For people diagnosed with Lyme disease that have chronic headaches, memory problems, and meningitis
by Greg Lee
Have you ever driven along a foggy road? On a drive through the mountains, I was enveloped by a thick fog. I had to slow down to 10 miles per hour because I could only see a few feet in front of me. My anxiety would increase if I saw something in the road. With my knuckles tightly grasping the wheel, my mind was hyper-focused on not hitting another car or a tree. How is driving through the fog similar to inflammation in the brain from Lyme disease?
Similar to fog along the road, inflammation from Lyme disease can slow down the brain
Lyme disease produces toxins and lipoproteins which trigger the immune system to produce many different kinds of inflammation. In the cerebrospinal fluid of Lyme disease patients, multiple inflammatory compounds have been detected: Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Interleukin-8 (IL-8), Interleukin-12 (IL-12), Interleukin-18 (IL-18) and interferon-gamma (INF-γ) and the chemokine ligands CXCL12 and CXCL131. In another lab study, primary microglia cells, which are macrophages found in the brain and spinal cord, co-cultured with B. burgdorferi released inflammatory compounds IL-6, IL-8, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand-2 (CCL2), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand-3 (CCL3), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand-4 (CCL4), and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand-5 (CCL5)2. Increased levels of an excitotoxin called quinolinic acid have been detected especially in Lyme patients with central nervous system inflammation3. Lyme patients with brain inflammation can have a variety of symptoms.
Lyme inflammation can aggravate symptoms of pain, swelling, poor concentration, and mood swings
Elevated inflammatory compounds have been associated with physical, mental, and emotional symptoms in patients. Some of these people report symptoms of brain fog4, concentration difficulties, memory recall problems, forgetfulness5, confusion, being spaced out, feeling ADD (attention deficit disorder), unable to process information, easily overwhelmed, and easily distractable. Physical symptoms have been described as pressure pushing out from the inside of the head, meningitis, chronic headaches6, dizziness7, vision problems8, stiffness, and a thick feeling in the head. Other people have described feeling depressed, suicidal, hopeless9, a lack of motivation, anxious10, and a lack of joy. Some medications help with reducing symptoms associated with Lyme inflammation.
Medications like Celebrex and Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) can help relieve symptoms
LDN has been shown to reduce inflammatory symptoms, depression, and cognitive issues11. Patients with Lyme disease have reported significant reductions in pain levels and inflammatory symptoms from LDN and Celebrex. Minocycline and doxycycline also reduce inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) , IL-6, and IL-812. Unfortunately, some patients do not respond to LDN or Celebrex. And other patients may experience photosensitive skin reactions13 or digestion problems with extended antibiotic use14.
Are there natural treatments and remedies that can help to reduce inflammatory symptoms in the brain with minimal side effects?
Fortunately, there are five methods that can help to alleviate symptoms of Lyme disease inflammation in the central nervous system
These five methods include treatments and remedies that help patients to quickly relieve and eliminate the symptoms of inflammation in the nervous system. These methods have been effective in patients that have not improved with anti-inflammatory medications. These treatments and remedies draw out inflammation and toxins directly or have inhibited inflammatory cytokines in lab and animal studies.
Reduce CNS Inflammation Method #1: Cupping and bloodletting
Cupping combined with bloodletting has been practiced for thousands of years in Asia and the Middle East. Lyme patients with CNS inflammation have multiple suction cups placed on the head and neck to draw out toxins from the nervous system. Next, the cups are removed and needles are inserted to make very small holes to draw out the toxins. The needles are removed and the cups are placed back on. In each cup, a small quantity of fluid is drawn out of the body. In cupping studies, the extracted blood has been found to be high in toxins15 and inflammatory compounds16. Lyme disease patients that become more inflamed with antibiotics report greater mental clarity, reduced swelling and head pain, and increased emotional ease immediately after receiving cupping and bloodletting. Liposomal herbs also help with reducing inflammatory symptoms in the central nervous system.
Reduce CNS Inflammation Method #2: Liposomal herbs and supplements
A liposome is a microscopic particle that is surrounded with a fat also called a lipid. Liposomal remedies are more effective at penetrating inside the brain17 and the nervous system18 than their non-liposomal equivalents. When anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements are delivered via liposomes, patients with inflammatory symptoms experience greater relief of head pressure, sleep disturbances, and less painful emotions. These liposomal mixtures contain compounds that are formulated for reducing cytokines and chemokines that have been found in Lyme patients with inflammation and CNS symptoms and detected in lab studies.
Inflammatory cytokine / chemokine: anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements
CCL2: Bupleurum, Chinese name: Chai Hu19, Salvia miltiorrhiza Chinese name: Dan Shen20, and Huperzine A21.
CCL3: Radix Sophorae, Chinese name: Ku Shen22 and Scrophularia, Chinese name: Xuan Shen23.
CCL4: Scrophularia, Chinese name: Xuan Shen24.
CCL5: Lemongrass, Chinese name: Xiang Mao Cao25 and Nelumbo nucifera, lotus seed, Chinese name: Lian Zi26.
CXCL12: Nigella sativa or black cumin seed, Chinese name: Hei Zhong Cao Zi27 and Astragalus membranaceus, Chinese name: Huang Qi28.
CXCL13: none found at the time of publication.
IL-6: Pueraria, Chinese name: Ge Gen29, Gotu Kola, Chinese name: Ji Xue Cao30, Andrographis paniculata, Chinese name: Chuan Xin Lian31, Isatidis root, Chinese name: Ban Lan Gen32, Polygonum cuspidatum, Japanese knotweed,
Chinese name: Hu Zhang33, and Scutellaria, Chinese name: Huang Qin34.
IL-8: Turmeric, Chinese name: Jiang Huang35, Tree peony, Paeonia Suffruticosa, Chinese name: Mu Dan Pi36, Scutellaria baicalensis, Chinese name: Huang Qin37, Schisandra chinensis, Chinese name: Wu Wei Zi38, Ginger, Chinese name: Gan Jiang39, and Crataegus fruit, Chinese name: Shan Zha40.
IL-12: Peony, Chinese name: Bai Shao41, Scutellaria baicalensis, Chinese name: Huang Qin42, Salvia root, Chinese name: Dan Shen43, and Stephania tetrandra, Chinese name: Fang Ji44.
IL-18: Emblica officinalis fruit, Ayurvedic name: Amalaki, Chinese name: Yu Gan Zi45, Cordyceps, Chinese name: Dong Chong Xia Cao46, Crataegus fruit, Chinese name: Shan Zha47, Nigella sativa, Chinese name: Hei Zhong Cao Zi48, Turmeric, Chinese name: Jiang Huang49, Pulsatilla, Chinese name: Bai Tou Weng50, and Salvia miltiorrhiza, Chinese name: Dan Shen51.
IFN-γ: Stephania tetrandra root, Chinese name: Fang Ji52, Acanthopanax senticosus, Chinese name: Ci Wu Jia53, Taraxacum officinale, Chinese dandelion, Chinese name: Pu Gong Ying54, and Peony, Chinese name: Bai
Quinolinic acid: Sida cordifolia, Chinese name: Ke Dong, Ayurvedic name: Bala56. Essential oils have also helped to clear inflammation in the nervous system.
Reduce CNS Inflammation Method #3: Sublingual essential oils
Lyme disease patients with CNS inflammation are given a customized formula of essential oils to take under their tongue (sublingual) and also in liposomal form to reduce inflammation in the nervous system. Anti-inflammatory essentail oils may include: lemongrass57, clove58, Nigella sativa or black cumin seed59, ginger60, turmeric61, and thyme62. Patients report better sleep, reduced head pressure, less post nasal drip, and greater mental clarity. Not only essential oils, but also Frequency Specific Microcurrent can be used to reduce inflammation.
Reduce CNS inflammation Method #4: Frequency Specific Microcurrent
Frequency Specific Microcurrent uses millionth of an ampere electrical currents to reduce toxicity and inflammation. Frequencies for decreasing inflammation, detoxifying, and promoting healing are combined with frequencies to target inflamed areas of the brain and nervous system. These anti-inflammatory frequencies can be directed into areas of the brain like the forebrain, midbrain, cerebellum, pineal, pituitary, basal ganglia, cingulate, meninges, prefrontal cortex, or the temporal lobe63. Acupuncture and moxabustion can also help to target CNS inflammation.
Reduce CNS inflammation Method #5: Acupuncture and moxabustion
In human and animal studies, acupuncture64 and herb partition moxabustion have been effective at reducing inflammatory compounds65. Herb partition moxabustion places on a patient’s skin powdered anti-inflammatory herbs: cones of artemisia argyii (ai ye) over a combination of aconite cortex, Chinese name: Fu Zi or Cao Wu or Chuan Wu, Safflower, Chinese name: Hong Hua, and Salvia root, Chinese name: Dan Shen. The herbs are ignited to release their medicinal properties to reduce inflammation. Many treatments and remedies can help to address neurological inflammation symptoms.
Multiple remedies and treatments can help to reduce symptoms of neurological inflammation from Lyme disease
Similar to driving out of the fog, the proper combination of cupping and bloodletting, liposomal anti-inflammatory remedies, essential oils, Frequency Specific Microcurrent, acupuncture and moxabustion helps your brain to overcome the symptoms of neurological inflammation from Lyme disease. Since some of these remedies and treatments require specialized training, work with a Lyme literate Chinese medicine practitioner to develop a proper, safe, and effective strategy for your condition.
P.S. Do you have experiences where treatments or remedies helped to relieve central nervous system inflammation from Lyme disease? Tell us about it.
>> Next step: Come to our evening lecture: Getting Rid of Lyme Disease in Frederick, Maryland on Monday January 5th at 6pm to learn more about treatments, essential oils, herbs, and homeopathic remedies for pain and inflammation from Lyme disease, Bartonella, toxoplasmosis, drug resistant arthritis, managing weight issues caused by toxins, reducing brain overwhelm, Epstein-Barr virus, adenovirus, brucellosis, Babesia, mold, parasites, abnormal fatigue, and pain. https://goodbyelyme.com/events/get_rid_lyme
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Image courtesy David Wright of Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Downhill_through_the_Tulgy_Wood_to_Bonby_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1066231.jpg
Thank you so much for the email post that arrived this morning re CNS + Lyme. You asked for recipients to contact you, so I thought I’d send this. HX: Since Dec 2012 head pain has been an issue for me ~ otherwise exceptionally health + fit…do Ironman triathlons, rowing + cycling. It started as a wee head pain to Rt parietal, + escalated into severe localized pain + dehydration with a 10 day Neurosciences acute care stay in April 2013. Post-discharge, I paid for my own MRI which showed white matter hyperintensities bilat, with Rt>Lt. As time went by I developed left weakness, ataxia, acute Rt eye pain/vision changes and other CNS specific s/s. Pain is and has always been localized to Rt head(is not a headache persay), although it now involves face, eye, ear and scalp as well. As a former neuro-nurse x 15 + years, it is with sadness that I say the neurologists had nothing to offer. In Feb 2014 I collapsed + was rushed to ER…again, the specialists had no ideas other than suggesting I ought to seek counseling. I was fortunate that this collapse happened though, because it jump-started the process that has brought me back to the point of being able to work, train and parent once again. I am not ‘well’ yet but we’re working on that. I have remained determined to stay fit regardless and although I cannot balance well enough to run or cycle, my cardio system is fitter than it has ever been ~ thanks to erg rowing (the only piece of gym equipment I couldn’t fall off!). I am very, very, very lucky to have gathered an amazing team of holistic health professionals who are nurturing me back to health. They are truly remarkable people ~ they have saved my life.
Currently we are using:
herbals = banderol/samento/quintessence/cilantro/mireva
wobenzyme + amino acids oral + lots of ginger
ALC, super EFA’s, methylcobalmine, MV’s, serrapeptase
nystatin, cholestyramine(neurotoxins), ketamine/msm topical
*1x/ week I allow myself a ‘pain holiday’ + take Tramacet ES
Also doing detox baths(epsom+peroxide), infrared sauna + respiratory exercises to drive O2 into the neuro-infected sites(can’t afford hyperbarics).
Most recent MRI shows a new retention cyst, but unchanged white matter lesions. Overall function is improving but I am definitely going to be researching many of your suggestions as I believe there are MANY lyme sufferers in my province, who are left to struggle alone. If I can help them, I will !!
Thank you once again for that incredibly excellent post…that is the best information I have seen in a long time and am honored to be recieving it. Thank you for your efforts and time in compiling, composing, formatting and sending it out. What you do matters and helps !!!
With great appreciation…
Lyme is a huge, often overlooked problem in the eastern US. It looks like you have some great remedies from your practitioners. I’d suggest giving cupping and bloodletting a try if you can find a practitioner near you.
Good job on this article — thanks for spending time to help others!
Founder, The Arthroplasty Patient Foundation
Producer, Why Am I Still Sick?
I’m happy to help others with what’s working with patients.
Hi Greg, thanks for all your great information. I have found Corydalis to help with pain. Also I use a spray containing magnesium, I read somewhere that the bacteria feed on the oral magnesium. (sorry not sure if you said it).
Tried a new remedy recommended for chronic fatigue – toxoplasmosis 30c. The muscle testing showed I needed 1 dose twice a day for 8 days, 1 dose once a day for 19 days and 1 dose every 2 days for 6 days. Taking this has definitely helped with tiredness and other symptoms. Like hitting the nail on the head. It did not get rid of all symptoms but many have been greatly reduced. I have taken Lycopodium 6c also recommended for chronic fatigue (although this has caused some anxiety symptoms after I took it for a week). This has helped also. Am taking Korean Citron jam to help with constipation. Put teaspoon in cup and add warm water. Drink first thing in the morning.
Corydalis is a great herb. I have heard that Lyme may use magnesium to strengthen biofilms. Interesting that you found relief with the Toxoplasmosis remedy. I have several patients that have gotten much better when treated with anti-toxo remedies. I’ll look into citron jam for my other constipated patients.
I have bean treated in 2011 for 3 months for Lyme with antibiotics in the Radboud Clinic in Nijmegen Holland. Reborn!
Awesome! Can you share what they did that was helpful?
Thanks for the great article.
Japanese knotweed has given me significant improvement with brain fog and head pressure, more than any other remedy I’ve tried.
Also a high fruit raw food diet which helps eliminate lymphatic obstruction, which is often an underlying issue with these symptoms.
Knotweed is a great herb, I’m so glad you are seeing good results with it.