Dear Stephen,
I’m new here and hoping you can help me out with a little advice, I have lyme (probably still) and babesia (definitely). I’ve been on various parts of your protocol for probably about a month now, maybe 3 weeks ago I started getting worse chest pains, trouble breathing and real difficulty eating. After research I decided I probably had babesia and 2 weeks ago I began artemisinin treatment, which made my life much, much better within a few hours. I could eat again and over the next few days the chest pains and breathing troubles receeded.

One week ago I saw a LLMD and added Malarone to treatment, which helped to ease some more internal pain in various other areas (like bottom tips of rib cages, stabbing pains in gut, etc). Also the night sweats seemed to become less common and intense. I have also been continuing artemisinin treatment. The LLMD said my blood looked really dark for my age and I fear the babesia may have made me somewhat anemic as I have all the symptoms of erythromelalgia, a rare disorder that includes paresthesis of the fingers and toes, as well as red or purplish skin tone in the hands and feet, aggravated by heat, exercise and other factors that aggravate my symptoms. The condition can apparently be caused by anemia.

Over the last few days the chest pains have started coming back and the last few nights I have been having vivid nightmares and mild night sweats have returned. After several days of doing better my hands and feet seem to be becoming more irritated more often and I have been swallowing mouthfuls of ground thyme and whole cloves to try and stave off anemia and help circulation. I’ve also been taking 3,000mg of fish oil and 2,000mg of B12 a day for the past few days. I know that’s a lot of background info and now I come to the point; two multi-part questions I have.

1) Is there anything more I can be doing to aid my circulation in the event of fewer red blood cells because of babesia, or to increase my red blood cell production; 2) I have read that the stomach develops enzymes in response to artemisinin after a week or so which inhibits artemisinin’s bioavailability. I have read that drinking grapefruit juice with the artemisinin inhibits the enzyme from destroying it, but I have also read that anti-oxidants may interfere with artemisinin’s effectiveness and grapefruit juice is full of vitamin C. Are you aware of any of this controversy and if so, please share your thoughts with me.

Stephen’s response:
Thank you for taking the time to write; I am so pleased the book has helped you. As to your questions:

1) Red blood cell population can be increased through a number of avenues. Here are some of them.

To Increase red blood cell production:
a) to increase red blood cell production quickly you might try Tang Kwei Gin, 1 tbl 3x daily
b) to create more red blood cells more slowly in a tonic manner you might consider a tea daily, made from alfalfa, red clover, oat straw, peppermint, and yellow dock root. Place in one quart container: 2 tbl yellow dock root, 1 ounce each of alfalfa, oat straw, red clover, and 1/4 ounce peppermint. Fill with hot water and let steep overnight. drink the whole quart each day.
c) miso soup daily
d) 2 tbl each chlorella and spirulina daily.
(NOTE: it makes sense when treating a chronic condition where you are taking lots of herbs to register with your state and get a resale license, easy to do. Then you can arrange to buy from companies like Starwest botanicals at wholesale prices under a DBA with your resale license.)
e) fresh juice daily: wheat grass, beet root, carrot, celery

To stimulate circulation:
a) fresh ginger, two pieces about the size of your thumb, grated or juiced. Add to 8 ounces hot water, pinch of cayenne, a squeeze of lime, honey. Drink 2-4 cups daily. Will also help immune function.

2) As to your query about artemisinin, I am not sure there is alot to that. The studies in the treatment of antibiotic resistant malaria found it effective and make no mention of problems with stomach enzymes or antioxidants. However, if you feel that it is no longer working as well as it once was you might try cryptolepis instead, available from

This protocol was incredible. After only a few weeks most of my symptoms were gone. After six months all my symptoms were gone… it has given me my life back.

– Amazon review by Joseph

Please note:

Stephen Buhner is no longer living and this Q + A column on Planet Thrive is closed to new questions. It will be kept on our website so readers can access vital information in the archives, communicate with each other in the comments section, and find herbs, books + lyme adjuncts in our directory. If you want to read more of Stephen’s writings, please see his website at:

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