For people with neurological Bartonella symptoms of swelling and anxiety
by Greg Lee
My nephew invited us to his wedding in Hawaii. As we were booking our trip, the Kilauea volcano started spewing lava into residential neighborhoods. People had no other choice and had to evacuate as their homes and cars were burned by the spreading lava.
How is flowing lava similar to neurological Bartonella infections in people with Lyme disease?
Just like a hot lava eruption, a Bartonella infection can slowly burn through your body
Bartonella is a rod shaped, gram-negative bacteria that can be transmitted to humans via insect bites1, animal scratches and bites2, organ transplant3, needle sticks4, and blood transfusion5. At least thirteen different species of Bartonella are known to infect humans6. Bartonella has been shown to infect endothelial cells, macrophages, red blood cells7, and the lymphatic system8. Bartonella can spread through the bloodstream via the lymphatic system9. Bartonella manipulates the production of vascular endothelial growth factor10 (VEGF) and Interleukin-811 (IL-8) to make it easier for it to spread via new blood vessels through the skin and the body. Unfortunately, Bartonella can also infect the nervous system.
Bartonella has been detected in the cerebral spinal fluid of patients12
Patients with a Bartonella infection may present with multiple neurological symptoms including: confusion, encephalitis13, vision loss, neuroretinitis, optic neuropathy14, subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebral embolism15, fever, vomiting, ataxia16, slurred speech, weakness17, convulsions18, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy19, depression, anxiety, mood swings, severe headaches, muscle spasms, decreased peripheral vision, diminished tactile sensation, and hallucinations20. Multiple patients have both Bartonella and Lyme disease in their nervous system21. Inflammation may play a role in Bartonella’s ability to spread into the brain.
Inflammatory compounds may help Bartonella spread into the nervous system
Patients diagnosed with Bartonella have elevated levels of IL-822, Interleukin-1023 (IL-10), and vascular endothelial growth factor24 (VEGF). Elevated levels of IL-825 and VEGF26 have been correlated with blood brain barrier increased permeability and dysfunction. Il-10 may help to protect the blood brain barrier27. Similarly, inflammatory compounds Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Interleukin- (IL-8), chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), and CXCL13 are implicated in the spread of Lyme disease in the nervous system28. Another factor in persistent neurological infections may be due to drug resistant Bartonella strains that have been discovered.
Bartonella drug resistant strains have been discovered
Highly antibiotic resistant mutants of Bartonella bacilliformis have been found in a lab study29. Another study has found drug resistant forms of Bartonella henselae30.
Can essential oils help to reduce recurring neurological symptoms by preventing how Bartonella may spread into the nervous system?
Fortunately, there are four essential oils that lower the inflammatory compounds that Bartonella uses to spread through the body
In multiple studies, essential oils were effective at lowering inflammatory compounds and symptoms like anxiety that may be elevated in neurological Bartonella infections. Formulating these oils into microparticles called liposomes may help deliver these remedies deeper inside the brain. Many of these essential oils have been used safely for years in our food supply31. Formulating these essential oils into microparticles called liposomes may help them penetrate deeper inside of blood cells, endothelial cells and the nervous system where Bartonella likes to hide32.
Anti-Neurological Bartonella Essential Oil #1: Peppermint
In a mouse wound study, peppermint essential oil was effective at lowering VEGF and increasing IL-1033. Peppermint oil has had positive effects in reducing anxiety in human studies34. Do not apply peppermint oil undiluted to the feet of children under 12 years old, avoid large doses, it may cause heartburn, perianal burning, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting when taken internally. Peppermint essential oil use is contraindicated in children under 30 months old, and people should avoid the intake of peppermint oil with gallbladder disease, severe liver damage, gallstones, chronic heartburn35, and cases of cardiac fibrillation and in patients with a G6PD (Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase) deficiency36. This oil is classified as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA37. Black cumin seed oil may also help to lower VEGF.
Anti-Neurological Bartonella Essential Oil #2: Black Cumin Seed
In lab studies, black cumin seed oil down regulated the expression of VEGF in endothelial cells38. In a rat study, this oil increased levels of tryptophan and reduced anxiety levels39. Black cumin seed oil is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s use is cautioned with diabetes medications, on hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin, and in children under 2 years of age40. Mastic gum essential oil also lowers VEGF in experiments.
Anti-Neurological Bartonella Essential Oil #3: Mastic Gum
In a mouse lab study, mastic essential oil inhibited the release of VEGF41. In an outpatient study on Crohn’s disease, mastic gum decreased IL-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP)42. Citron essential oils lowered VEGF in a lab study.
Anti-Neurological Bartonella Essential Oil #4: Citron
In a lab study, citron essential oil lowered VEGF in endothelial cells43. These essential oils alone or in combination may help to reduce neurological symptoms caused by a spreading Bartonella infection in the nervous system.
Essential oils may help to reduce the spread of inflammation caused by neurological Bartonella infection
Similar to lava that is stopped by the cold waters of the ocean, essential oils that lower Bartonella inflammatory compounds may limit it’s spread in the brain and reduce neurological symptoms. Formulating these essential oils into microparticle liposomes may enhance their ability to penetrate into cells and stop Bartonella from invading the nervous system. 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 strategy for your condition.
>> Next step: Click here to take our stealthy co-infection quiz to see which tick infections may be causing your symptoms.
P.S. Do you have experiences where treatment or remedies helped you reduce neurological symptoms from a Bartonella infection? Tell us about it.
1 Billeter, S. A., M. G. Levy, B. B. Chomel, and E. B. Breitschwerdt. “Vector Transmission of Bartonella Species with Emphasis on the Potential for Tick Transmission.” Medical and Veterinary Entomology 22, no. 1 (March 2008): 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2915.2008.00713.x.
3 Scolfaro, C., F. Mignone, F. Gennari, A. Alfarano, A. Veltri, R. Romagnoli, and M. Salizzoni. “Possible Donor-Recipient Bartonellosis Transmission in a Pediatric Liver Transplant.” Transplant Infectious Disease: An Official Journal of the Transplantation Society 10, no. 6 (December 2008): 431–33. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-3062.2008.00326.x.
5 Núñez, M. Antonieta, Karla Contreras, M. Soledad Depix, Enrique Geoffroy, Nicolás Villagra, Sandra Mellado, and Ana M. Salinas. “[Prevalence of Bartonella henselae in blood donors and risk of blood transmission in Chile].” Revista Chilena De Infectologia: Organo Oficial De La Sociedad Chilena De Infectologia 34, no. 6 (December 2017): 539–43. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0716-10182017000600539.
6 Lamas, C., A. Curi, Mn Bóia, and Ers Lemos. “Human Bartonellosis: Seroepidemiological and Clinical Features with an Emphasis on Data from Brazil – a Review.” Memorias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 103, no. 3 (May 2008): 221–35.
8 Choi, Alexander H., Michael Bolaris, Diana K. Nguyen, Eduard H. Panosyan, Joseph L. Lasky, and Gloria B. Duane. “Clinicocytopathologic Correlation in an Atypical Presentation of Lymphadenopathy with Review of Literature.” American Journal of Clinical Pathology 143, no. 5 (May 2015): 749–54. https://doi.org/10.1309/AJCPPSKWRX0GD8HJ.
9 Hong, Jiehua, Yan Li, Xiuguo Hua, Yajie Bai, Chunyan Wang, Caixia Zhu, Yuming Du, Zhibiao Yang, and Congli Yuan. “Lymphatic Circulation Disseminates Bartonella Infection Into Bloodstream.” The Journal of Infectious Diseases 215, no. 2 (January 15, 2017): 303–11. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiw526.
10 Kempf, V. A., B. Volkmann, M. Schaller, C. A. Sander, K. Alitalo, T. Riess, and I. B. Autenrieth. “Evidence of a Leading Role for VEGF in Bartonella Henselae-Induced Endothelial Cell Proliferations.” Cellular Microbiology 3, no. 9 (September 2001): 623–32.
11 McCord, Amy M., Sandra I. Resto-Ruiz, and Burt E. Anderson. “Autocrine Role for Interleukin-8 in Bartonella Henselae-Induced Angiogenesis.” Infection and Immunity 74, no. 9 (September 2006): 5185–90. https://doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00622-06.
12 Samarkos, Michael, Vasiliki Antoniadou, Aristeidis G. Vaiopoulos, and Mina Psichogiou. “Encephalopathy in an Adult with Cat-Scratch Disease.” BMJ Case Reports 2018 (March 5, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2017-223647.
13 Samarkos, Michael, Vasiliki Antoniadou, Aristeidis G. Vaiopoulos, and Mina Psichogiou. “Encephalopathy in an Adult with Cat-Scratch Disease.” BMJ Case Reports 2018 (March 5, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2017-223647.
14 Habot-Wilner, Zohar, Omer Trivizki, Michaella Goldstein, Anat Kesler, Shiri Shulman, Josepha Horowitz, Radgonde Amer, et al. “Cat-Scratch Disease: Ocular Manifestations and Treatment Outcome.” Acta Ophthalmologica, March 5, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1111/aos.13684.
15 Yuan, Y., M. Shen, and X. G. Gao. “[Presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage and then blood culture negative infective endocarditis: a case report and literature review].” Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao. Yi Xue Ban = Journal of Peking University. Health Sciences 49, no. 6 (December 18, 2017): 1081–86.
16 Barnafi, Natalia, Natalia Conca, Cecilia von Borries, Isabel Fuentes, Francisca Montoya, and Elisa Alcalde. “[Central nervous system infection by Bartonella henselae associated with a choroid plexus papilloma].” Revista Chilena De Infectologia: Organo Oficial De La Sociedad Chilena De Infectologia 34, no. 4 (August 2017): 383–88. https://doi.org/10.4067/s0716-10182017000400383.
17 Teoh, Laurence S G, Hamish H Hart, May Ching Soh, Jonathan P Christiansen, Hasan Bhally, Martin S Philips, and Dominic S Rai-Chaudhuri. “Bartonella Henselae Aortic Valve Endocarditis Mimicking Systemic Vasculitis.” BMJ Case Reports 2010 (October 21, 2010). https://doi.org/10.1136/bcr.04.2010.2945.
18 Balakrishnan, Nandhakumar, Marna Ericson, Ricardo Maggi, and Edward B. Breitschwerdt. “Vasculitis, Cerebral Infarction and Persistent Bartonella Henselae Infection in a Child.” Parasites & Vectors 9, no. 1 (2016): 254. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1547-9.
19 Mascarelli, Patricia E, Ricardo G Maggi, Sarah Hopkins, B Robert Mozayeni, Chelsea L Trull, Julie M Bradley, Barbara C Hegarty, and Edward B Breitschwerdt. “Bartonella Henselae Infection in a Family Experiencing Neurological and Neurocognitive Abnormalities after Woodlouse Hunter Spider Bites.” Parasites & Vectors 6 (April 15, 2013): 98. https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-6-98.
20 Breitschwerdt, Edward B., Patricia E. Mascarelli, Lori A. Schweickert, Ricardo G. Maggi, Barbara C. Hegarty, Julie M. Bradley, and Christopher W. Woods. “Hallucinations, Sensory Neuropathy, and Peripheral Visual Deficits in a Young Woman Infected with Bartonella Koehlerae ▿.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology 49, no. 9 (September 2011): 3415–17. https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00833-11.
21 Podsiadły, Edyta, Tomasz Chmielewski, and Stanisława Tylewska-Wierzbanowska. “Bartonella Henselae and Borrelia Burgdorferi Infections of the Central Nervous System.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 990 (June 2003): 404–6.
22 McCord, Amy M., Sandra I. Resto-Ruiz, and Burt E. Anderson. “Autocrine Role for Interleukin-8 in Bartonella Henselae-Induced Angiogenesis.” Infection and Immunity 74, no. 9 (September 2006): 5185–90. https://doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00622-06.
23 Huarcaya, Erick, Ciro Maguina, Ivan Best, Nelson Solorzano, and Lawrence Leeman. “Immunological Response in Cases of Complicated and Uncomplicated Bartonellosis during Pregnancy.” Revista Do Instituto De Medicina Tropical De Sao Paulo 49, no. 5 (October 2007): 335–37.
24 Kempf, V. A., B. Volkmann, M. Schaller, C. A. Sander, K. Alitalo, T. Riess, and I. B. Autenrieth. “Evidence of a Leading Role for VEGF in Bartonella Henselae-Induced Endothelial Cell Proliferations.” Cellular Microbiology 3, no. 9 (September 2001): 623–32.
25 Kossmann, T., P. F. Stahel, P. M. Lenzlinger, H. Redl, R. W. Dubs, O. Trentz, G. Schlag, and M. C. Morganti-Kossmann. “Interleukin-8 Released into the Cerebrospinal Fluid after Brain Injury Is Associated with Blood-Brain Barrier Dysfunction and Nerve Growth Factor Production.” Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism: Official Journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 17, no. 3 (March 1997): 280–89. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004647-199703000-00005.
26 Zhang, Zheng Gang, Li Zhang, Quan Jiang, Ruilan Zhang, Kenneth Davies, Cecylia Powers, Nicholas van Bruggen, and Michael Chopp. “VEGF Enhances Angiogenesis and Promotes Blood-Brain Barrier Leakage in the Ischemic Brain.” Journal of Clinical Investigation 106, no. 7 (October 1, 2000): 829–38.
27 Lin, Ronggui, Fei Chen, Shi Wen, Tianhong Teng, Yu Pan, and Heguang Huang. “Interleukin-10 Attenuates Impairment of the Blood-Brain Barrier in a Severe Acute Pancreatitis Rat Model.” Journal of Inflammation (London, England) 15 (2018): 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12950-018-0180-0.
28 Ramesh, Geeta, Peter J. Didier, John D. England, Lenay Santana-Gould, Lara A. Doyle-Meyers, Dale S. Martin, Mary B. Jacobs, and Mario T. Philipp. “Inflammation in the Pathogenesis of Lyme Neuroborreliosis.” The American Journal of Pathology 185, no. 5 (May 2015): 1344–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.01.024.
29 Gomes, Cláudia, Sandra Martínez-Puchol, Lidia Ruiz-Roldán, Maria J. Pons, Juana del Valle Mendoza, and Joaquim Ruiz. “Development and Characterisation of Highly Antibiotic Resistant Bartonella Bacilliformis Mutants.” Scientific Reports 6 (September 26, 2016): 33584. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep33584.
30 Biswas, Silpak, Ricardo G. Maggi, Mark G. Papich, and Edward B. Breitschwerdt. “Molecular Mechanisms of Bartonella Henselae Resistance to Azithromycin, Pradofloxacin and Enrofloxacin.” Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 65, no. 3 (March 1, 2010): 581–82. https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkp459.
31 Hyldgaard, Morten, Tina Mygind, and Rikke Louise Meyer. “Essential Oils in Food Preservation: Mode of Action, Synergies, and Interactions with Food Matrix Components.” Frontiers in Microbiology 3 (January 25, 2012). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2012.00012.
32 Sherry, Mirna, Catherine Charcosset, Hatem Fessi, and Hélène Greige-Gerges. “Essential Oils Encapsulated in Liposomes: A Review.” Journal of Liposome Research 23, no. 4 (December 2013): 268–75. https://doi.org/10.3109/08982104.2013.819888.
33 Modarresi, Mohammad, Mohammad-Reza Farahpour, and Behzad Baradaran. “Topical Application of Mentha Piperita Essential Oil Accelerates Wound Healing in Infected Mice Model.” Inflammopharmacology, July 6, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10787-018-0510-0.
34 Stea, Susanna, Alina Beraudi, and Dalila De Pasquale. “Essential Oils for Complementary Treatment of Surgical Patients: State of the Art.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM 2014 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/726341.
35 “Peppermint Safety Info | National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.” Accessed April 1, 2017. https://naha.org/naha-blog/peppermint-safety-info/.
36 Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. 2 edition. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.
37 “CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21.” Accessed October 28, 2018. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=182.20.
38 M. Baharetha, Hussein, Zeyad Nassar, Abdalrahim Aisha, Abd Kadir M.O, Zhari Ismail, and Amin Malik Shah Abdul Majid. “Essential Oil of Nigella Sativa Inhibits Angiogenesis via Down-Regulation of VEGF Expression,” 2015. https://doi.org/10.4172/2375-4273.C1.009.
39 Perveen, Tahira, Saida Haider, Sumera Kanwal, and Darakhshan Jabeen Haleem. “Repeated Administration of Nigella Sativa Decreases 5-HT Turnover and Produces Anxiolytic Effects in Rats.” Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 22, no. 2 (April 2009): 139–44.
40 Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. 2 edition. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. p. 793.
41 Loutrari, Heleni, Sophia Magkouta, Anastasia Pyriochou, Vasiliki Koika, Fragiskos N. Kolisis, Andreas Papapetropoulos, and Charis Roussos. “Mastic Oil from Pistacia Lentiscus Var. Chia Inhibits Growth and Survival of Human K562 Leukemia Cells and Attenuates Angiogenesis.” Nutrition and Cancer 55, no. 1 (2006): 86–93. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327914nc5501_11.
42 Kaliora, Andriana C, Maria G Stathopoulou, John K Triantafillidis, George VZ Dedoussis, and Nikolaos K Andrikopoulos. “Chios Mastic Treatment of Patients with Active Crohn’s Disease.” World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG 13, no. 5 (February 7, 2007): 748–53. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v13.i5.748.
43 “Effects of Citron Essential Oils on Normal Human Epidermal Keratinocytes Stimulated with Vitamin D3 and TNF-A.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 76, no. 6 (June 1, 2017): AB110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2017.04.436.