The Protocols



Since the publication of Healing Lyme, Stephen Buhner has updated the core protocol based on feedback from the field. Below is the most up-to-date basic core protocol to treat lyme disease. He published the updated, second edition of Healing Lyme in December 2015, which contains the full expanded protocol. It is highly recommended that you purchase the second edition of Healing Lyme so you can access the most up-to-date protocol information.

The most current basic protocols for babesia, bartonella, and mycoplasma are below, but again, it is highly recommended that you purchase the individual books for each of these conditions for the expanded protocols.

All of Stephen Buhner’s latest books can be purchased through the bookstore.


1. Japanese knotweed root (Polygonum cuspidatum) –

• Root powder: 1 tsp – 1 TBS 3x daily. Start at the lower dose and work up, OR . . .

• Tincture: ¼ to 1 tsp 3-6x daily, OR . . .

• Tablets (Green Dragon Botanicals): These are normally labeled as resveratrol on the bottle. They are in fact knotweed root standardized for resveratrol content. (Note: Don’t use grape resveratrol; it won’t work very well.) Some comments on tablet dosages below:

2. Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) –

• Powder: 1 tsp 3x daily, OR . . .

• Tincture: ¼ – ½ tsp 3x daily, OR . . .

• Tablets/capsules (Green Dragon Botanicals): 1–4 500 mg tablets/capsules 3x day.

[for additional sources see: cat’s claw alternatives];

3. Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) –

• Capsules: Begin with a small dose and work up. Stephen recom­mends 600 mg (1 capsule) 3x daily to begin with, for one week. Then, if there are no side effects, increase the dose to 2 capsules 3x daily. Please check the side effects on this herb: Unpleas­ant allergic reactions can occur.

4. If you have neuroborrelliosis, add: Gou-Teng (Uncaria rhynchophylla) –

• Tincture: ½ – 1 tsp 3–6x daily, depending on severity of brain infection.

5. Collagen support protocols are often essential, as well.



The primary herb for prevention is astragalus. Stephen recommends a minimum of 1,000 mg daily if you live in a lyme endemic area. This will keep the immune markers high that need to be high to prevent infection or, if you are infected, to keep the disease symptoms as minimal as possible.



For new tick bites, Stephen typically recommends taking astragalus – 3,000 mg daily for 30 days, 1,000 mg daily thereafter, indefinitely. Also: using a paste made of andrographis tincture mixed with green clay, the paste applied on the tick bite area can often prevent an active infection. See also: recent tick bites.



Stephen generally recommends the use of a Sida acutaAlchornea cordifolia, and Cryptolepis sanguinolenta blend for the treatment of babesia these days: ¼-1/2 tsp 3x daily. You could as well do ¼ tsp of each of these three tinctures 3x daily. These three tinctures can be purchased from You can also use just one of those herbs; his first choice is Sida acuta, second is Cryptolepis sanguinolenta. Stephen no longer recommends artemisinin or artemisia for babesia infections. It can work, but whatever you are treating, Sida acuta will work better, especially for babesia or bartonella.

See also: babesia.



Research is ongoing, this is the most up to date protocol:

Sida acuta tincture (from Woodland Essence or ¼ tsp 3x day for 30 days

Hawthorn tincture, same

Japanese knotweed, (tincture, same dose (from same sources as Sida acuta, above), or capsules from Green Dragon Botanicals 2 capsules 3x daily)

EGCG 400mg +- daily

Houttuynia (Yu Xing Cao – 1st Chinese Herbs, powder – use “LYME” code at checkout for 10% off) 1 tbl daily

L-arginine 5000 mg daily in divided doses

Milk Thistle seed, standardized, 1200 mg daily
All for 30 days.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have active herpes, chicken pox, or shingles DO NOT USE L-arginine.

See also: bartonella



Serrapeptase: 1 capsule daily on empty stomach – this will help break the mycoplasma cell walls open and make them more vulnerable to the herbs;

Cryptolepis as a systemic antibiotic. 1 tsp 3x daily (;

Gluten-free diet: Mycoplasma actually likes gluten so you should avoid it, and white sugar as well and also nuts and seeds and any oils that come from them;

Bee pollen to help replace the amino acids that the mycoplasma are consuming – 1 TBS daily in the a.m.;

To help adrenals and energy Stephen recommends the muscle tone formula from Woodland Essence which is composed of pine pollen, aralia, and American ginseng tinctures – 1 dropperful 3x daily;

If your energy is really low the use of eleutherococcus tincture (HerbPharm brand only) is essential. 1 tsp a.m. and noonish;

A general multi-vitamin supplement plus extra C, D, E, CoQ-10, beta-carotene, quercetin, folic acid, bioflavoids and biotin are necessary and helpful when recovering from a mycoplasmal infection.

See also: bacterial co-infections.



Stephen suggests reading his book on fasting, The Fasting Path (see bookstore), as fasting has shown some of the best results with tough to treat candida. He has also had success with a tincture combination: desert willow and chapparo amargosa – equal parts of the tinctures blended together. 1/2 tsp 3x daily for 30 days or so. You can get these from Bear Creek Herbs (505-388-5035) in Silver City, NM.

See also: fungal co-infections.

UPDATED: JUNE 04, 2016