essential oils

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is spread through the bite of infected ticks.

In the United States, Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne infectious disease, with about 30,000 cases reported each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate, however, that “the actual number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease is more likely about 300,000.”

Antibiotics, such as doxycycline, can usually clear Lyme disease in a few weeks, but in some cases, the infection persists. According to the authors of a new study, approximately 10–20 per cent of those who contract Lyme disease continue to report symptoms for months, and in some cases, years.

Medical professionals do not yet know what causes these cases of so-called persistent Lyme infection or “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.” However, they do know that B. burgdorferi can enter a dormant, or “stationary” stage in which its cells either multiply very slowly or do not divide at all.

Essential Oils for Lyme Disease: Clove oil and Lyme disease

It is believed that many essential oils have antimicrobial activities, and some people with persistent Lyme disease symptoms have turned to essential oils to help reduce symptoms of the disease.

These results indicate that essential oils show promise as treatments for persistent Lyme disease, but clinical trials are needed in order to show their effectiveness in humans.

When used properly, most essential oils are safe and free of adverse side effects. However, it is important to use them carefully. They can irritate the skin if not properly diluted, and some should not be taken internally.

Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease: Clove oil and Lyme disease

The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease usually start within three to 30 days after you’ve been bitten by an infected tick. Many people experience flu-like symptoms after being bitten, while more serious symptoms show up weeks after the bite. Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include:2

  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache 
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Rash (shaped like a bullseye)
  • Swollen lymph nodes

If left untreated, symptoms can worsen to include Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis), severe headaches, muscle, joint, and tendon pain, cardiac (heart) problems, and neurological disorders.

Most cases of Lyme disease can be managed and treated with two to three weeks of antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long after the bite you were diagnosed, you may need a longer course of antibiotics to clear up the infection. Many people turn to natural remedies to help treat Lyme disease.

Naturopathic Treatment

Naturopathic treatment for Lyme disease takes a whole-body approach. Your naturopathic practitioner will evaluate your diet, lifestyle, immune status, environment, and any other medical conditions you have to come up with a treatment plan.

 Licensed naturopathic practitioners who are able to prescribe pharmaceuticals may use antibiotic treatment in combination with natural approaches.

Your naturopathic Lyme disease treatment may include a combination of nutritional and lifestyle counselling, homoeopathic remedies, herbs, and dietary supplements that are recommended based on your specific symptoms and needs.

The goal is to support your body’s immune system, promote healthy detoxification, and protect and repair the body. Many people choose to seek naturopathic treatment as a complementary therapy and follow the recommended protocol in combination with antibiotic medication that has been prescribed by their primary care physician or another healthcare provider.

Research on the efficacy of naturopathic treatment for Lyme disease is limited.

Herbs for Lyme Disease Treatment

Herbs have been used as a medicinal treatment for thousands of years. Many people have turned to herbal remedies to help provide relief from Lyme disease when antibiotics didn’t completely help eliminate symptoms

  • Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
  • Juglans nigra (black walnut)
  • Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
  • Artemisia annua (sweet wormwood)
  • Uncaria tomentosa (cat’s claw)
  • Cistus incanus
  • Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap)

Garlic has antibacterial effects and may help prevent tick bites. One study determined that people who took garlic supplements reported fewer tick bites than the placebo group. Garlic essential oil has been shown to eliminate the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

garlic can interact with certain medications, so speak with your healthcare provider before using it to prevent or treat Lyme disease.

Stevia is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. maybe effective in treating Lyme disease. A study published in the European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology discovered that stevia extracts are more effective in killing Lyme disease bacterium in the lab (not tested in humans) than the standard antibiotics.9

Chelation Therapy: Clove oil and Lyme disease

Chelation therapy is a method that involves removing heavy metals from the bloodstream. Some people believe that Lyme disease symptoms are linked to heavy metal toxicity in the body caused by environmental factors (e.g., pollution, lead exposure) and turn to chelation therapy to treat Lyme disease.

A chelating agent is a molecule that binds with heavy metals in the body and eliminates them through the kidneys. Chelation therapy may be given as an oral preparation or by intravenously administering saline and a chelating agent such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA).

Chelation therapy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration when administered by a licensed practitioner. It is used to treat lead poisoning.10 Some alternative practitioners use it for additional applications, including atherosclerosis and arthritis.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that Lyme disease is caused by or worsened by heavy metal exposure, and chelation therapy is not a proven treatment for Lyme disease.

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Other Natural Treatments

There are many natural treatment options offered to treat Lyme disease. A 2015 study identified 30 alternative treatments, including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Bee venom
  • Energy and radiation-based therapies
  • Enemas
  • Magnets
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Photon therapy
  • Sauna
  • Stem cell transplantation
There is currently no research to prove the efficacy of these unconventional treatments, and in some cases, the treatments may be more harmful than helpful.

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Write and edit by Oluwaferanmi DJIMA