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Natural Remedies for Lyme Disease


Natural Remedies for Lyme Disease

What is Lyme disease?

Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease, which is the most common tick-borne bacterial infection. Sometimes, Lyme disease is also known as Lyme borreliosis.

The bacterial infection is passed to humans through the bite of infected ticks, Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as blacklegged ticks or deer ticks, which are usually found in grassy or wooded areas.

After the infected tick has been attached to the skin for about 36-48 hours, the bacteria pass through the skin and spread throughout the body via the blood, affecting various parts of the body.

Anyone who lives and spends more time outdoors in areas where disease-carrying ticks are prevalent has an increased likelihood of getting Lyme disease.


Symptoms of Lyme disease

The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease usually appear within 3-30 days after being bitten by an infected tick. Most often, the characteristic symptom of Lyme disease is the appearance of erythema migrans, which is a rash shaped like a bull’s eye.

Other common symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Weakness of the limbs


Can Lyme disease be cured?

Most patients with Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a course of antibiotics, and usually, the symptoms resolve after a few weeks of antibiotics. People who receive early treatment with antibiotics usually get better without any complications.

But sometimes, antibiotics fail to treat the symptoms in up to 20%-25% of patients treated for Lyme disease, and they continue to remain sick or get worse even after the antibiotic treatment.

If Lyme disease is not treated, it can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system, causing complications such as severe headaches; muscle, joint, and tendon pain; Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis); cardiac (heart) problems; and neurological disorders.

Many patients may suffer debilitating effects of the disease, necessitating the need for a novel treatment against B. burgdorferi. Hence, many physicians have begun using natural methods such as good nutrition, supplements, and herbal medicines to treat patients with Lyme disease.

Chronic Lyme disease may make a person feel hopeless. But there are lots of alternative options, and finding the correct one that suits the patient’s needs can help them get better.

Alternative therapeutic options may produce significant side effects in patients and should be administered only under the supervision of a physician who has knowledge of their potentials and toxicities.


Natural remedies for Lyme disease

Some of the natural remedies for Lyme disease that may help patients who haven't been successfully treated with the standard antibiotic treatment include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Anti-inflammatory diet
  • Chlorella
  • Essential oils
  • Exercise
  • Herbal medicines
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Reducing stress
  • Stevia
  • Supplements
  • Support system
  • Other natural treatments



Acupuncture can relieve symptoms like anxiety, stress, pain, and sleeplessness, which are often associated with Lyme disease. As some studies have shown that acupuncture can strengthen the immune system, it may help to treat Lyme disease altogether.


Anti-inflammatory diet

The symptoms of Lyme disease often arise from the inflammation that is caused by the disease. By avoiding inflammatory foods, the symptoms can be reduced or eliminated.

People with Lyme disease should avoid alcohol and foods that could cause inflammation, such as processed foods, sugar, caffeine, gluten, and dairy products. Patients can also go on an elimination diet to find out what foods trigger the symptoms. Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables that have anti-inflammatory benefits would also be helpful in reducing inflammation.



Chlorella is a type of algae that has detoxifying and antioxidant properties. As Chlorella binds to toxins and helps eliminate them, it is recommended for patients with Lyme disease.

Chlorella may also help avoid the Herxheimer reaction, a condition where B. burgdorferi causes inflammation in the body during the process of being killed.


Essential oils

Essential oils are concentrated liquids that are extracted from plants. Some essential oils are known for their high antibacterial properties and can kill bacteria. They are highly antibacterial and can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied topically.

In a laboratory setting, essential oils such as clove bud, cinnamon bark, and oregano have killed the bacteria without any regrowth. However, more studies are needed on the use of essential oils for treating Lyme disease in humans.



B. burgdorferi dislikes heat and oxygen. As exercise generates heat and supplies oxygen to all parts of the body, it is advisable to do regular exercise every day.


Herbal medicines

Research has shown that herbal medicines are highly effective against B. burgdorferi in laboratory testing in test tubes compared with antibiotics such as doxycycline and cefuroxime.

Herbal extracts at 0.25%-0.5% had better action against the stationary-phase B. burgdorferi culture than the control antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime, which are commonly used in the treatment of Lyme disease.

However, additional studies are needed to further evaluate the effectiveness of herbal medicines in treating people with Lyme disease.

According to various studies conducted, herbal medicines that have been effective in their ability to kill B. burgdorferi in test tubes include:

  • Artemisia annua (Sweet wormwood)
  • Cistus incanus
  • Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
  • Juglans nigra (Black walnut)
  • Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
  • Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap)
  • Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s claw)


Herbal medicines produce significant side effects, and patients should not attempt to self-treat with these herbal medicines because of their potential side effects and lack of clinical trials.

Two common herbs, Cat’s claw and Bandero (an extract produced from the bark of Otoba parvifolia), are usually administered together because they have been clinically proven to act against Borrelia species. The combination of the two herbs is effective against the shape-shifting behavior of the Borrelia species.


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Exposure to 100% oxygen at high pressure is involved in hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It’s often performed in a room called a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to promote healing.

A case study in 2014 reported that hyperbaric oxygen therapy was used to treat Lyme disease in a person who hadn’t responded to antibiotics. However, more large-scale studies on hyperbaric oxygen therapy are needed to understand whether it is an effective treatment for Lyme disease.


Reducing stress

Stress can be reduced by meditating, exercising, sleeping more, or spending time with friends and family.



Some research findings show that a natural sugar-free sweetener called Stevia can kill B. burgdorferi. The study was conducted on isolated bacteria, and it is not entirely certain if stevia could kill the bacteria in the body.

However, B. burgdorferi produces a protein matrix called biofilm, creating treatment resistance; hence, stevia is recommended because it is considered a biofilm disruptor.



Many supplements are believed to have immune-boosting qualities and can naturally treat Lyme disease.

Patients with Lyme disease would benefit from taking the following supplements:

  • Alpha-lipoic acid
  • Fish oil
  • Garlic
  • Glutathione
  • Magnesium
  • Olive leaf
  • Omega-3
  • Omega-6
  • Probiotics (especially if antibiotics are taken)
  • Trace minerals
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin B-1
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin-D

However, there is no evidence that any of the supplements can help completely get rid of Lyme disease.

Consuming supplements in minimal quantities is recommended because the gut can become overwhelmed and may not be able to handle too many supplements.

Eating about six cups of leafy, green, or brightly colored vegetables every day is better for good gut health than taking a lot of supplements.


Support system

Healing Lyme disease, like any other illness, is also dependent on emotional health. The treatment of Lyme disease is a long process that takes time. Having supportive people around can be helpful in the healing process.


Other natural treatments

Many other natural alternative treatment options are offered to treat Lyme disease, including:

  • Bee venom
  • Energy and radiation-based therapies
  • Enemas
  • Magnets
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Photon therapy
  • Sauna
  • Stem cell transplantation

Currently, no research is available to prove the efficacy of these treatments. In some patients, the treatments may be more harmful.


New therapeutic options

New therapeutic options pave the way for clinical research to help patients with persistent Lyme disease. Newer therapeutic options may help people with chronic symptoms caused by persistent bacteria that have not been killed by conventional antibiotic treatment.


What to keep in mind while trying natural remedies for treating Lyme disease

Natural treatments could be toxic or dangerous, just like traditional treatments.

Natural treatments may also interact with other medications or supplements a person is taking and could be harmful. It is necessary to check with the doctor first before trying any natural treatments, as they can help a person avoid any risky medication interactions. The doctor would help confirm whether the medications or supplements that a person is currently taking will interact with the natural treatment that a person is interested in trying.

Sometimes, when combined with medical treatment, natural treatment may be beneficial and might improve a person’s health.