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Herbal Remedies for Lyme Disease

by
author image Robyn Hughes
Robyn Hughes has been writing since 2008 about health, nutrition, fitness and botanical medicine. She is a naturopathic physician and freelance writer based in Durham, N.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in cognitive science from Indiana University and a doctoral degree from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Ore.
Herbal Remedies for Lyme Disease
Alfalfa is recommended for the minerals it supplies your body. Photo Credit Insanet/iStock/Getty Images

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial infection. The Family Doctor website states that Lyme disease is carried by both deer ticks and western black-legged ticks and is spread to humans via tick bites. Lyme disease most commonly occurs in parts of the northeastern and midwestern United States. Herbal remedies have been used for many years to help treat Lyme disease, but you should always meet with your doctor before taking herbs to discuss other beneficial treatments.

Lyme Disease

According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, if left untreated, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease travels through your bloodstream and invades certain body tissues, causing symptoms ranging from mild to severe. One of the most characteristic symptoms of Lyme disease is a red rash that resembles a bull's-eye or target. Other common symptoms include flu-like symptoms, joint pain that moves from one joint to another, neurological symptoms and an irregular heartbeat.

Herbal Approach

Phyllis A. Balch, a certified nutritional consultant and author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," states that Lyme disease is usually treatable and curable, as long as it is caught in its early phases. Balch recommends several herbs for Lyme disease, including alfalfa for the minerals it supplies your body, dandelion root, ginseng, hawthorn and marshmallow root for rebuilding your blood and injured tissues, and echinacea to improve your immune system. Other helpful herbal remedies may include goldenseal, milk thistle and red clover.

Featured Remedy

Goldenseal is an herbal remedy that herbalists and other health-care providers often prescribe for Lyme disease. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine states that goldenseal was historically used by Native Americans to help treat ulcers, gonorrhea and skin diseases. Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic that may also help treat Lyme disease, allergies, bladder disorders, prostate problems and weakened immune system. Goldenseal helps fight infection and reduces inflammation in your body.

Warning

Lyme disease, although easily treated if caught early, can lead to serious health complications if left untreated, including arthritis, spleen and lymph node enlargement, eye inflammation, hepatitis, irregular heart rhythm and damage to your cardiovascular and central nervous systems. If you suspect you might have Lyme disease, visit a qualified health care professional as soon as possible to get a definitive diagnosis and discuss treatment options. Always talk with your doctor about the safety and efficacy of herbal treatments before using herbs to treat this condition.

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