Oh man, the number of different things I have tried over the years (pre-Lyme diagnosis & now entering into post) to try and get myself well again. I haven’t gone the route of taking any pharmaceuticals- but I have tried probably every single supplement in existence. I have had people who don’t know me well comment on the number of pill bottles littering the counters before. When my sister had Lyme she was on multiple antibiotics, medicines and supplements. She would take upwards of 60 pills a day. Total craziness.
When I found out I had Lyme, I knew I didn’t want to do antibiotics. I respect and believe there is a place for their use, but I know they aren’t for me. My sister feels that the antibiotics mostly did lasting harm, and that it wasn’t until she focused on more holistic methods and emotional healing that she began to get better. There are a lot of mixed opinions on the use of antibiotics in general, as well as the use of them to treat Lyme. From my perspective (and I’m certainly not a doctor- this is just my opinion and hope I don’t offend anyone- and I could be totally wrong!) I see using antibiotics to treat Lyme as similar to using chemo to treat cancer. Yes, the chemo might kill cancer cells, but it also kills everything else. Yes, the antibiotics may kill some of the Lyme, but they also kill off a ton of good stuff and when we are already in such a weakened state, we need to hold on to all the good stuff that we can!
I am already very fragile digestive wise, and after my 10-day experience on an antibiotic for strep, there is no way I am touching antibiotics again unless I am at the end of my rope. For me it makes more sense to try to pinpoint and address the issues that made me susceptible to Lyme in the first place. I have a friend who has been bitten by ticks *numerous* times and he is incredibly vibrant and well. The fact is, there can be Lyme spirochetes in the body and the individual can be perfectly healthy. Lyme bacteria has been found in 15-million-year-old tick fossils and has likely been around for ages (though I am also a bit of conspiracy theorist and totally believe Lyme could be government created biowarfare!)-the issue now seems to be that instead of existing in harmony with it our bodies are being overtaken by it. I think this links into suppressed immune systems caused by things such as genetic mutations, vaccinations (or the toxic ingredients in them), mold, poor diet, GMO’s, environmental toxins etc.
So, for me it is about looking at how my system is vulnerable and trying to find ways to fully support it overall as well as finding ways to kill the Lyme while doing as little damage to my body as possible.
My LLMD started me on protocol drawing from Buhner Healing Lyme– I have been on it for a little over two months now. When I first started on it, I was still living in a moldy environment so it was hard to tell if I was herxing or just reacting to the mold. Since moving to mold-free environment (which has proven SO hard to find here in the Bay Area, ick!) I started to see improvements. However, I was then exposed to mold in someone else’s house and experienced a major setback. Now I seem to just be maintaining. I have ‘good days’ and bad days as always, but I now have a consistent overall sort of muted feeling- like dullness. It is hard to describe but it hangs over me, and makes it so I feel like I am never truly living
The protocol I am currently on involves taking the following:
- Red Root for Lymph Support
- Green Dragon Botanicals LB Core Protocol (this is a blend of the herbs recommended by Buhner including Japanese Knotweed root, Cat’s Claw vine bark, Andrographis herb, Sarsaparilla root, and Dandelion herb) These are some of the major hitters recommended for dealing with Lyme.
- Celandine for gallbladder support
- Detox powder and charcoal
I am also taking probiotics, magnesium, krill oil, fermented cod liver oil, methlyB-vitamins, ginger, turmeric, collagen, bee pollen/propolis, glutathione, digestive enzymes, l-glutamine and a few other things thrown in there randomly such as l-tryptophan for mood.
I know this protocol is helping, and definitely doing SOMETHING, but I don’t know MUCH of WHAT it is doing. I don’t know if it is enough. I don’t know how to tell if I am improving because I forget what healthy feels like- I just get used to pushing myself to function and my current state becomes my new normal. I don’t know how long it will take. This is all part of Lyme. There is no ‘quick-fix.’ It is a slow process, and involves a ton of patience and trial and error. It is such a tricky thing to monitor. Even if you have a negative test after a few months of treatment, it could easily be a false negative, or Lyme could be in hiding. There is a lot of uncertainty.
I have always loved essential oils for aromatherapy and cleaning but had never considered the possibility of using them for Lyme. A few weeks back I was using some drops of peppermint essential oil in my water to soothe my stomach and I had my ‘aha!’ moment. I thought, “If peppermint essential oil works so well and feels so powerful, perhaps there are other oils I could use..and perhaps they could work for Lyme!”
I started googling away and reading everything I could find on it. I found that there are many different protocols using essential oils to address Lyme, and that oils such as oregano and thyme are just as powerful, if not more so, than conventional antibiotics. I also learned that essential oils can tackle all of the co-infections, are growth inhibiting to Lyme, and can break down biofilms. Oils such as cinnamon and cassia also work to cut off the communication pathways between the bacteria.
I told my sister about everything I was reading, and how drawn I was feeling to the essential oils. She told me that she had a close friend who had Lyme and had gone off antibiotics and begun treating herself with oils instead and was now doing far better. This friend also had begun working for doTERRA (a great essential oil company) after her success using the oils and so we got in touch. She was able to link me up with some very great resources, one of which being this video:
The video is a bit long, but is a great watch and incredibly informative. I ordered my oils and supplements and am beginning the essential oil protocol as soon as they come in the mail.
The treatment will consist of rotating three protocols and of doing 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off of ‘antibiotic’ (aka natural antibiotics) treatment. I’ve been reading that it is essential with Lyme to change up the treatment as the bacteria are incredibly intelligent and can adapt and find ways around herbs and antibiotics- so you have to surprise them every now and again with something new. During the two weeks off you are not taking anything to actively kill the Lyme, but rather loading up on things such as probiotics and nutrients and focusing on continuing to detox.
As I mentioned, there are varying essential oil protocols for Lyme- if you search around you can find them. There also is a closed Facebook group called My Essential Oil Lyme Journey and you can request to be added. On there they offer files with protocols and recommendations (it is a Christian-based page so lots of talk about God- personally I am not religious but the group is still helpful to me).
I am planning to follow the protocols recommended in the video above- you can find them outlined at 1:40 in the video.
- The first protocol I will start with is Dr. Hill’s protocol which entails using oregano, melissa, patchouli, frankincense, cassia, clove, cinnamon internally (you put the oils into capsules together). I will probably start at a small dose and go from there in order to avoid herxing.
- The second protocol with involve taking doTERRA’s Gx Assist capsules which include: Oregano, melalueca, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, and thyme oils.
- The third protocol involves taking doTERRA’s On Guard Plus which contains: Wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary oils
I am feeling so drawn to the essential oils and really hopeful. I have had moments of doubt though too. This morning I was feeling unsure, but then I had a phone consult with a local doctor about IV therapy and discovered she is Lyme literate and when I told her I was going to start using essential oils to treat the Lyme she responded with positivity and enthusiasm. She said she has had many patients use essential oil protocols for Lyme and seen amazing results. This gave me encouragement and I am meeting with her next week to get started on my IV treatments. My current doctor has been absolutely amazing, but I’m thinking I might be making a switch to this new doctor soon…. we’ll see!
I think a big part of treating Lyme involves getting in-tune with your body and learning to listen to and trust yourself. That is what I am trying to do and I hope it proves to work in my favor (I have a good feeling!)
As with so many Lyme treatments, it is hard to know what will happen. Everyone is so different and it never seems easy to find conclusive results on the success of any protocol. I’m going out on a limb here and hoping this will greatly help my body to recover. I will post along the way information about what I am taking as well as what I am doing diet-wise and to address the mold…and how I am feeling. It’s sort of like I am the lab rat AND the researcher…so we’ll see!