Dear Stephen,
I’m feeling like I live in a nightmare and now my poor babies. I loved nature – now we can’t go out in summer. We live in the woods but my hubby doesn’t fully get it – the fear of the tick isn’t embedded. Ten years of my wacky symptoms that went away and he developed the thought I was borderline hypochondriac. I have two children, a 20 month old and a 5 year old, who were born and nursed when I had untreated ten year old lyme (misdiagnosed as a spider bite). Finally I made the realization two years ago. I didn’t start treatment until this spring when I got bit and got a rash again. Amoxicillin plus an herbal tincture of andrographis, cat’s claw, and teasel ordered by my naturopath. My naturopath had me stop the amoxicillin because after six months since I was doing well. Three weeks and a flu later, I had a major flare – headaches joint pain and severe brain fog which went away for a month but has returned. So I need to begin your exact protocol recommendations as my naturopath’s herbs are less measurable in mixed tincture form. And continue treatment probably with antibiotics and herbs while nursing my 20 month old. I am learning more every night when the brain fog lifts. My babies are at great risk. They may be infected already (no glaring symptoms yet) so if and when I test if they test positive do I treat or let the spirochetes lay dormant? This can show up many years down the road from the stories I’ve read – I will never be able to not worry. I’d like a preventative like astragalus for the children but am unsure if they are infected by birthing/nursing. I don’t want to use astragalus if it will give them problems. Your thoughts? At last, how do I know what co-infections I have from either time infected? Especially when infection number two was treated right away and full symptom profile hadn’t had chance to develop. Thank you from my deep aching heart.

Stephen’s response:
Some of the herbs will be transmitted via nursing. I would not worry about the 20 month old unless you begin to notice symptoms. If you are not noticing symptoms in the 5 year old, you can use astragalus tincture, 5-10 drops 3x daily in any liquid the 5 year old drinks. It is used as a tea and soup base in China indefinitely for many people; a very benign herb. These kinds of flare ups do happen from time to time when flu or stress of some sort occurs. I think the most important herb for lyme is Japanese knotweed. It is specific for the inflammation the bacteria cause throughout the body. The tincture combination was fine except for the absence of the knotweed root. However, dosages do vary considerably for nearly everyone. Unfortunately, most people with lyme have to spend the time figuring out the right dosage for their own particular infection dynamics. There is an extensive protocol for the various symptoms of lyme in the new edition of the book. If the simple core protocol is not enough, then look to modulating it with more herbs that can address your particular symptom picture. As to co-infections, diagnosis with the lyme group of infections is often difficult; I have the most up-to-date diagnostic tests and their limits and strengths in the new edition.
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