Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

Caffeine More Dangerous Than Cannabis

 Approx. 2:30

According to Dr. David Bearman, in 1988 after a two rescheduling hearing, the DEA’s chief administrative law judge recommended rescheduling Cannabis to a schedule II substance.  He also said it was one of the safest therapeutic agents known to man & that it was safer than eating 10 potatoes.

According to two well-known addictionologists, Dr. Jack E. Henningfield (National Institute on Drug Abuse) and Dr. Neal L. Benowitz (University of California at San Francisco), Cannabis is less dangerous than caffeine.

 They ranked six psychoactive substances on the following five criteria:
  • Withdrawal — The severity of withdrawal symptoms produced by stopping the use of the drug.
  • Reinforcement — The drug’s tendency to induce users to take it again and again.
  • Tolerance — The user’s need to have ever-increasing doses to get the same effect.
  • Dependence — The difficulty in quitting, or staying off the drug, the number of users who eventually become dependent
  • Intoxication — The degree of intoxication produced by the drug in typical use.
The tables listed below show the rankings given for each of the drugs. Overall, their evaluations for the drugs are very consistent. It is notable that marijuana ranks below caffeine in most addictive criteria, while alcohol and tobacco are near the top of the scale in many areas.


The rating scale is from 1 to 6. 1 denotes the drug with the strongest addictive tendencies, while 6 denotes the drug with the least addictive tendencies.


Substance   Withdrawal   Reinforcement   Tolerance   Dependence   Intoxication

Nicotine           3                         4                       2                     1                   5

Heroin             2                          2                       1                     2                  2

Cocaine          4                          1                       4                     3                   3

Alcohol           1                           3                       3                     4                  1

Caffeine          5                          6                       5                     5                  6

Marijuana      6                          5                        6                     6                 4



Substance   Withdrawal   Reinforcement   Tolerance   Dependence   Intoxication

Nicotine             3*                       4                     4                        1                6

Heroin                2                        2                      2                        2               2

Cocaine              3*                      1                      1                        3               3

Alcohol               1                        3                      4                        4               1

Caffeine              4                        5                     3                         5               5

Marijuana          5                        6                     5                        6                4

*equal ratings

A neurobiologist shows the under explored potential of cannabis to address opioid addiction:


For example, previous research shows that cannabinoids have a stronger effect on inflammation-based chronic pain, while opioids are particularly good at relieving acute pain. Problematically, opioids can quickly lead to a deadly addiction.

“If you look at both drugs and where their receptors are, opioids are much more dangerous in part because of the potential for overdose. The opioid receptors are very abundant in the brainstem area that regulates our respiration so they shut down the breathing center if opioid doses are high,” says Dr. Hurd. “Cannabinoids do not do that. They have a much wider window of therapeutic benefit without causing an overdose in adults. However, children have overdosed from consuming edible marijuana so that’s something to consider when making decisions regarding medical use.”

…..Accumulating evidence suggests that cannabinoids could have long-lasting therapeutic effects.


You may not be aware that medical cannabis is legal in 28 states and the District of Columbia, yet the DEA classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin, yet there is no toxic or lethal overdose effects of cannabis.  No one has ever died from cannabis.

You may also be surprised to learn the United States Department of Health Services owns a patent on cannabis:

The Patent covers the use of cannabinoids for treating a wide range of diseases. Yet under U.S. federal law, cannabis is defined as having no medical use. The patent (US6630507) is titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants”. It was awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in October 2003. It was filed in 1999, by a group of scientists from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), also part of the National Institutes of Health.

Even the U.S. government’s own NIH researchers concluded:  “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule 1 classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

For a video guide on the science of cannabis & opioid information:

If you want to learn more on the medicinal uses of cannabis:

Airing FREE June 20-27, 2018 Register here: The Sacred Plant: Healing Secrets Examined is a groundbreaking 7-part documentary series centered on the most powerful and potent healing plant on earth.

7-Part FREE Series About Medical Cannabis

Ty Bollinger: Season 2 – Healing Secrets Examined Docuseries

Airing FREE June 20-27, 2018.

Register here:

The Sacred Plant: Healing Secrets Examined is a groundbreaking 7-part documentary series centered on the most powerful and potent healing plant on earth. This series will be available to you absolutely FREE online from June 20-27, 2018.

What is The Sacred Plant? Cannabis sativa. Its natural and non-toxic healing powers have been used for 5,000+ years to prevent, treat, and even beat hundreds of medical conditions and disorders. Including Cancer, PTSD, Autism, Seizures, Dementia, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Anxiety, and hundreds more with no harmful side effects, which are common with pharmaceutical drugs.

Through the stories and expert advice of global health leaders, doctors, scientists, patients, and survivors…you’ll discover The Sacred Plant’s miracles and misunderstandings. The stories you’ll witness will inspire and move you. If you or a loved one is suffering right now from a debilitating disease or chronic condition, it’s important that you get educated and empowered on The Sacred Plant. It could change and even save your life and the life of a loved one.


Decoding Neuro-Lyme Webinar – Dr. Rawls

Decoding NeuroLyme: Live Webinar with Dr. Bill Rawls

Lyme disease can manifest in seemingly endless ways. But neurological symptoms such as brain fog, limb pain, muscle weakness, anxiety, and more can feel especially debilitating and difficult to diagnose, manage, and overcome.

So why are some people more likely to experience neurological Lyme disease — and what can you do to feel better? 

Join a live webinar with Dr. Bill Rawls, best-selling author of Unlocking Lyme, who knows firsthand what it’s like to live with chronic Lyme disease, as he demystifies neurological Lyme and offers an alternative view of causes and solutions.

You’ll learn how to take control of your health, and the essential steps for empowering your body’s natural defenses. 

PLUS: Don’t miss an exclusive special offer for webinar attendees, and have your questions ready for a LIVE Q&A on neurological Lyme disease with Dr. Rawls.

“Dr. Rawls is such a genuine resource in this bewildering Lyme maze. I appreciate you making his insights readily available.”  – David

Presented by Dr. Bill Rawls and Tim Yarborough

Wednesday, May 16th
8pm EDT

Webinar can be viewed on any device


“Super helpful and informative. It was great to hear someone talk about this in a knowledgeable manner given that it seems like a mystery to so many others in the medical community. Thank you!” – Christian

In this webinar, Dr. Rawls will also discuss:
  • Why neurological symptoms such as cognitive impairment, nerve and limb pain, mood disruption, and more are so prevalent among Lyme sufferers
  • What causes these symptoms to become so overpowering in some people
  • Connections between neurological Lyme and other infections and chronic illnesses
  • Why conventional methods of diagnosis and treatment are limited and controversial
  • His holistic, restorative approach to creating a foundation of wellness

“Neurological symptoms are the most exasperating of all Lyme symptoms, because they disconnect you from the world at large. There is a path to recovery.” Dr. Rawls


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.