Medical Doctors (MD's). who treat diseases. Therefore do KNOW that this Protocol is imperfect : it is what is called "poly-pharmacy" or the "shotgun approach" to dealing with a health issue. Ideally, each individual person should be treated with a protocol that is attuned to their UNIQUE constitution, their unique co-infections, their unique symptoms/manifestations of ill-health.
This Protocol is intended to slow or stop the severe "cytokine cascade" that makes Lyme so devastating to so many people. It is intended to BEGIN taking control of the situation, so that a subsequent, personally-formulated program can then be undertaken to produce further, positive results.
I NEVER USE THE WORD "CURE", either in my practice, or in my Herbal Apothecary. It is a dangerous concept, and not a part of Nature or natural cycles! Health is a PROCESS, and has no beginning and ending points. We ALL have cancer cells in our bodies at all times, yet we are not all dying of cancer. Our body's OWN resources keep the cancer controlled, and allow us to lead a normal, productive life. (It is, in my personal opinion, foolish to consider "finding a cure for cancer" via some "magic bullet". But it makes certain people a LOT of money to convince you that it can be done…). It is perhaps also true that we may never rid our body of spirochetes completely. The goal of Naturopathic Practitioners is to help the body itself to bring about the healing, and a "normal, productive life". Ultimately we want to make our bodies INHOSPITABLE to cancer, harmful virus, bacteria, spirochete, or other "pathogens" ( in TCM that means hot, cold, dry, damp, and "wind").
Medicine, both plant and chemical, should not be JUST about killing pathogens (we are talking "antibiotics" here ), but about making the body into a place where they do NOT want to live. This is where pharmaceuticals fail, and plant medicines/foods truly shine.
As with many strong herbs, it is best to begin with a small amount (1/2 tsp. 1 or 2 times for 2 days) and build to a larger amount (increase by 1/2 tsp. each day until you get to 1 tsp. 2 or 3 times per day). In this way we are able to monitor any adverse events at the very first sign. When you begin to kill spirochetes, their dead bodies and toxins therein, are poisoning your blood. This is called the Herxheimer Response, and it generally means that the medicine is doing exactly what it is supposed to do-- kill or weaken pathogens and get them out of the body! But those toxins in the blood can make you feel worse until they are eliminated. This may take days, weeks, or months, depending on the person and the degree of "die off".
IF you begin to "Herx", then simply stop the formula, or reduce substantially, UNTIL YOU ARE NORMALIZED. Then begin again to take the formula, increasing slightly each day until you reach your optimal amount.
The Lyme Protocol should be used aggressively for a MINIMUM of two months, but very possibly-- depending on the severity and tenacity of your infection-- for many months. I was bitten over 7 years ago, and I continue to stay "tuned up" (or "toned up") by taking moderate doses several times each week. (Truth is, it is almost daily ! ) As well as an effective agent in World War Lyme, it is also an exceptional daily tonic and digestive bitter, helping our immunity, digestion, de-toxificalion, weight loss, blood-sugar control, and reduction of inflammation.
VITAMIN C is ESSENTIAL for collagen support, and to enhance antibiotic therapy (Remember the 4-part protocol ?!? )
From page 138, 139, 1st ed : "Lyme spirochetes cause a great deal of destruction to collagenous tissues throughout the body. The Core Protocol will help with this, but if you are suffering …collagen breakdown from Lyme, Vitamin C is essential to support the body's creation of new collagen tissues."
Take Vitamin C "to bowel tolerance" (and if you don't know that term, find explanation on the internet). Powdered Vitamin C is far easier to take than tablets ! Dissolve it in 100% Pomegranate juice, add your Lyme formula tincture and-- DOWN THE HATCH !! But the easiest, and perhaps most effective form, is the "Liposomal Vit. C" in liquid form. It is very concentrated and thus much easier and speedier to take. Punish those little gnarlies !!
A DETOX PROGRAM IS ESSENTIAL
Eat very well-- buy "ORGANIC" (or at least "Cultivated Without Chemicals") ; gluten-free ; non-GMO ; check for preservatives, dyes/colorings, additives; eat lots of fruits and veggies ; fermented foods are EXCELLENT for your gut health.
Detox herbs are Dandelion, Burdock, Sarsaparilla, Nettle, and the "berberines" : Goldenseal, Oregon grape, Barberry roots.
Sweating is VERY effective for detox, and for Lyme Disease : sauna, hot tub, epsom salt baths, lots of Ginger tea !!
TWO DAY JUICE FAST is very good therapy ! Beet, carrot, onion, apple, fresh ginger root, celery, and broccoli stalks is my favorite combo.
MITIGATE THE DAMAGE DONE BY ANTIBIOTICS
Again, this means attending to the healing of the gut, and the re-establishment of a healthy, balanced gut micro-biome : Pre- and Pro- biotics, fermented foods, unsweetened, organic yoghurt, organic foods.
BIOFILMS and "round forms" !
The very latest information on how to successfully treat Lyme Disease has to do with biofilms. This new information also reveals how antibiotics can cause much harm to the body when taken for long periods.
To wit :
Biofilms are a conglomeration, a gooey mass, of multiple micro-organisms-- bacteria, viruses, fungii-- that each offer the new 'biofilm community' a tool, or specific ability, that will help the group to survive. The members that occupy the outside of the biofilm mass are AEROBIC (requiring oxygen to survive), while the interior members are ANAEROBIC in function (survive with no-oxygen ). When the body first responds to infection it attacks the biofilm's aerobic OUTER defense layer with an anti-oxidant action. "Aha ! we got 'em !!" you say. NOT !! Because now the INNER ANAEROBIC cells become dominant and the biofilm is saved from destruction.
From Stephen's second book,Healing Lyme Disease Coinfections: Complementary and Holistic Treatments for Bartonella and Mycoplasma, p. 3
"… in many instances, these kinds of multiple infections show a remarkable synergy during the disease process. In other words, the bacteria work together to reduce the effectiveness of the immune response and thus enable long-term infection. (NOTE: this is an early description of BIOFILMS )
In practical terms what all this means is that a great many more diseases are emerging out of the ecological matrix of the planet, and they are infecting human beings. And many of them possess, or soon acquire, resistance to many or most of the antibiotics that people use to treat bacterial diseases. And what they do together in the body is a great deal more complex than what any one of them does alone. All this can make them very difficult to treat.
One of the most important understandings now facing us is accepting the limits of pharmaceuticals in the treatment of many of these diseases. While antibiotics do still have a role, sometimes a very important one, they can no longer be relied on to provide the sole response to these kinds of diseases. We have to approach treatment with a more sophisticated eye.
ANTIBIOTICS CAN NOT KILL LYME BIOFILMS !!
Shall I repeat that ?!? "Antibiotics can NOT kill the bacterial co-infection agents." "Antibiotics can NOT kill the bacterial co-infection agents." Did you get that ? Good.
BECAUSE-- as soon as a Lyme bacteria senses the presence of an antibiotic, it immediately recoils into an "encysted" or "round form" that is immune to attack from antibiotics.
WHY ANTIBIOTICS DON'T WORK AFTER INITIAL TREATMENT
The OLD principle of fighting bacterial infection was that a single type of bacteria (or "planktonic form") was identified and a single antibiotic used to kill it. This worked 'wond'rous well' until BIOFILMS came along and created a defense that antibiotics (ABX) could not touch. Now we are faced with a biofilm made up of MULTIPLE weapons fighting for survival ! Our "old fashioned medicines" (ABX) are no longer effective. This is a New World ! and the Old World methods simply DO NOT WORK for chronic Lyme.
DISSOLVE, or weaken, THE BIOFILM
Plants can do this. Shall I repeat again ? "Plants can weaken biofilms." "Plants can weaken biofilms." "Plants can weaken biofilms." Did you get that one ?? (Sorry for being pushy, but this it WAaaayyyyy important !! ) And the plants are very common and easy to find and use for your treatment protocol :
Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis); Bearberry, or Uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi); GARLIC ! ; Echinacea species; and did I say G A R L I C ?!?
When the biofilm is dissolved, the specialized defense members of the bacterial community can no longer support one another and they are now vulnerable to attack by plant constituents / plant medicines : Japanese knotweed, Cat's Claw, Andrographis, Berberine-containing plants, etc etc…
Proteolytic enzymes reduce inflammation and weaken biofilms ! ; they also increase blood flow along with garlic and dan shen (Salvia miltioriza) :
WHY ARE ANITBIOTICS HARMFUL ?
So many reasons…
1. They tear up the gut : stomach, intestines, colon ; cause S.I.B.O (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), and C Diff. (Colostrum difficile)
2. they stress the liver, our primary organ of detoxification ;
3. they disrupt the micro-environments of EVERY niche, every system, every organ in the entire body ! And this may take YEARS to correct. Years. This is the tragedy of the "Old Medicine" paradigm. It is as out-dated as Medical Doctors giving MERCURY to patients in times past…!
4. "ABX will eventually debilitate the person and the body's systems. And-- CORTICOSTEROIDS WORSEN LYME" (Richard Mandelbaum, AHG Conference, 2015)
5. cause chronic fatigue
Remember this : ANTIBIOTICS ARE ACUTE MEDICINE. PLANTS ARE CHRONIC MEDICINE.
ABX kill. Plants build.
Yes, ABX are amazing EMERGENCY medicine-- WHEN they work. My asthma inhaler gives me amazing instant relief at the rare times when I am in a "healing crisis". It is EMERGENCY medicine. But emergency medicine does not heal !! Plants and foods heal. Many years ago one of my mentors said to the class-- " Name me a pharmaceutical medicine that NOURISHES and BUILDS the body". All in the room were silent. Nuff said.
FAST FOR 2 DAYS and change your micro-biome; "our gut flora is telling us what to eat", so if we change our gut, we can change our food choices ! (R.Snow)
I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS :
"To successfully treat Lyme infections, these simultaneous approaches are necessary:
1. killing or weakening the spirochete, bacteria, biofilm;
2. immune modulation and support;
3. collagenous tissue support;
4. repair of damage from both the disease itself, and from Antibiotic use !
5. symptomatic help.
This kind of multi-pronged approach to disease treatment is not unusual , but it becomes more complex and needs to be more sophisticated with Lyme than with most other conditions.
The treatment of lyme infection by technological medicine (ie- antibiotics !) is primarily limited to killing spirochetes. This is a common limitation of western medicine. … Subtle understanding of the complexity of physiological interactions, and knowledge of how to enhance the responses of the body to disease, are undeveloped (in the "medical/pharmaceutical approach to disease).
(Western medical approaches) are just not sophisticated enough to deal with the complexity of human beings as unique ecological expressions interacting with ever-more complex ecological environments. " (Buhner quote with MY comments in parenthesis).
It is in these more complex areas that herbal approaches to Lyme infection really shine-- that is, immune modulation and support, collagenous tissue support, and symptomatic help. " (pg.69 and 70, 1st ed)
IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO GO BEYOND ANTIBIOTICS !! ANTIBIOTICS ARE NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT ENOUGH TO QUELL LYME DISEASE (and many others ! ).
Remember this always. Never say "I am cured", either with Lyme or with Cancer or with any of the long-term chronic diseases of today. I personally believe that Lyme and Cancer must be treated--in varying degrees of aggressiveness-- for life. Far too many times a cancer or tumor is in dramatic remission, only to come back "with a vengeance" and destroy the patient-- because (s)he did not follow through with daily herbal medicines and a healing diet. (I know, because I watched my own mother go through this horror 30-plus years ago. That horrible experience is why I am here and doing this today.) DON'T STOP FIGHTING ! And do not put your trust in Big Pharma drugs unless you have done some research yourself. It does not always have to be dramatic or time-consuming, or difficult… but take care of yourself DAILY. Please. And "thank you". You can do it.
FINAL NOTE FROM STEPHAN
I HOPE that this plethora of information, and the perspectives of many professional herbalists, will help you to make wise and informed choices in treating your Lyme disease. Again (and again and again…)— “ANTIBIOTICS ARE NOT ENOUGH” !! Lyme disease CAN be successfully treated with botanical medicines and a very good diet. But it will take a real commitment by you to bring about your recovery. We herbalists are here to help. “Herbs are the Peoples’ medicine” !!
As always--Help one another. Recycle/reuse/rebuild. Be conscious. Eat well. Know who your plant friends are--get to know them. Love health and one another--
Great Cape Herbs, Brewster, Ma.
508 896 5900. firstname.lastname@example.org