Lyme Disease (Lyme borreliosis) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria and is transmitted from a tick bite. The risk of contracting the disease increases the longer the tick is attached to the body. Usually the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours before the bacteria will spread into the body. Not all ticks are infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease in humans and not all people who experience a tick bite will be infected.
Signs & Symptoms of Lyme Disease
The signs and symptoms of this disease occur approximately one week after the tick bite has occurred. The common symptom are an expanding area of redness and warmth (erythema migrans). This rash is typically neither painful or itchy and some people do not develop a rash at all.
Other common symptoms which may occur for between 2-3 days of early localised infection are:
- fever, headache,
- lethargy, fatigue, muscle soreness
- stiff neck and swollen lymph nodes
Other complications if left untreated are:
- severe headaches
- joint pain and neck stiffness
- heart palpitations
- loss of movement to the face (facial palsy)
- sensitivity to light and severe swelling
Medical intervention is often required early once the tick bite has been detected. Common treatments include Doxycycline, Amoxicillin and Cefruoxime antibiotics. Lyme Disease may affect multiple body systems such as the Integumentary system, respiratory system, musculo-skeletal system, cardiovascular system, circulatory system, nervous system and immune system as well as the functioning of the organs such as the lungs, kidneys and liver.
In regards to natural remedies for Lymes Disease infection, consideration of all of the affected systems and organs and should be addressed. It is suggested to begin with supporting the immune system as this system is the first to be affected by the bacteria.
Diet tips to support immunity and Lyme Disease
- Eat plenty of garlic, ginger and onions, as the sulphur contained in these vegetables helps to reduce the severity of infections and improve the immune systems ability to fight off an infection
- Ensure adequate hydration
- Avoid sugar and dairy foods as these further suppress immune system function
- Manuka honey added to some warm water with ginger or turmeric powder will help to clear the infection, you may also add Manuka honey topically to the red swollen bite area
- Concentrate on an alkaline diet and decrease acid forming foods. Try to lighten the load on your digestion and concentrate on easy to digest foods such as soups, vegetable juices, warm lemon juice drinks, vegetable broths and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Include a green juice in your daily routine to boost nutrient assimilation and reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies, support detoxification processes and ensure vitality
- Begin each day with a warm lemon juice to cleanse the body from wastes and bacteria
Lifestyle tips to address Lyme Disease
- Consider the long term implications of bacterial infections to the health of the gut, liver and kidneys
- Do a spring cleanse diet which includes a gut and liver detoxification program
- Address any complications such as allergies, gut health, nervous system stress or poor kidney elimination
Natural remedies for improving immunity and Lyme Disease
- Zinc is a mineral which is commonly deficient when immunity is low as it is required for healing, immune support and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory for the skin
- Colloidal silver may be beneficial to kill off the detrimental bacteria, it may be used topically and taken internally for an immune boost
- Probiotics may help to colonize healthy bacteria through the immune and digestive systems. This is especially important if you have recently taken a course of antibiotics. When we take a course of antibiotics they wipe out all strains of good and bad bacteria and if we don’t rebuild the good bacteria then we may relapse into illness again due to low resistance
- Herbs to build immunity and reduce infection are Echinacea, Forsythia, Golden Seal, Olive leaf, Mullein, Ginger, Thyme, Sage, Myrrh, Andrographis, Licorice and Garlic
- Vitamin C powder may help to provide antioxidants to restore immune function and reduce inflammation to the skin
- Antioxidants such as Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Lipoic acid and Selenium are beneficial to support the immune system to scavenge free radicals that contribute to inflammation.
- Herbs which are rich in potent anti-oxidants are Japanese Knotweed, Grape Seed, Olive leaf, Oregon Grape root, Milk Thistle, Turmeric and Green Tea
- Natural anti-inflammatory herbs may provide symptomatic relief from the associated pain and inflammation, herbs such as Reishi mushrooms, Licorice, Cordyceps, Boswellia, Cramp Bark and White Willow have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects