Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

The Macabre World of Mind-Controlling Parasites

The macabre world of mind-controlling parasites

Summary: Understanding how parasites ‘hack’ the brains of their hosts may provide new insights into decision making and behavior.

Source: Frontiers

Imagine a parasite that makes an animal change its habits, guard the parasite’s offspring or even commit suicide. While mind-control may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, the phenomenon is very real — and has spawned a new field, neuro-parasitology. As outlined in an article published in Frontiers in Psychology, understanding how parasites “hack” their host’s nervous system to achieve a particular goal could provide new insights into how animals control their own behavior and make decisions.

“Parasites have evolved, through years of co-evolution with their host, a significant ‘understanding’ of their hosts’ neuro-chemical systems,” explains one of the article’s authors, Professor Frederic Libersat from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. “Exploring these highly specific mechanisms could reveal more about neural control of animal behavior.”

The article describes some of the sophisticated, cunning and gruesome ways that various parasites outwit and exploit their insect hosts.

One method is to affect how an insect navigates. The spores of one parasitic fungus, for example, invade an ant’s body, where the fungus grows and consumes the ant’s organs while leaving the vital organs intact. The fungus then releases chemicals that cause the ant to climb a tree and grip a leaf with its mouthparts. After emerging from the ant’s body, the fungus releases spore-filled capsules that explode during their fall, spreading the infectious spores over the ground below. By forcing the ant to climb a tree, the fungus increases the dispersal of the falling spores and the chance of infecting another ant.

Similarly, a parasitic hairworm causes infected crickets to seek out water — where they drown. The cricket’s suicide enables the worms to enter an aquatic environment for reproduction.

In another type of interaction, called “bodyguard manipulation,” the parasite forces the infected insect to guard its young. One such parasite is a wasp, which injects its eggs into a caterpillar by stinging it. Inside the live caterpillar, the eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on the caterpillar’s blood. Eventually, as many as 80 larvae emerge from the caterpillar’s body before forming cocoons to complete their growth into adult wasps.

However, wasp larvae are vulnerable to predators in their cocoons. To scare potential predators away, one or two larvae remain in the caterpillar and control its behavior through an unknown mechanism, so that it acts aggressively towards predators — thereby protecting the cocoons.

These examples shed light on the very old and highly specific relationship between parasites and hosts. But how exactly do these parasites affect their host’s behavior?

This shows an ant with a parasite attached to it

Neuro-parasitology is still a young field, and in most cases, researchers do not yet fully understand the mechanisms involved. However, many such parasites produce their effects by releasing compounds that act on the neural circuitry of the host. Identifying and using these compounds in the lab could help scientists to work out how neural circuits control behavior.

“Because neurotoxins are the outcome of one animal’s evolutionary strategy to incapacitate another, they are usually highly effective and specific,” says Libersat.

“Chemical engineers can generate hundreds of potential neurotoxins in the lab, but these are random and often useless, whereas any natural neurotoxin has already passed the ultimate screening test, over millions of years of co-evolution.”


Media Contacts:
Conn Hastings – Frontiers
Image Source:
The image is adapted from the Frontiers news release.

Original Research: Open access
“Mind Control: How Parasites Manipulate Cognitive Functions in Their Insect Hosts”.Frederic Libersat, Maayan Kaiser and Stav Emanuel.
Frontiers in Psychology. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00572


Mind Control: How Parasites Manipulate Cognitive Functions in Their Insect Hosts

Neuro-parasitology is an emerging branch of science that deals with parasites that can control the nervous system of the host. It offers the possibility of discovering how one species (the parasite) modifies a particular neural network, and thus particular behaviors, of another species (the host). Such parasite–host interactions, developed over millions of years of evolution, provide unique tools by which one can determine how neuromodulation up-or-down regulates specific behaviors. In some of the most fascinating manipulations, the parasite taps into the host brain neuronal circuities to manipulate hosts cognitive functions. To name just a few examples, some worms induce crickets and other terrestrial insects to commit suicide in water, enabling the exit of the parasite into an aquatic environment favorable to its reproduction. In another example of behavioral manipulation, ants that consumed the secretions of a caterpillar containing dopamine are less likely to move away from the caterpillar and more likely to be aggressive. This benefits the caterpillar for without its ant bodyguards, it is more likely to be predated upon or attacked by parasitic insects that would lay eggs inside its body. Another example is the parasitic wasp, which induces a guarding behavior in its ladybug host in collaboration with a viral mutualist. To exert long-term behavioral manipulation of the host, parasite must secrete compounds that act through secondary messengers and/or directly on genes often modifying gene expression to produce long-lasting effects.



Parasites are a whole new fantastical frontier. I’ll never forget this information on how parasites affect human behavior by Dr. Klinghardt, which I found here:

  • Parasite patients often express the psyche of the parasites – sticky, clingy, impossible to tolerate – but a wonderful human being is behind all of that.

  • We are all a composite of many personalities. Chronic infections outnumber our own cells by 10:1. We are 90% “other” and 10% “us”. Our consciousness is a composite of 90% microbes and 10% us.

  • Our thinking, feeling, creativity, and expression are 90% from the microbes within us. Patients often think, crave, and behave as if they are the parasite.

  • Our thinking is shaded by the microbes thinking through us. The food choices, behavioral choices, and who we like is the thinking of the microbes within us expressing themselves.

  • Patients will reject all treatments that affect the issue that requires treating.

  • Patients will not guide themselves to health when the microbes have taken over.

For a great read on parasite treatments:

as well as this one:

There’s a link between T. Gondii (Toxoplasmosis) and risky behavior as well as schizophrenia

It can be transmitted by ticks (Castor Bean) as well as by undercooked deer meat:


Providence certainly has a sense of humor. On one hand, similarly to how the Japanese Barberry provides a uniquely favorable environment for tick questing, which is undesirable to humans, we derive Barberry, the yellow root of the plant to treat inflammation in Lyme disease.  Recently, Barberry was listed as a FDA approved drug with higher activity than current front line drugs for Bartonella:

And, as mentioned in this article: the fungus Cordyceps hijacks the ant to propitiate itself but here again, many Lyme patients use Cordyceps to fight microbes, lower inflammation, and increase energy and oxygen:


Matcha Tea Decreases Anxiety by Activating Dopamine & Seratonin Receptors


Matcha Tea Decreases Anxiety by Activating Dopamine and Seratonin Receptors

See link to learn how Japanese researchers from Kumamoto University have shown that anxious behavior in mice is reduced after consuming Matcha powder or Matcha extract.

For more:


How 5 Remedies Help Reduce Inflammation – Greg Lee

How These Five Remedies and Treatments Help Reduce Inflammation Symptoms from Lyme Disease, Parasites, and Mold

For people who suspect they have multiple infections including Lyme disease, co-infections, parasites, and mold

by Greg Lee

Fireworks have gotten more spectacular since I was a kid. At a recent Independence Day celebration, my kids and I were dazzled by an amazing display that burst forth from a single white firework shooting up into the night. Then, several yellow streamers of light slowly fell like an umbrella which whistled. Suddenly, blue, red, green, and white sparkles blossomed forth. We kept saying, “Ooooh and aaaah!” with each new spray of color.

How is a complex fireworks show similar to recurring inflammatory symptoms from unknown infections?

Just like a fireworks display shooting across the night, multiple infections can trigger bursts of unexpected symptoms

Some patients with stealthy infections like Lyme disease, mold, or parasites can have relapsing symptoms that can randomly appear and disappear. Unfortunately, these infections may not show up on blood1, saliva, or stool2 tests. Carlotta felt run down ever since she got sick with mononucleosis as a teenager. She would have occasional bouts of migrating pain, memory recall issues, and vision problems. Lab tests couldn’t identify the underlying reason for her symptoms. Multiple medical providers suggested that she go see a counselor or psychiatrist. Her symptoms would flare up during phases of her menstrual cycle, during a full moon, and in response to eating carbohydrates. Not only food but also medications made her symptoms worse.

Her flu-like symptoms would flare up when she took antibiotics

Carlotta’s symptoms increased when she took antibiotics for sinus problems. The toxic die off from drug treatment dramatically increased her flu-like symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, and misspeaking words. She felt that her immune system was producing too much inflammation in response to some unknown infection. Unfortunately, over the counter medications did little to relieve her symptoms.

Anti-inflammatory medications didn’t help much

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve took the edge off some of her flu-like symptoms. Dietary changes helped reduce symptoms however they would flare up for unknown reasons and when she ate food with wheat or sugar.

What else can help to reduce fatigue, brain fog, and flu-like symptoms from hidden infections?

Here are five multi-microbial treatments that can help with reducing symptoms from multiple types of infections

Carlotta received an electrodermal scan which detected the electrical frequencies of Lyme disease and parasitic worms in her intestines and liver. The scan also detected frequencies of mold in her sinuses. She received a combination of microparticle, aka liposomal essential oils, liposomal herbs, and treatments to help with reduce recurring symptoms from her multiple infections. These remedies have also reduced toxins and inflammatory compounds in multiple lab studies.

Multi-microbial Treatment #1: Clove bud

This herb has acrid and warm properties. In lab and animal studies, clove bud has an inhibitory effect against Vibrio cholerae, Bacillus anthracis, Salmonella typhi, Corynebacterium diptheriae, Bacillus dysenteriae, E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphlococcus aureus3, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)4, Enterococcus faecalis5, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa6. Biflorin, a compound in clove buds, protected against bacterial endotoxins, and inflammatory compounds tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL-6) in a mouse study7. This herb has also been recommended for the treatment of worms and parasites in humans8.

In Chinese medicine, it is used to warm the abdomen and relieve pain. Clove is also used to treat hiccups, nausea, morning sickness, vomiting, and diarrhea. This herb is also used to treat impotence, and coldness in the body and extremities. It also promotes digestion by increasing bile and gastric acid secretions. Clove is also used topically to treat toothache. The essential oil has anti-asthmatic properties.

Essential oil of clove contains these compounds: eugenol, caryophyllene, acetyleugenol, α- caryophyllene, and chavicol. In lab research, clove essential oil completely dissolves the borrelia biofilm and kills the drug persistent spirochete form of the Lyme9. In another study, clove essential oil inhibits Candida, Aspergillus, and some dematophytes including fluconazole resistant strains10. In another study, the compound eugenol was effective at inhibiting different fungi including Fusarium moniliforme, Fusarium oxysporum, Aspergillus species, Mucor species, Trichophyton rubrum and Microsporum gypseum11. In a third study, clove essential oil increased the effectiveness of fluconazole and voriconazole against multiple Candida species12. In another study, this essential oil was effective at inhibiting drug resistant Candida biofilms13. Low internal doses of clove essential oil have been used safely and effectively for years with patients diagnosed with Lyme disease, parasites, and mold toxicity. This herb is contraindicated in cases of fever and excess internal heat accompanied with symptoms of dryness. Side effects of this herb include dizziness, palpitations, chest oppression, headache, perspiration, decreased blood pressure, and skin rash. In addition to clove, cinnamon can be effective against many different microbes and parasites.

Multi-microbial Treatment#2: Cinnamon bark

The properties of this herb are acrid, sweet, and hot. Cinnamon has an inhibitory effect on dermatophytes, pathogenic fungi, and many gram positive bacteria14. In a lab study, cinnamon compounds inhibited the malaria parasite15. These compounds are succinic acid, glutathione, L-aspartic acid, beta-alanine, and 2-methylbutyryl glycine. Given the similarity between malaria and Babesia, this herb may be effective against this co-infection. Another compound, cinnamaldehyde, has inhibits parasitic worms in a lab study16. Cinnamon was also effective at reducing parasitic cysts of Giardia in a rat study.17

This herb also contains the following active compounds: cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic acid, cinnamyl acetate, phenylpropyl acetate, cinncassiol-A, -B, -C1, -C2, -C3, cinnzelanine, and cinnzeylanol.

This herb is used in Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of disorders including intolerance to cold, cold extremities, weakness, soreness and coldness of the low back and knees, impotence, lack of libido, excess urine production, and loose stools. It is also used to treat wheezing, asthma, labored breathing, swelling, and profuse phlegm. Cinnamon is also used for dizziness, flushed face, sore throat, and coldness in the lower extremities. This herb also treats epigastric and abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, bloating, slow digestion, hernia pain, and spasmodic pain in the stomach and intestines. It is also used to treat hypercoagulation, irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, postpartum pain, external injuries, trauma, deep rooted sores, psoriasis, and feelings of oppression in the abdomen.

Cinnamon is contraindicated during pregnancy and in patients with signs of excess heat, excess dryness, and excess bleeding. Excess amount of cinnamon can result in symptoms of flushed face, red eyes, dry mouth and tongue, bleeding, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, excess urination, anuria, burning sensations upon urination, excess serum proteins in the urine, dizziness, blurred vision, and numbness of the tongue.

Intravenous cinnamon reduced blood pressure, decreased heart rate, peripheral vasodilation, and decreased vessel resistance within 3-5 minutes. Subcutaneous injection of cinnamon in dogs increased the white blood cell count by 150 – 200%. In a rat study, essential oil of cinnamon has an analgesic and sedative effect.

In lab research, cinnamon bark essential oil completely eradicates the Lyme disease biofilm and the drug persistent spirochete form18. Cinnamon bark essential oil was effective at inhibiting Aspergillus and Penicillium mold species19. This essential oil inhibits Aspergillus species and aflatoxin, aflatoxin-B1, and aflatoxin-G1 production. These toxins are inhibited because the essential oil binds to the DNA of aflatoxins. Also, this essential oil reacts with reactive oxygen species produced by aflatoxins, which has a protective effect on cells20. In another study, cinnamon bark essential oil was the most effective against oral isolates of Candida albicans21. Another study demonstrated that cinnamon bark essential oil was effective against fluconazole susceptible Candida species22. Liposomal cinnamon oil was effective at inhibiting MRSA and it’s biofilms in a lab study23. Low dilutions of liposomal cinnamon essential oil have been taken internally by people diagnosed with multiple infections safely without reported side-effects. In addition to cinnamon, artemisia has antimicrobial effects against many pathogens.

Multi-microbial Treatment#3: Artemisia

Artemisia and its derivative compounds, artemisinin, liposomal artemisinin, and artesenuate, are being used by physicians to fight Babesia24 infections. Artemisinin has been used effectively with other anti-protozoa medications to cure relapsing Babesia. Artemisinin has also been effective in multiple studies against cytomegalovirus, Toxoplasma gondii (protozoa), Schistosoma species and Fasciola hepatica (worms) and Cryptococcus neoformans (fungi)25.

Artemisia is recommended for treating leptospirosis and Lyme disease in Chinese medicine26. Artemisia annua is also effective in inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus dysenteriae (dysentery), and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis)27. Using the whole herb instead of a derivative compound increases the benefits by including other active compounds. Multiple sesquiterpene and flavonoid compounds from Artemisia annua neutralized the effects of bacterial toxins in a lab study28. Artemisia annua contains rosmarinic acid which demonstrated a synergistic interaction with artemisinin against the malaria protozoa in a lab study29. This herb and it’s compound artemisinin inhibited the production of bacterial endotoxins and the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α in a rat study30.

Artemisia annua has the properties of clears heat, treats malaria, cools the blood, clears liver heat, and brightens the eyes. It is also used to treat “steaming bone disorder” or the feeling that one’s bones are being cooked, tidal fever, unremitting low-grade fever, thirst, soreness and weakness of the low back and knees, irritability, and heat in the palms, soles, and the middle of the chest. Other symptoms this herb is used to treat are warmth at night and chills in the morning, absence of perspiration, heavy limbs, stifling sensation in the chest, and a flushed face. This herb also treats red eyes, dizziness, photophobia, arrhythmia, and jaundice.

This herb is cautioned in patients with diarrhea and coldness in the stomach. Azole antifungals and calcium channel blockers may present significant herb-drug interactions with this herb. In long term studies, this herb had no adverse effects on vital organs31. In addition to artemisia, silver nanoparticles have multiple anti-microbial properties.

Multi-microbial Treatment#4: Silver Nanoparticles

Silver nanoparticles have been used safely and effectively to inhibit many drug resistant and biofilm forming bacteria and fungi including Streptococcus mutans32, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa33, Escherichia coli34, and Enterococcus faecalis35 in lab studies. Silver particles are also effective at inhibiting multiple species of pathogenic fungi and their toxins in lab studies36. This form of silver has also been effective against multiple protozoa including Entamoeba histolytica, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Plasmodium falciparum (malaria)37. In water studies, silver has also been effective at reducing the amount of helminth (worm) eggs in waste water38.

When in combination with cinnamon bark, silver inhibits H7N3 influenza A virus a lab experiment39. When combined with tea tree essential oil in a microparticle liposome, silver greatly enhances the antimicrobial and anti-toxin properties against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans40. In addition to silver, Microcurrent offers a highly flexible and targeted treatment for inhibiting pathogens, toxins, and resulting inflammation.

Multi-microbial Treatment#5: Frequency Specific Microcurrent

Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) is amazingly targeted and customizable form of electrical frequency treatment for chronic infections. Carlotta received anti-microbial, anti-toxin, anti-inflammatory frequencies directed into her sinuses, liver, intestines, and memory regions of the brain. Frequencies were also applied to neutralize mold toxins, inhibit spirochetes, fungi, protozoa, bacteria, parasites, and reduce brain and intestinal inflammation. She also received frequencies for increasing adrenal energy, disrupting biofilms in her sinuses, and zapping intracellular infections. With each microcurrent treatment, she felt less toxic and less inflamed, more energetic, and was able to find and speak words with greater clarity. Multiple remedies and treatment may be effective at reducing symptoms from Lyme, parasites and mold, toxins, and resulting inflammation.

Using multiple treatments, patients report faster improvements in their chronic inflammation symptoms

Similar to a dazzling multi-stage fireworks display, the proper combination of treatments and liposomal remedies may give your immune system a burst of support to fight multiple types of infections including Lyme disease, parasites and mold. These treatments may also help to neutralize toxins and lower inflammation. For the first time in years, Carlotta looked forward to going to her kid’s sporting events with an abundance of energy. She remembered her family’s activity schedule without having to look at a calendar. She restarted movement classes since her migrating pains had ceased. Since liposomal remedies require specific training on their formulation and come with cautions on their use, work with a Lyme literate natural practitioner to develop a safe and effective strategy for addressing symptoms from multiple infections.

– Greg

P.S. Do you have experiences where treatment or remedies helped you reduce symptoms from multiple infections? Tell us about it in a comment below.


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  15. Parvazi, Shirin, Sedigheh Sadeghi, Mehri Azadi, Maryam Mohammadi, Mohammad Arjmand, Farideh Vahabi, Somye Sadeghzadeh, and Zahra Zamani. “The Effect of Aqueous Extract of Cinnamon on the Metabolome of Plasmodium Falciparum Using 1HNMR Spectroscopy.” Journal of Tropical Medicine 2016 (2016). doi:10.1155/2016/3174841.
  16. Williams, Andrew R., Aina Ramsay, Tina V. A. Hansen, Honorata M. Ropiak, Helena Mejer, Peter Nejsum, Irene Mueller-Harvey, and Stig M. Thamsborg. “Anthelmintic Activity of Trans-Cinnamaldehyde and A- and B-Type Proanthocyanidins Derived from Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum).” Scientific Reports 5 (September 30, 2015). doi:10.1038/srep14791.
  17. Mahmoud, Abeer, Rasha ATTIA, Safaa SAID, and Zedan IBRAHEIM. “Ginger and Cinnamon: Can This Household Remedy Treat Giardiasis? Parasitological and Histopathological Studies.” Iranian Journal of Parasitology 9, no. 4 (2014): 530–40.
  18. Feng, Jie, Shuo Zhang, Wanliang Shi, Nevena Zubcevik, Judith Miklossy, and Ying Zhang. “Selective Essential Oils from Spice or Culinary Herbs Have High Activity against Stationary Phase and Biofilm Borrelia Burgdorferi.” Frontiers in Medicine 4 (October 11, 2017).
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  22. Pozzatti P, Scheid LA, Spader TB, Atayde ML, Santurio JM, Alves SH. In vitro activity of essential oils extracted from plants used as spices against fluconazole-resistant and fluconazole-susceptible Candida spp. Can J Microbiol. 2008 Nov;54(11):950-6.
  23. Cui, Haiying, Wei Li, Changzhu Li, Saritporn Vittayapadung, and Lin Lin. “Liposome Containing Cinnamon Oil with Antibacterial Activity against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Biofilm.” Biofouling 32, no. 2 (2016): 215–25. doi:10.1080/08927014.2015.1134516.
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  34. Pathak, Satya P., and K. Gopal. “Evaluation of Bactericidal Efficacy of Silver Ions on Escherichia Coli for Drinking Water Disinfection.” Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 19, no. 6 (July 2012): 2285–90. doi:10.1007/s11356-011-0735-6.
  35. Wu, Daming, Wei Fan, Anil Kishen, James L. Gutmann, and Bing Fan. “Evaluation of the Antibacterial Efficacy of Silver Nanoparticles against Enterococcus Faecalis Biofilm.” Journal of Endodontics 40, no. 2 (February 2014): 285–90. doi:10.1016/j.joen.2013.08.022.
  36. Pulit, Jolanta, Marcin Banach, Renata Szczygłowska, and Mirosław Bryk. “Nanosilver against Fungi. Silver Nanoparticles as an Effective Biocidal Factor.” Acta Biochimica Polonica 60, no. 4 (2013): 795–98.
  37. “Silver Nanoparticles Treat Lyme (July 2016) Townsend Letter, Alternative Medicine Magazine.” Accessed July 7, 2017.
  38. Orta De Velásquez, M. T., I. Yáñez-Noguez, B. Jiménez-Cisneros, and V. M. Luna Pabello. “Adding Silver and Copper to Hydrogen Peroxide and Peracetic Acid in the Disinfection of an Advanced Primary Treatment Effluent.” Environmental Technology 29, no. 11 (November 2008): 1209–17. doi:10.1080/09593330802270632.
  39. Fatima, Munazza, Najam-Us-Sahar Sadaf Zaidi, Deeba Amraiz, and Farhan Afzal. “In Vitro Antiviral Activity of Cinnamomum Cassia and Its Nanoparticles Against H7N3 Influenza A Virus.” Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 26, no. 1 (January 2016): 151–59. doi:10.4014/jmb.1508.08024.
  40. Low, W. L., C. Martin, D. J. Hill, and M. A. Kenward. “Antimicrobial Efficacy of Liposome-Encapsulated Silver Ions and Tea Tree Oil against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Staphylococcus Aureus and Candida Albicans.” Letters in Applied Microbiology 57, no. 1 (July 2013): 33–39. doi:10.1111/lam.12082.

Are Lyme Disease & Anxiety Connected? Dr. Rawls

Are Lyme Disease and Anxiety Connected?

by Dr. Bill Rawls
Posted 6/21/19

Can Lyme disease cause anxiety? In this video, Dr. Bill Rawls explains how the stress of chronic illness impacts adrenaline levels and mood. Plus, he shares natural remedies for anxiety and lifestyle tips for short-circuiting an overactive flight-or-fight response. Read all about Dr. Rawls’ natural approach to overcoming Lyme disease here.


Video Transcript

Question: Are Lyme disease and anxiety connected?

Hello, I’m Dr. Bill Rawls. A question: How is Lyme disease related to anxiety?

Most people are really struggling with anxiety and sleep disturbances who have chronic Lyme disease. And the reason is that Lyme disease — the stress of Lyme disease — makes you less resistant to any kind of stress. It lowers your reserves.

So your body is stressed, and whenever your body is stressed, you activate your sympathetic nervous system, your fight-or-flight nervous system. And that’s really designed to use intermittently when there’s a real emergency, like somebody breaking into your house at 3:00 in the morning. You want that surge of adrenalinethat wakes you up, gets you going, and helps you deal with that emergency.

But when your body is stressed, when the chronic illness is generating inflammation, and the microbes are disrupting everything in your body, your body becomes less stress-resistant, and it activates your fight-or-flight response chronically. If you’ve got adrenaline pushing through your system all the time, it makes your system very, very fragile.

Anything that would cause anxiety is very apt to generate that kind of response — you feel anxious, you feel revved up all the time. You’ve got that adrenaline surging through your system.

It affects your sleep, and then not getting sleep actually affects the immune disruption that would generate that. So the whole thing becomes this vicious cycle that’s never-ending.

Breaking that cycle: The first step is controlling those microbes, restoring normal immune system functions, but also bringing down your adrenaline levels, and I think that’s really, really important. When I was going through my recovery, something I became very conscious of is when my adrenaline levels were starting to raise.

I could feel the energy just building in the upper part of my body, and my body became tense. That anxiety response was very prevalent, especially as I went through the day of just dealing with stress factors. As you go through the day, it tends to make it worse. So you raise your adrenaline levels as you go through the day. That affects your cortisol, and it can really make you miserable.

Being aware of your adrenaline levels, being aware of tension is really important. When I was recovering from Lyme, I was really careful about any kind of input that was coming into my brain.

I didn’t listen to the radio. I was very careful about reading the newspaper or reading what was on the Internet. I tried to make my world small by not worrying about things in the outside world that maybe were significant, but were also things that I couldn’t really control.

You like to bring your world down to the things that you have control over, and you like to minimize that as much as you can. You’re looking to reduce factors that raise your adrenaline levels during the day.

Getting regular exercise of any kind, whether that’s just walking or doing qigong or yoga, can help diffuse that adrenaline surge that you have, that adrenaline buildup during the day. Just taking a meditation or what a lot of people call a power nap.

I used to call it touching sleep. I would take 15 to 30 minutes in the middle of the day at lunchtime and lie down, and I would try to relax myself to the point that I could just barely get to sleep, even if it was a minute or two.

If I reached that point, I know that I brought my adrenaline levels down to zero. And if you can do that once or twice during the day, that can short-circuit that adrenaline buildup and help you deal with that anxiety, that excessive overactive fight-or-flight response that’s driving this whole situation.

There are also plenty of calming herbs that can help. Ashwagandha, bacopa, passionflower — many of our calming and balancing herbs are very good for short-circuiting that sympathetic response.

So yes, Lyme disease is very, very much tied to anxiety. It does increase your propensity to become anxious, and decreases your stress resistance. The solution to that is reducing stress by using herbs to calm and normalize and balance your hormones, trying to move, trying to get exercise during the day.

Keep doing that and keep doing that and keep working at it until you become an expert at keeping those adrenaline levels down through the day.



I never had anxiety, but my husband did. It would come and go like the wind – hitting him at the most unexpected times leaving him feeling completely helpless. Proper treatment completely ameliorated this symptom.

Here’s a story of patients misdiagnosed with anxiety when the culprit was Lyme:




Finnish Doctor Uses Herbs to Heal Lyme Disease & Coinfections

This Finnish doctor uses herbs to heal Lyme disease and co-infections




Herxheimer Reactions & Lyme Disease: All You Need to Know

Herxheimer Reactions And Lyme Disease: All You Need To Know

Warm weather brings many opportunities for fun, especially for people who enjoy being outside. Whether it’s hiking, camping, picnicking or simply reading a good book in the garden, the spring and summer months have much to offer in the way of outdoor activities.

But along with opportunities for fun, unfortunately, spending time in nature during the warmer months also brings danger in the form of Lyme disease. This is especially true for people who live in regions where the ticks that carry Lyme infection are common. But Lyme disease has been found on every continent except Antarctica, and cases of Lyme disease are growing at such a high rate that almost anyone who spends a significant amount of time outdoors could be at risk of exposure to Lyme disease.

What is Lyme disease and how is it transmitted?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a spirochete (corkscrew-shaped) bacterium named Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacterium is carried by rodents and animals like the white-footed mouse and deer that are the preferred hosts of ticks known as Ixodes, deer or black-legged ticks.

When an Ixodes tick feeds on a creature that’s carrying Borrelia burgdorferi, it becomes infected with the bacterium. An infected tick can then transmit Borrelia burgdorferi to humans through a single bite, causing Lyme infection.

People who contract Lyme disease are often bitten by ticks that are still in their nymphal, or immature, phase. Nymphal ticks are tiny – about the size of a poppy seed – and their bite is usually painless, so many of those who have been bitten by a nymphal tick have no idea.

The chance of Lyme infection being transmitted from an infected tick to a human goes up the longer the tick stays attached, so the tiny size and painless bite of nymphal ticks are frightening factors that can increase infection risk.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

Lyme infection can be separated into two phases: acute and chronic. The acute phase is the preliminary stage of Lyme disease and typically includes the following symptoms:

  • Erythema migrans, an expanding red rash that sometimes resembles a bullseye
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Weakness and paralysis of facial muscles
  • Lightheadedness and fainting
  • Heart palpitations and chest pain
Neck pain is one of the symptoms of Lyme disease.

If Lyme disease is caught within the first few weeks of infection, it may be effectively treated with antibiotics. But if it’s not properly diagnosed or treatment fails, Lyme disease can progress to the chronic phase. Symptoms of chronic Lyme disease are many and varied, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Memory loss, trouble concentrating or ‘brain fog’
  • Neuropathy (including nerve pain, numbness, or tingling)
  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in mood
  • Digestive issues

What is a Herxheimer reaction and how is it connected to Lyme disease?

Officially known as a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (and often called a Herx for short), a Herxheimer reaction occurs when the beginning of an antibiotic treatment course causes a spike in the die-off of spirochetal bacteria. It was named after European dermatologists who were the first to observe that symptoms worsened in syphilis patients being treated with mercurial compounds. This exacerbation of symptoms continued to be observed when penicillin became the main treatment for syphilis, usually occurring within the first 24 hours of treatment.

Like syphilis, Lyme disease is caused by a spirochetal bacterium. Herxheimer reactions sometimes happen to patients with Lyme disease when they first begin antibiotic therapy as a result of the Borrelia burgdorferi dying. The die-off causes your body to release proteins called cytokines. While a moderate amount of cytokines can help boost your immune system, too many of them can cause adverse effects.

Although they are sometimes considered a good thing because they indicate that the medication is working to kill Lyme bacteria, Herxheimer reactions can cause patients experiencing them to suddenly feel very poorly. Herxheimer reactions are characterised by a worsening of existing Lyme symptoms like:

  • Inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Memory impairment and/or brain fog
  • Nerve and muscle pain
  • Chills/sweats

How is a Herxheimer reaction treated?

There’s no question that going through a Herxheimer reaction is difficult, and knowing that it’s a possibility can cause some Lyme patients to delay or even avoid treatment. When they’re already struggling with the symptoms of Lyme disease, the idea of feeling even worse is sometimes unbearable.

Although Herxheimer reactions be a necessary evil when beginning treatment for Lyme disease, there are things you can do to mitigate the damage. Some of the supplements believed to lessen Herxheimer symptoms include:

  • Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that can help the liver process toxins
  • Activated charcoal, which may remove toxins from the body by binding to them
  • Curcumin, another strong antioxidant that has been shown to reduce inflammation
  • Epsom salts, which are used externally for bathing and contain magnesium sulfate for relaxing muscles and drawing toxins
Bathing in Epsom salts may help with symptoms of a Herxheimer reaction.

Aside from supplements, lifestyle choices like moderate exercise can alleviate the discomfort of Herxheimer reactions. While working out may be the last thing a Lyme patient experiencing a Herxheimer reaction wants to do, exercising stimulates the body’s lymphatic system, allowing more efficient removal of toxins from the body.

A Herxheimer reaction during Lyme disease treatment can make a bad situation worse, but knowing what to expect and how to support the body during this process arms patients and practitioners alike with the information they need to handle the challenge.


For more:


MSM – another detoxifier, gut support, & inflammation & pain reducer:

One of the hardest things to understand about this complex disease(s) is that you feel a whole lot worse before you feel better and this can take considerable time.  Managing the herx is a challenging job.  See links above for ideas.


Riding Out The Storm of Lyme

Riding Out the Storm of Lyme: The Healing Lifestyle that Carried Jeff Tkach to Recovery

Riding Out the Storm of Lyme: The Healing Lifestyle that Carried Jeff Tkach to Recovery

By Jeff Tkach
Posted 5/22/19

Throughout my adult life, I’ve always been a proactively healthy and fit person. I’ve been known to ride my bike more than 100 miles in a given day, have been committed to eating a mostly organic diet for the last 15-plus years, and I take great solace in sleepand in managing my stress through yoga and meditation. But all of this was challenged in 2016, when I hit a point in my career that exposed me to prolonged and intense periods of stress.

That October, after pushing relentlessly beyond my limits (jumping on and off airplanes, flying back and forth across the country for business meetings), I was struck with flu-like symptoms that kept me sidelined for more than two weeks. I went to and from my family doctor several times, who ran a battery of tests and bloodwork, only to find no positive results for anything I was tested for. He even administered a Western Blot Lyme test that was negative.

Over the next few months, I would get well enough to go back to work for a few weeks only to crash again, each time a little bit harder. I kept returning to that same doctor, determined to get answers, and he kept referring me to one specialist after another, none of whom provided answers.

At one point, my doctor put me on a 30-day course of Ciprofloxacin, a very potent, broad-spectrum antibiotic, that left me feeling decimated. He convinced me that this was the best course of action for one of my symptoms. But the antibiotic gave me no relief, and my energy levels plummeted by the end of the 30 days.

“ I realized that if I were going to get better, I was going to have to become my own health advocate.”

By the time Christmas rolled around, I was completely bedridden and forced to go on medical leave in early January. The same family doctor whom I had been seeing for the past three months finally diagnosed me with “depression and anxiety.” He put me on an antidepressant and told me that there was nothing more that he could do for me.

Completely depleted and unable to work, I felt hopeless beyond despair. I suffered from chronic gastrointestinal distress, fevers, night sweats, hallucinations, intense body aches, and panic attacks. I felt like I was losing my mind, and I was terrified because no one could give me a reason for my health collapse.

Jeff Tkach meditating, black and white photo

At that point, I realized that if I were going to get better, I was going to have to become my own health advocate. And thus, the journey to wholeness began. I was referred to a Functional Medicine doctor, whom I got into see during the last week of February, 2017.

To this day, I do not know where I would be without Dr. Kracht. Not only did he provide me with a sense of assurance, but he became my advocate. He immediately treated me for fluoroquinolone toxicity, a condition that is often caused by antibiotics from the Fluoroquinolone family (Cipro). He treated me using IV therapy, detoxification protocols, and supplements like glutathione.

I started to feel a little better over the next few weeks, and miraculously got back to work by mid-March. A few months into this treatment regimen, I started having headaches and neck aches again, so my doctor decided to run a more elaborate Lyme test (iSpot). Sure enough, I tested positive for Lyme (my numbers were off the charts) even though I never found a tick or bulls-eye rash.

I started a combination of antibiotics and herbs, but after a week or so I was unable to tolerate the antibiotics, due to gastrointestinal distress. Now that I knew Lyme was the culprit behind my health collapse, I began my own research that set me on the path that I am still on today.

“Healing became multi-layered and encompassed so much more than healing from the physical symptoms: It was spiritual and emotional, too.”

I continued to add modalities to my protocol, such as infrared sauna treatments and IV therapy (Meyers cocktails), as well as supplements and herbs to aid detoxification and ease inflammation. Yoga and meditation became daily disciplines. At first, I could only do 5 or 10 minutes at a time, but I stuck with both practices, which helped to ease the panic and anxiety symptoms and deepen my sleep. I also began weekly acupuncture which helped to reset my parasympathetic nervous system; those weekly visits to Dr. Jenn became foundational to my healing. I was making progress, albeit slowly.

I began to read every book available on the topics of Lyme and chronic illness, and my healing became a “trial and error” process. Or, to put it another way, it was like peeling back the layers of an onion. Healing became multi-layered and encompassed so much more than healing from the physical symptoms: It was spiritual and emotional, too.

From the very beginning of my health collapse, I was fortunate enough to have a caring and compassionate therapist in my life. Our weekly visits during my darkest times helped to shed light on emotional trauma that I had been harboring for years, if not decades. This trauma was holding me back from healing. The more that I unpacked it and “befriended” my grief and suffering, the more I began to slowly and incrementally heal. It was then that I finally came to grips with the fact that if I were going to fully recover, it was going to take time, patience, and focused effort.

My journey eventually led me to more and more reading and studying, and I came upon Dr. Bill Rawls’ book, Unlocking Lyme. After reading his book, I was fortunate to have a one-hour session with him over the phone, and he opened my eyes to the complexities and intricacies of Lyme. Dr. Rawls explained the analogy of “the pot boiling over” and helped me to understand how the body operates as an ecosystem, and that my job was to bring the ecosystem back into balance.

I began to use his herbal protocol, and embraced the restorative diet that Dr. Rawls outlines in the book. At this point, I was still experiencing intense gastrointestinal distress (likely from the Cipro and other antibiotic use). I had lost more than 20 pounds and was not able to properly digest food.

What Dr. Rawls helped me to see and understand is that overcoming Lyme, or any chronic illness, had to become a lifestyle. The idea of “healing as a lifestyle” made total sense to me, and so I began to treat each decision each day as an incremental step towards full health.

From that point on, I made my healing journey a lifestyle, and I accepted the fact that there was no quick fix. My healing became a daily rhythm: morning meditation, journaling, prayer, yoga, healthy movement, sauna therapy, proper sleep, mid-day walks, and deep breathing. I focused on making nourishing meals that healed my gut and restored my energy. I used infrared sauna therapy, acupuncture, massage, polarity therapy, and qigong.

“The idea of “healing as a lifestyle” made total sense to me, and so I began to treat each decision each day as an incremental step towards full health.”

Every decision and every modality slowly peeled back, layer upon layer, the illness. It was three steps forward, one step backward. Trial and error, not without its frustrations. But I continued to live the lifestyle, and little by little I got my life back. In fact, I received the gift of a much deeper, more present, and more meaningful life.

To this day, two and a half years into the journey, I continue to see improvements from Dr. Rawls’ herbal protocol and from living the lifestyle he recommends, including eating whole, organic foods (most plants, healthy fats, and chicken and fish). Over the last few months, I have been amazed by the dramatic improvements in my physical endurance and strength. I am back to cycling up to 30 miles a few times per week, running 4 to 6 miles, swimming, and have recently taken up surfing (my new passion!).

Jeff Tkach sitting happy, recovered from Lyme disease

I want to personally thank Dr. Rawls and everyone on his team for providing us with such great resources to help us on this healing journey. Thank you also to Dr. Kracht, Dr. Jenn, and Dr. Hoffman for all of your support. And most of all, thank you to my amazing wife and partner, Jackie, for your love, patience, and support through the most difficult journey of my life. You are my rock and my light.

During my darkest days, I took great solace in poetry. It was a healer and companion that gave me a ray of hope and meaning during the most difficult times. I would like to share one poem in particular with all of you, my fellow healers. I hear your grief cry. You are not alone, we are in this together, and we will reclaim our vitality and wholeness.

Pushing Through
It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.
I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.

Rainer Maria Rilke
(Translated by Robert Bly)

Welcome to the #MeAgain Story Series. Our aim is to share stories from people who have recovered, or are recovering, from chronic disease in order to give you hope that healing is within your reach. This series will highlight their struggles and triumphs to inspire you to take action and reclaim your life. Enjoy!

Hank’s Story | Shawn’s Story | Julie’s Story | Ron’s Story | Stephanie’s Story
Donna’s Story | Brad’s Story | Mira’s Story | Jeff’s Story



I love stories with people getting better.  Please remember that what works for one may not for another.  Also, there’s a tendency with some patients to give “natural” things all the credit when they did extensive antibiotics which killed pathogens before.

There is nothing “holy” or better about natural products.  They are strong medicine too and some people can’t tolerate them either.

The reason I write this is that throughout my journey I’ve had well meaning people essentially blame me for being ill as well as discredit and label pharmaceutical treatment  of any kind “The bad guy.”  While Big Pharma has done some pretty rotten things, I don’t believe the medicines they’ve made are to be blamed for their unethical behavior. I didn’t enjoy taking antibiotics as they made me feel worse at the time (herxheimer reaction) but the results are undeniable.  I have my life back.

Whatever makes you improve, USE IT, but don’t diss others who use something different.  The end goal is to get better.

BTW:  The Ciprofloxin that didn’t help him, helped me dramatically. Throughout treatment you will have to weigh the risk with the benefit. Also, Bartonella is known to cause GI issues. The intolerance to antibiotics due to GI upset could very well be the killing of Bartonella or other pathogens – in essence a herx reaction.  This too needs to be weighed and balanced. All adverse reactions should be discussed with your practitioner but there were many times I wanted to quit treatment due to discomfort of one type or another.  Treatment is hard and long. Sometimes we just need to tough it out, and other times we truly need to switch things around and even discontinue some things.  Also, the things we discontinue at one point might work at another point.

This will test you like nothing else.  Strap yourself in for a wild ride.  Patience required.