Saturday, June 25, 2011

Herbal Remedies for Lyme Disease

  • Weakened immunity is usually the reason behind chronic Lyme disease. Hence, remedies are generally focused on the pain relieving part, and specifically on immunity enhancement.
    Lyme disease is generally treated with antibiotics. If this disease is diagnosed in its early stages, it responds very well to treatment (14-30 days). To relieve joint pain and stiffness, anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed. However, if left untreated Lyme disease may spread to the joints, heart or nervous system.

    Natural and alternative treatments have had great success in reducing the symptoms of Lyme disease. Treatments such as herbal remedies are safe and effective to use without the harsh side effects of prescription drugs. Two well known African herbs such as Hypoxis Rooperi (extract of African Potato) and Agathosma Betulina (also known as buchu) supports the immune system, act as a natural convalescent, supportive tonic and diuretic.

    Other herbal ingredients such as Mentha Piperita, Solidago Virgaurea (also known as Goldenrod) and Viscum Album promote the body’s natural flow of bile, helps to fight infection, and support healthy circulation.
    • Hypoxis rooperi (extract of African Potato) is traditionally used as a natural supportive tonic. Hypoxis contains phytosterols and sterolins, which help to support the immune system. Research has shown the beneficial effect of plant sterols and sterolins on the immune system. Research done on a group of volunteers demonstrated positive effects on the number of T-cells, which are involved in enhancing immunity.
    • Boswellia serrata is an extract of resin from a tall tree found in India. Boswellia has been used for thousands of years in traditional Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine. Modern science has verified its excellent benefits for joint health. With regular use, blood supply to the joints is also maintained, keeping soft tissue nourished and viable. Recent research into Boswellia is at the forefront of developments in the field of natural joint health and studies suggest that this natural substance can help to support the health and integrity of cartilage in the joints.
    • Agathosma betulina (buchu) has been used by the natives of the Western Cape of South Africa for many centuries. The leaves of buchu contain 1.0 – 3.5% volatile oils as well as flavonoids - compounds found in fruits and vegetables that have diverse beneficial biochemical and antioxidant effects. Buchu supports the body’s natural ability to rid itself of toxins by maintaining routine secretion of retained water. Research suggests that the natural action of buchu is due to the volatile oils, of which the primary component is monoterpene disophenol.
    • Harpagophytum procumbens ('Sengaparile,' 'Devil's Claw' or 'Duiwelsklou') is known for the claw-like shape of its fruit. For thousands of years, the Khoisan people of the Kalahari Desert (in Southern Africa) have used Devil's Claw to support healthy joints as well as for a digestive tonic. Clinical  studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Devil's Claw in supporting joint health. In a study by Brady et al, (1981), serum cholesterol and uric acid levels were shown to be reduced after treatment with Devil's Claw. Scientific studies have also indicated that it is also an effective immune system tonic.
    • Schizandra sinesis is a powerful ingredient which originated in China. Schizandra is also used to assist the body in its capacity to maintain healthy energy levels, and as a general systemic tonic to support feelings of health, vitality and well-being. Schizandra is also respected for its effect on liver health and studies show that this herb can help to support healthy cardiovascular, liver, and kidney functions. 
    • Propolis is well-known for its effects of this bee product on immune system health.
    • Glucosamine is naturally manufactured in the body and scientists know that this simple substance is found in relatively high concentrations in the joints and connective tissues, where its function is to repair cartilage and maintain joint mobility. Although we know that the body can manufacture small amounts of glucosamine, this is not generally sufficient to sustain joint health, which makes supplementation very important. As a supplement,Glucosamine sulphate is derived from the shells of shellfish, crabs and oysters where it is found in high concentrations. Glucosamine is approved for the support of joint health in more than 70 countries around the world and has been the subject of many clinical studies which attest to its benefits. Because glucosamine is naturally occurring in the body it is generally very safe and well tolerated without side effects

    Some experts believe that dietary and supplemental forms of omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in walnuts and flaxseeds, may prove helpful as part of your treatment for Lyme. Gamma-linolenic acid is found in evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, and borage oil; alpha-linolenic acid is found in flaxseed oil and other oils. Try and eat foods rich an omega-3 fatty acids (such as cold-water fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts). Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and limiting foods with omega-6 fatty acids (found, for example, in egg yolks, meats, and cooking oils including corn, safflower, and cottonseed,) is generally known as a good practice.
  • Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers).
  • Eat foods high in B-vitamins and calcium, such as almonds, beans, whole grains (if no allergy), dark leafy greens (such as spinach and kale), and sea vegetables.
  • Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
  • Probiotic supplement (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus), 5 - 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day, for maintenance of gastrointestinal and immune health. You should refrigerate your probiotic supplements for best results. Eat two or three small tubs of bio-yoghurt.
  • Grapefruit seed extract (Citrus paradisi), 100 mg capsule or 5 - 10 drops (in favorite beverage) three times daily, for antibacterial or antifungal activity and immunity.
  • Vitamin C, 500 - 1000 mg one to three times daily, as an antioxidant, and for immune support. Increase intake of vitamin C source rich seed oils, avocados, oily fish must be increased. Most of these foods also contain omega-3 fatty acids known to dilate blood vessels thus reduces the chances of you getting spasms.
  • Coenzyme Q10, 100 - 200 mg at bedtime, for antioxidant, immune, and muscular support. CoQ10 is found primarily in fish and meat. Other sources of this useful compound include soya beans, potatoes, spinach and offal.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid, 25 - 50 mg twice daily, for antioxidant support.


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