I am trying to follow the Lyme protocol in Buhner's second edition book, I did it for a while last year and overall think that it is very helpful and worthwhile. After so many years, I have hope that I can get more relief. The reason I didnt continue was mostly do to logistics and how hard it is to keep on it ! The organization, time, measuring, etc....
It is very complicated to do so many herbs at a time ! The cheapest way is to buy the powdered, dried herbs, for all that can possibly be taken this way, but then of course, the mixture is pretty awful to drink ! I recently bought the core ones in tincture form, to make it easier to take when I am out or too busy. This is very expensive, and I worry about that much alcohol, although it doesnt seem to be making me drunk when I have done it ( I generally have a very low alcohol tolerance with the lyme. The amount is equivalent to about ( 4 teaspoons) 1/2 shot 3x a day, at the present low dose, but as I ramp up a few of them it would be 5 teaspoons each time. So the first question is, should I be trying to put this into my hot tea to evaporate some of the alcohol ? Would that even help ? If I did all of them, that I can, homemade tinctures, it seems that would still be expensive due to buying all that vodka, and still needing to buy the herbs, so I likely will keep tinctures for when I am out or running late. Do you think I should get a jig to encapsulate the powders, although that is also ALOT of capsules to swallow or are there tips for dealing with so much dry powder ?
Of course, some things right now are tinctures anyway as the powders do not exist, so I take Glycyrrhiza in tincture form, but that is hard to find, and the only inexpensive one is a glycerine tincture. I saw that a previous bottle of it seemed like there was a white powder coating the inside of the bottle. The one I have now does not have this. I am thinking this was an old bottle and not good ? So, I think this is not a good source. Maybe I should tincture this one at home ?
Does your book address how to make some of these types of medicines at home ? Not the protocol, I mean the nuts and bolts of how to make a good medicine, like the tinctures ? Any hints on how to integrate and logistics when needing to do so much herbs ?
So, the issues are : The need for having a quality herbal product for the healing ; the need to have it as affordable as possible ; and, ideally, ways to somehow integrate the whole making and taking and logistics of having it easy enough to actually follow the protocol, every day at routine times !
Post script: The list of yucky dry herbs used in this protocol are : Japanese knotweed, polygonum cuspidatum; 2 cat's Claw's, Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria Rhynchophylla; Withania Somnifera (Ashwaganda); eleutherococcus senticosus ( Siberian ginsing) I take the grainy powder, but he lists dosing this as tincture; 2 mushrooms, Cordyceps and Lions Mane ( these actually dont taste too bad). The Andrographis is key, but that I take in store bought capsules.
Someone very close to me got lymes disease. We purchased teasel root from a herb farm here in the USA. I can purple moosage you the farm's name and contact info if you'd like. By taking Teasel root tincture, large bottle lasts six months, this person's body was free of all lyme disease symptoms. We went through three bottles to get to no reoccurence.
Note that it seems only 60% of those with lymes disease symptoms will respond as this person did.
This is fairly cheap to see if your body is one of the 60%.
By the way, these farmers might be willing to tell you how they preserve their teasel root in brandy.
That is great you found Stephen's book as it is a lot of help for folks with Lymes.
Regarding the alcohol and using hot water. It does take some alcohol off but not appropriate for alcoholics as it does not take all the alcohol off. You said the alcohol is not bothering you and that you are usually sensitive to alcohol. Therefore, if you are sensitive to it and note when it becomes an issue, I say pay attention to your own guidance there.
Here is my tip with powder: You did not mention taking the powder by the spoonful. You mentioned adding it to water and drinking the mixture and how horrible it was, but I did not see that you tried putting a spoonful of it in your mouth and taking a big sip of water to swallow the powder. I have people do this all the time and for many they can do it even if they don't like the taste. Some hold their nose which does help if you don't smell it. The only caveat I would add, is to be sure not to take a breath while doing this as you will get powder in your lungs and have a coughing fit.
Glycyrrhiza or Licorice should not have a white powder coating in the bottle. Not sure what that was that was in there. The tincture is a dark color usually. Usually, most herb companies sell it. It is super cheap to get as powder or dry root too. Plus most people like the taste of it. It does have side effects. If you have high blood pressure, it will raise it higher and increase or cause edema. For people who are low BP with hypoadrenal symptoms it can be very helpful though. It is a great herb and why the Chinese have it in about 25% of their formulas.
Yes, my "Herbal Medicines From The Heart Of The Earth" does have directions on how to make tinctures. In fact, I will just list what products are included as well as some related charts:
How to harvest and collect herbs.
How to preserve herbs.
How to make herbal extracts.
How to make tinctures.
How to make salves.
How to make herbal oils.
How to make poultices.
How to make steam inhalations.
How to make glycerites.
How to make elixirs.
How to make herbal baths.
How to make herbal capsules.
How to make herbal suppositories.
Chart for harvesting, dosing, making tinctures and how long your tincture will last at a set dose
At my website if you go to the Bookstore and click on the books name, you will find photos of the page showing how to make tinctures.
So, regarding the list of questions: The cheapest herbs are usually cut and sift or powder. Powder does not last long on the shelf. Cut and sift lasts better. Powder can be taken as I mentioned above if that works for you. Cut and sift have to be made into a powder, tea or some type of liquid extract to take them. It mostly depends on how you want to take it. Powder and tea will be less expensive than tincture or glycerite. In my opinion tinctures are often better than glycerites, but not always.
You could take those that taste ok as tea and/or powder and the ones you can't take this way, you could encapsulate or make as tincture.
This might be of use to you:
Capsule: An herbal capsule is convenient, and easier to digest than many tablets, but is not as easy to absorb as a liquid extract. The powders in the capsule should be freshly powdered prior to placing in the capsule. The powders should be examined for microbial contamination. Damage from oxygenation, and light can be reduced by encapsulating the powders as soon as they are powdered and placing the capsules in an opaque container.
Dry Herb: A dry herb should retain most of its natural color and fragrance for approximately one year. It is optimal to grow your own. As an alternative you can purchase organic or biodynamic herbs. Light, air and heat can destroy the herb, so it should be stored in an airtight, opaque container in a cool place.
Powder: When an herb is ground into a powder, it has a much shorter shelf life due to the increased surface area now exposed to oxygen, light and heat. The volatile oils are lost quicker, and the grinding, if lengthy, can decrease some constituents because of the heat produced in the process. A powder should be used as fresh as possible. It is best to powder herbs immediately prior to using or packaging them. At home this can be accomplished with a nut and seed grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Powdered herbs are used for capsules, teas, suppositories, douches, percolations, and some liquid extracts. Herbs ground into powders should be checked for microbial contamination, as they are less likely to be made into a tincture or decocted as a tea where most microbes would be rendered harmless.
Liquid Extract or Tincture: A liquid extract or tincture refers to a method of preserving herbs in a base of water and alcohol, making it convenient to dispense and consume. In addition to preserving the herb for long periods of time, alcohol is better than water at extracting some constituents. Plants with resins or volatile oils need a high concentration of alcohol for thorough extraction, while mucilaginous plants and plants high in mucopolysaccharides are better extracted with water. This is the reason mucilaginous plants like comfrey and marshmallow are extracted with a low concentration of alcohol. In the case of mucilaginous plants the alcohol is for preservation only.
Liquid extract strength is measured in a ratio of weight in grams to volume in milliliters. In the past in the United States a 1:2 strength meant 1 part herb by weight is mixed with 2 parts of fluid by volume. (Now companies are required to use volume of liquid collected at the end of the process as the second number. However, many still use the old method. This makes it hard to compare strengths on bottles.) The strength should also list whether it is 1 part of fresh plant, 1:2 fresh, or 1 part of dry plant, 1:2 dry. Sometimes a fresh plant extract may have an additional amount of dry plant added to increase the strength of the product. This is usually written 1:2 fresh + dry. I will use the old method in this book as it is easier to teach and the new method is only important for commerce.
Making liquid extracts with dried plants is easier, less expensive and less time-consuming. The less water in a plant, the more herb that is available to be extracted into the liquid. This means dry plant extracts often have more herb per fluid than fresh plant extracts. However, there are often qualities in the fresh plants that are lacking in dry plants, so it is necessary in these cases to make a fresh plant extract. Note: check the “Herb Chart” in this book to know how to proceed with specific herbs. Many plants, like shepherd’s purse, chickweed and St. John’s wort should be used fresh. Other plants can also be used fresh, but the dried form is adequate, just not quite as good as the fresh. In these cases, the fresh plant is made into a liquid extract and the dried plant is added to the extract to make it stronger. Although the dried plant may not have all the qualities desired, as long as it has enough useful attributes, the addition will increase the strength of the fresh plant extract significantly. There are some extracts that can be made from either fresh or dried plants and are usually made from dried herbs due to the ease and financial savings. There are also some extracts that should be made only from dried herbs, like the Rhamnus genus, which includes cascara and buckthorn. These herbal barks must be dried and stored for at least a year. If used prior to that, they will cause painful intestinal spasms.
• Alcohol and water combination is a great extracting medium for many herbs.
• Long shelf life.
• Easy digestion and assimilation.
• May not taste good.
• Not suitable for alcoholics.
• Not suitable for strictly water-soluble constituents such as polysaccharides.
By the way, besides the issue with Borrelia being able to hide out in different forms and biofilm etc. some people have additional tick borne infections or they have killed the Borrelia and but still have symptoms which are due to their reactions to the biotoxins left from the Borrelia that they have trouble removing from their body. Then there are also people who killed the Borrelia, but now have other biotoxins than the borrelia biotoxins bothering them and they think it is still the Borrelia.
May You Walk in Beauty,
Sharol Tilgner ND
Sharol's books available at website