Herbs and Supplements

NOT Recommended As A Therapy For Use In Children
In An Attempt To Cure Lyme & Tick Borne Diseases


Please note- Statements on this website and its individual pages have not been evaluated by the FDA.  Products mentioned or linked to are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Please consult a health care professional that can address your specific health care needs.

QUOTE-  "You should never treat Lyme disease with complementary therapies alone. Anyone who has Lyme disease needs to take antibiotics to cure the disease and avoid complications. Lyme disease does affect many parts of your body, so including complementary therapies along with standard treatment may help." Source-  
University of Maryland Medical Center

There are extreme views, which should be avoided...

QUOTE- "For most people, a very strict diet and just a few supplements (after balancing the gut flora as previously advised) will eventually rid the body of any and all Lyme.” Source- Organic Lifestyle Magazine


From Herbalists & ND's treating Lyme disease...

DrJonesKids.org - The sampling of quotes below are in line with most of the opinions of those using herbals to treat Lyme and tick borne coinfections.  There is no solid science indicating Lyme or other tick borne diseases can be safely treated or cured using only herbal or alternative therapies (or antibiotics either).  

In part, for the reasons listed and more, we do NOT recommend treating adults with herbal protocols only, and certainly do not recommend that approach for children.

Dr. Eric Gordon

Question- Is it possible to effectively treat Lyme disease and co-infections without antibiotics?  Is the immune system able to wipe it out if given the right support?   

Answer from Dr. Eric Gordon:  "I would say unequivocally, maybeMy answer is yes, I have read reports of people treated with herbs, and their symptoms and their CD57 tests have normalized. In my practice,  I often start with herbal treatments, but almost always use antibiotics at some point in the therapy. The biggest issue is not drugs vs. herbs, but rather the underlying toxicity of the person, and whether or not their immune system can manage inflammation.  I have had several patients who had severe “Herx’s” to herbs and yet did well on antibiotics." More here… http://www.gordonmedical.com/unravelling-complex-chronic-illness/treatment-antibiotics-or-herbs

Elizabeth Large, ND- "The infections must be eradicated or they will persist and children need longer treatment with multiple antibiotics or herbs. Treatment needs to last for at least two months past the time where all symptoms are gone and they no longer react or flare with treatment. The most  ill child may need IV antibiotics for several months. Permanent neurological and physical impairment may result in those with delayed diagnosis and treatment."  More here- http://www.gordonmedical.com/unravelling-complex-chronic-illness/children-at-risk-for-lyme-disease/


Buhner Protocol
Q-  Should you take herbs or antibiotics
"Stephen’s response:
You can take both, they work well together.
Stephen"
About Stephen Buhner

DrJonesKids.org - The sampling of quotes above are in line with most of the opinions of those using herbals to treat Lyme and tick borne coinfections.  There is no solid science indicating Lyme or other tick borne diseases can be safely treated or cured using herbal or alternative therapy (or antibiotics either).  

In part, for the above reasons we do NOT recommend treating adults with herbal protocols only, and certainly do not recommend it for children.

~ ~ ~



In Vitro Effectiveness of Samento and Banderol Herbal Extracts on the Different Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi
by Akshita Datar, Navroop Kaur, Seema Patel, David F. Luecke, and Eva Sapi, PhD
Lyme Disease Research Group
University of New Haven 

Abstract

A tick-borne, multisystemic disease, Lyme borreliosis caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi has grown into a major public health problem during the last 10 years.

The primary treatment for chronic Lyme disease is administration of various antibiotics. However, relapse often occurs when antibiotic treatment is discontinued.

One possible explanation for this is that B. burgdorferi become resistant to antibiotic treatment, by converting from their vegetative spirochete form into different round bodies and/or into biofilmlike colonies.

There is an urgent need to find novel therapeutic agents that can eliminate all these different morphologies of B. burgdorferi.

In this study, two herbal extracts, Samento and Banderol, as well as doxycycline (one of the primary antibiotics for Lyme disease treatment) were tested for their in vitro effectiveness on several of the different morphological forms of B. burgdorferi (spirochetes, round bodies, and biofilmlike colonies) using fluorescent, darkfield microscopic, and BacLight viability staining methods.

Our results demonstrated that both herbal agents, but not doxycycline, had very significant effects on all forms of B. burgdorferi, especially when used in combination, suggesting that herbal agents could provide an effective therapeutic approach for Lyme disease patients.

Borrelia burgdorferi, the primary causative agent of Lyme disease, is a spirochetal bacterium that can adopt different inactive forms, such as cystic and granular forms (round bodies), as well as colonylike aggregates both in vivo and in vitro, in the presence of unfavorable conditions such as exposure to the antibiotics commonly used for treating Lyme borreliosis.1-4

Unfortunately, when B. burgdorferi is in these inactive forms, conventional antibiotic therapy will not destroy the bacteria.3 Still to date, the frontline treatment for Lyme disease is administration of pharmaceutical antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline, clarithromycin, penicillin G, and ceftriaxone.4,5

Many studies have shown that in spite of continued and high-dose antibiotic therapy, chronic Lyme disease is not treated successfully in many cases.6Also, in the absence of ongoing antibiotic treatment, relapse is common.7,8 This means that even after antibiotic treatment, the host immunity fails to prevent recurrence.8

One possible explanation for this clinical observation is the presence of different morphological forms of B. burgdorferi, which mayprotect it from the antibacterial therapy. Soon after treatment, relapse is observed, most likely because the B. burgdorferi can revert to the spirochetal form. Furthermore, the cost of antibiotic treatment, especially when administered intravenously, is substantial.

Antibiotic therapy may also cause multiple undesirable side effects.9 Thus, there is an urgent need for novel, more efficient, and more cost-effective treatment approaches that can efficiently eliminate all forms of B. burgdorferi.

There is an alternative clinical treatment option gaining wide use, called Cowden Condensed Support Program, that utilizes several herbal extracts designed to eliminate microbes in Lyme disease patients.

Richard Horowitz, MD, president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Educational Foundation (ILADEF), has prescribed this protocol for over 2000 of his patient and reports that it has been effective for more than 70% of them.

The two herbal agents from the Cowden Condensed Support Program selected for this study are Samento (a pentacyclic chemotype of Cat's Claw [Uncaria tomentosa] that does not contain tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids), with reported antibacterial and antiviral properties, and Banderol (Otoba sp.), known to have antibacterial, antiprotozoal and anti-inflammatory effects.10-12

Both herbal agents are used during the first two months of Cowden Condensed Support Program, then in rotation with other antimicrobials for the duration of this 6-month protocol.

In this study, we evaluated these natural antimicrobial herbal extracts as well as doxycycline (one of the primary pharmaceutical antibiotics for Lyme disease treatment) for their potential effects on the different forms of B. burgdorferi.

The infectious B31strain of B. burgdorferi used in this study, obtained from American Type Tissue Collection(ATCC# 35210), was culturedin 5% CO2 at 34 oC, in Barbour–Stoener–Kelly H (BSK H) medium supplemented with 6% rabbit serum (Sigma, St. Louis, Missouri) to midlogarithmic stage (2 × 107 cells/ml). Samento and Banderol were obtained from Nutramedix LLC (Jupiter, Florida).

Doxycycline was obtained from Sigma. A wide range of concentrations of Samento and Banderol were initially tested to determine the effective concentrations (1:100–1:1000 dilutions). For doxycycline, a concentration 10× higher than the reported minimum bactericidal concentration (250 µg/ml) was used.13

Triplicate test tubes containing BSK H medium, with and without the appropriately diluted antimicrobial agents, were inoculated with a final density of 5 × 106 cells/ml of the test organism.

Direct cell counting methods with Petroff-Hausser counting chambers and morphological studies using fluorescent and darkfield microscopic techniques, as well as LIVE/DEAD BacLight Bacterial Viability Assay (Life Technologies Corp, Carlsbad, California), were utilized to assess the effect of the antimicrobial agents.

For statistical analyses, one sample paired T-test was performed using NCSS statistical software (NCSS LLC, Kaysville, Utah).

Samento & Bandero
Herbal Extracts

Figure 1A
Figure 1A
Figure 1B
Figure 1B
Figure 1C
Figure 1C

Figures 1: The in vitro susceptibility of the spirochete and round-body forms of the B31 B. burgdorferi to Samento and Banderol extracts and to doxycycline (250 µg/ml) for 96 hours' treatment period using direct cell counting and darkfield morphological evaluation methods. (A) Samento extract; (B) Banderol extract; (C) Samento + Banderol extracts. As a negative control, 0.25% ethanol was a used. *P- values >0.05 indicates statistical significance.

In the first set of experiments, we tested the in vitro susceptibility of the spirochete and round-body forms of the B. burgdorferi B31 strain to Samento and Banderol extracts for 96 hours, then direct cell counting and darkfield morphological evaluation methods were used to measure the effects of the antimicrobial agents. 

For both herbal extracts, the dilution of 1:400 most efficiently eliminated both the spirochetal and round-body forms (Figure 1A and 1B). However, when we used the combination of Samento and Banderol extracts, 1:300 dilution showed the most effectiveness, and this concentration was chosen for further study (Figure 1C). 

As a negative control, 0.25% ethanol treatment was also included in all experiments, because these herbal extracts contain ~25% ethanol to transport the nutrients into the cells and for stability.

In these experiments, we also compared the effect of Samento and Banderol with doxycycline, the most common antibiotic treatment agent for Lyme disease treatment in a 96-hour treatment period. 

Our results showed that doxycycline (250 µg/ml) was very effective in eliminating the spirochetal form of B. burgdorferi, but it significantly increased the round-body forms. Comparing this doxycycline data with that of the herbal extracts, Banderol and the combination of Samento and Banderol (1:300) were more efficient in eliminating both the spirochetal and round-body forms of B. burgdorferi in vitro (Figures 1A–C).

In the next set of experiments, we evaluated the effect of the different antimicrobial agents on biofilmlike colonies of B. burgdorferi. The cultures were treated as described above for 96 hours and stained with BacLight fluorescent viability stains, which can help visualize the effects of the antimicrobial agents on the bacterial cells (Figure 2). 

The green fluorescent stain (SYTO 9, with excitation/emission maxima of about 480/500 nm) colors healthy bacteria that have intact membranes, thus staining live cells; and the red dye (propidium iodide with excitation/emission maxima of about 490/635 nm) colors bacteria with damaged membranes, by displacing the green dye, thus staining dead cells.

Figures 2: BacLight viability staining of B31 strain of B. burgdorferi after 96-hour treatment using SYTO 9 green-fluorescent nucleic acid stain (live cells) and propidium iodide, a red-fluorescent nucleic acid stain (dead cells). (A) Control; (B) Samento (1:300 dilution); (C) Banderol (1:300 dilution); (D) Samento + Banderol (1:300 dilution); (E) Doxycycline (250 µg/ml). All images are taken at 40× magnification.

Figure 2A
Figure 2A

Figure 2B
Figure 2B

Figure 2CFigure 2C

Figure 2DFigure 2D

In the absence of antimicrobial agents, B. burgdorferi is forming biofilmlike colonies (Figure 2A) with mainly live bacterial cells. In the presence of Samento extract (1:300), the colonies were significantly smaller and less organized (Figure 2B), but they did stain with green dye, indicating that live cells remained. In the presence of Banderol extracts, the size of colonies did not show any reduction; however, the cells inside the colonies are >90% dead.

In the presence of both herbal extracts, no sign of any colony formation was observed in the cultures, but we found evidence of a few individual nonmotile but green spirochetes and round bodies. In the presence of doxycycline (250 µg/ml), the average colony size was increased and contained mainly live round-body forms.

In this study, our working hypothesis was that for an efficient therapy, we have to find antimicrobial agents that can eliminate all the forms of B. burgdorferi. During the course of Borrelia infection, the bacteriumcan shift among the different forms, converting from the spirochete form to the others when presented with an unfavorable environment and reverting to the spirochete when the condition is again favorable for growth.1-4 To successfully eradicate B. burgdorferi, antimicrobial agents should eliminate all those forms, including the spirochetes, round bodies, and biofilmlike colonies.

Here we have provided evidence that two natural antimicrobial agents (Samento and Banderol extracts) had significant effect on all three known forms of B. burgdorferi bacteria in vitro. We have also demonstrated that doxycycline, one of the primary antibiotics used in the clinic to treat Lyme disease, only had significant effect on the spirochetal form of B. burgdorferi.5
Figure 2E

Our later results might provide some explanation for why relapse is so common after discontinuing antibiotic therapy. 

For example, some of the recent reports on animal experiments demonstrated that although pharma ceutical antibiotics are effective in ameliorating disease, the infection may persist even after seemingly effective therapy, which suggested that Borrelia may remain viable even after antibiotic administration.14-15 

If those pharmaceutical antibiotics only eliminate one form of this bacterium, the other forms could be the source of the persistent disease.

The other very important fact needs to be considered for an effective treatment for Borrelia infection: this bacterium typically has a life span ranging from several weeks to six to eight months; therefore, it may take six to eight months for even one generation of Borrelia to become exposed to the antimicrobial for elimination.16

Since the herbal extracts like Samento are reported to be nontoxic, they can be safely taken daily for the long period of time necessary to thoroughly eradicate Borrelia from an infected body.17

In summary, our study has provided in vitro research data on a novel treatment approach using herbal antimicrobial agents to efficiently eradicate B. burgdorferi, the Lyme disease bacterium.

Corresponding Author
Eva Sapi, PhD
University of New Haven 
Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences 
300 Boston Post Road 
West Haven, Connecticut 06516 

Notes
1.   Gruntar I, Malovrh T, Murgia R, Cinco M. Conversion of Borrelia garinii cystic forms to motile spirochetes in vivo. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand. 2001;109:383–388.
2.   Brorson Ø, Brorson SH. In vitro conversion of Borrelia burgdorferi to cystic forms in spinal fluid, and transformation to mobile spirochetes by incubation in BSK-H medium. Infection. 1998;26:44–50.
3.   Miklossy J, Kasas S, Zurn AD, McCall S, Yu S, McGeer PL. Persisting atypical and cystic forms of Borrelia burgdorferi and local inflammation in Lyme neuroborreliosis. J Neuroinflammation. 2008;25:5–40.
4.   Brorson Ø, Brorson SH, Scythes J, MacAllister J, Wier A, Margulis L. Destruction of spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi round-body propagules (RBs) by the antibiotic tigecycline. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Nov;106(44):18656–18661.
5.   Burrascano J. Advanced topics in Lyme disease. In: Managing Lyme Disease. 15th ed. 2005:1–33.
6.   Krause PJ, Foley DT, Burke GS, Christianson D, Closter L, Spielman A. Reinfection and relapse in early Lyme disease. Am Trop Med Hyg.2006;75(6):1090–1094. 
7.   Klempner M, Linden MD, Hu T, J Evans J, et al. Two controlled trials of antibiotic treatment in patients with persistent symptoms and a history of Lyme disease. N Engl J Med. 2001;345:85–92.
8.   Horowitz R. Classical and integrative medical approaches in chronic Lyme disease: new paradigms in diagnosis & treatment. 8th Annual International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) Conference; 2007 October. 
9.   Matsuura T, Shimizu Y, Fujimoto H, et al. Minocycline-related lupus.Lancet.1992;340:1553.
10. Ccahuana-Vasquez RA, Santos SS, Koga-Ito CY, Jorge AO. Antimicrobial activity of Uncaria tomentosa against oral human pathogens. Braz Oral Res. 2007 Jan-Mar;21(1):46–50.
11. Valerio LG Jr, Gonzales GF. Toxicological aspects of the South American herbs cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) and Maca (Lepidium meyenii): a critical synopsis.Toxicol Rev. 2005;24(1):11–35.
12. Weniger B, Robledo S, Arango GJ, et al. Antiprotozoal activities of Colombian plants. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Dec;78(2–3):193–200.
13. Baradaran-Dilmaghani R, Stanek G. In vitro susceptibility of thirty Borrelia strains from various sources against eight antimicrobial chemotherapeutics. Infection. 1996 Jan–Feb;24(1):60–63.
14. Bockenstedt LK, Mao J, Hodzic E, et al. Detection of attenuated, noninfectious spirochetes in Borrelia burgdorferi-infected mice after antibiotic treatment. J Infect Dis. 2002; 186:1430–1437.
15. Barthold SW, Hodzic E, Imai DM, Feng S, Yang X, Luft BJ. Ineffectiveness of tigecycline against persistent Borrelia burgdorferi. Antimicrob Agents Chemother.2010 Feb;54(2):643–651.
16. Samuels DS and Radolf JD. Borrelia: Molecular Biology, Host Interaction and Pathogenesis. Caister Academic Press; 2010.
17. Reinhard K-H. Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) D.C.: Cat's claw, Una de Gato, or Saventaro. J Alt Comp 


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