Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

Escaping the Lyme/MSIDS Diagnosis Merry-Go-Round

[#MeAgain] Escaping the Diagnosis Merry-Go-Round: How Jennifer Casstevens Got on the Right Path to Lyme Recovery

[#MeAgain] Escaping the Diagnosis Merry-Go-Round: How Jennifer Casstevens Got on the Right Path to Lyme Recovery

By Jenny Lelwica Buttaccio
Posted 10/30/19

“I know the exact date it happened,” says Jennifer Casstevens, a mother of two and group travel agent in Oak Island, North Carolina. “It was October 12th, 2016. I woke up that day, and I thought I had the flu again.”

During the year prior, Jennifer had experienced a couple of episodes where she thought she had the flu, but after four of five days of just feeling bad, she recovered. “This time, it didn’t get better; the symptoms started piling on each other.”

The days leading up to Jennifer’s epic flu-like symptoms were nothing noteworthy. In fact, the day before, she and her husband had driven a couple of hours to pick up a car, and they returned home later that evening without incidence.

By the following morning, however, Jennifer says, “For whatever reason, I just couldn’t get out of bed. My family started to worry, and they wanted me to go to the doctor. It was scary.”

Jennifer's portrait in front of a wooden backgroundGrowing up, Jennifer lived in Virginia and spent a significant amount of time outdoors. She’d always been an avid sports enthusiast, playing softball from the time she was 8 years old through her college years at Virginia Tech and beyond.

“I was always outside; that’s just how it was. We rode bikes around the neighborhood and all that kind of stuff.” Jennifer recalls being bitten by a tick when she was in elementary school and her mother removing it. “I never had anything happen; I never got a rash.” Aside from an occasional sinus infection, she was a healthy kid and rarely got sick.

The first hints that something wasn’t quite right with her health came in her early to mid-20s. She describes those initial symptoms as ringing in her ears, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. “They would just come and go. They happened one at a time over spans of time, so I didn’t put them together until I got really sick,” she says.

And so, on that pivotal day in 2016, Jennifer sought help at her local urgent care. There, the doctor diagnosed her with a bladder infection. “I’ve never had one in my life,” she explains. “I don’t know how they came up with it, but I went along with it because I had a little bit of back pain.”

She was put on antibiotics, but they failed to offer her any relief. Instead, her conditioned worsened as she experienced unrelenting fatigue, severe tailbone pain, and extreme numbness on her torso, including her hips and stomach. “There was no feeling there,” she describes. “Just numbness.”

“When the doctor allotted an hour for our first appointment and let me talk and askedme questions, it was like having someone finally look at me as a whole person.”

Next, Jennifer saw a gastroenterologist and a neurologist. She underwent a battery of tests, including a colonoscopy and an MRI. In an all-too-familiar story, her tests came back normal. By the end of 2016, Jennifer had maxed out her health insurance benefits with no clue as to what was wrong with her.

In January 2017, Jennifer decided to pay her primary care physician (PCP) a visit and request an ELISA test to check for Lyme disease. She had an aunt who had dealt with chronic Lyme disease, and since her doctors kept coming up empty-handed with helpful diagnoses or solutions, Jennifer wondered if perhaps that’s what was causing her to feel so unwell. She recounts the resistance she encountered when broaching the subject of a tick-borne disease as a possible cause of her symptoms.

The doctor basically told me that I didn’t look like a Lyme patient and said, ‘But we can just test for it if you want to,’” Jennifer says. “Of course, the results were negative, and it was kind of like an ‘I told you so’ reply to the test. So I wrote Lyme off.”

Jennifer’s next stop was with a spine specialist due to her persistent tailbone pain, and her husband accompanied her to the appointment. After the spine specialist had reviewed her files, he told her, “You probably have something that they don’t teach us about in medical school. If it were my wife, I would look for tertiary care.”

In other words, she and her husband needed to seek answers at one of the country’s highly specialized medical institutions. They soldiered on, and Jennifer made an appointment for the following month at a well-known, out-of-state clinic. There, she received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, a recommendation to attend the clinic’s chronic pain program, and suggestions for two medications.

Jennifer, her daughter, and dog sitting in a planeJennifer returned to North Carolina and took the medications for fibromyalgia regularly, but they weren’t providing her with any relief. So, after 45 days, she stopped taking them and pursued yet another avenue — a urogynecologist.

He diagnosed her with pelvic floor dysfunction, and for a short time, Jennifer thought she might be on the right track. But her hope was short-lived. “I paid an obscene amount of money for treatment, and I still didn’t feel better,” she says.

Fortunately, a breakthrough was just around the corner. In August 2017, Jennifer received a recommendation from a family member for an integrative health practice in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This appointment was unusual compared to all others, because the doctor allotted an hour time slot for her first appointment.

“He let me talk for an hour; he asked me questions,” Jennifer recalls. “That was probably the most I’d talked to anybody. Most of the time, I was in and out in 15 minutes with every doctor that I saw, and I probably saw 18 doctors before I saw him!”

Finally, Jennifer had some answers: The doctor diagnosed her with neurological Lyme disease, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, a thyroid problem, MTHFR mutation, reactivated Epstein-Barr virus, and an estrogen imbalance. Since typical Lyme tests like the ELISA and the standard western blot are notoriously unreliable for cases of Lyme disease that aren’t caught in the acute stage, her doctor used Lyme testing from DNA Connexions to confirm his diagnosis.

“That was shocking: I had pretty much dismissed Lyme because of the ELISA test and the comment my PCP had made,” says Jennifer. “It was like having someone finally look at me as a whole person.

The doctor suggested she begin a 75-day course of antibiotics. Once the antibiotic therapy was finished, she switched to experimenting with herbal protocols.

“Basically, I was self-dosing on the herbal protocol,” says Jennifer. “I spent most of 2018 trying to find the right combinations, because some herbs would make me nauseous, so I would stop taking them. I knew that wasn’t the best path. I never could get that combination right.”

To help ease her symptoms, Jennifer began acupuncture, which she found extremely helpful. She also explored neuromuscular massage therapy, a type of soft tissue manipulation that works on the muscular and nervous systems, which was key to improving her long-standing tailbone pain.

In December 2018, Jennifer returned to her doctor for a follow-up appointment, but blood tests were still showing markers for Lyme. At that point, her doctor suggested she try Dr. Bill Rawls’ herbal protocol. When Jennifer looked into it, she was shocked by how simple the plan was.

“Remember that once you come out on the other side, you’re going to feel better. You think it’s a setback, but actually, it’s a breakthrough.”“I told my husband, ‘I think it’s herbs for dummies, because it looks easy,’ recalls Jennifer. “It’s all there in four bottles, and this is what I take, and it didn’t make me nauseous. I was like, I can handle this!” Dr. Rawls’ combination of herbs quelled her nausea, allowing her to feel significantly better, and it worked well in combination with the additional herbs and medications she was taking.

In addition to Dr. Rawls’ protocol, Jennifer has found his blog to be a valuable source of information for her. “That’s my go-to now — I just a word in the Search box, and an article will pop up that gives me my explanation,” she says.

For example, in June of this year, Jennifer was having a couple of horrible weeks. “I thought I was relapsing, and I didn’t know why.” She hopped on the website and landed on an article about the common causes of Lyme flare-ups, which helped her understand that her increasing symptoms were likely due to a flare-up and not a Herxheimer reaction.

Armed with this new information, Jennifer made an appointment with her doctor, where she learned that what she was experiencing was probably the result of a Bartonella flare. They adjusted her treatment to target the Lyme coinfection more aggressively.

While many people would be discouraged by a setback, Jennifer realized she could glean some valuable insights from what was going on in her body. She began to view bad days not as setbacks but as progress.

“Your body is trying to do something good,” says Jennifer. “Remember that once you come out on the other side, you’re going to feel better. You think it’s a setback, but actually, it’s a breakthrough.”

Jennifer and her husband on the lake catching fish

These days, Jennifer estimates that she’s about 60% healed. She credits Dr. Rawls’ herbal protocol for her increased energy, reduction in brain fog, and better concentration, problems that had troubled her for at least two years. She also adopted Dr. Rawls’ gut-restoring diet, cut out gluten, dairy, and refined carbohydrates, removed foods she was allergic to, and dove into the pages of his book, Unlocking Lyme.

In September, Jennifer played nine holes of golf with her husband, an activity which she hadn’t been able to do in three years. “I’ve golfed a couple of times since then, too. That was probably my number one goal, activity-wise,” says Jennifer. “It’s one of those things that makes me feel like this is me. I’ve finally gotten to that point.”

What’s her advice to other people who are seeking relief from Lyme disease and Lyme coinfections? “Be patient: Know that it’s not going to happen overnight,” says Jennifer. “I’ve made a lot of progress, and I feel like I can do a lot more now than I have in the past three years. I’m definitely on the right path now.”

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 | Nicole’s Story | Jennifer’s Story



I didn’t post this article to push Dr. Rawl’s herbal treatment – although both my husband and I tried it and relapsed on it.  I post it to show people respond differently to treatments and it’s important to keep an open mind and to never give up.  This story once again highlights the need to be as persistent as the organism itself as mainstream medicine is in a complete coma regarding tick-borne illness and is not to be trusted with your health.

All you will do is waste valuable time and money to be disbelieved and sent home with an anti-depressant.

If you or a loved one suspect tick-borne illness, get to an ILADS-trained professional, asap.   The best place to find reputable practitioners is by contacting your local support groups. These people have a lot of experience and can help you.  You can find a link by scrolling down the website to “find a Lyme support group.”  You can also contact ILADS directly, also by scrolling down to “ILADS.”

Essential Oils for Health – Podcast

Episode 93: Essential Oils for Health

Cindy Kennedy, FNP, is joined by Debbie Jodoin, an essential oil educator, who describes the history and use of essential oils. She discusses a healing technique called “The Raindrop Technique” that she uses with Lyme sufferers.

Debbie was an energetic, twenty-something wife and mother with a bright future when she was diagnosed with a debilitating, chronic digestive illness. When nothing seemed to work as it should she researched and then turned to essential oils.Debbie believes that essential oil therapy can help to activate an innate healing response and return your mind and body to its natural state of wholeness.

She believes that emotional and physical wellbeing are inextricably bound, and that the amazing benefits of pure essential oils and human touch can be a powerful means to achieving the lasting, overall wellness you were meant to have.

Her website is available at.

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What are essential oils?
Where do they come from?
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Where do you help people? Detox spa





5 Effects of Stress on the Mind and Body & 10 Tips to Reduce Stress

5 Effects of Stress on the Mind and Body + 10 Tips to Reduce Stress

5 Effects of Stress on the Mind and Body + 10 Tips to Reduce Stress
We all hear about stress these days and how bad it is for our health. Many people consider stress a part of modern life and learn to live with it, but stress is not normal and it can be overcome! You just need to learn how.

Originally Posted November 2016
Updated October 2019

Knowing the far-reaching effects of stress, not only on our psychological well-being, but also on our entire bodies, can help us remember to prioritize stress management and other self-care practices.

Stress, Cortisol, and Adrenals

You may have heard these terms used together, but are not sure how they are connected. Stress is any kind of outside factor that our body perceives as a threat to our safety or well-being. Many people think this only refers to emotional stress or trauma, but it also includes physiological stress on the body, such as infection, traumatic injury, or a poor diet. Stress can also include environmental factors like exposure to chemicals and other toxins.

Cortisol is one of the hormones that our body releases in response to stress. It is probably the one most commonly associated with stress, even though there are others involved.

The adrenals are two small glands located just above the kidneys that produce and release cortisol and other hormones into the bloodstream – learn everything you need to know about adrenals here. One of the bodily processes that occurs during acute stress is often referred to as “fight or flight.” It is the defense mechanism that kicks in when we are in danger – or think we are. In addition to the adrenals pumping out more hormones, bodily functions that are unnecessary in the moment (such as digestion), are put on hold to preserve energy for the “fight or flight.”

While this can be a very useful and sometimes life-saving response to a threat, problems can begin to occur if stress becomes frequent or chronic. As the adrenal glands become over-worked, they eventually can’t keep up with the body’s demands for the various hormones they’re responsible for.

How Stress Affects the Body

Here are a few of the major ways the mind and body are affected by chronic stress.


The adrenal glands produce more than just cortisol. They also produce neurotransmitters such as adrenaline (epinephrine), norepinephrine, and dopamine. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that help regulate things like mood, performance, weight, pain perception, and sleep. Depending on the degree to which the adrenals have been affected, the neurotransmitters become unbalanced in various ways.

Let’s take dopamine, for example. If dopamine is too high, someone may experience anxiety, hyperactivity, or paranoia. If someone has low dopamine, it can lead to addiction, cravings, or depression.


In addition to neurotransmitters and cortisol, the adrenals also produce small amounts of the sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone (and their precursors). Along with balancing out hormones based on a person’s gender, sex hormones also help keep the negative effects of too much cortisol in check, acting as an antioxidant. But once the adrenals become chronically over-worked, more and more of the precursor materials (used to make sex hormones) get diverted to make cortisol, resulting in a decrease in sex hormones.

This results in lowered libido and other symptoms related to hormonal imbalances, such as premenstrual syndrome in women or erectile dysfunction in men.

Blood Sugar Regulation

When cortisol is released, the hormone glucagon is signaled and insulin is suppressed. Glucagon controls glucose storage in the liver so that glucose can be released into the blood. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the amount of glucose being taken from the bloodstream into the cells.

During chronic stress, the cells start to become resistant to insulin, leaving blood glucose levels elevated. This is why insulin resistance is the precursor to type II diabetes.

A few symptoms of insulin resistance include inability to lose weight, high cholesterol and triglycerides, cognitive dysfunction, and elevated blood glucose or insulin levels.

Learn more about insulin resistance here.


The adrenal glands are part of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-thyroid-axis (HPAT), sometimes just referred to as the HPA-axis. Here’s where the thyroid comes into play.

The adrenals are regulated by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. When cortisol is released under stress, the hypothalamus and pituitary, which work in a feedback loop with cortisol, slow down their production of hormones. Unfortunately, this also slows down thyroid function since the hypothalamus and pituitary regulate thyroid hormones as well.

Stress can also negatively affect the enzyme that converts inactive thyroid hormone (T4) to active thyroid hormone (T3). There are a few other mechanisms involved in the stress/thyroid dysfunction connection as well. Hypothyroid symptoms such as cold extremities, dry skin, depression, and constipation often indicate sub-optimal adrenal function. Most likely, thyroid treatment will be less effective if the adrenals are not addressed as well.

Learn more about the adrenal-thyroid connection here.


Stress triggers inflammation. Our body knows that chronic inflammation is damaging, so it compensates by slowing down the immune system in order to keep the inflammation in check. The immune system is also directly suppressed during stress since it is one of those “unnecessary” functions when we’re in “fight or flight” mode. This also affects thyroid health since a suppressed immune system can activate viruses capable of attacking and damaging the thyroid.

As you can see, so many functions in the body are interconnected and related back to adrenal function and the stress response.

10 Tips to Reduce Stress and Improve Your Health

This is only a brief overview of the effects of stress on the body. Chronic stress has also been linked to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. It is estimated that as much of 80% of the population has weakened adrenal function.

Since there are different stages of adrenal dysfunction that require different treatments, it is a good idea to seek out a knowledgeable health care provider who can test your adrenal function and related hormones. Since many doctors only recognize adrenal disorders such as Cushing’s and Addison’s disease, you may need to search someone out who takes a more in-depth look at adrenal function using functional tests such as a salivary cortisol test.

There are some things you can do to help reduce stress which include:

Take Control of Your Thoughts

Many people have tons of negative thoughts in their head on a daily basis, without even being aware of it. This creates a stressful state and anxiety that keeps fueling your hormonal imbalances. A technique known as “thought‐stopping” can help you halt negative, obsessive thoughts.

The first step is to literally call a halt to this train of thought (like saying the word “Stop!” out loud or to yourself). Next, choose a positive thought on which you’ll focus instead. This way you’re swapping a negative, stress‐inducing thought for a positive one. To increase emotional comfort, it’s imperative to practice reassuring and realistic self‐talk (saying something along the lines of, “I am feeling anxious / irritable now, but I have the power to calm myself down.”).

Apply Self-Soothing Techniques

There are many physiological changes that are triggered, when we are faced with a stressful situation. Our breathing quickens, adrenaline is secreted, and our heart begins to race. This is called the fight or flight response – a natural survival mechanism intended to help us escape danger. However, when the threat is imagined, the fight/flight response is unnecessary and damaging to your health. Many people with chronic stress remain blocked in this state of alert, without being able to snap out of it.

Luckily, there are techniques you can learn to reduce your response to stress, like deep breathing techniques, muscle relaxation exercises and meditation. Deep breathing can help with a rapid heart beat. The most commonly utilized strategy is breathing by contracting the diaphragm, a horizontal muscle in the chest located just above the stomach cavity.

Using muscle relaxation exercises you can induce a relaxed state and physical comfort, by tightening and releasing muscles, beginning with the largest muscle group. Meditation is also a powerful way to bring back a peaceful state to your body and clearing up your mind from erratic and negative thoughts.

Check Your Diet

What does stress have to do with eating? A whole lot! What we eat and drink largely impacts our emotional state. Stimulating foods and drinks like coffee, sodas, chocolate, and alcohol can cause anxiety, trigger panic attacks, and increase feelings of nervousness and irritability, as well as trembling and shaking. Deciding to go “cold turkey” by abruptly eliminating caffeine is not always recommended since it can lead to withdrawal symptoms. You might experience headaches, restlessness, and irritability. So it’s better to decrease caffeine consumption gradually by replacing it with tea for example.

Regular alcohol consumption can also generate a lot of biochemical imbalances in your body, like blood sugar dysregulation, liver problems and dehydration, which add to the stress burden your body needs to handle.

Get Moving

By choosing your appropriate exercise routine you can reduce stress, improve mood, enhance self-esteem, and increase energy levels. Be careful not to over exercise, which can actually contribute to your stress level.

It’s a known fact that during exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins and norepinephrine, which interact with receptors in the brain. These chemicals determine euphoric feelings, reduction in physical pain and the ability to deal with stress more efficiently.

Get More Sleep

Losing just a few hours of sleep increases feelings of stress, anger, sadness, and exhaustion. It’s a vicious cycle since because of stress you might not be able to fall and stay asleep, but lack of sleep is also generating stress.

So try to get a solid seven to eight hours of sleep a night, and don’t feel bad about also adding a nap in the afternoon on days when you’re feeling especially drained. Go to sleep before 10 – 11 PM and don’t use the computer or watch TV before it, since these can interfere with your melatonin production and make it harder to fall and stay asleep.

Listen to Music

By choosing a type of relaxing music which you prefer, you can help the body and mind dissipate stress. Research has shown that classical music may help you unwind and improve your mood. You can also experience therapeutic CDs of “binaural beats,” which are meant to calm the mind and body and where different frequencies call forth different moods.

Begin and End the Day Right

In the morning, in order to make intelligent use of your energy for the day, take some time to reflect, meditate, read or better yet take a nature walk, away from computer and TV. You could do the same in the evening, or just simply delight in the rare pleasure of doing nothing. These can ease the stress of too much computer or office time, counteract overstimulation and boost your mood.

Doing Something Fun

Doing something fun always gets postponed due to the avalanche of responsibilities we have during the day. But without a balance in your life, frustration and so stress might arise. It’s been found that creating artwork, crafts or making time for a hobby helps to relax, can be very stress-reducing and takes your focus away from your own thoughts and worries.

Get a Massage

Massage is a great way to loosen the muscles that are habitually affected by stress. Think about all the frowning and scrunching of your face muscles and how relaxing it is to work on these! Essential oils can calm, center, and energize you by reducing the effects of stress and mental fatigue. You can give yourself a massage, while taking small breaks from your work, or you could have a professional massage to benefit your whole body.

Include Adaptogens

A class of herbs called adaptogens help your body to cope more effectively with the demands and stress of everyday life. They provide a sustained sense of calm, and while they increase energy, with the exception of Chinese ginseng, they are non-stimulating. Some of the most used adaptogens are: ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, schisandra, shatavari, eleuthero.

Learn more about adaptogens here.

Lowering Stress and Improving Adrenal Function

Because of the great impact stress can have on overall health and well-being, it’s important to implement stress-reducing habits. Additionally, partnering with a knowledgeable physician to help address any underlying adrenal fatigue can prove very beneficial. Your mood, hormones, thyroid, blood sugar, and immune system (among other things) will be much healthier for it!

At Holtorf Medical Group, our physicians are trained to utilize cutting-edge testing innovative treatments to design a treatment protocol that is personalized to you. If you are experiencing symptoms of adrenal fatigue, give us a call at 877-508-1177 to see how we can help you!


1. NIH. “5 Things You Should Know About Stress.” National Institute of Mental Health.
2. Mayo Clinic Staff “Chronic stress puts your health at risk.” Mayo Clinic.
3. APA Staff. “Stress effects on the body.” American Psychological Association.
4. Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science. “The Physiology of stress: Cortisol and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.”
5. Harvard Health. “Understanding the stress response.” Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Medical School.
6. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior.” Mayo Clinic.
7. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS. “7 Adaptogenic Herbs or Adaptogens that Help Reduce Stress.” Dr. Axe.



This article is one of the best articles I’ve read on how stress affects the body and what you can do about it.

Lyme/MSIDS patients are in a war of epic proportions where nearly every single thing in their bodies is haywire. We need to do all within out power to reduce that stress.

  • The most important step is effective treatment for the infection(s), which is simply in a word antimicrobials. An example:
  • The next step is precisely what this article recommends – partnering with an experienced practitioner who will help you uncover your specific imbalances.  This looks differently on everyone but typically involves the thyroid and other hormone and mineral imbalances. I know of one patient who felt nearly well just by addressing the thyroid. People often don’t understand that the thyroid is the body’s thermostat and that if you have hypothyroidism (low amounts of thyroid hormone) your body’s temperature will be low allowing infections to proliferate. Address the thyroid and you’ve effectively made it tougher for pathogens to survive.
  • Taking appropriate supplements. Patients often complain about their Lyme literate doctor requiring them to take copious amounts of supplements. Unfortunately, they are usually right because of damage & imbalances caused by the infection(s).  The goal; however, is to only take what is required. 
  • Diet is key.  This too is very individual, with some only improving by eliminating gluten, dairy, and all sugars. This step often turns patients around entirely. Remember – food is medicine.
  • All the ideas in the article are very helpful and include listening to calming music.The first thing I do in the morning is turn on a relaxing music channel on Pandora. An example would be the George Winston channel.  For more on binaural beats:
  •  Binaural Beat demonstration. You need ear phones to listen.
  • If you prefer music: 
  • Regarding essential oil diffusing  After I turn Pandora on, I set up my essential oil diffuser with whatever blend I’m in the mood for. For a relaxing bedtime blend called “Counting Sheep”:  9 drops lavender, 4 chamomile, 2 frankincense, 2 bergamot. This would be for a large room. Divide in half for a small bedroom.  For a grounding smell try “Peace & Harmony”: 4 drops patchouli, 4 vanilla, 3 orange. 
  • Doing something fun seems frivolous to many patients but is so important. Unfortunately with Lyme/MSIDS, we tend to revolve around our illness.  Doing something to break away from this is so important for our mental health. Whether you enroll in an art class or just buy Play dough to mess around with at home – do it. I’ve found plants relax me. My house has turned into a literal green house through the years.  I love dirt!  Another thing you could simply incorporate into your habits is coloring
  • Word of warning: It is often the case that when initially starting Lyme/MSIDS treatment patients are extremely sensitive to everything including light, sound, and smells. It’s always important you listen to YOUR body and although the suggestions in this article are good, they may not be good for you at the moment. If you are sensitive it’s a sure sign your body is seriously fighting a war and you need to assist it in anyway you can and often that means sunglasses even in the daytime, and eliminating ALL smells and sounds. The goal is to move past and heal from sensitivities so you can enjoy the suggestions listed here.
  • Final note and the best advice I was given: “Don’t be depressed about feeling depressed.”  I heard this from someone I contacted online who reached the other side of health who was willing to advise me in my desperation upon starting treatment and feeling so incredibly lousy. This advice helped me more than many things as there are some seriously dark days in treatment where you think dying would just be easier. Treating for this monster is unlike anything you’ve ever done before and will require serious dedication on your part. I encourage you to find a local support group for support and ideas on your journey.
Some of the best help through the years for me has come directly from patients.











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).
  19. Singh G, Maurya S, DeLampasona MP, Catalan CA. A comparison of chemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial studies of cinnamon leaf and bark volatile oils, oleoresins and their constituents. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Sep;45(9):1650-61. Epub 2007 Feb 28.
  20. Lokman Alpsoy. Inhibitory Effect of Essential Oil on Aflatoxin Activity. African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 9(17), pp. 2474-2481, 19 April, 2010
  21. Carvalhinho S, Costa AM, Coelho AC, Martins E, Sampaio A. Susceptibilities of Candida albicans mouth isolates to antifungal agents, essentials oils and mouth rinses. Mycopathologia. 2012 Jul;174(1):69-76. Epub 2012 Jan 14.
  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.
  24. Krause, Peter. Panel: Genetic and Acquired Determinants of Host Susceptibility and Vulnerable Populations at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences: A Workshop on the Critical Needs and Gaps in Understanding Prevention, Amelioration, and Resolution of Lyme and Other Tick-borne Diseases: the Short-Term and Long-Term Outcomes. Washington, DC. October 11, 2010
  25. Ho, Wanxing Eugene, Hong Yong Peh, Tze Khee Chan, and W. S. Fred Wong. “Artemisinins: Pharmacological Actions beyond Anti-Malarial.” Pharmacology & Therapeutics 142, no. 1 (April 2014): 126–39. doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2013.12.001.
  26. Dharmananda, S. Lyme Disease: Treatment with Chinese Herbs
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  28. Zhu, Xiaoxin X., Lan Yang, Yujie J. Li, Dong Zhang, Ying Chen, Petra Kostecká, Eva Kmoníčková, and Zdeněk Zídek. “Effects of Sesquiterpene, Flavonoid and Coumarin Types of Compounds from Artemisia Annua L. on Production of Mediators of Angiogenesis.” Pharmacological Reports: PR 65, no. 2 (2013): 410–20.
  29. Suberu, John O., Alexander P. Gorka, Lauren Jacobs, Paul D. Roepe, Neil Sullivan, Guy C. Barker, and Alexei A. Lapkin. “Anti-Plasmodial Polyvalent Interactions in Artemisia Annua L. Aqueous Extract–Possible Synergistic and Resistance Mechanisms.” PloS One 8, no. 11 (2013): e80790. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080790.
  30. Tan, Y., Y. Zhao, Q. Lin, G. Xie, P. Yang, and X. Yin. “[Experimental study on antiendotoxin effect of extracts from Artemisia annua L].” Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi = Zhongguo Zhongyao Zazhi = China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica 24, no. 3 (March 1999): 166–71, 192.
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  32. Pérez-Díaz, Mario Alberto, Laura Boegli, Garth James, Cristina Velasquillo, Roberto Sánchez-Sánchez, Rita-Elizabeth Martínez-Martínez, Gabriel Alejandro Martínez-Castañón, and Fidel Martinez-Gutierrez. “Silver Nanoparticles with Antimicrobial Activities against Streptococcus Mutans and Their Cytotoxic Effect.” Materials Science & Engineering. C, Materials for Biological Applications 55 (October 2015): 360–66. doi:10.1016/j.msec.2015.05.036.
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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.
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  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: