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herbal remedies/treatments for tick diseases

 
Judith Browning
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I think the subject of tick disease comes up often enough that it's worth a place to compile herbal, supplement and diet treatment and preventative options. Please post any anecdotal experiences and links to more information that you may have.

For us, the book "Healing Lyme" by Stephen Hawod Buhner, was really helpful. Our local herbalist gave us a tincture of japanese knotweed (polygonum cuspidatum) and teasel to begin with and since then we have taken Cats Claw (Uncaria tomentosa and astragalus (astragalus membranaceous) daily. I think building up our immune system is key. My blood work showed me positive for having currently and also having had in the past, Rocky mountain Spotted Tick fever...but i had no currant symptoms...except a bulls eye rash, which was why i went to get tested in the first place. Lymes showed up as negative.

healingwell.com was recommended to us by someone I trust.

 
bob day
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having a strong immune system is vital for so many things that it is a no brainer.

I have heard shitake mushrooms have a good nourishing effect on the immune system which is different than the stimulating effect many other herbs might have

The protocol we were taught when using herbs to stimulate an effect in the body was 6 days on, 1 day off --- 6 weeks on,, one week off,,, etc

in the case of targeting specific disease threats it may be better to limit the stimulation of specific herbs to just prior to the season and give a rest in the off months--in this case rest over fall and winter

Echinacea is a very misunderstood herb generally, and while it does have a powerful stimulating effect on the immune system, daily dosing will quickly reduce that wonderful herb to a mild anti viral/anti biotic, so if i was getting ready to go bareback through the heavy weeds, i'd do some echinacea just before, during and a little after but then discontinue immediately when the threat is passed--

-that being said, echinacea's early fame was sparked when it cured a pharmacists wife (unbeknownst to the pharmacist) of some serious disease-- cancer i think it was,

for me Garlic is the goto herb,,i used it periodically in all my guinea's water and religiously in the water for the keets during their first couple months--the religious part of the application started when it stopped an outbreak that had killed 8 or 9, with more starting to succumb.

and as for lyme and other tick diseases, i believe i contracted lyme many years ago, classic symptoms, knocked me down harder than anything i had ever experienced-- treated it with chinese herbs and it took a few months but i did recover quite well, last year i believe i had a relapse--real sore joints,, no energy-- and once i started using goldenseal i was back up in a couple days. --guessing i first contracted it in 95
 
Steven Feil
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The herbalist I am working on mentoring with is a HUGE proponent of taking a break from herbs, especially if you are on a long term course of treatment. Gives your body a chance to say, "Oh, is THAT what I am supposed to do!"

He is also a big supporter of low doses and often, especially for tonic type herbs like echinacea.

One thing I think a lot of herbalists and other healers get caught up in is the HEALING part of the equation. I like that this discussion is trending toward PREVENTION. Much more fun to NOT get something than to have to go through the pain of getting rid of it.

"How do we keep ticks off of us?" should be the real question being asked. Even better, "How do we keep them out of our environment?" I think I saw a thread on this in the suggested threads below.
 
Judith Browning
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Good to have some feedback. Bob, what chinese herbs did you take? and did you think they were effective? You are right on about our immune systems...I guess I am thinking of a boost during infection.

Steven, I agree, keeping ticks out of our yards and off of our animals is important but I wanted to discuss and compare treatments and prevention (as in improved immune systems) here and leave the other threads to discuss repellents, etc.
What does your herbalist consider a long treatment? The suggestion for our herbal regime was 8-12 months and I hadn't considered taking a break....now I'll check into it.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Those in the habit of eating the meat or eggs of guinea fowl and bantam chickens have a greatly reduced chance of encountering ticks. Together they are reputed to take care of over 95% in the areas where they forage. Cook them with rosemary.
 
Judith Browning
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Sorry for the confusion, folks...I have changed the title to be a little clearer. My thought on prevention was to do with avoiding a tick disease even after being bit or infected from picking ticks off of the dog, etc. not how to get rid of ticks everywhere. I am in the woods a lot and headed for a hike in the National Forest in a few minutes...I can't do much about ticks in the rest of the world but hope I can do more to prevent reinfection by improving my immune system,etc.
 
bob day
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I don't have those herbs in front of me, but believe they were chinese plants,, and as such there are probably better climatically adapted herbs in our own backyard--if i ever see that prescription again i will make a point of setting it out to copy,, but since that time i went ahead and took the master herbalist training at the school of natural healing and have taken responsibility for my own healing from that north american based assemblage of plants

and i know that many here believe that meat eating is great, my council would always be ---sparingly-- and just leave dairy alone,, way too many potential problems--especially when trying to rid the body of disease---the mucusless diet title sort of speaks for itself---unbalanced foods like meat and sugar take the body on a wild ride and when the body is already in trouble it is better in my opinion to take it way easy.

echinacea tricks the immune system into believing it is under attack, and to me that is a wonderful quick help in an emergency,, i would not take it at a low dose as a tonic,, because whatever tonic effects it might have, it's use as a quick mobilizer of the immune system is difficult to find from other sources, and low doses all the time would make the immune system ignore it when there suddenly was a problem.

and while the immune system is wonderful to enhance, the body is a whole,, keeping the tissues free of mucus which might give disease a foothold is very important,,so keeping the organs of elimination functioning well is really at the heart of prevention --the old joke about the body parts all arguing about which was most important, and they all just laughed at the asshole when it tried to argue it's own importance--so it got so mad it closed up and within a few days all the other body parts hailed it as the leader

one of my teachers said that every natural healer at one time or another writes a book about or invents a formula, or at least aggressively promotes elimination as a primary precept of health

so the colon needs to move and be free of accumulated junk--the kidneys need to function efficiently,, the liver needs to be in top shape to purify the blood, and the blood needs to be in top shape to cleanse the tissues

the basic formula for every disease is cleanse and nourish,, with herbs as aids to those ends
 
leila hamaya
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i was also taught to take frequent breaks in long term herbal treatments, and to CYCLE different herbs.

theres a lot of variation on how to do so depending on the condition and treatment. also i think one should feel it out as they go, so it doesnt need to be precise. you can switch it up as you go and might find one works better than others and take it longer (with a day or two of breaks in between weeks).

but basically do one herb for 1-2 weeks, take a break then switch to a different one, and again after a week or two switch to a different one.
if its a long term treatment then one could go back to the first and cycle through them again. or you can two or three at once, then switch the next week to a different two.

i was also taught that its important not to place to much importance on the herbs, to work on diet, food as medicine and especially FASTING, then consider the herbs to be supporting the process, but not the main treatment.
maybe this is just a perceptual minor point, perhaps more geared towards people more familiar with the allopathic western medicines, because people tend to place more importance on the medicines and less on other healing methods, and herbs dont work like allopathic medicines. this is definitely a case for antibiotics, i know, evil anti biotics, but i think this is on that level where they are actually needed.

i know nothing about rocky mountain spotted fever, but if its anything like lyme - MSM and colloidal silver are two supplements i would suggest. oil of oregano is VERY powerful and has been really helpful for me as well GSE (grapefruit) but i cant say they would have any effect, just some of my favorite heal all , go to herbs.

anyway hope you re doing well, staying healthy =)
 
bob day
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yes, cycling is a great strategy, especially if long breaks might give a disease time to advance,, of course if one is really getting the diet under control then the body chemistry should be changing to be the primary resistance to whatever

so diet is always the #1 issue

I do agree after facing lyme personally that an intervention in the form of herbs was necessary,, as i recall it involved one or two nights of drenching sweat, followed by a long slow recovery--although hearing horror stories from others with lyme i still probably did better than most

and i know goldenseal is endangered and i rarely use it, but as an antibiotic and antiviral i would use it right away ,(and did for the recent flare up) along with any other natural remedy i could think of except colloidal silver

to me that is just another heavy metal, akin to mercury, it screws up gut bacteria like drug type antibiotics- it accumulates in the body -and i just don't trust it as much as i would trust an herb or natural product- evolution did not prepare us for use of heavy metals the way we are prepared to use herbs and truly natural substances--but again, this really comes down to what an individual believes--the placebo effect is a powerful tool and if you believe something will help then it probably will

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_uses_of_silver#Adverse_effects
 
leila hamaya
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yeah i can see why people would be a bit freaked out by the silver, i was quite skeptical and a bit freaked out by it at first. not just that its really expensive, that kept me from trying it fast.

all i can say is that for me IT WORKED, and very very well, within a few days of starting it i immediately started feeling loads better. after a long time of trying to heal from chronic illness, trying everything i could get my hands on herbal wise, and not having all that much improvement, immediately after starting small amounts of silver feeling tons better. i just can say in my experience it was effective. it was not just a placebo effect, i had extremely noticeable improvement, though for very different kind of illnesses. and there is a LONG history of its use as a medicine.

no one should take it for long periods though, its a very short term thing, quick powerful immune booster, and only very tiny amounts are taken at once in a spray bottle. i will just offer my own experience, people must decide for themselves.
 
Steven Feil
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bob day wrote:and i know goldenseal is endangered and i rarely use it, but as an antibiotic and antiviral i would use it right away ,


Oregon Grape and Barberry are more than adequate substitutes for Goldenseal. As a matter of fact I use Oregon Grape exclusively.



bob day wrote: colloidal silver

to me that is just another heavy metal, akin to mercury, it screws up gut bacteria like drug type antibiotics

After much study I have learned that you must use the right form and/or in the right dosage. It takes HUGE quantities to overcome the bodies ability to eliminate the silver. At recommended doses it is eliminated in less than 48 hours. Also, even herbal antibiotics will mess with desirable bacteria is taken in too large of doses or for too long a period. If proper diet is being consumed (including fermented foods!!!) then gut bacteria is easily established and maintained.

As many have said, it is about proper balance.
 
bob day
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Like i said, it comes down to belief -- i learned that goldenseal is a very powerful antibiotic, in some lore it was thought to be good for the liver,(but actually not so much) which really has more to do with oregon grape and barberry which are frequently taken as liver tonics--Barberry lg used to be a name of a liver tonic--oregon grape has some relationship with helping other substances fight bacteria, but is not widely respected as a self contained antibiotic

and the idea that we absolutely know what is true and what is not is a great opportunity for arguments going nowhere,, that is what i was taught and it is what i believe

so if you believe silver is safe to eat,,,have at it,, if you think barberry and oregon grape are adequate substitutes for golden seal, then you need to continue with your program
 
Steven Feil
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bob day wrote:Like i said, it comes down to belief --
Experience, my friend, experience. At least with oregon grape.
 
Johnny Niamert
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I'd stay away from GSE (grapefruit seed extract).

If one was to crush grapefruit seeds, they are in no way anti-microbial.
It's only after a 'proprietary process,' which is questionable to say the least, that the resulting goo has any anti-microbial properties.

According to more than one independent study, GSE is almost always contaminated with less than desirable chemicals. The contaminants are very bad for mucous membranes, especially at the levels found in the independent studies.

In my opinion and experience, I burned my intestines with this industrial waste crap by taking it.

My two cents.
 
Judith Browning
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Thanks, everybody...great discussion to wake up to!
I know there are others at permies who have or have had a tick disease or two and find it is an ongoing challenge. For me, the symptoms were subtle and without bloodwork I wouldn't have guessed. For my daughter in law the symptoms were dramatic and life threatening. The test for tick diseases was one of the last they did and then at the families suggestion.
I am noticing less joint pain taking cats claw and astragalus daily and after the mention above I am trying to learn what to replace it with for a period of time. As with so many herbs, the results were slow so I won't just stop. We have a lot of locally collected herbs that we harvest fresh and dry every year. Other than the Passion Flower Vine there isn't anything that I would take for very long at a time.

anyone else?
 
bob day
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Steven,

I take it then that you have successfully used oregon grape in the treatment of lyme disease? and if it should recur for me what would your recommended protocol be?

please note i still intend to use goldenseal as my first line of defense since it worked pretty well for me last time, but it's always good to have backups..
 
leila hamaya
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something can be a gift in one place, a poison in another place.

so we all have to find out what works for us or doesnt, in context.
a medicine can be a great medicine for someone, but not for you.

thats more what i am into as far as herbs, rather than having specific herbs that i always use, is to try out a bunch of things and see what effects it has for me. i also go with what calls to me, its a very imprecise thing, but for me this works. i wont use any plant, herb or food, that doesnt call to me. even some i know what they are, i can know they are medicinal but i dont feel a specific connection to them and so i do not pick them or eat them.

right now its definitely lemons, been eating tons of lemon (rather drinking tons of lemon juice) , orange and other citrus, and ginger. though ginger is a frequent one that calls to me.
oregon grape has been calling to me lately, mostly because its sooooooooo abundant here. like whole fields of the bright red winter leaves of the oregon grape. i gathered a huge amount of the berries last year.

though i have wanted to, i havent yet dug up their roots, digging things up on wild land...well i think in this case its ok (theres thousands of them) but i have been hesitant to dig them up. apparently i have read that the stem also has the strong medicinal bitters, as strong as the root, so is it possible to harvest them without uprooting them.

i even sort of enjoy their berries, better mixed with something else and processed.

this works well for me, but i do have to watch out when the cookies start calling to me =)
 
bob day
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So Delicious Chocolate Velvet (soy ice cream substitute) is calling me right now---"save me , i'm melting"
 
R Scott
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I dealt with Lyme, after probably 7 years being undiagnosed. It was a long, painful, expensive recovery.

You have to deal with Lyme like parasites in animals--they build up an immunity to any treatment in about 3 months, so continuing any direct treatment beyond that can be counter-productive. General immune building and healthy gut are exceptions. The normal routine for my treatments was three months on a treatment regimen, then a month off with intense gut rebuilding. Brutal.

I did everything I could to improve my immune system and repair my gut, as I was on heavy antibiotics for part of the time (I had the highest test results of anyone not hospitalized that the Dr. had seen). My Dr. prescribed several homeopathic and gut flora treatments to counteract the destruction caused by the antibiotics. One of the more clinical ones was Three-lac, an encapsulated lacto so it survives the stomach and is released in the gut. He asked about fermented foods, but didn't push it because of my reaction (I was pretty mainstream at the time).

A homeopathic specialist suggested Tsi-Ahga as an immune booster. It definitely helped, although Lyme needs more than a single silver bullet.
 
Matu Collins
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I have had good success with cycling on high ish does of vitamin c. 2000 milligrams every 3 hours. Don't do this while pregnant, it can endanger the pregnancy! Must drink lots of water.

After my bout with erlichiosis last year I am taking tick control really seriously this year. Yes I'm going to keep my body as healthy as possible but these tick borne diseases can pack a punch.
I'm ready to get guineas here. My neighbor had 15 of 60 guineas "go rogue" and live in the woods for quite a long time, even through the winter.

I have had excellent results with colloidal silver for ear infections. It is a heavy metal, so I use it sparingly.

I like chewing astragalus root and drinking astragalus tea, I cycle on and off with that all summer. The tea is good cold in the morning
 
Doc Jones
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Teasel (Dipsacus spp...) has a good reputation for helping Lyme's disease cases.

We get no Lyme's in our area (Idaho) but I am currently working with a young lady that believes she picked it up in Wisconsin several years ago. She could never get a positive test but has had all the symptoms. She's worked with physicians for all these years with no relief and a steady worsening of her condition.

She progressed to the neurologic stage and was having 12-15 seizures a day. She could get no relief from pharmaceuticals (doctors most recently offered anti-depressants as their final solution) so she wanted to try something different.

After about two weeks of using the Teasel, she is down to 3-4 seizures/day and they only happen at night while she's sleeping.

This is the first time I've used Teasel on a presumed Lyme's case so I can't speak from experience or say whether her response is typical.

I've also used teasel on an MS case with remarkable results...but again, it was only a single case so I can't speak to repeatability or predict future outcomes from the one experience.

Doc Jones
 
bob day
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Hi Doc,

I had not heard of using teasel previously, but it does sound like you have gotten some encouraging results.
Are you also recommending any dietary therapies?

when i got my treatment from the chinese herbalist, it was within a couple months of the tick bite, so it was treated very quickly, which probably prevented the more serious long term symptoms that this woman is now dealing with.

one interesting thing i noticed when the herbalist was working out the formula to give me was that even though i was able to tell her with fair certainty what the cause was, she made a point to enumerate my symptoms one by one and devised her formula from them, not from the name of the disease or any generic protocol.

please keep us posted as to the ongoing condition and any changes in regime

thanks
 
Judith Browning
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Patrick Jones Dvm wrote:Teasel (Dipsacus spp...) has a good reputation for helping Lyme's disease cases.

We get no Lyme's in our area (Idaho) but I am currently working with a young lady that believes she picked it up in Wisconsin several years ago. She could never get a positive test but has had all the symptoms. She's worked with physicians for all these years with no relief and a steady worsening of her condition.

She progressed to the neurologic stage and was having 12-15 seizures a day. She could get no relief from pharmaceuticals (doctors most recently offered anti-depressants as their final solution) so she wanted to try something different.

After about two weeks of using the Teasel, she is down to 3-4 seizures/day and they only happen at night while she's sleeping.

This is the first time I've used Teasel on a presumed Lyme's case so I can't speak from experience or say whether her response is typical.

I've also used teasel on an MS case with remarkable results...but again, it was only a single case so I can't speak to repeatability or predict future outcomes from the one experience.

Doc Jones


I am glad to hear of your good results with teasel.
My husband and I took a teasel and japanese knotweed tincture for suspected lymes. I had a bullseye rash but only tested positive for tick fever. We noticed less joint pain and more energy and also after taking it for awhile experienced the effects of 'die off' . I don't remember the name of the phenomenon but we felt worse before we felt better. I believe j. knotweed is considered an invasive some places but I want to grow it now! We are continuing to take cats claw and astragalus.

and welcome to permies, Patrick!
 
Doc Jones
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bob day wrote:Hi Doc,

I had not heard of using teasel previously, but it does sound like you have gotten some encouraging results.
Are you also recommending any dietary therapies?


I don't know that I'd go so far as calling it a "dietary therapy", but I do encourage folks to stick to real food....whole, unprocessed stuff.

I also gave her (and give most) some deep-rooted, nourishing herbs (burdock, alfalfa, red clover, dandelion etc...)

bob day wrote:
when i got my treatment from the chinese herbalist, it was within a couple months of the tick bite, so it was treated very quickly, which probably prevented the more serious long term symptoms that this woman is now dealing with.

one interesting thing i noticed when the herbalist was working out the formula to give me was that even though i was able to tell her with fair certainty what the cause was, she made a point to enumerate my symptoms one by one and devised her formula from them, not from the name of the disease or any generic protocol.


The Chinese don't really think about disease like Westerners do. They are all about balancing the body. If you balance the body and give it what it needs, it will generally heal itself.

When I start a case, I almost always start them off with nourishing/cleansing types of plants before going to more specific things. Often, they straighten up and I don't need to do the more intensive, specific things.

This is an interesting topic...I'll start another thread so we can talk about it without de-railing a perfectly good tick disease thread.
Here it is: http://www.permies.com/t/34028/medicinal-herbs/Wrong#266214


Patrick
 
Doc Jones
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Judith Browning wrote:
I am glad to hear of your good results with teasel.
My husband and I took a teasel and japanese knotweed tincture for suspected lymes. I had a bullseye rash but only tested positive for tick fever. We noticed less joint pain and more energy and also after taking it for awhile experienced the effects of 'die off' . I don't remember the name of the phenomenon but we felt worse before we felt better. I believe j. knotweed is considered an invasive some places but I want to grow it now! We are continuing to take cats claw and astragalus.

and welcome to permies, Patrick!


Thanks for the welcome Judith.

I need to get acquainted with Japanese knotweed. I don't know anything about it. I tend to be super focused on using local plants in my herb work and teaching/writing but I don't mind flirting with the exotics a bit...especially if they'll grow on my place.

Patrick
 
Jessica Gorton
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Careful with that japanese knotweed, Patrick! It really will take over, and it's pretty impossible to get rid of. That being said, I'm glad there's a patch of it growing half a mile down the road from me. This year I'm going to try eating it - it's supposed to be quite tasty and healthy.

Does anyone know what part of Japanese Knotweed to tincture for using with Lyme? I think I've heard the roots, but I haven't found an answer online. Also, it has both roots and rhizomes - is it one or the other that folks use?
 
Judith Browning
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Jessica Gorton wrote:Careful with that japanese knotweed, Patrick! It really will take over, and it's pretty impossible to get rid of. That being said, I'm glad there's a patch of it growing half a mile down the road from me. This year I'm going to try eating it - it's supposed to be quite tasty and healthy.

Does anyone know what part of Japanese Knotweed to tincture for using with Lyme? I think I've heard the roots, but I haven't found an answer online. Also, it has both roots and rhizomes - is it one or the other that folks use?


Jessica, I've linked to a site that is by the author of the book 'Healing Lyme' (we used it for advice for herbal treatments) and has some more information on japanese knotweed...he does say to use the root.
We were given a tincture of teasel and j. knotweed by an herbalist friend and I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find either the tincture or the herb or the plant itself. It sounds as though, even as an invasive, it might be worth growing We noticed a big difference in joint pain due to tick fever after taking the tincture for a few weeks.

...here is the LINK

just as I was typing this in I had to stop and dispose of a tick...no guineas left and it is spring in the Ozarks
 
Jessica Gorton
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Well, maybe I need to get into the japanese knotweed business! I'm pretty sure any neighbors I have with that particular plant would be happy for me to come and dig it up. Of course, I could probably get into some trouble mailing it across state lines...
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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