posted in <<Healing Lyme with Herbs > THRIVE! EXPERTS

Healing Lyme
Why is astragalus contraindicated in chronic lyme?
with Stephen Harrod Buhner, master herbalist

Dear Stephen,
I have been bitten a number of times over the last ten years. What usually happens, is I use your protocol and it helps very much, but then I get bitten again and I have to up the dosage and start again. So, I probably have chronic lyme. I’m certainly not new to it. Anyway, you recommend astragalus for prevention. I’d love to take something for prevention, but you say not to take it if one has chronic lyme. Is this still true? And if so, why? What does it do that’s negative? Thanks so very, very much for your protocol, such a big help, Don’t know what I’d do without it.

Stephen’s response:
If you are not currently sick, you can certainly take astragalus. The reason for not recommending it is that astragalus raises the parts of the immune system that are overactivated in chronic lyme. Those parts of the immune system are highly effective against lyme early on and help prevent or reduce the disease but if they are low to begin with and you are infected the infection can spread more easily. After awhile the immune system does ratchet up those parts to attack the lyme bacteria but by then the spirochete has altered itself and is no longer very affected by them, those parts of the immune system then begin to cause some of the lyme symptoms people have making the disease a kind of autoimmune problem. My book Healing Lyme goes into this in a great amount of detail.

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  • mary schnaufer

    March 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Lyme disease is such a conundrum. I also use your protocol. I continue to live, hike, garden in a wooded, deer habitat. There are lots of turkey tails which I would like to use for immunity since I cannot use astragalus. So for those who have chronic Lyme are there other herbs or supplements that can also “overactivate” the immune system? In the Winter “Lyme Times”, there is a column “Getting the Full Treatment–Supporting the Immune symstem vital to successful outcomes”. He mentions using mushroom extracts for low CD-57. Many thanks, Mary

  • earthwalker

    March 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Mary,
    Stephen’s column is closed to new questions until June. Please see the note under his photo in the upper right column, where you’ll find a link to his email address. You are welcome to contact him directly, but please be aware that he receives a high volume of emails and it might take some time to receive a response. Best, Julie

  • Jessica maskiell

    May 25, 2011 at 4:34 am

    Thank you for that answer, also what about the use of garlic eating a lot of in ones diet, to prevent Lyme?

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