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Larry Langdon
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Essential oils for Lyme Disease

Essential oils for Lyme Disease

Essential oils derived from garlic and other common herbs have been shown to inhibit bacterial activity that causes Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an arthritic condition caused by bacteria that are spread by ticks. These oils may be effective in reducing Lyme symptoms that persist despite traditional antibiotic treatment.

Researchers looked at lab-dish studies of 35 essential oils, which are squeezed from plants or their fruits and contain the aroma or essence of the plant. Oils from cinnamon wood, garlic cloves, myrrh trees, cumin seeds, thyme leaves, and allspice berries, among others, showed great killing action against dormant and slow-growing 'persister' forms of the Lyme disease bacterium. Researchers discovered that these essential oils were even more effective than typical Lyme drugs at killing the 'persister' types of Lyme bacteria. 

Lyme disease is often treated with doxycycline or an other antibiotic for a few weeks. It aids in the healing of the illness and the alleviation of symptoms. However, between 10 to 20% of patients experience persistent symptoms such as fatigue and joint pain, which are referred to as 'chronic Lyme infection' or 'post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome' (PTLDS) and can last months or years in some circumstances. Essential oils, and other therapies can be beneficial in these cases 

Alternative treatments for Lyme disease do not substitute medical treatment and can be used alongside medical treatment with the knowledge of your treating doctor.


Essential Oils In The Treatment Of Lyme Disease: What Does Research Say?

According to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, oils from garlic and numerous other common herbs and medicinal plants have potent antibacterial action against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. According to the study, these oils may be especially helpful in treating Lyme symptoms that persist despite normal antibiotic treatment.

The research, which was published in the journal Antibiotics on October 16, comprised lab-dish tests of 35 essential oils, which are oils extracted from plants or their fruits and contain the plant's main scent, or "essence." The researchers discovered that ten of them, including oils from garlic cloves, myrrh trees, thyme leaves, cinnamon bark, allspice berries, and cumin seeds, had potent lethal effect against dormant and slow-growing "persister" Lyme disease bacterium.

"We discovered that these essential oils were even more effective than typical Lyme medications at eliminating the 'persister' types of Lyme bacteria," says study senior author Ying Zhang, MD, PhD, professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

In the United States, an estimated 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. For a few weeks, standard treatment with doxycycline or another antibiotic usually clears the infection and relieves symptoms. However, between 10 to 20% of patients experience persistent symptoms such as fatigue and joint pain, which are referred to as "persistent Lyme infection" or "post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome" (PTLDS) and can last months or years in certain cases.

This lingering syndrome's cause is unknown. However, it is known that Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, can enter a stationary phase in which many of the cells divide slowly or not at all. Slow-dividing or quiescent cells are "persister" cells, which arise spontaneously under nutrition deprivation or stress and are more antibiotic-resistant. Other medications or medicinal compounds that can kill persistent Lyme bacteria have being sought by certain researchers in the hopes that these compounds can be utilized to treat persons with chronic Lyme symptoms.

Zhang and his team have been at the vanguard of these efforts. His lab investigated FDA-approved medications for activity against persister Lyme bacteria in 2014 and discovered a number of options, including daptomycin (used to treat MRSA), that were more effective than the current Lyme antibiotics. They reported in 2015 that in lab dish testing, a three-antibiotic combination (doxycycline, cefoperazone, and daptomycin) effectively eliminated Lyme persister bacteria. Essential oils from oregano, cinnamon bark, clove buds, citronella, and wintergreen killed stationary phase Lyme bacteria even more effectively than daptomycin, the most powerful of the tested medications, according to a 2017 study.

Zhang and his colleagues expanded their lab-dish testing to include 35 additional essential oils, finding 10 that have substantial killing power against stationary phase Lyme bacteria cultures at doses as low as one part per thousand. Five of these oils, produced from garlic bulbs, allspice berries, myrrh trees, spiked ginger lily blooms, and may alter fruit, eliminated all stationary phase Lyme bacteria in their culture dishes in seven days at this concentration, with no bacteria growing back in 21 days.

Cinnamaldehyde, the fragrant primary element in cinnamon bark oil, performed well as did oils from thyme leaves, cumin seeds, and amyris wood.

These lab-dish tests are still in the early stages of development, but Zhang and colleagues want to expand their study into live animal experiments in the near future, including tests in mice models of persistent Lyme infection. If the testing go well and the effective doses appear to be safe, Zhang plans to conduct preliminary human trials.

At this point, these essential oils appear to be viable candidates for treating persistent Lyme infection, but we will need to conduct properly planned clinical trials in the future.


What a Study Of 35 Essential Oils Against Lyme Disease Revealed

The activity of another panel of 35 novel essential oils, as well as control medications, against a seven-day old B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture in 96-well plates incubated for seven days was investigated in this study. Even at 0.05 percent concentration, cinnamon bark essential oil demonstrated very high action against B. burgdorferi culture at stationary phase in a prior study. They included cinnamaldehyde (CA), the main constituent in cinnamon bark, in this screen to identify the active components of cinnamon bark essential oil. The activity of the 35 essential oils and CA against B. burgdorferi culture at stationary phase  was observed. Despite the fact that the autofluorescence of Litsea cubeba essential oil was too strong to determine its activity at 0.2 percent concentration, all other essential oil candidates, with the exception of parsley seed, showed significantly higher activity than the doxycycline control at 0.2 percent concentration.

In comparison to the control antibiotics doxycycline, cefuroxime, and daptomycin, 16 essential oils and CA at 0.2 percent concentration were found to have high action against B. burgdorferi growth at stationary phase.

10 essential oils (garlic, allspice, cumin, palmarosa, myrrh, hydacheim, amyris, thyme white, Litsea cubeba, lemon eucalyptus), and CA showed considerable anti-microbial activity above the currently used doxycycline at a concentration of 0.1. Because of their amazing activity even at 0.1 percent, the most active essential oils were garlic, allspice, cumin, palmarosa, myrrh, and hydacheim, as evidenced. At 0.1 percent concentration, CA also demonstrated a lot of action.

They found no difference in activity between the doxycycline control and the other six essential oils (cornmint, fennel sweet, ho wood, birch, petitgrain, and head relief), which showed strong activity at 0.2 percent concentration. Both essential oils exhibited strong activity against the stationary phase B. burgdorferi, as confirmed by fluorescence microscopy.


What is Lyme Disease and How Does It Affect You?

Lyme disease is becoming more widespread in the United States, with over 300,000 people afflicted each year, making it more common than breast cancer. Lyme disease, which is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, has long been thought to be largely a tick-borne sickness. After a tick bite has occurred and the tick has been securely removed, just minimal swelling and itching are usually left. Other symptoms will emerge if the tick was carrying Lyme disease.

The "bullseye" rash, which develops around the bite like a target, is the most well-known Lyme symptom. However, some people never get a rash, so don't rely on that as your only indicator! Lyme disease can also cause flu-like symptoms such as aches and pains.

Lyme disease can progress into more chronic illnesses including arthritis, aching muscles and joints, memory problems, headaches, numbness or weakness, and severe fatigue if it isn't treated promptly. Because Lyme disease is a serious risk, tick bites should be avoided first and then continuously monitored if avoidance fails.


Essential Oils To Prevent Ticks

When it comes to Lyme disease, prevention is crucial. Even when persistent symptoms may be prevented, Lyme disease symptoms and treatment can be difficult. No one wants to deal with that type of pain and inconvenience, and no one should have to live with the long-term repercussions if they discover how to naturally treat Lyme disease.

Northern US coastlines, the Mid-Atlantic, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are most vulnerable to Lyme-carrying ticks, however all states are at risk. To prepare your family for tick bites and Lyme disease prevention, use these oils with your standard lemon, eucalyptus, and citronella oils for a more diverse strategy that will keep away.


Citronella is usually the first thing that comes to mind when we think about bug repellants. Citronella candles and sprays can be used to prevent ticks. Citronella, on the other hand, may not be the first choice for ticks.


Cloves are safer for children compared to citronella. In a 2014 study comparing the effects of two oils on ticks: clove and citronella. While citronella was beneficial, clove outperformed it significantly, with an efficacy of over 90%. Use clove in outdoor diffusions where ticks are likely to be present, direct sprays and ground/surface treatments, and topical preventative applications when diluted.


Vetiver essential oil was investigated for its efficacy against ticks and their larvae in tests. vetiver was able to keep ticks at bay even better than regular therapies. Application: In tick-infested areas, ground and surface treatments; topical application for bug repelling properties.


The essential oil profile of oregano, a popular kitchen herb, is quite strong. Oregano essential oil is used in pest control and Lyme prevention. It is an antibacterial/antibiotic oil with significant effects on the skin that require dilution. Topical bug repellents are used in this application. Because oregano can be irritating to the skin, make sure you dilute it well and use it as part of a bigger combination.


Study findings show that 5 percent oregano and spearmint oils have potential as natural garment repellents with an effective equivalent to 20 percent DEET repellents.


Tick death rates were virtually 100% after being exposed to garlic essential oil. If you can't find garlic essential oil, make your own garlic oil infusion to use in your ground and surface treatments

You can't go uncovered if you're going to be in regions where ticks are a major risk. Essential oil compositions tend to be the smarter choice for learning how to treat Lyme disease naturally, as several oils appear to be more effective than commercial ones.

Keep these simple body oils on hand to apply to exposed skin if tick exposure is expected to be high. Hikers, campers, and those who enjoy outdoor activities that take them into the woods should be aware of the dangers. Keep in mind that these oils are strong, so keep them away from your eyes and mouth.