Natural Remedies for Lyme Disease

There are certain natural remedies for Lyme disease that can help this illness. However, they're not a substitute for antibiotic treatment.
Natural Remedies for Lyme Disease

Written by Luis Rodolfo Rojas Gonzalez, 11 September, 2021

Last update: 11 September, 2021

The pharmacological treatment of Lyme disease is very simple and consists of the administration of antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria from the body. It has a high success rate and represents the total cure of the disease in most cases. However, there are also certain natural remedies for Lyme disease.

Some plants have antibiotic properties, so they’re able to kill bacteria from surfaces. Fortunately, certain vegetables are also capable of eliminating some types of ticks and preventing their reproduction.

It’s important to note that most natural remedies for Lyme disease don’t have clinical studies in humans, so their effectiveness has only been demonstrated in vitro and in animals. In this sense, they shouldn’t be adopted as a sole measure under any circumstances.

Essential oils for Lyme disease

Essential oils are substances obtained by distilling some plants, which retain their fragrance and characteristic properties. They’re used as natural remedies in the treatment of many diseases.

People often try to alleviate ailments with this type of treatment when drug therapy isn’t satisfactory. In this sense, they may be an option for those with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. This is the persistence of symptoms, such as joint pain or arthritis, after the use of antibiotics.

Unfortunately, no essential oil has been approved for use as a natural remedy for Lyme disease. However, various in vitro experiments have been carried out.

A study showed that 5 essential oils at a concentration of 0.25% are capable of eliminating the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of the disease. In spite of everything, the only oils that managed to completely eliminate the bacteria from the surface were oregano, cinnamon bark, and clove buds.

The same study cited showed that some of these oils had a greater effect than certain antibiotics, such as daptomycin. However, conducting more clinical trials and observing its behavior in the human body are both necessary.

Essential oils for the treatment of Lyme disease.
Essential oils aren’t approved as a treatment for Lyme disease, as they lack human studies.

Naturopathic treatment

Naturopathy or natural medicine consists of the use of a set of techniques whose purpose is to stimulate the body’s healing capacity. When used in the treatment of Lyme disease, it’s intended to strengthen the immune system and stimulate detoxification to eliminate the bacteria.

These treatments involve dietary and lifestyle changes, acupuncture, and the intake of certain dietary supplements or medications. The techniques used may vary, depending on the symptoms suffered and the needs of each person.

As with most natural remedies for Lyme disease, there’s little scientific evidence to show the effectiveness of naturopathic treatment. However, it can be started as a complementary measure to antibiotics.

The use of herbs and other natural compounds

One of the most used compounds in naturopathic medicine is plants, from their leaves to their roots. They’ve proven to be very useful in the treatment of some conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Some herbs have antibiotic properties, thus eliminating bacteria from various surfaces. In fact, studies have shown that some plants, such as the Chinese skullcap and black walnut, are capable of killing various forms of Borrelia spp. in vitro. This effect is only observed when the solution used has a concentration of 1%.

At the same time, some flavonoids contained in plants can function as adjunctive therapy to traditional antibiotic treatment. Research published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences showed that the combination of doxycycline and baicalein or luteolin had notable effects on the elimination of the bacteria.

Tick causes symptoms of Lyme disease.
Some herbs are tick repellants, so they could work as a preventive, not as a treatment for the disease.

Natural remedies aren’t a substitute for drug therapy

Currently, multiple studies have tried to show the effectiveness of natural remedies to treat Lyme disease. However, the scientific evidence available is very limited and is based on results observed in vitro. Therefore, carrying out more clinical trials is necessary before determining that they’re a feasible option.

The use of the techniques and remedies mentioned is recommended as an adjunct to antibiotic treatment, especially in the case of persistent symptoms. Before starting the intake of any natural remedy, it’s important to consult a specialist in order to avoid adverse effects.

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