Dear Stephen,
Wondering what you think about Jernigan’s Neuro Anti-Tox II formulas whose primary herbs are Compass Plant (Silphium) and Blue Sage (Salvia Azurea)? Supposedly they help to mop up excess ammonia in the brain produced by lyme bacteria. I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about these formulas for people with neuro lyme. Is there a reason you don’t recommend those herbs in your protocol?

Stephen’s response:
There are literally hundreds of herbs that are useful in treating lyme. People with lyme are extremely proactive in exploring them for helping their condition and many of them do in fact help some people who use them. I truly admire that about the lyme community.
My book, however, was, and is, intended to help not only those with lyme but also medical practitioners. My intent was to create a book that explained the disease in depth and also offered a reliable protocol for treating it. While I am in the process of updating the book and the protocol, and suggesting some different plants and supplements for those with lyme, my focus will still be on things that I have found that do work well and that also have some depth of scientific study behind them.
Part of my distress in helping those with lyme is the scores of stories told me by people with lyme of the – literally – many thousands of dollars they have spent on treatment, in some cases $20,000 or more (healing rarely occurred). I have ethical trouble with these stories. Lyme treatment should be relatively inexpensive and there should be a fairly high rate of symptom relief from it. As I mentioned, many things are useful in the treatment of lyme disease, for instance teasel. Some people recommend teasel as a lyme CURE. However, a depth review of OUTCOMES shows that the cure rate from teasel is small, perhaps 10% at most. The plant is highly useful, and I recommend it, for the treatment of lyme arthritis. It is really excellent for that. But as a cure all for lyme. No. This does not mean that it is useless as a cure FOR SOME PEOPLE. But the numbers are tiny. The rate of relief should be relatively high, it should be repeatable over time, and it should be relatively inexpensive. AND . . . the treatment, whatever it is, should not enrich the provider – any more than fixing a broken sink enriches a plumber.
Jernigan’s formulation may indeed work well, but the science isn’t there (on these particular species) in spite of what the website indicates. Salvia plants have indeed been used for help with brain disorders for many thousands of years – and there is some good science on this (though NOT with this particular species). For some of the research on this see: (There are also some additional studies listed on the right side of that screen.) In short, the salvianolic acids in the plant help brain function considerably. Most salvias contain those compounds, hence their universal use for helping brain function. Silphium species have been used primarily by Native cultures in the past for asthma and bronchitis. There is literally no scientific work that has been done on it that reflects the statements made on the website nor are the comments made about ammonia sensible. This does not mean that the combination might not be of benefit. ALL plants are possess healing properties, even those upon which no scientific study has been done. My preference has been for using knotweed rather than salvia for neuro lyme – because it lowers inflammation in the brain and restores neural function to normal. Because knotweed possesses numerous other properties, many of which impact lyme spirochete behavior, it is my herb of choice.
So, like many other plants I am queried about (garlic, oregano oil, thyme, and so on), the plants in Jernigan’s formulation will possess medicinal functions and they WILL help some people but I don’t consider them primary. In spite of my comments here, I don’t recommend NOT using Jernigan’s formulation. I think that EVERY person with lyme should explore as many things as catch their interest for ONLY the individual with the disease can determine best what works for them and what does not. My protocol is NOT intended to be THE answer, just a reliable one that, WITH MODIFICATION, will be effective for the largest number of people possible. HOWEVER, it, like all lyme protocols, needs to be modified for each person who takes it – something I make clear in the book. There is no one picture answer for lyme.
So, my answer, as it always is, is trust yourself and your body’s responses. If you do that and continue to explore options, you will find healing from lyme.


Hello I would like to respond to Stephen Buhner’s blog/comments concerning the product I formulated, called NeuroAntitox Formula. This is to clarify misconceptions presented therein.

First of all I thank you Stephen for the good work you do in educating people on the blessing and power of botanical medicine.

There is an obvious separation in medicine between those who actually do the research and those who read the research and report on what was written about the uses of any given plant or medicine.

Thankfully I am in the researcher category and don’t rely as heavily upon the work of others to determine the actions and uses of a plant, especially since one cannot open a book older than the last ten years and look up what might treat illnesses and conditions which either didn’t exist or no one knew existed, such as exotic microbes and their neurotoxins.

Incidentally, I published one of the first books on the natural treatment of people with Lyme disease and I was the first to present research on the effectiveness of botanicals (Borrelogen) at the International Tick-bourne Diseases Conference in 1999 in New York. I had independent testing for the toxicology studies on the new herbs I brought to the world performed by Toxicon Laboratory in Bedford, Massachusetts, who found them to be considered “non-toxic”. I worked with Kansas State University to fractionate the individual chemicals that led to the identification of the active ingredient Pomiferin in my formula Yeast Ease and I worked with the Great Smokies Laboratory to verify effectiveness of Yeast Ease against five different strains of candida and also with the University of Texas Fungal Laboratory to verify its use against drug-resistant fungi.

I take herbal research and development in the healing arts very seriously and therefore prefer to do much of my own work, as I have had many thousands of people place their faith in my abilities at my clinic.

If one opens the herbal medicine books concerning the plant I use called Silphium laciniatum there is painfully little “research” other than the typical comment “…used by the native Americans for this, that, or the other, or that the sap can be dried and used as chewing gum,” although the homeopathic materia medicas list many more uses.

Thankfully it turns out Silphium tested better than any other herb known at actually crossing the blood-brain barrier, and helping the body eliminate neurotoxins. I personally distilled the essential oils of Silphium lac. and found Silphium is high in alpha and beta pinenes, camphenes, and sesquiterpenes, which are well known to cross the blood-brain barrier.

In defense of Stephen’s comments regarding the lack of research behind the herbs I use in my formulas, I am guilty of not publishing much of my research except in my book, “Beating Lyme Disease: Living the Good Life In Spite of Lyme”. In my book I published the results of the NeuroAntitox Formulas in before and after FACT tests (Functional Acuity Contrast Tests) developed by Dr. Arthur Ginsburg, Ph.D. and made popular by Dr. Richard Shoemaker, M.D., one of the great pioneers of neurotoxin research.

The before and after results of many of my patient’s FACT tests were reviewed by Dr. Ginsburg, who felt the Silphium lac. and NeuroAntitox formulas were the most important breakthrough in the treatment of neurotoxins.

To further identify the new uses of the plants I use in my formulas I use a testing technique I developed called BioResonance Scanning (BRS). The reality is that very little is actually known about the full potential of many plants. BRS is a unique sensitive testing technique that opens up the entire pharmacopeia of plants to renewed scrutiny.

I have used BRS to test the plants I use against literally tens of thousands of plants in North America (obviously including all the favorite herbs and formulas from the LD world). I traveled to Brazil to test them against the frequencies of the best plants I could find there in the rainforest, and tested many hundreds of others during my travels around the world.

Most of the plants I use in my various formulas confound “Classical Herbologists” because they read the old literature from ancient research and find that none of the herbs are known to “kill” bacteria or “boost the immune system” or even fall into a treatment category for the uses for which I have made them. This is because when I formulate them I am not striving to determine the “ultimate antibiotic” that will “kill” the bacteria. I am testing for what combination of various plant extracts will provide the very specific frequencies that will enable the body to rapidly eliminate the dis-ease process.

If one opens a book to find out what herbs really work against Lyme disease there is usually just an extrapolation of what the author thinks should work from very recent clinical experience, since Lyme disease only came on the scene in the 80’s, or the author is using an Allopathic treatment philosophy and is going for the symptomatic and historical uses of herbs, such as known “antimicrobial/antibiotic-type herbs.”

Unfortunately, the FDA will not allow treatment claims for natural, herbal products. My published research is stated as strongly as possible without crossing that line.

Historically speaking, I did not set out the be the “Lyme guy” but was simply working to help one family heal. The earliest formulas were just handmade for these people in my clinic, but the phone started ringing with others who had heard we were getting good results with this family and wanted some too.

Many of these herbs are not available in any form in a health food store, so it was not possible to just say, “Go buy these herbs.” And so Jernigan Nutraceuticals was born to really protect my clinic in case someone was disgruntled.

For all who are interested…I do not own, or run the company. I am the independent, formulator only. I am a doctor first and foremost. I only formulated a few products, but I carry almost four thousand different herbal and homeopathic products in my clinic. I carry so many because the illnesses are getting more and more difficult to deal with and one needs many potential solutions when you, as the doctor, are not just interested in “one size fits all”, canned protocols, and what will “kill the bug” but also responsible for every organ system and tissue of the body, as well as the mind, and spirit.

If I could have found suitable herbals on the market I promise you I would have gladly used them.

I agree with Stephen, many different products work for different reasons. I’m sure his recommended herbs work for a certain type of person and situation.

I would like to also respond to the comment about healing that costs so much. It is easy for one who doesn’t have the overhead of a large clinic to point at the fact that health care costs a lot. Most doctors who are outside of the hospital setting must spend much more per month in overhead than most people make in a year.

Of course it is much cheaper to point people to herbs in a health food store or bulk supplier, but the skill and knowledge necessary to help the severely ill person can often not be passed on in any one book and placed in the hands of the person who is usually too sick to read.

My book and blogs on LD are clear that any one who is very sick is likely not likely going to regain the full quality of life they seek and will need the skill of a professional.

Herbs are like any tools, they are only as good as the skill of the one using them.

For those who are interested, I have published many blogs on Planet Thrive and on my own blog ( where I teach the healing philosophies of American Biological Medicine and the newest thoughts on how to achieve true optimum health.

Blessings and health to you all.
Dr. David A. Jernigan

from Dr. Jernigan’s personal blog on the Planet Thrive community

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