Lyme Disease and Chinese Medicine: What You Should Know

Borreliosis, which is also known as “Lyme disease,” is a common medical condition that affects over 200,000 people in the United States each year. Despite it affecting so many people a year, it’s still considered in many people’s minds as an uncommon disease. Not only that, but many people think of it as an “old” illness that we’ve managed to get rid of or reduce to a near imperceptible point in the US. As stated above, it affects a surprising amount of people every year, and according to this site here, is treated in many different ways in countless facilities today. It is caused by a bite from an infected deer tick, so those who have the highest risk of developing it are people who spend a lot of time outdoors in areas with a lot of wildlife. If a person doesn’t receive medical assistance for it right away, it can cause serious health problems that can last for years. However, most modern medications that doctors use to treat it, such as antibiotics, can only be used for up to ten days at a time. Otherwise, they weaken the immune system. Because of this, many people are turning to natural herbs that have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years as an alternative. This article will address some of the best TCM herbs to use, how to use them, and how they may be combined with modern medical treatments.

Starting With Gu Syndrome

What many people who want to use TCM herbs for Lyme disease treatment don’t realize is that there is a huge cultural influence behind this type of plant medicine that has an impact on the way that it is given to those who are suffering from an illness. An example of this is Gu syndrome, which has roots in supposed “black magic.” People in some regions of China believe that it is a curse given to a person as a form of punishment. Others say that it is a series of inflammatory diseases and parasites that have inflicted the body’s central nervous system so much so that it can drive a person insane. In order to prevent Gu syndrome, people keep special herbs on hand in case it ever happens to them or their family members.

The Breakdown of TCM Herbs for Lyme Disease Symptoms

In China, less value is put on protecting nature because the country considers modern buildings and surroundings to be more important. So there are very few forests that remain there. This reduces the contact that the population has with deer ticks. However, many people in China raise farm animals for food. And the animals are sometimes brought inside during the wintertime. Why it is important to mention this information is because the herbs that are used in TCM to treat Lyme disease are actually tailored to other spirochetal infections that the farmers get from close contact with the animals because they are closely related to Lyme disease, which they call “damp-heat.” This is demonstrated in the following breakdown of how the herbs are used:

Initial Disease Symptoms

According to this website, not long after a person becomes infected with Lyme disease, they start to get flu-like symptoms, which are treated with forsythia.

Skin Rashes

The easiest way for doctors to tell that a person has been bitten by an infected deer tick is by looking for a red rash that looks like a bullseye, which grows larger with time. This rash is sometimes itchy and uncomfortable, so a mixture called “sanshi sam” is put on the area to heal it. Sanshi sam is made up of red kaolin clay, gypsum, and calamine.

Liver Problems

As Lyme disease progresses, it can start to cause liver problems and jaundice of the skin and eyes. This symptom is treated with er miao san that consists mainly of ground Phellodendron powder.

Lung Problems

If the lungs are affected by Lyme disease, magnolia bark and other herbs in a xin jia xiangru yin mixture is given.

Meningitis

A meningitis infection that results from Lyme disease is aided with zhengan xifeng yang.

Other Helpful Herbs

Besides the above-mentioned treatments, this article gives the following is a list of other helpful TCM herbs that can be used:

  • Isatis leaf and root
  • Smilax
  • Gardenia
  • Verbena
  • Scute
  • Andrographis
  • Hu-chang

Methods of Using the Herbs

Chinese traditional medicine dictates that if a person already has a spirochetal infection, they must be treated with dried herbs. However, if they are hoping to prevent an infection from occurring in the first place, then fresh herbs are the better choice. Either way, the recommended amount is 12 to 15 grams of each individual herb per day. And the dose is taken just once.

Concerns About the Infection

One of the most important things to understand about TCM herbs is that they do not cure Lyme disease. They are only meant to be used for relieving the symptoms that it causes. Dealing with the source of the infection requires a host of other TCM herbs that help boost the immune system. They have to be given to a person as soon as they are infected though. Otherwise, the disease will quickly progress, and they won’t work as well anymore. Because of this, it is helpful to work with a doctor who is open to using both modern medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. This might sound strange, but believe it or not, many modern Lyme disease treatments can trace their roots to Chinese medicine. So, in other words, a person with Lyme disease could take TCM herbs to treat their symptoms and prescription antibiotics for dealing with the actual infection.

Finding TCM Herbs

The FDA in the United States does not regulate most of the herbal remedies that are sold here. So anyone who wants to take TCM herbs should use caution to ensure that those that they purchase contain only quality ingredients from a reliable source. This is important because watchdog groups who have done random testing of herbal remedies have found that many of them do not contain the promised ingredients or the dose that the packaging claims.

In conclusion, while Lyme disease is a serious medical condition, it can often be treated with a combination of modern medicine and TCM. So it is important that those who have been infected with it talk to their doctor first to see what combination of herbs may be right for them.

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