Dear Stephen,
You don’t seem to recommend any herbs specifically for diarrhea (except to help with damage from long-term antibiotic use). I am confused about how lyme is presenting in me. I don’t have the neuro and pain symptoms that many seem to have. However, I have had joint issues my whole life, have had chronic diarrhea since I was about 12 years old (diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 19), frequent urination, low energy, low-grade depression, extensive food, mold, and chemical sensitivities, and emotional herxes. I did test positive for lyme per both Igenex and CDC standards on the Igenex IgM Western Blot. Does this sound like lyme to you? Do you have any herbs to recommend for healing the inflammation in my intestines? Would it be dangerous for me to start your core protocol if it turned out I do NOT have lyme and had a false positive? Much thanks.

Stephen’s response:
I would suggest you work hard on your GI tract first. Crohn’s is moderately easy to treat. I have suffered a few bouts of IBS myself and do have a protocol that I find effective and have used with success with others over the years. You can find it in my book Vital Man: Keys to Lifelong Vitality and Wellness for Men, out of print but available from for $4-5 (see bookstore). I have a lot more detail on the protocol there, but in great brief here are a few things to do immediately that will help:

• each morning, drink fresh juiced cabbage (which for some reason I don’t mention in the book)—about three sliced pieces the size of a large carrot each—with three stalks of celery, juiced
• oatmeal daily after the juice
• applesauce daily

The rest of the protocol is somewhat detailed, so please see the book if you can.

I would begin there and then look at the lyme. I can’t really tell about your individual situation without seeing you. There are cases of intestinal lyme but it might simply be that you have a type of leaky gut syndrome with chronic IBS and attendant arthritis. This would also produce low energy, depression, etc.

The applesauce can help normalize diarrhea, PB8 probiotic can help as well. The intervention would be somewhat detailed but I would also begin with a good anti-diarrhea tea, primarily based around blackberry root. The can be taken in large quantities and I would work to see just how much it would take to normalize your bowels. As this is a long standing problem it might take a while to get things on course, but it can be done—it just takes tinkering.

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