Dear Stephen,
I’m wondering if edema has to be a kidney or heart problem. Can it be herxing? A reaction to herbs? Something else? I can’t see doctor for a while and what I’m reading is scaring me. Have had edema issues mostly in legs on and off throughout the years, but now, since I started the herbs I have developed a cough and the edema has been difficult. I have also had “air hunger” for years. I think I’m looking for reassurance more than anything but if the edema is just part of the lyme process or could be from the herbs I would like to know that. On the websites, people talk about having it but not what causes it. Thank you so much for your help to all of us lymies!

Stephen’s response:
Lyme can affect the heart muscle, lyme carditis. Normally the symptoms include: • Sharp, piercing chest pain over the center or left side of your chest • Shortness of breath when reclining • Low-grade fever • An overall sense of weakness, fatigue or feeling sick • Dry cough • Abdominal or leg swelling. Sometimes edema can occur from lyme in the absence of carditis, but since you have air hunger, dry cough, and edema, I think it is a good assumption that you do have heart involvement. In this instance I would alter the herbs/supplements you are taking and go to:

Knotweed root, cat’s claw, dandelion leaf tea AND tincture (several cups per day plus 1 tsp tincture 3x daily – once the edema is resolved, then go to whatever maintenance dose is necessary to keep it from building up again), hawthorn berry (900 mg 3x daily), motherwort tincture (1/4 tsp 3x daily), COQ10 (keep on doing this),

The motherwort and hawthorn and COQ10 will help heart function, the dandelion, as you know, the edema, the cordyceps some of the inflammation problems from the lyme,

and specifically for the air hunger:

Cordyceps capsules 2000 mg 3x daily (1st Chinese Plum Flower brand)

Skunk cabbage tincture

Ailanthus tincture NOTE: 4 ounce minimum purchase. They are at present the only supplier I know of.

Mix the tinctures, half and half, and take ten drops every hour or as needed.

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