Three Herbs for Purging a Lyme Infection from the Gallbladder

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bed bug

For people who want to protect their gallbladder from Lyme disease
by Greg Lee

Have you heard that bedbugs infestations are on the rise across the United States? These nasty critters have developed pesticide resistance, which has enabled them to grow in populated areas. They like to bite and feed on you mostly at night. At other times, they can hitch a ride on your belongings, and hide in nooks, crevices, and walls.

How is a bedbug infestation like a Lyme disease infection in the gallbladder?

Similar to bedbugs, Lyme disease can hide in the wall of the gallbladder
When the gallbladder becomes infected with Lyme disease, a person can feel mild to severe discomfort in their abdomen. Unfortunately, some antibiotics have a difficult time penetrating into this organ due a barrier between the gallbladder and the blood supply. As a result, the wall of the gallbladder can act as a hiding place for Lyme bacteria1. According to one LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor), there is a correlation between patients that have a Salmonella infection and a Lyme infection of their gallbladder. Certain antibiotics like Rocephin are believed to be able to penetrate and kill Lyme bacteria in the gallbladder.

Rocephin has been known to lead to increased gallbladder pain and inflammation
When some patients take Rocephin, they experience greater gallbladder pain, discomfort, or inflammation. This antibiotic is believed to be able to penetrate and kill off the bacteria hiding in the wall of the gallbladder. When these bacteria are killed, they release lots of toxins in the gallbladder, which leads to a flare-up of pain and inflammation. Over time, this infection can lead to reduced gallbladder functioning. A recent patient was facing having their gallbladder removed due to severe gallbladder discomfort and reduced functioning. He asked, are there any other alternatives for saving my gallbladder?

Herbal alternatives for helping the gallbladder against a Lyme infection
According to Chinese herbal medicine, there are many herbs that can help the gallbladder to reduce pain, inflammation and discomfort. In herbal descriptions, these keywords: “heat,” “fire,” “phlegm,” and “dampness” are used to indicate inflammation and pain due to an infection. There are three herbs that have been effective in reducing gallbladder pain and inflammation in people with Lyme disease.

Herb #1: Zhu Ru (Bamboo shavings)
One of the most important uses of this herb is for clearing gallbladder fire with phlegm. The properties of this herb are cool, sweet, and moistening. It also is used to treat irritability, insomnia, nausea, chest congestion, and a bitter taste in the mouth with profuse phlegm. Zhu Ru also has an inhibitory effect against Staphlococcus albus, E. coli, and Salmonella typhi2.

Herb #2: Huang Qin (Scutellaria)
The properties of this herb are: bitter, cold, clears heat, dries dampness, sedates fire, and eliminates toxins. It stimulates gallbladder activity and has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It enhances the antibiotic effect of beta-lactam antibiotics against drug resistent staph infections like MRSA. It inhibits the cancer-causing effects of fungal toxins, is used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, reduces anxiety and stress, and relieves headaches. Scutellaria is used to treat encephalitis, hepatitis, hypertension, and disorders of the skin, eyes, throat, ears, and nose.

It has a wide spectrum inhibitory effect against beta-hemolytic streptococcus (Group B strep), Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (which causes problems in cystic fibrosis patients), E. coli, Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough), Vibrio cholerae (cholera), and multiple influenza viruses3. It also kills leptospira (another spirochete disease) and neutralizes endotoxins4, which is the type of toxins that Lyme bacteria produce.

Herb #3: Long Dan Cao (Gentiana, Dragon Gallbladder Herb)
The properties of this herb are: bitter, cold, clears heat and dries dampness, and purges fire in the liver and gallbladder. It also treats jaundice, eczema, thirst, lack of appetite, abdominal fullness, abdominal pain, headaches, red eyes and a bitter taste in the mouth. Long Dan Cao also treats hepatitus, encephalitis B, tinnitus, fever, irritability, insomnia or nightmares, convulsions, seizures, sexually transmitted diseases, and hepatitus.

It inhibits Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Diplococcus meningitidis, and Staphylococcus aureus. Small doses of Long Dan Cao taken before or with meals can enhance digestion and absorption. Caution: this herb can cause drowsiness or sedation, and people should exercise caution if driving or operating heavy machinery5.

These three herbs help your gallbladder to reduce inflammation, clear infections, neutralize toxins, and enhance the effectiveness of beta-lactam antibiotics. These herbs have been used to treat liver and gallbladder infections for several hundred years.

An ancient herbal formula recipe used to treat gallbladder infections
One well-known liver/gallbladder herbal formula, “Gentiana Longdancao Decoction to Drain the Liver” has been used effectively to treat liver and gallbladder discomfort caused by heat, inflammation, and infection for over three hundred years. It contains Long Dan Cao (Gentiana) and Huang Qin (Scutellaria). Possible additions to this formula include Zhu Ru6 (Bamboo shavings) to treat nausea and vomiting. Patients with anemia, weakness, cold extremities, bloating, or loose stools are cautioned from using these herbs. Consult with a Lyme Literate Chinese Herbalist before adding these herbs to your Lyme disease treatment program.

Patients report a significant reduction of gallbladder discomfort
After taking these gallbladder specific, anti-Lyme, anti-toxin, and inflammation reducing herbs, patients have reported that their abdominal discomfort is significantly better. Adding treatments like cupping and acupuncture help to further reduce and eliminate gallbladder-related symptoms. Using the right herbs can make a big difference in your discomfort and gallbladder functioning.

The right herb combination can help your gallbladder to recover from a Lyme infection
Just like fumigating apartment walls for bedbugs, the proper combination of herbs helps you to eliminate a hidden Lyme infection, reduce inflammation, and neutralize damaging toxins in your gallbladder. Some of these herbs can also enhance the effectiveness of your antibiotics. However, some of these herbs come with cautions on their use, so work with a Lyme Literate Chinese Herbalist to develop a proper, safe, and effective herbal strategy for your condition. If these herbs are used before pain becomes too severe or significant functioning is lost, they can help you to save your gallbladder from surgery.

1. Blog post by LymeMD on Thursday, June 26, 2008. http://lymemd.blogspot.com/2008/06/lyme-and-gallbladder.html
2. Chen, John K., and Tina T. Chen. 2004. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry CA: Art of Medicine Press, Inc., p. 710
3. Chen, John K., and Tina T. Chen. 2004. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry CA: Art of Medicine Press, Inc., p. 137 – 140
4. Zhang Xia, Cui Naije and Wang Jiatai, The antagonistic action of heat-clearing and detoxifying Chinese drugs on endotoxins, Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 2001; 21(1): 72-77.
5. Chen, John K., and Tina T. Chen. 2004. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry CA: Art of Medicine Press, Inc., p. 148 – 150
6. Flaws, B., and P. Sionneau.  2005. The Treatment of Modern Western Medical Diseases with Chinese Medicine. 2nd Edition. Boulder, Colorado, Blue Poppy Press. p. 140.

Next Step: Want to learn more about healing Lyme disease? Click here to find out about our evening lecture at 6pm on Monday September 13th, “Getting Rid of Lyme Disease” in Frederick, Maryland.

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