Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

Coinfection Webinar: April 18, 2018


No questions about Lyme disease coinfections are off the table. Please feel free to ask common or uncommon questions, such as:

• What are telltale signs of a coinfection? • Which herbs are most helpful for overcoming coinfections? • Should you treat coinfections before addressing Lyme?  • What is the best treatment for coinfections?  • Is it possible to ever cure Lyme and its coinfections?  • Are all coinfections transmitted by ticks?  • How can you tell for sure when Lyme and coinfections are gone?  • How does treatment and diet for Lyme differ if you have a coinfection?  • How long will it take to feel good again?


Ask Dr. Rawls, Live Q&A Webinar


The Lyme Solution: My Comments

 Approx. 3:45 Min

Dr. Ingels, author of The Lyme Solution

In this video, Dr. Ingels (ND) presents his firsthand experience with LD.  He had many symptoms and even the “classic” bullseye rash.  LD took a toll on his job, relationships and overall health.  He initially used antibiotics over 8-9 months and felt worse.  He says conventional medicine failed him and that he believes in the body’s innate capacity to heal.  “The Lyme Solution” is a 5-part plan:  • fix your digestion and heal your gut • teach you to eat food that nourishes your body and reduces inflammation • treat your infection naturally • remove toxins that affect your immune system • get the best sleep and exercise If you’ve been feeling any combination of these symptoms and you haven’t discovered why you feel this way, then it’s time to find out if it’s Lyme disease. Find out now at his website at



Conventional medicine didn’t fail him – it just wasn’t enough and rarely is.  In response to feeling worse before better that’s how this disease rolls.  Syphilis is similar in this regard.  It’s called a herxheimer reaction.  When you take antimicrobials like antibiotics, your body experiences an autoimmune type response when it finally identifies dead pathogens floating around in your blood stream.  The immune system all of a sudden understands who the bad guys are.  The body’s reaction of inflammation and pain are the outcome of successfully killing pathogens.

Experience has shown me that people often do not give credit to antibiotics.  He admits he took them for 8-9 months effectively reducing pathogens.  The unfortunate truth about Lyme/MSIDS treatment is you are going to feel worse before you feel better.  The herxheimer reaction is very real:  LLMD’s all admit that one of the challenges is in balancing killing with the ability to detox, thereby reducing the herx as much as possible.

This complex disease will sift you like wheat and take you to some very low places.  It is unlike anything you’ve ever dealt with before.  I felt like death on a stick for over 4 years of treatment using antibiotics, blood ozone with UV light, IV vitamins, hormones, herbs, detox treatments, probiotics & supplements, and more I’ve probably forgotten.  But antibiotics WORKED!  At times they worked too well and the herxes were surreal.  But, my husband and I are living examples that taking oral antibiotics for years can work.  We are off all treatment but a maintenance dose of herbs to keep things at bay.

One of the most difficult aspects of this journey is people can not believe how badly they feel, how poorly doctors are educated, necessitating their own advocacy, and how long it takes to recover.  In my experience it’s also quite common to need numerous doctors.  Lyme/MSIDS can affect every organ in your body and wreak unbelievable havoc.  Doctors typically have their specialities or “hobby horses” they know well.  Lyme/MSIDS patients often “out grow” their own doctors and need help from other sources whether it be diet/nutrition, psych help, heart issues, bone/joint issues, dermatology, pain relief, and on and on.  I know patients that see 3-4 different medical professionals for very real issues.  Don’t be afraid to seek out help from other sources.

Please notice Ingel’s treatment took 3 years.  His approach is NOT a magic bullet. Nor is it curative in that it eradicates all pathogens (at least regarding Bb).  Treatment takes YEARS and there are many facets to successful treatment but never underestimate the killing prong of treatment that antibiotics can accomplish.  Dr. Horowitz, a knowledgable Lyme literate doctor, has gone on record stating herbs alone have about a 70% success rate in his practice.  Some patients have severe psych and cognitive issues.  Would you treat tertiary Syphilis with herbs alone?  Neuro Lyme is no different.

In my experience the folks that do poorly on antibiotics can not detox properly or are using the wrong drugs or wrong dosage.  If they can fix their detox pathways, and get the proper drug and dosage, antibiotics work, if they can’t, they often have to choose something else.  I am thankful there are options.  Never diss something that doesn’t work for you because it will work for someone else.

Another reason for treatment failure is NOT EVERYTHING IS LYME.  There are other coinfections necessitating other drugs, as well as the fact borrelia has 3 forms necessitating antimicrobials that address each form.  There’s a lot of guess work involved in treatment and a lot of experimentation.  One of the reasons I write about the different pathogens is that so you can understand how they work and what it takes to effectively deal with them.  Beyond that complexity there’s the importance of supporting the immune system, obtaining refreshing sleep, detoxing, addressing the gut, psychological/cognitive needs, addressing things like mold and MCAS, and so on to infinity.  Every patient is different requiring different components of individualized treatment.

I don’t want any of you to come away thinking there’s a “magic bullet” to tick borne illness – that this book or one particular treatment is going to “cure” everyone.  If someone claims that they are selling something.  A magic bullet doesn’t exist for everyone.  Period.

I had an extremely negative experience with well-meaning people who attempted to make me feel guilty about taking antibiotics.  It was probably when I was at my lowest and very vulnerable. Mind you, I hadn’t taken antibiotics for my entire adult life so I’m not even a huge fan; however, they were the most effective treatment I’ve used, and were for my husband, as well as many, many patients I’ve dealt with over the years.  Again, we used many other adjunctive therapies as well.

Bottom line:  Give credit where credit’s due.  Antibiotics work.  Don’t get a “mightier than thou” attitude & diss treatments you don’t like or didn’t work for you.  Remain open minded regarding treatment – remembering we are all different.  Don’t be afraid to try numerous things.  Stick with those that work.  When you reach a plateau, work with your practitioner and switch things up and remain open to that one thing that might really make a difference for you.  And mostly, remember that this complex illness is unlike anything you’ve ever treated before and will require savvy, wisdom, knowledge, open-mindedness, patience, and most of all humor.







Can’t Sleep? 18 Plants & Herbs Can Help

Natural Sleep Aids
18 plants and herbs for better sleep

by Beth Janes | Posted March 30th, 2018

We’ve all been there: Exhausted, but sleep just isn’t happening. Maybe your brain won’t shut down, or you can’t get comfortable. Or perhaps you did manage to drift off, but woke up feeling like you ran 8 miles, not slept 8 hours.

What gives? It’s likely a disruption in the normal tides of brain chemicals that are tuned into your circadian rhythms, says Dr. Bill Rawls, medical director of Vital Plan. And these rhythms are what either keep us awake or put us to sleep.

“During the day, levels of the stress hormone cortisol are elevated, which helps us get through day-to-day activities,” Dr. Rawls explains. In the evening, cortisol and its cohorts are supposed to ebb, making way for the flow of a new set of relaxing chemicals that induce and sustain sleep. However, stress and other factors, such as stuffy sinuses or aches and pains, can throw off the chemical tides—and your Zzzs.

While you may be tempted to pop a sleeping pill, they can come with dependency and other unwanted side effects. Instead, consider turning first to nature’s pharmacy. Research shows it’s stocked with plants that can promote a healthy sleep environment and may help you unwind, drift off, and wake up feeling energized and refreshed.

Here are three tips and a garden of options to try:

1. Bring nature into your bedroom

Not only do studies suggest that simply being around plants can help you feel calmer, certain varieties are especially effective at scrubbing the air of pollutants that cause sleep-disrupting symptoms, according to a paper in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Others, meanwhile, give off rest-promoting aromas.

• Air purifying houseplants

Take your pick of Areca, lady and bamboo palms, English Ivy, Boston fern, peace lily and Ficus. All are on the top-10 list of best houseplants for their ability to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air, as assessed by a NASA researcher. Many building and household materials like paint, carpeting, and cleaning supplies release VOCs, which are known to irritate eyes and airways and trigger headaches and fatigue—in other words, symptoms that mess with sleep.

• Calming houseplants

Scents are known to affect the nervous system, and science shows that lavender, jasmine, and gardenia are especially calming. For example, researchers at Wesleyan University found that when people sniffed lavender oil before bed, they spent more time in deep sleep and felt more energized and refreshed in the morning. In another study from Wheeling Jesuit University, people were exposed to jasmine scents while sleeping, causing them to move around less, indicating better-quality sleep.

2. Sip your way to better sleep

There’s something immediately calming about cupping your hands around a warm mug of herbal tea and breathing in the steam that wafts up. But the right mix of steeped herbs in your cup could make the ritual even more effective.

Here are three teas to look for:

• Passion flower

“Passion flower helps bring on calm, and it also promotes muscle relaxation,” says Dr. Rawls. Those two benefits make this Amazonian plant especially effective for promoting sleep. In fact, people who drank passion flower tea for a week reported better sleep quality than when they drank a placebo tea, according to a study from Monash University in Australia.

• Chamomile and valerian

Perhaps the two most common herbal ingredients found in bedtime teas, their sleep-supporting benefits are well supported by research. For example, postnatal women who drank chamomile tea for two weeks reported less sleep interference from physical symptoms, according to a study in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Just be sure to listen to your body if you try these teas. While chamomile works well for many, it may keep others awake, Dr. Rawls says. Likewise for valerian: “About 25 percent of people who take it can feel agitated,” he says.

3. Use herbal supplements for temporary support

Certain herbs are believed to help you rest by affecting the brain’s gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a key neurotransmitter that induces sleep, Dr. Rawls says. The caveat: They work best if taken only intermittently — a few nights in a row to deal with occasional sleep trouble.

“If you use anything that hits the GABA system every night, whether it’s herbs or drugs, it can suppress natural GABA over time,” says Dr. Rawls. “That can cause a rebound effect that makes insomnia worse.”

Here are a few Dr. Rawls recommends for occasional sleep support:

• Passion flower

Tea isn’t the only way to take advantage of the calming properties held in the leaves of this pretty plant. For instance, a study in the Journal of Anesthesia found that patients about to undergo spinal anesthesia who took passion flower extract felt calmer than those who received a placebo. Another study found that a combination of passion flower, valerian, and hops worked significantly well for improving occasional sleeplessness.

• Bacopa

An herb native to India, bacopa has been used for thousands of years and is best known to help support memory, focus, and mental function. But it’s also calming and has a mild sedative effect, Dr. Rawls says. One study, for example, showed the herb could help mitigate some of the effects of stress.

• Motherwort

Although it originated in central Eurasia, this member of the mint family has long been used in herbal medicine, and it now grows in gardens in temperate areas of the world. “It’s a nice, calming herb that affects dopamine and has sleep-promoting qualities,” Dr. Rawls says. Russian researchers found that in subjects with high blood pressure and sleep problems, 80% of those who took motherwort saw significant or moderate improvement in low mood and related sleep trouble.

• Ashwagandha, magnolia, and phellodendron

“The key to a good night’s sleep isn’t what you do at bedtime, but instead it’s what you’re doing during the day,” Dr. Rawls says. Herbs like ashwagandha, an adaptogen that hails from India and parts of Africa, as well as magnolia and phellodendron help moderate daytime stress and may set the stage for healthy sleep.

Utilizing houseplants, teas, and supplements may be all you need for a good night’s rest. But for the best and lasting results, Dr. Rawls recommends combining plants with lifestyle changes that are known to improve sleep long-term.

“Regular exercise and other stress-reducing activities, as well as practicing healthy sleep hygiene like limiting screen time at night, are also essential elements for enjoying optimal sleep.”

Lack of sleep is a huge problem with Lyme/MSIDS patients.  We slump through the day, feeling exhausted and depleted, and then roam the halls like zombies all night long.
I tried many, many things over the years and frankly, the best thing that helped me was Lyme/MSIDS treatment.  Get rid of the bugs and you can sleep again.
However, some other things that had limited effect were melatonin & valerian root tincture for me, and 5-HTP, & Gabapentin for my husband.  I know many patients who have to resort to stronger medications to get relief.
Some other hacks I learned through the years:
  • Try and determine if you can’t get to sleep or stay asleep, or both, as that will help your doctor pin point your problem and help you find the right remedy.
  • Get away from all blue-screens (computers, phones, iPads, etc.) preferably hours before bedtime, as that type of light tricks the body into thinking it’s day.
  • Establish a night time routine.
  • Perhaps take a nightly bath in epsom salts for detoxing and relaxing.
  • Read a book that will relax you – or even comics.
  • If you have a racing mind, keep a notebook and pen by your bed to write wandering thoughts or “to-do” lists so you can free your mind up.
  • Sleep in a completely blackened out room as any light will affect melatonin production.  If you can’t obtain that, wear a sleep mask.
  • If noises bother you, wear ear-plugs.
  • Exercise is important, but don’t do it too close to bedtime as it will rev you up.  And, speaking of exercise, do what feels good.  We have enough pain without adding more.  I walked.  Walking, as it didn’t give me pain, helped me tease out what was Lyme/MSIDS related pain as I knew it wasn’t due to walking.  If you are just starting up; however, you will notice it in your calves, shins, hips, and perhaps feet until your body adjusts.  Start by walking to the mailbox.  Add distance as you are able.  Wear good walking shoes.
Make sure you work with your doctor and be honest about inability to sleep as it is such an important aspect of healing.

Top 3 Lyme Detox Myths Busted – Dr. Rawls Top 3 Myths About Lyme Detox, Busted, on black chalk background

The Top 3 Lyme Detox Myths, Busted

by Dr. Bill Rawls
Posted 2/23/18

As a chronic illness expert and longtime Lyme sufferer, Dr. Bill Rawls fields all sorts of questions and theories from fellow Lyme sufferers about what helps successfully fight the disease. One theme that comes up time and again: Detoxing.

So Dr. Rawls made it the focus of his recent live webinar, “Demystifying Lyme Detox: Your Essential Guide to Effective Detoxing,” and tackled three of the most common myths he hears:

  • I need to do a Lyme detox protocol before I start treatment for my recovery.
  • Detoxification is really complicated.
  • A 10-day cleanse is all it takes.
To get an overview of Dr. Rawls’ insights on all three myths, keep reading for a short excerpt from his webinar transcript. Or, watch a replay video below of the full webinar for even more information on why detoxing is crucial for both Lyme recovery and optimal health in general, plus what works, what doesn’t, and why.

The Demystifying Lyme Detox webinar originally aired on January 24th, 2018. Since then, we’ve posted it to YouTube; you can watch it here.

Approx. 1.5 hours

Myth #1: I need to do a Lyme detox protocol before I start treatment for my recovery.

First off, there are a lot of different terms used to describe toxins, and I think it’s important to really understand what those terms mean when discussing detox.

Poison: A poison is something that causes death. And when you look at any kind of substance that’s foreign to the body, at a certain level, it turns into a poison.

Toxin: We all tend to use this word interchangeably to refer to any kind of toxic substance, but the true definition is things of biologic origin. So that can be external things — jellyfish stings, poison ivy — and also internal ones. The internal sources are more pertinent when talking about chronic Lyme disease. This includes mycotoxins from mold spores that get in the body and accumulate toxins, and the toxins produced by an overload of candida.

There are also endotoxins, toxins we hear about being tied to Herxheimer reactions. An endotoxin is not a toxin produced by bacteria. It is created when bacteria are killed, and the pieces of the bacteria become inflammatory.

Toxicant: These are man-made: petroleum residues from driving cars, creating plastics, mining operations, chemical plants, and pesticides.

Xenobiotic: A xenobiotic can be a toxin or a toxicant, and it’s typically something that has a certain biological effect — it acts like a neurotransmitter or hormone. These are in bottles that leech plastic residue into our water and have an estrogenic effect.

A lot of people, including myself, refer to all of these things as toxins. All told, there are many thousands of chemicals in our environment that weren’t here 100 years ago, and all of these toxins add up. How much of a role they play in disease is hard to quantitate, because we’re all saturated with them, but they are a factor we have to deal with to get well.

So how do these toxins cause harm? They bind to our DNA and proteins and disrupt our cell membranes. They act like really potent free radicals. They mimic hormones and neurotransmitters, and they’re a big source of inflammation in the body. All of this compromises your immune system, inhibits healing, and disrupts homeostasis, which allows the microbes that we have in our body to flourish.

Lyme disease is more about disruption of immune system functions than infection with microbes. The microbes are definitely part of the problem, but often the microbes are present long before illness takes hold. Chronic illness does not become established until immune functions have become compromised.

Because toxic substances are major immune system disruptors, detoxification must be a fundamental part of the immune system recovery process. It isn’t something you just do, and then move on to something else. Detox is integral to the entire recovery process, and enhances the ability of the body to restore itself.

Myth #2: Detoxification is really complicated.

To a certain extent, the body’s detoxification systems are unbelievably sophisticated and complex. But enhancing the process of detoxification is a simple matter of limiting the toxins coming in, and helping the toxins go out.

So how do toxins enter the body? You can eat them. You can breathe them in. You can get them through the skin. And then there are the endotoxins from microbes that are generated internally, which everybody has to a low degree. People with Lyme disease will have a lot more, especially if they’re undergoing treatment.

Step one in this whole process is cleaning up the inflow of toxins. Here’s a list of things that go into your body that you can control:

Processed foods
These are a top-of-my-list concern about detoxification. Processed foods are loaded with carbohydrates, preservatives, and other foreign substances that disrupt gut function, which disrupts immune systems even further and disturbs the balance of all the hormones in the body. All of that compromises detoxification, and that’s a real problem.

Contaminated water
There are a lot of contaminants in municipal water supplies, and there are a lot of potential contaminants coming through wells. With this in mind, it is a smart choice to filter your water.

Alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs
Minimizing alcohol, not smoking, and respecting the toxicity of pharmaceutical drugs are very important to detoxifying the body.

Mold is also a big issue. It can definitely get in the way of recovery. Have you checked your crawl space? Have you looked for mold in the house? Because it can be a factor in recovery. If you are mold-sensitive, and you have mold in your house, you will not get well.

Polluted air
Finding clean air to breathe is getting harder. The cleanest air can be found in pine forests, on the open water, and near waterfalls. Urban industrial and rural agricultural climates can have a negative effect on the air you breathe. So try to spend more time in natural areas.

As for indoor air, you can get an air filtration system to extract the toxins inherent inside a house. Bring nature inside your home with plants and falling water. You can also get a negative ion generator — make sure to invest in a newer one, as the older versions produce ozone. Diffusing essential oils inside your house may be another way you can improve your indoor air to make it mirror nature.

Topical toxins
The last area to look at is your skin. There are so many toxins that come in skin products. Even sunscreens have been implicated as possible carcinogens. A group that’s doing a lot of good work in this area is the Environmental Working Group. They’ve got great information on which skin products are the safest to use.

Myth #3: A 10-day cleanse is all it takes.

Detoxification is not an acute process. It’s an ongoing process that not only lasts through recovery, but lasts through a lifetime. It is how you go about life.

Is there something wrong with a 10-day detox? Certainly not. A 10-day detox is a great way to get started; it’s a great way to initiate the process. But it’s not an end-all. It’s not that you purge everything from your body in 10 days, and then you move on from there.

So, how do we remove toxins naturally? Which parts of the body do that? The immune system is important for cleaning up endotoxins from microbes, taking care of the microbes, cleaning up debris, taking out worn-out cells, taking out cells that have been infected with microbes. The liver takes care of most of those artificial toxins that reach your body, and it pushes them into the intestines or kidneys. We also breathe some toxins out, and actually sweat is a great way to remove certain kinds of toxins.

Here are the best ways to aid the body in ridding itself of toxins:

Load up on veggies.
The most important thing for your health and detoxification is vegetables. Vegetables provide so many things — vitamins, minerals, and other plant chemicals that keep your body running properly. Vegetables support liver function and provide fiber to bind toxic substances for removal from the body.

Take herbs.
Ancient food was loaded with chemicals from plants that protected our ancestors from microbial invaders, parasites, and disease. Modern food lacks these beneficial chemicals, but herbs are the easiest way to reintroduce them into your system. They balance the gut microbiome, instead of killing off normal flora. They balance the immune system, and they help flush the whole lymphatic system.

Choose organic when possible.
I think the guideline with eating organic food is, whenever it’s practical. Organic is most important for thin-skinned fruits and vegetables, like berries, apples, and tomatoes, and less important if skins are thick or can be peeled, like avocados, melons, citrus — if you’re not eating the peel, not as much of the toxin is getting in. Fresh is more important than organic: I’d rather see people eat non-organic vegetables than not eat vegetables at all. Remember, the fiber in vegetables helps pull toxins through your digestive tract.

Enjoy fermented foods.
Humans have always eaten spoiled food. It added to their microbe diversity, and we’re finding that our health is very much related to the diversity of our microbiome. Today, with a grain- and meat-based diet and our sterile environment, humans have the lowest diversity of their microbiome than ever in the history of humans. Eating fermented foods of every variety, and if that’s not practical, taking a probiotic, is really important.

A lot of people add fasting on as part of a detox, and I think it’s a good idea. What are we doing with fasting? Basically, we’re giving the digestive tract a rest. Your digestive tract, especially if you’re eating all day and into the night, is working pretty hard, and it’s pushing your liver. Actually, if you’re really working your digestive tract hard by eating bad foods, it just needs a rest.

There are a lot of different ways to do a fast. You can do a three- to six-day fast with only juice or water with lemon. Some people do one fasting day a week. Personally, I like to spread it out. I try to fast 12 hours out of every 24. So that gives my intestinal tract a rest, lets it do its job, and it’s practical for me. It can enhance detoxification. I don’t think you need to do an excessive amount of fasting because, again, you’re not necessarily removing the toxins if you’re not eating fiber to pull it through your digestive tract—they’re just going to be reabsorbed.

If you’re not sleeping, you’re not detoxing. Sleep is when your body repairs itself; it’s when your body detoxifies.

Stress is a big factor. Stress raises our adrenaline levels and, indirectly and inadvertently, affects our ability to detox.

Move your body.
A great way to get your toxins out is exercising, moving your body. It doesn’t have to be going to a gym — it’s getting outside and doing things. Movement moves blood, and blood moves toxins out of tissues.

If you’re at a point that you really can’t exercise that much, infrared sauna is an excellent alternative. Heating your body up makes your blood move. Infrared sauna is a little easier than regular sauna. It uses heat coils that actually radiate heat to your body, and you can do it very gently and very carefully. It’s a great way to move blood in your system.

Stay regular.
You’ve got to evacuate the toxins. If you’re getting backed up, you just keep reabsorbing those toxins. You have to have a healthy intestinal tract.

It’s important to remember that detox is an integral part of the entire Lyme recovery process, and how quickly you respond to that is a high variable. It depends on how long you’ve been unwell, and how sick you are.

But generally what I find is that people who are embracing an herbal protocol and taking an appropriate approach to detoxification notice a difference within weeks and certainly within months. Detoxification is a long-term, steady process. Think of it as a gradual detoxification instead of an acute detoxification, and I think you’re going to do more good.

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease and recovery in Dr. Rawls’ best-selling book, Unlocking Lyme

You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

Great info here.  My only disagreement is with the statement, “Lyme disease is more about disruption of immune system functions than infection with microbes.”
Many of these pathogens have been tweaked in a lab for biowarfare purposes which automatically makes them more pervasive and persistent than what is found in the wild.  I look at the involvement of infection, immune system, and detox in equal proportions.  You will not get better if you only deal with one aspect.
If you look at this logically for just a moment, the severe increase in infection rates mirrors the severity and evolution of the pathogen(s).  More and more are becoming infected – and it’s worldwide.  This indicates something radical is going on with a microbe(s) that’s been around since the beginning of time: and of course the addition of a plethora of coinfections as bad if not worse than Bb – many tweaked in a lab.
It’s so easy to regurgitate age-old information that is inaccurate.  Words mean things.  We need to recognize that many if not most of the old studies done on the organism itself are flawed, which is why researchers who are taking these old studies and then doing a meta-analysis aren’t helping anybody.  As they say, “Garbage in, garbage out.”  We need good, unbiased, serious studies using current technology that essentially start over at ground zero.  The studies also need to be longer as Bb itself is a slow-growing organism.  Many studies stopped before persistence could ever be picked up.  One other flaw is the lack of research studying the combined effects of Bb plus the other coinfections that typically come into the picture:  The only people recognizing this fact are patients and the bold doctors who dare treat them.
Until then we are treading water but eventually will sink.
This of course is the main concern I have with the Tick Borne Working group.  If they do not recognize and deal with the fact many of these old studies are unscientific and antiquated – using laboratory and testing methods that are not evolved enough to study these organisms, they will do little to move this gigantic ball of mess forward.
And on top of it all, some of the best stuff we have comes from Pathologist Dr. Alan McDonald, who has been working in his basement with his own microscope with his dog as his assistant and only Lyme/MSIDS patients are noting his work.  The rest of the world vilifies him.
How are we going to move forward when important work is not regarded by the rest of the scientific community?  Also, the worldwide research is not taken into account by the CDC/IDSA/NIH.  There is a complete dichotomy in the world of Lyme/MSIDS research.  That must change or we are doomed.

23 Businesses Selling CBC Products Closed Down in Tennessee in Candy Crush Raids

CBD supporters question Operation Candy Crush raids

By Larry Flowers
Published: February 13, 2018

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Hemp Industries Association is speaking out against Rutherford County for closing 23 businesses for selling CBD products.

The nonprofit says the DA and law enforcement could be misinformed.

Tennessee Hemp Industries Association President Joe Fitzpatrick believes they do not quite understand the difference between CBD derived from Hemp plants and THC from marijuana.

“I think the most important distinction to make is what product is derived from industrial hemp and what products are derived from marijuana because if they are derived from industrial hemp Governor Haslam signed the bill and it had unanimous support in both chambers of the state legislature to make any product derived from industrial hemp legal for ingestable or topical use. And marijuana products are simply not legal,” Kirkpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick said he’s been in communication with an attorney for one of the manufacturers of CBD products, who says they can prove their product is made from the Hemp plant.

“The attorney for the manufacturer is claiming that the product, that they can prove a chain of custody that will show the products that were seized in these apparently legal businesses were padlocked were carrying a product that is derived from industrial hemp making it fully and completely legal and safe,” he said.

Rutherford county lawmen from Smyrna, La Verne and Murfreesboro raided 23 business in the county Monday.

Undercover officers purchased CBD based oils and gummies laced with cannabidoil.

“The TBI has certified it as containing a Schedule VI controlled substance,” Rutherford County District Attorney General Jennings Jones said.

News 2 was able to obtain several copies of the judge’s petition which allowed the businesses to be padlocked.

Included is an official forensic chemistry report, that determined four of the products tested from Cloud 9 Hemi contained Cannabidiol, and listed it as a Schedule VI drug, but doesn’t give the amount contained.

Another TBI forensic report tested Gummy frogs which apparently contained Cannabidiol but the analysis couldn’t determine what schedule drug it contained.

An officer still wrote in a petition that the business Enchanted Planet offered edible CBD gummies that is a Schedule VI controlled substance.

“Our Forensic Scientists’ jobs are to objectively identify compounds that are present in evidence submitted to our lab and report out the schedule as indicated in the Tennessee Code Annotated,” said TBI spokesperson Josh Devine. “We make no determination as to the legality of these compounds. Instead, the District Attorney General determines whether the law has been broken, based upon the circumstances of each case.”

“Industrial Hemp is any cannabis product that has less than .3 of one percent which is a microscopic level of THC,” Kirkpatrick said.

“CBD keeps me seizure free, and the other side, shame on you Rutherford County,” CBD product user John Horton read from a homemade sign he was carrying.

Horton let his frustration be known, by walking around the historic Rutherford County Courthouse showing his disappointment in authorities for closing the businesses.

He suffers from seizures, but for the past two years he said he’s been seizure free since he started using CBD products.

“It’s been a life saver, I’m able to drive again, wasn’t able to drive because of the seizures so CBD has saved my life so I’m able to work and live like a normal person,” Horton said.

Since CBD products are also sold in Davidson County, News 2 reached out to District Attorney General Glenn Funk’s office, “Our office is aware of the Rutherford County CBD product sales,” said Chief of Staff Dorinda Carter. “We are monitoring the situation but we cannot comment on any possible investigation in our jurisdiction.”


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The Persistent Spiral – The Ancient History of Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Infections


Looking through history with knowledgable eyes, historian M.M. Drymon underscores how tick-borne illness has been with us since the beginning of time, and that many prominent historical figures showed signs of it in her latest book, The Persistent Spiral – The Ancient History of Lyme Disease and Tick-borne Infections.

First, she gives details of Ozti, the ancient man discovered in 1991 who represents the earliest documented case of Lyme Disease. Evidently, Ozti was carrying mushrooms with antibiotic qualities. He walked the forested area now located between Italy and Austria – one of the highest rates of modern LD in Europe. They even know he died in the Spring due to the intact pollen cells in his stomach.

Interestingly, from many standpoints, he had 57 tattoos – many in places that coincide with acupuncture points used to treat Lyme and pain relief – some 2,000 years before their documented use in China.

And while all these intimate details of a fellow sufferer are intriguing, the recent discovery of what Drymon calls the pot smoking, dispersed living, individualistic Bronze Age Cowboys, enlightens for sure. The discovery of the Yamnaya helps explain old Chinese books describing people of great height, deep-set blue or green eyes, long noses, full beards,and red or blonde hair. These nomadic horse breeding and cattle and sheep herding people contributed to many ancestries and very well may relate to how modern patients handle Lyme Disease (LD).  For more on the Yamnaya:

Drymon and many others believe genetics to be one reason some become so ill with tick-borne illnesses.

The Yamnaya were grassland inhabiters who eventually migrated into Northern Europe and may be the reason most of us can tolerate lactose, which was rare previously. They also might be a reason we don’t handle tick illness well. Since they lived outside tick infested areas, they most probably had immune systems inexperienced with Tick borne illness (TBI’s) and when exposed suffered with autoimmune illness.

Drymon states the Chinese had more experience treating LD due to historically inhabiting temperate forests which harbor ticks. Traditional Chinese medicine indicates this fact by having treatments for spirochetal diseases and specific herbs for Bell’s palsy, joint pain, inflammation, heart problems, fever and skin diseases, and convulsions – all of which are TBI symptoms.

Fast forward to the Crusades and the fact both King Richard I and Philippe Augustus II became ill and nearly succumbed to Trench Mouth which is caused by Bacillus fasiformis & Borrelia vincenti (a strain of borrelia, and also a spirochete). Richard apparently became ill again later with Autumnal Fever which has a relapsing nature and is proposed to be tick-borne.

Then there’s Catherine of Aragon, lover of the hunt, who after staying at a hunting lodge, survived The Sweat and was periodically ill from that point on. A physician of the time described The Sweat as a pestilence with copious sweating, stinking, redness of face and body, continual thirst, with a great headache.  Symptoms followed a pattern – sudden flu-like symptoms, apprehension, headaches, shivering, with muscle aches, and fatigue. Then came gut pain, vomiting, a hot and sweaty stage followed by headaches and delirium. There were also chest pains and difficulty breathing with great fatigue. (Sound familiar?)  If patients didn’t die, they were repeatedly afflicted. It seemed to be a summer illness found in rural families.  It also made many chronically affected for life.

There is no record of The Sweat until the landing of Henry Tudor’s soldiers in Wales after camping in forest edge environments. After that there were periodic outbreaks and two hundred and fifty years later an identical illness appeared in the exact same region. Another physician noted that black marks were sometimes on the skin.

Drymon lists the symptoms of numerous tick borne infections and how they look precisely like The Sweat. Symptoms of Borrelia miyamotoi cause high relapsing fevers, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, heart problems, shortness of breath, and a whole slew of neurological symptoms. Babesia is known to cause drenching sweats, anxiety, fatigue, headache, muscle, chest, and hip pain, and the ever lovely shortness of breath.

Poor Catherine struggled through seven pregnancies and her confessor reported that one knee pained her. If the babies weren’t still-born, they all died young except one daughter who became Queen Mary I. After Catherine was put to death by Henry, his next wife, Anne Boleyn battled The Sweat as well, and after marrying Henry also had a series of miscarriages with the only surviving heir being a daughter who became Queen Elizabeth I.  Catherine and Anne had a lot in common, including the same husband, and while Drymon didn’t go over the probability of sexual transmission, there is evidence: and

Regarding pregnancy and TBI’s, fertility problems, miscarriages, birth defects and still births, are all possibilities.  Autopsy’s have revealed borrelia in the placenta, spleen, fetal myocardium, kidneys, liver, arachnoid space of fetal mid brain, and bone marrow.

After Anne was put to death by Henry, and all likenesses of her were ordered to be destroyed, one of the few surviving pictures show a protruding lymph node below her jaw – another common TBI symptom.

Drymon goes through the various theories of what caused The Sweat, and logically refutes them all except for tick-borne illness. One telling quote by John Josselyn in the early seventeenth century states,

“there be infinite numbers of tikes hanging upon the bushes in summer time that will cleave to a man’s garments and creep into his breeches eating themselves in a short time into the very flesh of a man. I have seen the stockins of those that have gone through the woods covered with them.”

Evidently ticks were a problem then too.

Dr. John Caius who treated patients with The Sweat recommended regular burnings of fields and forest understory, as well as insect repellents and herbal treatments such as enula root and wormwood, herbs that are known even today to have action against borrelia and Babesia.

Drymon also discusses burnings in her other book, Disguised as the Devil,, another fascinating read about TBI’s and the witchcraft hysteria. She draws a connection between the fact that burnings were often abandoned in times of war due to upheaval and the absence of men to do the job. This in turn allowed ticks to propagate which in turn probably meant more people got infected – particularly women of that era who wore long dresses that essentially became tick drags.

Unfortunately, this effective method of reducing the tick population is frowned upon today due to the fear of pollution. Drymon states the ramifications of burning should quantified to determine its seriousness and if accommodations could be made.

While the entire book is fascinating, and frankly a lot of fun to read, one of the most important take-aways for me is the ever present issue of reducing ticks safely, effectively, and economically.

Burning is such a simple yet brilliant method that it begs to be used.

Being a Lyme patient and advocate, I’ve read about burning before. In fact, when I asked an older Wisconsin Representative who has lived here his whole life why this practice was abandoned, he repeated precisely what Drymon said about folks being concerned about pollution. He also said burnings worked and he wished they were still being done.

When I asked well known and respected entomologists in Integrated Pest Management, they assured me that burnings weren’t successful and gave me a 1998 study conducted in Connecticut using a single controlled burn on two different days with varying burn intensities. The results state that in both burns ticks were reduced substantially (74% and 97%). What the authors felt made it unsuccessful was an abundance of ticks in the fall – meaning, they felt it was temporary.  

I detect much more excitement from those in the field when you mention releasing GMO mice, lacing pellets with pesticides for rodents to eat, and high powered acaricides.  All things that cost a lot of money and have significant blow-back to the environment and humans. and

I was thankful for Drymon’s usage of a 2014 burn study performed in Georgia and Florida over a two year time period that indicates regular prescribed burning is an effective tool for reducing ticks and probably reduces disease as well.

I think we need to seriously revisit burning.

Drymon’s book reminds us that tick borne illness is as old as time and if we are going to get well it would behoove us to learn from the past.  










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