Dear Stephen,
I’ve had weird symptoms for over 20 years but in the past four months things have gotten worse – shingles in the eye, uveitis, allergic reaction to the medications for them, steroids for the allergy and then a very swollen knee that pops in and out. Doctor #1 says I have a severe meniscus tear and am recovering from shingles. Doctor #2 says I have chronic lyme. There are no doctors in my area that know much about lyme and I’m caught in the middle. Do I need to have a doctor to oversee herbal treatment or can I go it alone and trust my own intuition? And if I can go it alone, how do I determine if I need help. For instance, how long should I go with severe knee issues – popping out and not being able to bear weight on the leg? Thank you for any advice that you can give me. I feel very alone down here in the south where ‘there is no lyme’!
Stephen’s response:
Many people do treat themselves, and quite well, without supervision. As with anything, just pay close attention to how you respond. In other words, “do I feel better or worse?”. With the majority of herbal medicines you should begin to feel better fairly quickly, that is, within 30 days, if they are working. For the knee, I would begin with glucosamine, 1500-3000 mg daily in two or three divided doses. If it is going to work you should see improvement within two weeks. That kind of damage in the knee also means you have to begin using the leg differently. I have used an elastic knee brace to help support it as I work on it and that does help. As to the herbs, begin with knotweed and cat’s claw (as per the book) and Sida acuta tincture (Woodland Essence). Shingles is challenging sometimes, you might begin with lemon balm tincture internally, ¼ tsp 3x daily, you can use eye drops made of a strong tea of lemon balm as well, just 1-3 drops at first to see how it works for you, then maybe 1-3 drops 3-6x daily. Fresh bidens pilosa juice can help as well, same dosage (hard to find). Hope this helps.

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