Dear Stephen,
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 7 years ago. Then rheumatoid arthritis about 3 years ago. My CRP (C-Reactive Protein) is almost always elevated but my RF (Rheumatoid Factor) is negative. I’m sick and tired of taking toxic drugs so I have turned to the holistic approach. I was told by the health food specialist that I have lyme disease. I haven’t had any blood test that confirms lyme, however, I have been in pain and fatigued since I was 17 and I’m now 42. I’m taking two tinctures 3 times a day. One consist of Cretan Rock rose, turmeric, and teasel root. The other is Chinese smilax, Japanese knotweed, motherwort, violet leaf, celandine, white willow, and lesser periwinkle. I have been taking it for about a week. I really haven’t noticed much change yet. Should these tinctures help me if I don’t truly have lyme? I am so desperate to get my life back and feel normal again. It has been very hard to function daily with bilateral shoulder pain and my right shoulder has corrosion from inflammation. If you have any suggestions it would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Stephen’s response:
Unfortunately, diagnosing the lyme group of infections is generally difficult. Because the infections cause symptoms that are also caused by numerous other conditions, off-the-cuff diagnoses are common. These herbs won’t hurt. However, if I were you (and I have suffered with those particular conditions in prior years) I would begin with the chronic fatigue formulation in the second edition of the Healing Lyme book (also available in modified form from Dry Creek Herbs in CA). I would use the formulation in the book with the addition of devil’s claw powder (2 parts, as per the recipe in the book). It does contain turmeric as well. In general, take it at night before bed, 1/8 cup or a bit more (I tend to take ¼ cup daily). This can usually help fatigue and those conditions. Continuing to take knotweed root might also be helpful as it is exceptionally good at reducing inflammation in the body. In general, a week is not enough to see benefits, usually 2 weeks to 6 weeks is common.
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