Warm weather is right around the corner, which means it’s high time for tick season. Young deer ticks, the notorious carriers of the spirochete that causes Lyme Disease, are most active from mid-May to mid-August. And since May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, here’s a look at the illness, as well as a variety of natural healing options.
Lyme Disease: An Overview
Caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne illness in North America. Lyme disease is transmitted through an infected deer tick bite; in most cases, the tick must remain attached for 36 hours or more for the disease to transmit. The earliest sign of Lyme disease is often a rash resembling a bull’s-eye, though this only occurs in 60 to 80 percent of all cases. Other symptoms of Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms such as chills and fever, neck stiffness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and headache. If left untreated, severe and systemic symptoms such as numbness in the limbs and severe fatigue can develop.
Although antibiotics are the most common treatment for Lyme disease, they are not entirely effective, and long-term antibiotic use can lead to the development of other issues. Some patients continue to experience Lyme symptoms even after their prescribed antibiotic treatment; others develop issues with their muscular and/or nervous systems, a condition known as post-Lyme disease syndrome (PLDS). Some suffer from cardiac or liver problems.
For those who would prefer not to go the antibiotic route, a number of natural alternatives are available for treating Lyme disease. Through a combination of detoxifying therapies and herbal pharmaceuticals, Lyme disease sufferers can find some relief.
Herbs for Lyme Disease: Herbal Antibiotics
Non-pharmaceutical antibiotics act as a natural treatment for Lyme disease. They are typically less toxic than the pharmaceutical products. Some of the most effective non-pharmaceuticals and regimes include:
- T.O.A. Free Cats Claw (Samento): Tetracyclic oxindole alkaloid-free Cats Claw possesses strong antibiotic properties. In a 10-week study, Lyme disease patients experienced significant improvement in their symptoms after taking T.O.A.-free Cats Claw.
- Natural Biotic Silver: The effectiveness of this non-pharmaceutical antibiotic has been well-researched in treating Lyme disease. Natural silver mineral has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It also assists in the reduction of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, supporting healthy gut function and the effectiveness of any detoxification process.
- Stephen Buhner Lyme protocol: One of the foremost authorities on natural treatments for Lyme disease, Stephen Buhner offers a holistic approach that includes antibacterial herbs and supportive supplements balanced with proper nutrition.
Other antibacterial herbs include:
- Olive leaf extract
- Teasel root extract
- Sarsaparilla officianalis
- Grapefruit seed extract
Heat Therapy/Infrared Sauna Use
Since the Lyme bacterium appears extremely sensitive to heat, many natural practitioners recommend infrared sauna therapy. While heat does not always kill the bacterium, it does help disable it, resulting in decreased symptoms for Lyme sufferers.
Infrared sauna therapy is also a useful tool for detoxing the body. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and sweating through sauna use is one of the effective detox methods. Although we can all benefit from a detoxifying sweat now and then, skin detoxification is especially beneficial to Lyme sufferers, whose livers and kidneys carry a high toxic burden that often accompanies chronic infection.
For more on how sauna use can help treat Lyme disease, we encourage you to check out the post “Far Infrared Therapy Helps Treat Lyme Disease.” For useful tips in helping to prevent tick bites that could lead to Lyme disease, please read “May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Using Infrared Saunas in Your Treatment”.