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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Family Doctor: Lyme Disease
- American Lyme Disease Foundation: Lyme Disease
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Goldenseal