Dear Stephen,
Thank you for your work, wisdom and contribution towards the healing of our bodies and planet. Do you have any herbal suggestions for the lyme associated symptom, Bell’s Palsy of the Gut? I am having some success with Triphala and Neem. Do you have any other herbs you would suggest to help treat this condition? Thank you.
Stephen’s response:
This is a difficult condition to respond to via the Internet as there are a lot of factors I would normally consider in coming up with a protocol—among these is the need for a fairly in-depth intake. However, I can respond in general:

There are two primary approaches I would take in addition to herbs already talked about in Healing Lyme—the two most important being stephania and knotweed. The stephania will help to reduce nerve inflammation no matter its location and I would definitely include that in any treatment plan. In terms of additional work:

1. Primarily I would begin the use of bismuth. I used to be able to obtain bismuth capsules without too much trouble, however that is no longer possible. If you have a friendly physician, I would highly recommend the use of ranitidine bismuth citrate (see e.g. Brorson O and Brorson SH. Susceptibility of motile and cystic forms of Borrelia burgdorferi to ranitidine bismuth citrate. Int Microbiol 2001; 4(4):209-15).

Borrelia are highly succeptible to bismuth and the good thing about GI tract involvement is that the bismuth can directly interact with the organisms as it moves through the GI tract.

[editor’s note: Abrams Royal Compounding Pharmacy (800.458.0804) in Dallas, Texas sells 60 capsules of Bismuth Citrate (120 mg) for $30.]

Along with this I would add in the use of GI tract mucosal enhancers / repairers. In this instance I would use a marshmallow / licorice combination—the powdered root in capsules, 3-4 3x daily. With this I would suggest glutamine 500-1000 mg 3x daily. It is an essential nutrient for repair and health of the GI tract.

2. Fasting is the second thing I would recommend. I would highly suggest your reading my book The Fasting Path (see book link below) as it goes into much more detail than I can here. In short, fasting is reliable in repairing damage to the GI tract in a great many conditions.

My concern about recommending it for lyme related conditions is due to the fact that many people with lyme are already suffering very low energy and cognitive problems. Fasting initiates a great many changes in body functioning, some of which affect cognitive functioning; it also affects energy levels. In such a case I would want to personally supervise the fast and design it for the person with lyme. This being said, I have seen amazing results from fasting for many conditions and I think it would be of great benefit in this condition.

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