Five Essential Oils for Stopping Relapsing Symptoms Caused by Lyme Disease That Thrives Despite Multiple Antibiotics

by Greg on November 3rd, 2017

For people with recurring Lyme disease symptoms that still struggle despite months of several antibiotics

by Greg Lee

Have you heard of the Greek mythical monster called the Hydra? It was a huge serpent with nine poisonous heads. Heracles the Greek divine hero, aka Hercules in Roman mythology, was sent to kill this monster. Whenever Heracles cut off one head, two grew back in it’s place. Heracles was soon overwhelmed by the growing number of serpent heads. Fortunately, his nephew Iolaus used a torch to cauterize the severed stumps before more heads could grow back. No longer swarmed by double serpent heads, Heracles overcame and killed the hydra.

How is a hydra that can keep growing new heads similar to fighting Lyme disease that persists despite antibiotic treatment?

Similar to the mythical hydra, persistent Lyme disease can keep spreading despite blasting it with powerful antibiotics
In lab studies, Lyme disease bacteria can develop persistent forms called round bodies and cysts that are not killed by antibiotics. Lyme bacteria can also produce a slime called “biofilm” which can make infections up to 1000x more drug resistant[1]. Lyme patients with persistent infections can continue to struggle with multiple recurring symptoms.

Lyme disease patients can have recurring, multiple symptoms despite antibiotic treatment
Despite receiving antibiotic therapy, patients diagnosed with Lyme disease have reported recurring symptoms of fatigue, muscular and joint pain, neurological impairment[2], arthritis[3], upper and lower extremity neuropathic pain[4], and dementia[5]. Approximately 10-20% of Lyme patients report recurring symptoms after two to four weeks of antibiotics[6]. One theory for this relapse is that persistent forms of Lyme disease that have survived antibiotic treatment. These bacteria are not stopped by antibiotics and continue to create recurring symptoms. One area where these persistent forms can create problems is in the brain.

Brain samples from Alzheimer’s patients contain persistent forms of Lyme disease
Atypical and cystic forms of Lyme disease in were found in the cerebral cortex region of the brain of patients diagnosed with neurological Lyme[7]. Lyme disease biofilms were also discovered in the the brain tissues of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s[8]. Given the increased drug resistant nature of biofilms and persistent forms of Lyme disease, some Lyme literate medical providers have resorted to using multiple  antibiotics.

Multiple antibiotics are being used to target persistent forms of Lyme disease
In a lab study, Lyme disease persisters were killed more effectively with a combination of three antibiotics: Daptomycin, cefuroxime, and doxycycline[9]. A Lyme literate doctor recommended the use of multiple antibiotics including one called Dapsone for minimum length of seven months or longer[10]. Unfortunately, there can be multiple side effects from prolonged antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease.

Patients can experience multiple side effects from prolonged antibiotic treatment for Lyme
Lyme disease patients receiving oral and intravenous antibiotics have reported different side effects from skin photosensitivity reactions and gastrointestinal symptoms[11], decreased white blood cells, fever, hepatitis, Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea[12], meningitis[13], and IV port infections[14]. Lyme patients also report increased digestion issues including leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, or toxic die-off aka “Herxheimer” reactions[15] as a result of their antibiotic therapy. In a rare case, prolonged antibiotic treatment has been associated with anemia and kidney damage[16].

Are there natural remedies that can help to reduce recurring symptoms by targeting antibiotic persistent forms of Lyme disease?

Fortunately, there are five essential oils that have been effective against persister forms of Lyme disease
In a recent study, five essential oils: oregano, clove bud, cinnamon bark, citronella, and geranium were more effective at eliminating persister forms of Lyme disease than the antibiotic daptomycin[17]. Many of these essential oils have been used safely for years in our food supply[18] and to help patients with Lyme disease to reduce relapsing symptoms[19]. These oils have multiple healing and infection fighting properties in lab and animal studies. Microparticle “liposome” essential oils have demonstrated greater antimicrobial properties in lab studies[20].

Anti-Lyme Persister Essential Oil #1: Oregano
Oregano essential oil eradicated all Lyme disease persister cells and dissolved biofilms in a lab study[21]. The major antimicrobial components of this oil are carvacrol and thymol[22]. In multiple studies, oregano oil has also been effective against multi-drug resistant E. Coli and it’s biofilms[23], Salmonella species, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, multi-drug resistant Pseudonomas aeruginosa, Candida species, and Aspergillus niger[24]. This oil has the ability to disrupt the “quorum sensing” communication signals that pathogens use to make biofilms in food preservation studies[25], and can inhibit biofilm formation in multiple pathogens[26].

In a pig study, oregano oil increased intestinal barrier integrity, decreased endotoxins, and lower inflammatory compounds[27]. In a mouse study, a combination of oregano and thyme essential oil reduced the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta, IL-6, GM-CSF, and TNFalpha and reduce damage to the colon[28].

This essential oil is contraindicated in pregnancy and breast feeding. This oil has anti-coagulant properties and is cautioned with the use of diabetic medications, anticoagulant medications, after major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. It is also cautioned against using this oil on diseased or damaged, or hypersensitive skin, and with children under 2 years old[29]. In addition to oregano oil, clove bud oil has excellent anti-Lyme properties.

Anti-Lyme Persister Essential Oil #2: Clove Bud
Clove bud essential oil also eradicated all Lyme disease persister cells and biofilms in a lab study[30]. Eugenol is the main antimicrobial ingredient in this oil. In multiple lab studies, clove oil inhibits Salmonella typhimurium, E. coli, B. cereus, Listeria innocua, Morganella morganii, Listeria monocytogenes, Enterobacteriaceae, S. aureus, and Pseudomonas species[31]. This oil also posses potent antifungal properties against Candida albicans[32] and Aspergillus flavus[33]. In lab studies, clove bud oil attenuates E. coli biofilm production[34].

In another lab study, this oil also inhibits the production of inflammatory compounds IL-1beta and IL-6[35] which are often elevated in patients with Lyme disease[36].

Clove bud oil use is cautioned in pregnancy. This oil has anti-coagulant properties and is cautioned with the use of diabetic medications, anticoagulant medications, after major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. It may interact with pethidine, MAOIs or SSRIs. It is also cautioned against using this oil on diseased or damaged, or hypersensitive skin, and with children under 2 years old This oil has US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status[37]. Similar to clove bud oil, cinnamon bark has excellent anti-Lyme properties.

Anti-Lyme Persister Essential Oil #3: Cinnamon Bark
In a lab study, cinnamon bark essential oil eradicated all Lyme disease persister cells and biofilms[38]. The main active compounds in cinnamon bark oil are cinnamaldehyde and eugenol[39]. Cinnamon bark oil also inhibits methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and it’s biofilms, Aspergillus ochraceus, Fusarium moniliforme[40], Brucella abortus[41], multidrug resistant Pseudonomas aeruginosa[42], and Candida albicans and it’s biofilms[43].

In a human skin lab study, cinnamon bark oil reduced inflammatory compounds matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1)[44]. PAI-1 is often elevated and slows the recovery in Lyme patients by creating a condition called hypercoagulation or thick blood[45]. When encapsulated into a microparticle liposome, cinnamon bark oil was more stable and was effective longer against MRSA and it’s biofilms[46].

Cinnamon bark oil is contraindicated in pregnancy and breast feeding. This oil has anti-coagulant properties and is cautioned with the use of diabetic medications, anticoagulant medications, after major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. It has a high risk of skin sensitization, is also strongly cautioned against using this oil on diseased or damaged, or hypersensitive skin. This oil has FDA GRAS status[47]. Similar to cinnamon, citronella has anti-Lyme properties.

Anti-Lyme Persister Essential Oil #4: Citronella
In a lab study, citronella essential oil was partially effective against Lyme disease persister cells in a 21-day experiment[48]. The main active component in citronella oil is citronellal[49]. In lab experiments, citronella oil demonstrates excellent antifungal properties against Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus Penicillium species[50], Candida albicans and it’s biofilms[51]. In a diabetes wound study on mice, citronella oil inhibited Candida glabrata and Candida tropicalis and decreased expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and Interleukin 1β (IL-1β)[52].

Caution: citronella oil may interact with drugs metabolized by CYP2B6, which include alfentanil, methadone, and propofol. This oil has FDA GRAS status[53]. Just like citronella, geranium reduced persistent forms of Lyme disease.

Anti-Lyme Persister Essential Oil #5: Geranium Bourbon
In a lab study, geranium essential oil was partially effective against Lyme disease persister cells in a 21-day experiment[54]. The main active ingredients in this oil are citronellol and geraniol[55]. In a lab study, geranium bourbon oil was effective at inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus[56], multi-drug resistant S. Aureus and MRSA[57]. Geranium oil had an antibiotic effect against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus in another lab study[58].

This oil was also effective at reducing inflammatory compounds Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Interleukin-10 (IL-10), Interleukin-2 (IL-2) and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) levels caused by Candida albicans in a lab study[59]. This oil is cautioned with the use of diabetes medications, and drugs metabolized by CYP2B6, which include alfentanil, methadone, and propofol. This oil has FDA GRAS status[60]. These essential oils in combination may help to reduce relapsing symptoms caused by persistent forms of Lyme disease.

Essential oils may help to reduce recurring symptoms caused by antibiotic persister forms of Lyme disease
Similar to cauterizing the severed heads of the mythic Hydra monster so they don’t grow back, a powerful combination of essential oils may help you to overcome persister forms of Lyme disease that are not killed by antibiotics. Formulating these remedies into microparticle liposomes may enhance the stability and extend their antimicrobial activity of these essential oils. Since these essential oils have cautions and contraindications on their use, work with a Lyme literate essential oil practitioner to develop a proper, safe, and effective essential oil formulation for your condition.

– Greg

P.S. Do you have experiences where treatment or remedies helped you reduce recurring symptoms from persistent Lyme disease? Tell us about it.

>> Next step: Come to our live evening lecture: Getting Rid of Lyme Disease in Frederick, Maryland on Monday November 6th at 6pm to learn more about treatments and remedies for multiple infections, natural methods for reducing neurological problems, inflammation, and pain caused by Lyme disease, co-infections, parasites, and mold. http://goodbyelyme.com/events/get_rid_lyme


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10 Comments
  1. Tracy permalink

    Wonderful information! How do you recommend using the oils. Topically? Or oral?

  2. Susan patton permalink

    So you injest the oil or just diffuse it ?

  3. Mona Odaniell permalink

    What is the protocol?
    How many drops per capsule each.
    How many a day?

  4. We make our oils into microparticle liposomes for our patients to ingest.

  5. We individually test each patient for which oil works best for their condition. We then make our oils into a microparticle liposomes and have patients take it internally. They will start at a low dose and work their way up. They will lower their dose if they get a significant Herxheimer die off reaction.

  6. We individually test each patient for which oil works best for their condition. We then make our oils into a microparticle liposomes and have patients take it internally. Liposomes penetrate deeper into cells and through biofilms more effectively. Patients will start at a low dose and work their way up. They will lower their dose if they get a significant Herxheimer die off reaction.

  7. Jackie permalink

    will this work if I mix it with coconut or olive oil as a carrier oil and massage it on my brother’s feet? He had Lyme and now has ALS, I’m not convinced the Lyme is eradicated.

  8. Maggie permalink

    For the lay person, can you suggest dosing for essential oils?

  9. The essential oils studies were in the lab. We make the essential oils into microparticles called liposomes so they can penetrate into cells and the brain. I don’t have any studies on these oils and ALS, so it’s impossible to estimate their ability to help your brother. You may want to consult with an essential oil therapist in your area for how to help your brother.

  10. According to FDA Guidelines, I need to see patients in person before recommending dosing for essential oils. Every patient has a different sensitivity to the oils so dosing can vary.

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