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Alternative Medicine for Lyme Disease

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Lyme disease is a disorder caused by a bacterium commonly transmitted by a deer tick. This lesson goes over some of the alternative therapies proposed for this condition.

What Is Lyme Disease?

Are you a fan of the great outdoors? If you are, you are placing yourself at a bit of risk of contracting Lyme disease. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with limes. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by ticks. It can lead to arthritis, joint pain and a red bull's-eye rash, among many other problems.

But this lesson isn't about the specifics of Lyme disease. Instead, it's about the therapies practitioners of alternative medicine believe might help with the disorder itself. Remember, Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection, so you should always talk to a doctor first before using any alternative therapies.

Diet-Based Remedies

Because you can get Lyme disease by being in tick-infested areas in the great outdoors, it's only natural that nature might also have the answer to Lyme disease as well.

A diet full of fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and grains can help support the immune system's fight against Lyme disease. You can also boost your immune system by eating yogurt or drinking kefir, a fermented milk, since they have a lot of good bacteria. Drinking lots of clean water can help detoxify your body. At the same time, avoid gluten-based foods such as wheat, barley and rye, as they may worsen inflammation. Also avoid sugar, as this suppresses your immune system's ability to fight off Lyme disease.

Other things we can find in nature that might help with Lyme disease include:

  • Curcumin, a compound extracted from the turmeric spice. It may have antioxidant properties, so it might help fight off some of the damaging inflammation that occurs during Lyme disease.
  • Cat's claw, a type of vine-based herb that may also have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Oregano oil, which might have antibacterial, or bacteria-fighting, effects that may help a person beat back Lyme disease.
  • Grapefruit seed extract. This may have antifungal benefits. This is important for people who are taking antibiotics for Lyme disease, as antibiotics might lead to secondary fungal infections.
  • Milk thistle, an herb that can help detoxify the liver and kidneys.
  • Olive leaf extract, which might help destroy the bad bacteria and support the immune system.
  • Otoba bark, which might have antibacterial properties.

Homeopathy and Essential Oils

Homeopathic practitioners could turn to a compound known as Lyme Tick Nosode in some instances of Lyme disease. This is a compound that's actually made from the macerated body of an Ixodes tick. The Ixodes tick is a tick that can spread Lyme disease because it carries the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease, called Borrelia burgdorferi. Other homeopathic remedies that have been used for Lyme disease include Veratrum viride, made from the American Hellebore plant.

Essential oils might also be used for Lyme disease. These include clove oil, which might have pain-reliving and bacteria-fighting properties. It also includes Frankincense, which might help suppress inflammation and relax a person's muscles.

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