Lyme disease can be difficult to treat because the bacteria that causes the illness can linger in the body, hiding out in tissues and lymph nodes. The first line of treatment for Lyme disease is antibiotics. Since Lyme is a bacterial infection, antibacterial medications must be used to help fight it off.
There is no way to cure or treat Lyme disease without the use of antibiotics, but can herbs for Lyme disease treatment be just as effective? The short answer, sadly, is no. However, herbal and natural remedies for Lyme disease could aid in the recovery process when used in conjunction with traditional forms of medicine.
What antibiotics are effective against Lyme disease?
Depending on the course of treatment and the progression of the disease, the antibiotics used for Lyme disease treatment may vary. Certain antibiotics will be used depending on age and other factors such as pregnancy. In most cases, the antibiotics used most widely to treat Lyme disease are orally administered and include doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime, usually on a 14- to 21-day course.
In the event that the disease has progressed to affect the central nervous system, intravenous antibiotics may be used. This course of treatment tends to last from anywhere between 14 and 28 days. Intravenous antibiotics are typically only used in more serious cases because they can cause undesirable side effects, such as a lower white blood cell count and the colonization of antibiotic-resistant organisms.
How can you boost the efficacy of antibiotics?
It’s important to establish new ways of treating bacterial infections because certain strains have been known to mutate to be antibiotic resistant. Recent research has shown that there are a few things a person can do boost the efficacy of antibiotics when being treated for Lyme disease.
One natural way to help antibiotics do their job is by ingesting maple syrup extract. A study found that the extract could dramatically increase the antibiotics’ ability to fight off infection. Other research found that cranberry extract could have the same potent effect by altering the mechanism that allows the bacteria to overpower the antibiotic.
Other research has found that certain non-antibiotic medications can be used in conjunction with antibiotics to improve their efficacy, though more study is needed in this area to confirm the claims.
How do you get rid of Lyme disease naturally?
There is no real way to get rid of Lyme disease naturally, but there are natural therapies that can be used alongside antibiotics to further protect the body and remove the Lyme bacteria from its hiding places. One study found that the use of essential oils such as cinnamon bark, clove bud, and oregano could help kill the bacteria that caused Lyme disease; however, this was done in a laboratory setting, and does not prove that it could work in humans.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has also been cited as useful in the treatment of Lyme disease, though this has yet to be confirmed outside of the 2014 Taiwan case study in which it was used. Chelation therapy, or the removal of heavy metal buildup within the body, has also been used to help treat Lyme disease symptoms.
Other natural treatments that have been proposed as effective against Lyme disease and its symptoms include:
- Bee venom
- Electromagnetic frequency treatments
- Photon therapy
- Saunas and steam rooms
- Ultraviolet light
- Urine ingestion
It’s important to note that the efficacy of these alternative and natural treatments for Lyme disease has not been confirmed, and there is inadequate research available to back up the claim that they work.
What herbs kill Lyme disease?
Some studies have suggested that the use of herbs could help speed up recovery from Lyme disease by killing off the bacteria within the body. As mentioned above, one study found that a few specific herbs could help kill stationary phase Lyme disease: cinnamon bark, clove bud, citronella, and wintergreen.
Other herbs that have been found to have strong antibacterial effects against the bacteria that causes Lyme disease include:
- Spiked lily ginger
- Cinnamon bark oil
- Amyris wood
- Cumin seeds
The most effective herbs that have been researched in relation to Lyme disease infections are quinine and Japanese knotweed (because it contains high levels of resveratrol). These studies, although promising, are not definitive proof that these herbs work on their own, but rather suggest they could be helpful aids when used alongside antibiotic treatments.
Although Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose and treat, there are ways to combine traditional medicine with naturopathic therapies to help speed up recovery and rid the body of the bacteria once and for all.